Ed’s making history with plans to be in gay marriage vanguard

Ed Fordham and Russell Eagling.
Ed Fordham and Russell Eagling.

A Spalding historian will take his own place in the history books when he becomes one of the first gay men to get married in church.

Ed Fordham, who has written a book on the history of the town’s St Norbert’s catholic church, has been active in the fight to get a change in the law to allow homosexuals to legally marry.

As the new law had its final reading in the House of Lords and became law, Ed – who was taking part in a vigil outside – proposed to his partner Russell Eagling.

The engagement made its own piece of history when the couple took out an announcement in The Times newspaper – which they believe is the first one to appear announcing the forthcoming marriage of a gay couple.

Ed said: “It was important to both of us to see a change in the law to allow gay marriage.

“We both have a faith – I come from a Catholic tradition and Russell from the Church of England – and under the legislation for a civil partnership you are prohibited from having any religious content.

“That seemed wrong and inappropriate for us, so we will be seeking to take advantage of the religious marriage option as many generations of our families have done before us.”

Ed (42), a former Gosberton Clough and Risegate Primary and Spalding Grammar School pupil, said his and Russell’s marriage will not be the “same as other marriages”, but would be equal.

He added: “I hope it will be like the marriage of my parents – companionship, love, affection, support, shared endeavor.”

But the wedding is unlikely to be held in Spalding, as Ed and Russell now live in north west London.

Ed said: “We are waiting for the Government to confirm the timetable for implementation but we are expecting to be allowed to go ahead by spring or summer 2014.

“We are now particularly aiming to be the first married – we want to do what suits us and our families. “