Elton John wedding date set following gay marriage legalisation in England

AP
Elton John

Sir Elton John and long-time partner David Furnish, who this weekend announced their intention to marry, now say they will wed as early as May. 

David wrote in Attitude Magazine: "Elton and I will marry - as a high-profile couple, we feel it is our duty to do it, to make sure that everyone knows that this is something that many gay men living in this country never dreamed would happen." 

Sir John and Furnish, who have been in a civil partnership since 2005, have two adopted children: Zachary, 3, and Elijah, 1. Unlike their lavish $2 million civil partnership reception, the award-winning singer/songwriter says the wedding will be low-key:  "We'll do it very quietly, but we will do it and it will be a joyous occasion and we will have our children."

Furnish echoed that sentiment: "We'll go to the registry again and we'll take the boys with us. Take along the one or two witnesses that we need and make it very small and intimate."

England and Wales controversially held their first gay marriage ceremonies March 29, after passing legislation allowing same-sex marriages in July 2013. Same-sex marriage was also recently made legal in Scotland, with ceremonies expected as early as Fall 2014. Northern Ireland does not intend to introduce legislation allowing gay marriage.

Despite the legal redefinition of marriage in England, religious institutions are exempt from conducting same-sex marriage ceremonies, unless they choose to opt-in. The Church of England, however, which maintains the original biblical definition of marriage as between one man and one woman, has been explicitly prohibited in the legislation from conducting same-sex marriage ceremonies in the country.

In 2012, the Church of England stated that government proposals to allow same-sex marriages would "alter the intrinsic nature of marriage as the union of a man and a woman, as enshrined in human institutions throughout history."

It went on to say that marriage acknowledged "an underlying biological complementarity which, for many, includes the possibility of procreation".

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