A couple have married in what is believed to be the UK’s first gay wedding in a church.
Jan Tipper and Barb Burden were married at the Metropolitan Community Church in Bournemouth yesterday (13 April)
On 29 March, same-sex couples in England and Wales were finally allowed to walk down the aisle and marry officially.
Dwayne Morgan, who officiated the wedding, said he decided to officiate the wedding because he believes ‘God blesses the love of two people no matter what their gender.’
‘To finally have the government fully recognize their love by giving them complete legal status as a married couple is a blessing for everyone,’ he added.
‘We are grateful to all those who have struggled for the rights of gay people for so many years that has led to this historic day.’
The happy, now married, couple did not intend to be the first same-sex couple to wed in a church.
Burden said: ‘As it’s been approved since 29 March, we assumed there had already been others who had taken advantage.’
Tipper said the church had been a hugely important part of their lives and their relationship.
‘To get married in our church was very significant to us,’ she said. ‘Even though we’ve been together for almost 19 years it didn’t feel right for us to have just a blessing or even a civil partnership.’
‘We’ve hoped for years for the opportunity to legally marry and, once it became possible, we knew it was time for us to tie the knot and to do it before God in our church with our family and friends.’
The Metropolitan Community Church was established in Bournemouth in 1979 and is associated with the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Churches – a LGBTI inclusive Christian church.