Ref. 25815-14Lynda Mills and Susan Chubb consider themselves happily married. And if Swindon Council creates a civic register of both same-sex and heterosexual couples, their relationship could be formally recognised.

The council's Lib Dem group is proposing just that and the council will debate the motion tomorrow.

Lynda, 42, runs The Cricketers pub in Emlyn Square, a popular venue for gay people, with Susan.

She said: "I think it is a great idea. We have already exchanged vows and rings to show our commitment."

A vicar from Bournemouth conducted the ceremony, which was held in The Cricketers two years ago.

Lynda said: "We had known each other for eight months and just knew it was right. Susan popped the question in a text message. I still keep it on my phone."

Lynda and Susan have both had relationships with men but feel more comfortable with women.

Lynda explained: "I had boyfriends and even got engaged.

"Then I started seeing women and haven't looked back since. There is so much more emotion and understanding. I feel totally fulfilled with Susan which is what marriage really means."

After being married to a man for 20 years, Susan, 43, realised the relationship wasn't working for her.

She said: "I feel more at ease now. We're not anti-men, but just love women. Lynda and I are total equals and extremely happy together. Although we have arguments, they are always resolved so I guess our relationship is a marriage made in heaven."

Coun Martin Wiltshire (Lib Dem, Eastcott) will put forward the motion to recognise the partnership and commitment status of same-sex and opposite-sex relationships in a register during tomorrow's meeting at the Civic Offices in Euclid Street.

He said: "It is high time we caught up with our neighbouring counties. Bath and Bristol already allow civil commitment ceremonies. The register will acknowledge modern-day partnerships, regardless of gender."

The proposal has been seconded by Coun Wendy Johnson (Lib Dem, Old Town and Lawns).

She said: "This makes perfect sense if we really are living in an equal opportunity society.

"The register would give everyone in a stable relationship the chance to be treated equally."

The proposal should not be confused with the Govern-ment's own civil partnership bill which will give same-sex couples legal rights.

That bill, currently under consultation, would allow same-sex couples joint state pension benefits, next-of-kin status, parental responsibility for each other's children and recognition for inheritance.

The council meeting starts at 7pm and members of the public are welcome to attend.

What do the guys think? Tomorrow we ask a gay couple for their views