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Scotland prepares for first same-sex marriage ceremonies to take place tonight

Scotland prepares for first same-sex marriage ceremonies to take place tonight

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.

At the same time, those already in civil partnership were able to convert their relationship status to married. According to Scotland’s Equality Network, over 250 couples have already taken advantage of their ability to change their civil partnership to marriage.

The first to do so were a Scottish couple currently residing in Australia. Douglas Pretsell and Peter Gloster took advantage of the international time difference to change their civil partnership to marriage at the British Consulate on 16 December.

LGBTI advocacy group Equality Network says it knows of 17 couples that are planning to marry tomorrow (31 December), with some ceremonies planned to take place at the stroke of midnight.

Speaking of the introduction of same-sex marriage in Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon, First Minister for Scotland, has written the forward to a guide on same-sex marriage produced by Equality Network. She said: ‘I believe that the love between a couple, regardless of their gender, sexuality, belief or background, is powerful and should be valued and recognised.

‘This legislation sends a powerful message to the world about the kind of Scotland we seek to create and it is a clear indication of the Scottish Government’s commitment to equality.

‘I wish all the very best to those couples who will now be able to enter into marriage.’