David Furnish slams ‘unfair’ rules that block him from sharing Sir Elton John’s title
Sir Elton John’s husband David Furnish is surprised to find the pair are still experiencing discrimination in an antiquated system.
The music legend – who was awarded a knighthood for services to music in 1998 – has been with Mr Furnish for 21 years, and they tied the knot in 2005.
When a man with a title marries a woman, his wife automatically receives a female courtesy title – meaning that if he had married a woman, Sir Elton’s wife would be Lady John.
However, as the honours system was not updated to reflect the changes to the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) law, Mr Furnish is not able to use a title – and will remain Mr Furnish.
The Equality (Titles) Bill 2013 attempted to change the rules – which also deny titles to male spouses of women with honours – but the legislation did not progress.
Furnish told the Daily Mail: “I am for 100 per cent equality across the board for everybody, in all walks of life.
“So the designation of a title is an example of something we need in order to get there.
“The reality is, if a woman is married to man with a title, she gets a title.
“I think everybody should have the same opportunities and the same privileges and the same honours.
“I think if we could just level the playing field in life as much as possible, then we’d all be in a much better place.”
It is unclear what the male equivalent title of ‘Lady’ would be if it did exist, though the 2013 bill suggested ‘The Honourable’
Furnish added “I haven’t thought about what would be an appropriate designation for the husband of a Sir.
“I don’t really understand the history of titles and the aristocracy in this country that much anyway.
“It’s not out-dated; it’s a special thing when it goes to the people who have really earned it.”
Mr Furnish’s dual Canadian citizenship may also cause issues if the system is changed, – and he would likely have to become a full UK citizen to accept a title.