The Category is: Loving the Long-overdue Legislation!

For those of you not yet acquainted with the BBC2 life-affirming sensation “Pose”, the above is a blatant reference and I apologise to actor Billy Porter (he of London Pride 2019 also) for my clumsy catwalk entrance-!

The celebration of Pride provides pure joy. Additionally, it lets us reflect on the journey many have made to get to this last 15 years, in which same sex partnership and marriage (and therefore dissolution and divorce) are legal in the UK, thanks to the Civil Partnership Act 2004 and the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013.

Amidst all the love and enlightenment, The Argus (4th July 2019) reported that Brighton & Hove Council recorded a 43% increase in reported incidents and crimes against the LGBTQ + community, compared to 2018 figures. 101 of the 108 crimes ended in convictions. Nationally, homophobic and transphobic crimes have doubled in England and Wales in the last 5 years (The Evening Standard 5th July 2019).

This year marks 50 years since the Stonewall clashes. I visited Greenwich Village, NYC in 2011. At that time, the visible aftermath of “09/11” was the most politically significant part of my brief trip. But even so, the enormity of Stonewall and the emergence of rainbow diversity did not go unnoticed. It was clearly a part of NYC where the unseen decided to not just be seen, but fully acknowledged, despite the rising tide of bigotry. The law has been slow to catch up, but it’s getting there.

We are not talking about rocket science here (thankfully). It is a plain and simple treating-all-humans-as-humans-thing. Family law, in short, means that civil partners share most of the rights and entitlements of married couples, but with some distinct exceptions (pensions!) which do need to be looked at very carefully. Being married confers all of the same rights and entitlements, regardless. To make the law work for you, your partner/spouse and your children, you need clear legal advice as to what can and can’t be done to formally pursue a claim or proposal and crystallise it for future security. Here’s where the Bennett Griffin Family team enters the stage!

The Family Team are proud to be part of the Bennett Griffin stand at the 2nd Worthing Pride on Saturday 13th July. I will be available for a “hello” and a private chat between 3pm and 5pm on the day. If we miss each other on the day, do speak to one of my colleagues in Property or Private Client (everyone needs a Will!) and they will make sure we talk soon. In any event, call me or my colleague Jackie Gifford on 01903 229914 for a confidential discussion. We will also be running a legal drop in session throughout Tuesday 23rd July, 8am to 7pm if you would appreciate more time and/or privacy. Just call to book a convenient time with us. Until then…

As Billy would say, “eyes and teeth!” everyone and enjoy the continuing rainbow celebrations.

Jackie Mensah
Family and Collaborative Lawyer