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Content about Same-sex marriage in the United Kingdom

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.

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 9, 2014

The politician suggested separate legislation so that people would not confuse same-sex marriages with 'traditional' ones

Gay rights groups in Taiwan last week convened a press conference to rebuke former Democratic Progressive Party chairman Lin I-hsiung's comments in his new book that special legislation is needed so that people do not confuse same-sex marriages with 'traditional' marriages.

March 8, 2014

Two British lesbians, who lost a fight to have their Canadian marriage legalized in 2006, will finally be granted married couple status next week

A British lesbian couple are to have their marriage legally recognized, years after a High Court judge ruled against it.

Sue Wilkinson and Celia Kitzinger will be formally recognized as a married couple on Thursday (13 March), ahead of the new same-sex marriage act coming into place on 29 March in England and Wales.

The couple, who are university professors in the UK, got married in Canada in 2003 where Wilkinson was working and same-sex marriage had just become legal.

March 1, 2014

A poll released on Friday found a record majority of US citizens believe gay marriage should be legal, although 64% think each state should be able to decide for itself
 

A new poll published yesterday (28 February) has found strong support for gay marriage in America, with 56% of respondents believing it should be legalized.

A telephone poll of 1,644 US adults was commissioned by The New York Times and CBS News, to compile data on citizens’ beliefs on a wide range of political and economical issues including marriage equality, gun crime and immigration.

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 20, 2014

Members of parliament will discuss same-sex marriage in its initial stages today after 166,000 people called for marriage equality laws

Finland’s parliament will begin debating a bill to allow same-sex marriage today (20 February).

Despite same-sex marriage legislation being defeated before, gay rights activists are hoping politicians will do the right thing on their second chance.

But unlike last time, politicians are discussing the bill on the will of the people.

Under Finnish law, petitions can be started to force parliament to discuss bills that matter – called a ‘citizen’s initiative’.

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.

February 3, 2014

Scottish Government will be working with Westminster in an effort to implement the bill as early as possible

Scotland’s first gay weddings could take place as early as July, politicians have said.

The bill legalizing gay marriage in Scotland is expected to be pass overwhelmingly by Members of Scottish Parliament (MSPs) in a free vote tomorrow (4 January).

While it was expected the first gay weddings would take place in 2015, roughly a year after England and Wales, implementation could take far quicker than expected.

The Scottish Government announced they would work with the UK Government to speed up the process, as long as it passes the final vote.

February 2, 2014

Same-sex marriage campaigners have accused SNP politician John Mason of attempting to ‘wreck’ the legislation which is due to be voted on for the final time on Tuesday

Campaigners for same-sex marriage in Scotland are accusing a Scottish National Party (SNP) politician of a last-minute attempt to scupper the bill’s chances of being signed into law next week.

Members of Scottish Parliament are due to vote on the Marriage and Civil Partnership Bill for the final time on Tuesday.

However, religious groups are opposing the legislation and demanding the bill should also protect opponents of gay marriage from discrimination based on their beliefs.

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.

December 16, 2013

Gay rights groups condemn the threat, saying gay marriage is the ‘right thing to do for a fairer and more equal Scotland’

Politicians are being warned to stop or amend gay marriage legislation in Scotland or they will lose their seat.

Anti-gay lobbying group Scotland for Marriage has said it will use its influence to unseat Members of Scottish Parliament (MSPs) who support equal marriage.

Their efforts are focused on Labour and Scottish National Party (SNP) politicians who voted overwhelmingly in favor of equal marriage last month.

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.