When a married man in the U.K. is knighted, his wife automatically becomes a “lady” to his “sir.” But what about the husband of a gay knight? He doesn’t get a title. Sir Elton John’s husband doesn’t think that’s fair, but that doesn’t mean he himself wants a title, and he’s angry that a newspaper has implied that he does.
In an article called, “If Sir Elton Has a Title, Why Don’t I? Says Hubby,” Elton’s husband David Furnish tells 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 honors.”
Elton was knighted in 1998. He and David had a civil partnership for eight years before getting officially married in December of 2014, after gay marriage was legalized in the U.K.
The paper points out that there is also a discrepancy among heterosexual couples: if a man marries a woman with a title, like “Dame” or “Princess,” he doesn’t get a title either. So for example, Dame Helen Mirren’s husband, American director Taylor Hackford, has no title.
“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,” Furnish was quoted as saying.
Furnish, however, is now upset that the article made it look like all he wants is a title for himself. On Instagram, he writes, “The presentation of this shameful article is a total misrepresentation. My conversation has been twisted and distorted in an attempt to paint me in an unflattering light. At no point did I ever say that I personally wanted or deserved any title. My comments were that all men and women should be treated equally in our society and that should apply to our Honors System as well.”