History is made: First gay couples marry in the UK
As the clock struck 12, history was made as the first gay couples in the UK married moments ago.
Gay couples in England and Wales now have the right to wed, giving them all the same legal benefits as straight unions.
GSN was there in the middle of the media storm in the seaside British gay capital, Brighton, to witness the first official same-sex wedding.
Andrew Wale and Neil Allard, a couple of seven years, had their first married kiss in front of the world’s press in Brighton’s historical Royal Pavilion.
Speaking to Gay Star News, Wale said: ‘Perception will change. People who are feeling confused by it will calm down and generally peoople will be accepting and it will relax the situation.
‘It was amazing. I just remember seeing my parents marriage certificate when I was a child aand it felt quite amazing and quite bizarre to be signing my own.
‘Marriage is about loving somebody and being with somebody and sealing that feeling with a legal document.’
The couple, who chose to wear different but compliementary grey and green suits, looked thrilled as they said their vows in front of the nervous registrar.
A live band performed at the ceremony, singing ‘Moments of Pleasure’ by Kate Bush and Nina Simone’s version of ‘Here Comes The Sun’.
Walt Whitman’s ‘We Two Boys Together Clinging’ was also read during the ceremony.
Other midnight gay marriages took place in London, Birmingham, Manchester, Cardiff and dozens of other cities and towns across England and Wales.
Ruth Hunt, acting chief executive of Stonewall, described the first marriages as a ‘truly historic moment’.
‘These weddings will send a powerful signal to every young person growing up to be lesbian, gay or bisexual – you can be who you are and love who you love, regardless of your sexual orientation,’ she said.
Tris Reid-Smith, editor and director of Gay Star News, congratulated the happy couples who said their vows across England and Wales.
‘Every person who wanted this to happen has made history,’ he said.
‘Even though Scottish gay couples can only marry later this year, and there is still work to be done in Northern Ireland, the entirety of the UK has something to be very proud of tonight.’
Watch the moment as it happened below: