Bias Watch

Gay couple’s civil partnership ceremony themed around transphobia

The couple as they went through their anti-trans vows.
The couple as they went through their anti-trans vows. Photo: Screenshot

Gay conservative U.K. anti-transgender activist Alex Bramham recently entered a civil union with his partner. They used the ceremony to highlight their transphobic views and oppose government restrictions on religious views in civil ceremonies.

Bramham has become notorious in the U.K. LGBTQ+ community for opposing the legal recognition of transgender people’s gender identities. His partner seems to share his sentiment.

During the ceremony, his partner Brad said, “Alexander, I promise to love and respect you forever. I promise to always speak the truth: that a man is an adult human male and a woman is an adult human female; together we are free.”

Transphobic activists often say that the definition of a “woman” is “adult human female,” which they believe excludes transgender women. The words “adult human female” and “adult human male” have strong ties with anti-transgender sentiment, especially in the U.K.

“Marriage is between one man and one woman. Instead we acquired equal dignity and rights through our civil partnership,” Bramham wrote, explaining why he and his partner chose not to marry, even though the U.K. offers legal same-sex marriages.

During the ceremony, Bramham read a Bible verse, contradicting a government ban on reading from sacred religious texts during civil ceremonies. As Bramham read the verse, the registrar ended the ceremony and apologized to the attendees.

“Which institution was protected by this attack on free speech?” Bramham asked in a tweet containing a video of his verse reading. “The bible reading was exactly that: a verse special to us and no claim that our union was blessed by God.”

He later bragged, “Our civil partnership certificate arrived today. This makes us the first couple to have included a sacred text reading in a licensed UK civil partnership ceremony….We have set a precedent to be followed.”

The reception of the newly unionized couple had a dinosaur-shaped cake with the words “adult human males” written on its base. The dinosaur shape references a 2021 comment made by U.K. Shadow Justice Secretary David Lammy about “dinosaurs” who want to “hoard” civil rights away from transgender and other marginalized people.

Bramham’s personal website declares, “Drag queens are NOT for kids,” “Stop promoting gender identity to children,” and mentions his support for the anti-trans group LGB Alliance. Echoing right-wing rhetoric, he has referred to books read during drag queen story hours as “filth,” called gender identity a “lie,” and denounced any encouragement of trans youth as a form of “conversion therapy.”

More recently, he has opposed vigils for Brianna Ghey, a bullied and recently murdered 16-year-old trans TikTok influencer. Bramham said vigils turn trans murders into “political rallies” that are designed to silence “debate” and protests by transphobes like him.

“Trans people are more likely to be eaten by a hippopotamus than murdered because of their identity,” he wrote in reference to Ghey’s murder. “All death is a tragedy, whether it be by hippopotamus or due to their transgender identity. It is the choice of organisers whether this becomes a political rally or a real vigil.”

In April 2022, Bramham tweeted an image comparing trans, intersex, and people of color to Nazis invading Europe and the United Kingdom. His partner once posted an image of the Nazi flag, recolored in blue and pink pastels, and wrote, “Found the real trans rites flag.”

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