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Content about LGBT rights in the United Kingdom

August 21, 2014

Girls are getting married quicker than the boys, with a 56%-44% split between gay and lesbian couples

Official figures have revealed how many same-sex marriages have taken place in the UK.

A total of 1,409 marriages have taken place from 29 March, the first day gay couples could legally get married in England and Wales, and 30 June.

Of these, 56% were female couples (796 marriages) and 44% were male (613).

When the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2014 was introduced in England and Wales, it triggered a rush of couples wanting to be among the first tie the knot.

August 2, 2014

Same-sex marriage activists including 28 gay couples made a dramatic entrance at a household registration office in Taipei on Friday

As part of a campaign seeking same-sex marriage to be legalized in Taiwan, 28 same-sex couples – accompanied by activists from the Taiwan Alliance to Promote Civil Partnership Rights (TAPCPR) – walked into Zhongzheng District Household Registration Office in Taipei on Friday and attempted to register their unions.

Taiwan’s Civil Code stipulates that a marriage must be a union between a man and a woman.

July 29, 2014

On the eve of one of the country’s biggest Gay Pride celebrations, three of the UK’s top politicians send messages of congratulations and solidarity to the British seaside city

The LGBTI community in the coastal city of Brighton received messages of support from the highest level of the UK government ahead of Gay Pride this weekend.

Prime Minister David Cameron penned a letter of encouragement and support in the name of LGBT rights in the UK, joined by Labour Leader Ed Milliband and MP Caroline Lucas John who recorded heartening YouTube videos.

July 25, 2014

Conservative ministers have agreed to rewrite rules for England and Wales gay couples seeking to convert their civil partnerships into a marriage

Gay couples in England and Wales will be able to convert their civil partnership into a marriage in a ‘ceremony with heart’.

From 10 December, thousands of couples already in civil partnerships will be allowed to convert their unions into marriage.

But according to the proposals, they would have only had to pick up a ‘certificate of conversion’ – a piece of paper with very little romance.

As no witnesses would be required, the guidance to councils suggested no family or friends would be able to end and it would not be an official ceremony.

July 24, 2014

The Quakers church in the UK are concerned that same-sex couples who are converting their civil partnerships to marriage will not have the option of doing that in a church

The Quakers, also known as the Religious Society of Friends in Britain, have gone public with their concern that same-sex couples who are converting their civil partnerships to marriages in England and Wales will only be able to do that via register offices and not by a church wedding.

Churches in the UK register the marriages they perform with the government and the Quakers want to be able to perform their members’ same-sex marriages just as they do for opposite-sex Quaker couples.

June 26, 2014

Government has finally announced the date that gay couples in civil partnerships will be allowed to convert them into marriage

Gay couples will still be able to enter into civil partnerships in the UK, but straight couples are still banned from the legal union.

And following a consultation, the UK government has finally announced the date couples in civil partnerships are able to convert their unions into marriage.

That date is 10 December 2014.

More than 120,000 people have entered into a civil partnership since it was made law in 2004.

May 27, 2014

David Coburn MEP, the first UKIP politician elected in Scotland, is opposed to same-sex marriage despite being in a relationship with a man for 30 years

The first UK Independence Party (UKIP) politician elected in Scotland has said gay marriage breeds homophobia.

David Coburn, a member of European Parliament, is opposed to same-sex marriage despite being in a relationship with a man for over 30 years.

He spoke to The Scotsman after he was elected Sunday night (25 May), taking UKIP’s first parliamentary seat in Scotland.

On gay rights, he said: ‘Civil partnerships should be enough.

April 28, 2014

Cardinal Sean Brady and six bishops says it is not discrimination to oppose same-sex marriage as gay and straight relationships are fundamentally different

Bishops in Northern Ireland are demanding politicians to reject gay marriage tomorrow (29 April).

The assembly is due to debate a Sinn Fein-backed proposal to introduce same-sex marriage.

In a letter written to all members of the legislative assembly (MLA), it claims same-sex marriage undermines the principle of equality by applying it ‘inappropriately’.

April 28, 2014

Conservative leader reportedly believes giving straight couples civil partnerships would ‘undermine the sanctity of marriage’

UK Prime Minister David Cameron is opposed to giving straight couples the same equal rights as gays have when it comes to legal unions.

The Conservative leader will reportedly veto proposals to give straight couples the right to enter into civil partnerships.

It is alleged he believes civil partnerships for straight couples would ‘undermine the sanctity of marriage’ and possibly ‘alienate traditional Tory voters’.

March 30, 2014

The couple say they want to be able to call each other ‘husband’ instead of ‘partner’

Celebrity gay couple Elton John and David Furnish are planning to get married, following suit of gay couples all over England and Wales who can now legally marry.

British music icon John, 67, and partner Furnish, 51, have been civil partners since December 2005, entering their civil partnership on the day the act was passed.

The couple told Attitude magazine they plan to marry to further fly the flag for gay equality.

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.