Sir Elton John and his partner David Furnish have a adopted a baby, Zachary Jackson Levon Furnish-John, the couple told Us magazine exclusively. ZJLF-J was born via surrogate December 25. The couple’s bid to adopt a Ukranian baby was rejected last year.
Sit Elton and Furnish have been together since 1993 and were joined in a civil partnership December 21, 2005 the first day civil partnerships became legal in the United Kingdom. While the media has often referred to the UK unions as gay marriage, they are technically/semantically not marriage.*
The media is currently reporting that Sir Elton and his partner are “married,” and have used that language in the past.
During the 2008 Prop 8 election Sir Elton famously said:
I don’t want to be married. I’m very happy with a civil partnership. If gay people want to get married, or get together, they should have a civil partnership. The word “marriage,” I think, puts a lot of people off. You get the same equal rights that we do when we have a civil partnership. Heterosexual people get married. We can have civil partnerships.
At the time, Sir Elton seemed unclear in the difference between the U.S. and UK civil unions. His words were used by Yes on Proposition 8 as part of their anti-marriage campaign in California.
But since then Sir Elton appears more aware of lthe difference between the limited (states’) rights granted same-sex unions in the US — in which over 1,000 federal rights are denied to couples — and UK same-sex unions which accord couples equal rights across the board. Equal rights — both state and federal — are what the piece of paper should provide, here in this land where all were created equal.
And now in a show of support for marriage equality in California, Sir Elton is performing a fund raising concert January 19 to benefit the American Foundation for Equal Rights. AFER is The sole sponsor of the landmark federal case against Proposition 8, Perry v. Schwarzenegger (Teddy Partridge has been liveblogging the court cases including the anti-equal righters’ appeal for Firedoglake.com)
There’s a Facebook sweepstakes (entry is free) to win tickets to the Elton John AFER concert concert plus airfare and hotel, but I have poor impulse control and never win contests anyway — so full disclosure –I bought a ticket weeks ago. It’s a cause I support, and a once in a lifetime experience. OMG, Elton John! At a private home! I am soooo excited!
I hope AFER expands their efforts beyond California into other states and turns up the heat on repealing DOMA.
On Christmas Eve day, Vice President Joe Biden told ABC News that
I think the country is evolving. There is a inevitability for a national consensus on gay marriage
in America. Biden also said that President Obama’s attitude towards same-sex marriage is evolving. Well, this clergy-gal can dream (and prays daily) that she’ll be able to officiate at the marriages of her same-sex friends, and that those marriages will grant federal rights.
Sir Elton, thank you for supporting the effort for equal rights. And now that you’re a dad, I hope in addition to working for civil marriage equality, you’ll turn your attention to adoption laws in order to insure that LGBT adoption is legal in every state.
*UK Civil partnerships provide the legal consequences of marriage, including the the same property rights as married opposite-sex couples, the same exemption as married couples on inheritance tax, social security and pension benefits, and also the ability to get parental responsibility for a partner’s children. Civil partnership also incurs responsibility for reasonable maintenance of one’s partner and their children, tenancy rights, as well as granting full life insurance recognition, and next-of-kin rights in hospitals, and other rights. There is a formal process for dissolving partnerships akin to divorce.