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Last Updated: Saturday, 7 January 2006, 09:58 GMT
Cathedral canon's 'gay wedding'
Salisbury Cathedral
The Reverend Canon Davies is precentor at the cathedral
One of Wiltshire's leading religious figures formalises his same-sex relationship on Saturday.

Salisbury Cathedral's Canon Jeremy Davies is registering his civil partnership at a ceremony in the city.

Recent changes in the law mean that Canon Jeremy Davies can now legally register his 18-year relationship to professional singer Simon McEnery.

The ceremony, which will be held in private, will be combined with the canon's 60th birthday party.

Civil partnerships

The first ceremonies under the Civil Partnerships Act took place across the UK in December 2005.

Under the law, couples who want to form a partnership must register their intentions with local councils. Unlike marriages, the signing of the legal partnership papers does not need to happen in public.

Meg Munn, minister for equality, said the government expected 4,500 couples to get "partnered" in the first year.

The new civil partnership means that same sex couples can enjoy similar tax and inheritance benefits and legal rights as heterosexual couples.

Same-sex marriage in church, however, is still banned and homosexual unions themselves remain a topic of controversy in the Church of England.

Couples tie knot in 'gay capital'
21 Dec 05 |  Southern Counties

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