As we just reported, Peter McGraith and David Cabreza of Islington were among the first same-sex couples (and quite possibly the first) to get married once marriage equality was legalized in England and Wales after midnight. When the happy couple emerged from Islington Town Hall they were greeted with a warm and raucous crowd wishing them well.
Another wedding took place in North London.
The U.K.’s first gay marriage has just taken place in Camden, North London. This is an historic moment for the gay community of the UK and for gay people around the world. The wedding ceremony of Sinclair Treadway, 20, and Sean Adl-Tabatabai (pictured), 32, took place at Camden Town Hall at the stroke of midnight, when the U.K.’s new same-sex marriage laws came into force.
And another in Brigton.
The Raw Story reports:
In Brighton on England’s south coast, Neil Allard and Andrew Wale exchanged vows and rings in the opulent splendour of the Royal Pavilion in front of about 100 guests. Wearing velvet-collared three-piece suits with white flowers in their buttonholes, the smiling couple of seven years hugged and kissed after they became “husband and husband”. They were among several couples bidding to be first to take advantage of last year’s Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act by holding midnight wedding ceremonies.
Prime Minister David Cameron put out a statement commemorating the night:
The introduction of same-sex civil marriage says something about the sort of country we are. It says we are a country that will continue to honour its proud traditions of respect, tolerance and equal worth. It also sends a powerful message to young people growing up who are uncertain about their sexuality. It clearly says ‘you are equal’ whether straight or gay. That is so important in trying to create an environment where people are no longer bullied because of their sexuality – and where they can realise their potential, whether as a great mathematician like Alan Turing, a star of stage and screen like Sir Ian McKellen or a wonderful journalist and presenter like Clare Balding.
Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones also put out a statement:
We want Wales to be a country built on fairness and equality. This means zero-tolerance of discrimination, valuing diversity and helping people live the lives they wish. Same sex marriage brings us closer to achieving this. It is only right that gay couples have the opportunity for their relationship to be formally recognised in the same way that straight couples can.
Over ay Buzzfeed, they note five ways the UK still doesn’t have full marriage equality:
1. Civil partnerships still cannot be converted to marriages: Same-sex couples who are already in a civil partnership will not be able to convert their relationship to marriage until later in 2014, while the government works out the official procedure for switching status.
Since civil partnerships can only be dissolved if both parties prove to the court that a relationship has broken down there is no way for couples to swiftly end their partnership and then remarry.
While there are still battles to be fought (Northern Ireland, we’re looking at you), it’s a day to celebrate.