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    Elton John Unionizes

    The Rocket Man has gone groom.

    Elton John swapped vows with longtime partner David Furnish Wednesday, taking advantage of a new law in England that permits same-sex couples to enter into legalized civil unions.

    The twosome made their partnership official in a private ceremony at Windsor's town hall, the same spot where Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles were wed earlier this year. Hundreds of fans turned out to line the streets in support.

    John eschewed his usual flamboyant garb for a traditional dark morning suit, accessorized with a diamond brooch on the lapel and purple sunglasses. Furnish also wore a dark suit and a black tie.

    The couple's parents and their dog, Arthur, as well as a few close friends, looked on as John and Furnish said their vows and sealed their union with a kiss.

    "Both Elton and David had tears in their eyes as the service drew to a close," guest Sam Taylor-Wood told People. "It was lovely when they kissed. Very romantic and touching."

    Following the ceremony, the newlyweds hopped into a black Rolls-Royce to head to a lunch, followed by a star-studded reception with more than 600 guests.

    While John and Furnish kept their ceremony low-key out of respect for their parents, all bets were off when it came to the after-party.

    The $1.75 million affair was held at the singer's Windsor mansion, where two large tents were erected on the lawn to contain the revelers, who were served pink champagne and lamb.

    The couple bid their bachelorhood farewell Monday night at an elaborate stag party, attended by Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne, Elizabeth Hurley, Bryan Adams and Kid Rock, among others. President Bill Clinton sent a videotaped message congratulating the couple.

    The bash took place at the Too2Much nightclub in London's Soho neighborhood, where shirtless waiters reportedly served guests flutes of champagne and sushi. In lieu of gifts, the couple requested that their guests make donations to AIDS charities.

    John and Furnish announced their engagement in April after 11 years together.

    Apparently, being John's other half is rarely boring--Furnish chronicled his life with his dramatic lover in a 1995 documentary titled Tantrums & Tiaras.

    Sir Elton has often credited Furnish with helping him to kick the drug and alcohol addictions that almost killed him.

    The singer was wed once before, to German music producer Renate Blauel, from 1984 to 1988.

    John and Furnish were among hundreds of gay couples to enter into civil unions Wednesday, the same day the Civil Partnership Act went into effect in England.

    The law is seen as a major milestone in the gay rights movement.

    Same-sex marriage is permitted in the Netherlands, Canada, Belgium and Spain, while Germany, France and Switzerland have laws similar to Britain's. In the United States, only Massachusetts allows gay marriage, while Vermont and Connecticut permit civil unions.

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