Civil Partnerships – Dead, Alive or Spinning Round?
Here’s Pete Burns’ opinion:
When he flashed his engagement ring on the sofa with Richard and Judy, pop star Pete Burns told of his happiness at the prospect of becoming the latest celebrity to marry his male partner.
But now, just ten months after the big day, the singer has split from Michael Simpson, saying civil partnerships do not work and that he was happier being married to a woman.
Burns, 49, who was wed to stylist Lynne Corlett for 28 years, said gay relationships were a "commercial break" compared with the "full movie" of marriage.
He also claimed there were too much "promiscuity" in the gay community for civil partnerships to thrive.
Burns followed in the footsteps of Sir Elton John and Little Britain star Matt Lucas in using the new civil partnership laws to announce his public devotion to his lover.
He dressed as a geisha girl in a kimono for the ceremony in London on July 7 last year.
He told The Mail on Sunday he had been "optimistic" about his civil partnership, but now he says: "I learned the hard way. It’s a total joke."
Burns accused Simpson, 40, of being unfaithful and admitted he felt disillusioned. Burns added that some gay couples had "open marriages" where the partners could be unfaithful.
He said: "There’s a lot of promiscuity in the gay community. I don’t understand why they take that union. How low is their self-esteem?
"One’s on Hampstead Heath meeting men, the other one’s hiring rent boys. "Surely marriage is throwing anchor and saying, ‘This is where I’m staying, I’ve made my choice and this is all I want because I’ve been on the up and down escalator, through the revolving door and I want to stand still.’ That’s what I expected."
He added: "I don’t know what goes on in many heterosexual marriages but I know mine was 28 years.
As far as I was concerned that was for ever, and it would have been, but she needed to find her own life.
"She was the best ‘husband’ I ever had. You sometimes meet a person who you completely love. We’re still really, really close. It’s not about sexuality, it’s about the person."
Since the Civil Partnership Act came into force in December 2005, there have been 18,000 gay marriages in Britain.
Burns said: "I view marriage as a sacred institution. I think two men naturally are predators. Gay relationships are a commercial break, not a whole movie.
"The relationships I’m aware of, apart from one … it’s as though there’s some kind of emotional inadequacy or narcissism, where they feel emotionally inadequate and need more validation, from either a father figure or a mirror image of themselves. "I’m not condemning it, I think it needs researching and help."
Burns and his band Dead Or Alive had a No1 hit with You Spin Me Round in 1985, but his career went into decline until he went on Celebrity Big Brother in 2006.
He met Simpson at Joe Allen restaurant in Soho in 2003. They announced their engagement on Channel 4’s Richard & Judy Show in 2006.
Last week, police launched an investigation after Burns alleged that Simpson had assaulted him at home, breaking his collarbone.
Burns said he wanted to file for divorce. He added: "Would I get married again? If somebody knocked me on the head with a nine-inch nail-studded plank or drugged me with benzodiazepine … No, no, no."
Derek Munn, of the gay rights organisation Stonewall, said: "Civil partnerships have brought joy and fulfilment to thousands of lesbian and gay couples.
"Just as with marriage, some relationships may fail."