The rings are symbols of their love and their commitment to each other. But they were also symbols of something Sue Wilkinson and Celia Kitzinger couldn’t have at home in England: a legally recognized marriage.
So they took the bands off their fingers and put them in a drawer, and there they have pretty much stayed.
Wilkinson and Kitzinger married in August 2003 in Vancouver, after Canada afforded gay and lesbian people the right to marry. When they returned home to Yorkshire, however, the United Kingdom refused to recognize their union as a marriage, and termed their relationship a civil partnership.
But as of Thursday March the 13th, same-sex marriages performed outside the U.K. will be recognized as legal in England and Wales. Kitzinger and Wilkinson can finally wear their rings, every single day.
Lord Brian Paddick and his husband Petter, whom he wed in Norway, also expressed delight that their marriage will now be enshrined in English law.