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Content about Same-sex marriage in the United Kingdom

December 31, 2014

Two couples celebrated the change in Scottish law by getting married just after the stroke of midnight on Hogmanay

The first same-sex marriages have taken place in Scotland this morning.

The first couples to marry today were Joe Schofield and Malcolm Brown, both 42, who married in a Humanist ceremony at 00.01 (31 December) at the Trades Hall in Glasgow.

Susan and Gerrie Douglas-Scott, 54 and 59 respectively, married at the same time in a civil ceremony at a private venue, also in Glasgow. The Douglas-Scotts, who have been together 18 years, had previously entered a civil partnership with one another in 2006 and have five grown-up children.

December 30, 2014

Following a law change that came into effect on 16 December, Scotland’s first same-sex weddings will take place on Hogmanay

The first gay weddings are due to take place in Scotland after the stroke of midnight tonight.

The Scottish Parliament legalized same-sex marriage in February of this year, and the new law came into effect on 16 December.

On that date, anyone wishing to marry was able to give notice to marry: an obligatory 15-day period. This means that the first wedding ceremonies will take place tomorrow – the last day of the year.

December 23, 2014

An opposite-sex couple have gone to the High Court to challenge the UK’s civil partnership ban for straight people; they would prefer a civil partnership to marriage

A man and a woman have applied to the UK’s High Court today to challenge the ban on men and women entering into civil partnerships with one another.

Civil partnerships for same-sex couples were introduced in England and Wales in 2005. In 2013, the introduction of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act, which came into force earlier this year, meant that same-sex couples could enter into marriage, or, if they prefer, a civil partnership.

Those already in a civil partnership can change their relationship status to married by completing a form with a registrar.

December 16, 2014

A Melbourne gay couple have married in their city’s United Kingdom consulate, making them the first same-sex couple in the world to be legally married under Scottish law

Scottish citizen Douglas Pretsell has become the first of his countrymen to legally marry another man as Scotland’s marriage equality law comes into effect today.

Pretsell married Australian man Peter Gloster at the British consulate in Melbourne at 11.01am today at the exact moment when Scotland’s equal marriage legislation came into effect.

The couple had already entered into a civil partnership which allowed them to take advantage of the new law today.

December 11, 2014

But will PM David Cameron listen?

Prime Minister David Cameron is facing further divides in his Conservative party over the legalisation of same-sex marriage in England and Wales.

Anti-gay backbenchers have said in a letter they are 'alienated' Tories have little chance of winning the next General Election in May 2015.

The letter has been sent as dozens of gay couples have already this week converted their civil partnerships to marriages under the new UK government laws.

December 10, 2014

Long awaited day is here

Gay English and Welsh couples can officially convert their civil partnerships into marriages from today (10 December).

More than 60,000 partnerships have been formed over the past decade, with many of them expected to be converted at register offices up and down the country.

For the next year, all couples who formed their civil partnership before 29 March 2014 (the day gay couples could legally get married in England and Wales) will receive a £45 ($70, €57) fee reduction - making it free.

November 13, 2014

New South Wales follows Queensland and Tasmania

New South Wales has become the third Australian state to recognize gay couples who have married abroad in places where same-sex unions are legal.

September 19, 2014

First Minister resigns after the country votes to stay in the union with the rest of the United Kingdom

Alex Salmond, the First Minister of Scotland that helped to pass same-sex marriage, is to step down.

He will also resign as leader of the Scottish National Party (SNP) after he lost the independence vote. The nation voted 55% against breaking up the union, and 45% were in favor of independence.

He said: 'For me as leader my time is nearly over but for Scotland the campaign continues and the dream shall never die.'

Salmond was an early supporter of same-sex marriage.

September 7, 2014

Some 300 people march in the first pride parade held in the eastern city of Osijek on Saturday to celebrate the country's first same-sex civil union

The staunchly Catholic Eastern European country registered the first civil partnership between two men on Friday, according to media reports.

The couple, who were not named in the media, held their ceremony in the capital city of Zagreb. Administration Minister Arsen Bauk reportedly attended the event and presented the two with ties.

Marko Jurcic of the Zagreb Pride gay rights group called the same-sex union laws a 'major step forward'.

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 8, 2014

14 lesbians and four gay men submitted an appeal to Congress demanding not just marriage equality, but adoption, social security and all the rights that heterosexuals enjoy with marriage

A group of 18 gay and lesbian Mexicans are stepping up the fight for gay marriage in Baja California Sur, bordered by the northern state of Baja California.

According to BCS Noticias, the group this week submitted an appeal to the Judicial Power of the Federation (PJF) urging Congress and the governor Marcos Covarrubias Villaseñor to change articles 330 and 150 of the Baja California civil code to allow same-sex marriages in the state.

July 25, 2014

Move may reassure people concerned Secretary of State for Education and Equalities Nicky Morgan voted against same-sex marriage

Britain’s Education and Equalities minister, Nicky Morgan, has appointed a current staffer from gay charity Stonewall as her new special advisor.

Luke Tryl, was until 5pm today, head of education at Stonewall, the UK’s leading gay rights organization.

But from Monday, he will start as special advisor to Morgan on equalities and education, Gay Star News can exclusively reveal.

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 27, 2014

The first same-sex couple to be legally married on Australian soil wed today at the British consulate in Sydney but their marriage won’t be recognized by the Australian Government anytime soon

From today British consulates around Australia are allowed to marry same-sex couples where at least one of the parties is a UK citizen.

What is believed to be the first such marriage in Australia took place today around 3pm at the British consulate near Sydney’s Circular Quay and involved a Scottish Australian couple.

Peter Fraser and Gordon Stevenson married wearing matching kilts in the Fraser clan tartan after 19 years together.

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.

May 18, 2014

Irish bishop Dr Paul Colton has said the church of Ireland is ‘not at all up to pace with the debate’ on gay marriage 

A Church of Ireland bishop has come forward and said he supports same-sex marriage.

Dr Paul Colton, Bishop of Cork, Cloyne and Ross, was speaking to BBC Radio Ulster's Sunday Sequence programme about his views on gay marriage.

‘The events in society are moving very rapidly and the church is not at all up to pace with the debate’ he said.

‘I certainly support civil same sex marriage.

April 29, 2014

Gay rights groups are disappointed by the defeat, criticizing one of the party's usage of a petition of concern to block the motion

Hopes for gay marriage in Northern Ireland were dashed after a motion was defeated in the legislative assembly today (29 April).

Members of the Legislative Assembly debated a move to introduce same-sex marriage, as adopted in England, Wales and Scotland.

The Sinn Féin motion said religious institutions would have the choice to conduct same-sex marriages, but that was not enough.

43 MLAs voted in favor of same-sex marriage, with 50 voted against.

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’.

April 23, 2014

Dr Barry Morgan said many religious leaders are using the Bible to fight against LGBTI equality, suggesting there is no single Christian viewpoint on gay relationships

Gay couples who want to get married should be patient if they want the blessing of the Church in Wales, its archbishop has said today (23 April).

The first same-sex weddings in England and Wales took place on 29 March with many gay couples able to say they were one of the first to be officially married.

In the legislation passed by parliament, the Church of England and the Church in Wales was expressly banned from blessing same-sex marriages.

Other religious organizations had the power to ‘opt-in’ if they wished.

April 16, 2014

Northern Ireland politicians are making a third bid to legalize same-sex marriage, following England, Wales and Scotland

The Northern Ireland Assembly is to debate giving gay and lesbian couples the right to marry.

It is the only nation in the UK to have not already passed same-sex marriage.

But now six Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs) have filed a motion calling for marriage equality.

The private members motion is due to be debated on 29 April.

The motion notes that England, Wales and Scotland have ‘moved forward with equal marriage rights for same-sex couples’.

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.