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Content about LGBT rights in the United Kingdom

March 28, 2014

Australian Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young will introduce a bill to recognize overseas same-sex marriages in Australia as gay couples in the UK start to wed

Australian Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young has announced she will introduce a bill to legally recognize same-sex marriages performed in overseas jurisdictions in reaction to same-sex couples in England and Wales being able to marry from tomorrow.

Hanson-Young has also proposed an inquiry to examine the affect that the legalization of same-sex marriage has had in those jurisdictions where it is legal which would then draft a report for the parliament.

Hanson-Young made the announcement at a press conference earlier today in Melbourne.

March 25, 2014

The News Quiz presenter and her civil partner Debbie will renew their union in front of the public celebrating same-sex marriages in England and Wales

Danish/British TV and radio presenter Sandi Toksvig and her partner Debbie will renew their vows in celebration of the first day of same-sex marriage in England and Wales.

The couple, who have been civil partners since 2007, will celebrate with their four children on the Royal Festival Stage, Southbank Centre in London on 29 March.

‘This is a joyous occasion which Debbie and I look forward to celebrating with old and new friends,’ Sandi Toksvig said.

March 13, 2014

Existing marriages of gay couples that took place overseas are now legally recognized

Gay couples in England and Wales can register for marriage today (13 March).

Existing marriages of gay couples that took place overseas are now legally recognized.

The 15-day notice period to register intent to marry can be waived if one of the partners is terminally ill.

For those who wish to convert their civil partnerships into marriages, that procedure is expected to come into effect later this year.

March 13, 2014

By the end of the year, Scottish gay couples should be able to unite in matrimony. England and Wales couples will be able to marry on 29 March

Queen Elizabeth II has signed same-sex marriage into law in Scotland today (13 March).

By the end of the year, Scottish gay couples will be able to unite in matrimony.

It is the last step in the long battle to get the Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Bill through parliament, making it an Act.

Alex Neil, cabinet secretary for health and wellbeing, said: 'I am delighted that the Same Sex Marriage Bill has now received Royal Assent.

March 11, 2014

Further Afield, who picks through the world’s best hotels and screens them for quality and service, is now offering a wedding planner service to help lock down the venue for your big day

The first same-sex marriages in the UK are expected to take place as early as Saturday 29 March 2014, with same-sex couples able to apply for a wedding license as early as Friday 14.

If you’re looking to get married in the UK (and beyond), Further Afield has launched a new marriage service to help same-sex couples find a stylish venue to get married in and honeymoon across the world.

March 5, 2014

Government calls the oversight 'slightly embarrassing' and is working to get it fixed with new legislation

Isle of Man merchant ships still ban gay sex, a law described as an ‘oversight’ by the government.

Lee Vorster, of the Manx Rainbow Association, said he was ‘shocked’ to discover the archaic law still existed on the partially independent island between England and Ireland.

Famously, the Isle of Man decriminalized homosexuality long after the rest of the British Isles changed its laws.

While gay sex between consenting adults became legal in 1992, the Sexual Offences Act of the same year banned it on Manx-registered ships.

February 22, 2014

Recent poll shows 76% of Irish people said they would vote in favour of introducing same-sex marriage in the country, though nearly half would have ‘reservations’

More than three quarters (76%) of Irish people would welcome the introduction of same-sex marriage, according to a recent poll.

Additionally, 80% of those surveyed agreed that same-sex couples should have the same rights as traditional families.

However despite this, 49% of respondents said they had reservations about same-sex marriage - a higher percentage than when asked if they had reservations about gay couples adopting children (41%).

February 10, 2014

Pending a public vote in 2015 to allow same-sex marriages in Ireland, those who travel abroad to get married will have their status recognized in their home country

Same-sex couples who travel from Ireland to marry in the England, Wales and Scotland will have their status recognized pending a public vote next year.

A Department of Justice spokesman has confirmed that once a referendum allowing same-sex marriage in Ireland is passed, all foreign unions will be recognized.

February 4, 2014

LGBTI people and their allies are all awaiting the vote to see whether Scotland will join the 16 other countries to allow same-sex marriage

People all over Scotland are awaiting the final vote today (4 February), finding out whether it will join the 16 other countries in the world to allow same-sex marriage.

The Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Bill is expected to be approved by parliament later today. But while a shock still could happen, it is looking likely it will pass around 6pm local time.

Under the new legislation, religious bodies will be able to opt in to perform same-sex marriages but individual celebrants who feel it would go against their faith will be protected.

February 4, 2014

Scottish Parliament has voted overwhelmingly in favor of a bill making Scotland the 17th country in the world to legalize equal marriage

Gay marriage is officially legal in Scotland.

Members of Scottish Parliament voted overwhelmingly in favor of same-sex marriage this evening (4 February).

There was huge standing ovation as the votes were announced. Politicians voted Yes 105, No 18 and there was no abstentions. 

This means Scotland is the 17th country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage.

The new legislation, described as one of the most ‘progressive’ equal marriage bills in the world, will allow religious bodies to opt in to perform same-sex unions.

January 25, 2014

Gay couples where one partner is terminally ill or due to leave for military service can apply to marry as soon a law comes into effect on 13 March

England and Wales’ first same-sex marriage could take place more than two weeks earlier than previously reported, according to official guidance.

In exceptional circumstances, same-sex couples wanting to tie the knot may be able to marry on Thursday 13 March instead of Saturday 29 March.

If one partner is terminally ill or is about to be sent away on military service they can apply to have the compulsory 15-day notice period waived, and will be able to marry from 13 March onward - the day The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013 comes into effect.

January 24, 2014

A Barnsley couple say they have waited long enough, hoping to be a part of the historic day when the first gay couples get married in England and Wales

A British couple is to take legal action over the delay in being able to turn their civil partnership into a marriage.

While the first gay couples will be able to marry on 29 March, those already in civil partnerships will have to wait until the end of the year.

Paul and Michael Atwal-Brice have said they have waited long enough, giving formal notification to the government they will be taking legal action.

January 16, 2014

As the Equal Opportunities Committee unanimouly passes the spousal veto amendment, Scottish Transgender Alliance's Nathan Gale reflects on why this is a victory for all LGBTI people

In a major step forward for trans equality in Scotland, the Scottish Parliament’s Equal Opportunities Committee today passed an amendment to the equal marriage bill removing the spousal veto on gender recognition.

The amendment, which was proposedby the Equality Network and Scottish Transgender Alliance, and submitted by Linda Fabiani MSP, means married trans people living in Scotland will be able to have their gender legally recognized without having to get the consent of their spouse.

January 10, 2014

Couples are being left disappointed with some believing there is too little information out there for those who want to be the first to walk down the aisle

Gay couples in England and Wales are furious with the confusion surrounding the first day of same-sex marriage on 29 March.

Couples up and down the country are having different issues.

In Brighton, one couple’s plan to have the first marriage has been scuppered by a council run competition and in Nottingham, civil partners are quickly realizing they will not yet have the right to get married.

The Brighton couple, Philip Robathan and James Preston, queued to get the first available slot for gay marriage at Brighton Registry office last year.

January 6, 2014

Fathers to two adopted boys want to be part of history when the first gay couples get married in England and Wales on 29 March

A British gay couple are distraught after being told they must dissolve their civil partnership if they want to marry.

Paul and Michael Atwal-Brice, fathers from Barnsley to adopted identical twin autistic boys, hoped they would be able to celebrate history being made on 29 March.

England and Wales gay couples, on this date, will be the first to walk down the aisle and get married in the UK.

December 30, 2013

Drinks giant, currently under fire for sponsoring the Sochi Olympics in Russia, included a gay wedding scene in most European countries with marriage equality

Coca-Cola is under fire for cutting a gay wedding scene from their latest advert to air in Ireland.

The new campaign, Reasons To Believe, shows familiar scenes intended to inspire viewers such as charity runners, cakes being baked and child choirs.

In one part of the advert, the line reads ‘For every display of hatred’ – showing a gang breaking into a car – ‘there are 5000 celebrations of love’ – which shows, in many countries, a gay couple getting married.

December 11, 2013

Following the Health Minister Edwin Poots' attempts to keep the ban, the Supreme Court has said gay couples are now free to apply to adopt children

Gay and unmarried couples are now free to adoption children in Northern Ireland, following a ban being finally lifted today (11 December).

They can now apply in the same way as straight couples.

A Department of Health spokesperson said: 'Following the Court of Appeal judgement in June 2013, unmarried couples, including same-sex couples, and those in a civil partnership may apply to adopt.

'The final decision regarding the granting of an adoption order will lie with the court.'

December 10, 2013

Following the Marriage (Same-Sex Couples) Act passing, the first lesbian and gay weddings will be in March 2014

The first same sex weddings in England and Wales will be able to take place from Saturday 29 March 2014, Women and Equalities Minister Maria Miller announced today (10 December).

Following the Marriage (Same-Sex Couples) Act 2013 successfully completing its journey through Parliament in July 2013, the government has been working to ensure that all the arrangements are in place to enable same sex couples to marry as soon as possible.

December 10, 2013

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, gay campaigning group Stonewall and many others have voiced their joy over the date being set seven months before they thought gay couples could marry

While English and Welsh gay couples may not be able to get married in the morning, they will be able to get married from 29 March next year.

From politicians to gay rights groups, they have shared their joy now we have an official date for marriages to start.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg described it as the news ‘many couples have been waiting for’.

He said: ‘After a long and important battle, this is a wonderful step forward for equality. Love is the same, gay or straight, so it’s only right that the civil institution should be the same.

December 9, 2013

An anti-gay activist trying to keep gay sex illegal in Jamaica suggested Tom Daley’s sexuality is because his dad died and he is looking for a strong father figure

A UK-based anti-gay activist in Jamaica has claimed Tom Daley came out as bisexual because of ‘the lack of a father’.

Andrea Minichiello Williams, co-founder of the UK-based Christian Concern, was in Kingston over the weekend to speak at a ‘pro-family’ conference titled International Law and the Welfare of the Family, organized by the Jamaican Coalition for a Healthy Society and the Christian Lawyers’ Association.

November 20, 2013

Members of Scottish Parliament voted overwhelmingly in favor of marriage equality in the stage one vote, meaning Scotland looks set to become the next country to pass gay marriage

Scotland looks set to become the next country to legalize same-sex marriage.

Members of Scottish Parliament voted overwhelmingly in favor of the Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Bill in its stage one vote minutes ago.

There were 98 votes in favor of same-sex marriage to 15 against.

Prior to the stage one vote, gay Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson – one of the most high profile LGBTI politicians in the UK - made a moving speech in favor of the bill.

November 14, 2013

Insider claims government is hoping English, Welsh and Scottish gay couples will be able to be married at the same time in summer 2014

The UK Government is waiting for Scotland to pass same-sex marriage before gay couples can marry in England and Wales, an official has claimed.

In the four months since the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act was passed into law, no formal reports have been made on implementation.

But while the government remains silent, an anonymous source involved in the development of the law has got in touch with us.

They have claimed it is taking a year because this will be roughly the amount of time the devolved Scottish parliament needs to fast-track the bill.

November 13, 2013

As thousands of gay couples in England and Wales are frustrated over having to wait a year to get married, Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper has called on the government to speed up

The UK Government still doesn’t know when England and Wales will see the first gay weddings, despite the law passing four months ago.

A Gay Star News Freedom of Information (FOI) request has revealed the UK government is not even prepared to say why it is taking a year before gay couples can enjoy full marriage equality.

In France, marriages only took three months to implement after politicians passed the legislation.

October 14, 2013

Scotland for Marriage is considering legal action against the government after 4000 responses to the gay marriage consultation went missing after a technical error on their website

A legal challenge to stop same-sex marriage from being made law in Scotland is likely to fail, gay rights campaigners have said.

Scotland for Marriage (SFM) have accused the government of acting 'unlawfully' to bring forward the legislation without a full consultation. 

After a technical error on their website, they said 4000 responses to the consultation on gay marriage was lost. They said the consultation was 'botched' and their voices were not heard.