Orkney composer cancels ceremony plans
Composer Sir Peter Maxwell-Davies has decided to shelve plans to marry his partner on the Orkney Islands.
Sir Peter, the Master of the Queen’s Music, was at the centre of a media storm earlier in the week when he accused council officials on the islands of homophobia.
Orkney Island Council had told Sir Peter, 72, that the registrar on the island of Sanday, where the composer lives, is not legally able to carry out civil partnerships ceremonies.
The law states that only a designated registrar can perform civil partnerships.
Orkney Council’s senior registrar, who is based in Kirkwall on the main island of Orkney, is the designated registrar for the whole local authority area.
He offered to travel to Sanday to perform the ceremony, but it has now been revealed that Sir Peter has abandoned the idea of getting hitched on the islands.
The council defended the fact that it only has one designated registrar, saying that since civil partnerships became legal it has only performed one ceremony. The council conducts around 50 marriages annually.
The Sanday registrar, a friend of Sir Peter, Charlie Ridley, has resigned his post in protest at being told he could not perform the civil partnership ceremony.
“All I wanted to do was perform a professional service for everyone on the island. I felt I was left with no option other than to resign with immediate effect,” he told The Scotsman.