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Elton John and
David Furnish to marry on December 21

Elton John and
David Furnish to marry on December 21

British pop star Elton John plans to marry his longtime partner, David Furnish, on December 21, the first day civil partnerships between gay couples will be possible in England. In an interview in Attitude magazine, John said the ceremony would be a small, private affair involving only himself and Furnish, with their parents acting as witnesses.

"Out of respect for their [our parents'] support, we want to just keep it small--not to make a ballyhoo of the ceremony," he told the gay lifestyle magazine. "There will be a party somewhere, but the day will be very low-key and we'll take our parents to lunch afterwards."

The Civil Partnership Act will allow British same-sex couples to effectively marry when it comes into force on December 5. Couples who want to wed under the act must post a notification at a registry office and wait the required 15 days, so the first such ceremonies in England will take place on December 21.

Attitude magazine said in a statement on Thursday that John and Furnish, who have been together for around 12 years, intended to marry on December 21. John's publicist, Gary Farrow, confirmed that December 21 was the "probable" date for the ceremony. John added: "I haven't thought so much about the emotional side of it yet, but I'm sure this is going to be an incredibly emotional day."

The 58-year-old singer, one of the most successful solo artists in pop history with classics including "Your Song" and "Candle in the Wind," previously married Renate Blauel in 1984, but they divorced four years later. Canadian-born Furnish, 43, welcomed the legislation. "It is one of the defining issues of our times. And I applaud Britain for embracing the diversity of our society," he said.

John's publicist said earlier this year that one of the main reasons John and Furnish wanted to formalize their relationship was financial, with civil partnerships giving partners tax breaks currently available only to married couples. (Reuters)

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