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Featured Gay Friendly Wedding Vendor: Weddings West Midlands, Birmingham, England

Wednesday, April 9th, 2014

Weddings West Midlands - Birmingham, England, UKPeriodically we’ll feature one of our vendors here to let our readers know about some great people who can help you plan the perfect wedding.

Gay Wedding Photography / Videography in Birmingham, England. Quite simply, we love same sex weddings…we also love to make films. Put those together and you get something truly special. We don’t shoot your typical same sex wedding videos… we creatively and stylistically produce a cinematic tale of your special day, showing the day unwrap with a personal “behind the scenes” feel.

See the Weddings West Midlands Expanded Listing on Purple Unions Here

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UK, England/Wales: Same Sex Weddings Begin

Saturday, March 29th, 2014

Photo via twitter

Photo via twitter

Last night at midnight, same sex couples began to marry for the first time in the UK.

Towleroad.com reports:

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.

Queerty reports:

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:

UK Weddings

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:

Number one?

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.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in the United Kingdom.

UK: Britain to Recognize Overseas Weddings; Queen Signs Scotland Marriage Equality Bill

Thursday, March 13th, 2014

LondonA couple marriage equality stories out of Britain today.

First off, as of this morning, same sex couples legally married in other countries are now recognized as married in the UK.

On Top Magazine reports:

The British government will begin recognizing the marriages of gay couples who married overseas as of Thursday… “It’s like being turned into a pumpkin on the stroke of midnight,” Celia Kitzinger, who married her wife Sue Wilkinson in Canada in 2003, told BuzzFeed. “We’ll be sitting there in bed with a bottle of champagne and at the stroke of midnight we’ll turn into a married couple. We’re going away to a hotel, having a nice meal and then at midnight we’ll be wife and wife again!”

In related news, the Scotland law took a step closer to becoming reality.

Gay Star News reports:

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.

Northern Ireland, we’re waiting for you to get your act together.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in the United Kingdom.

UK: Couple Sues Government for Delay Converting Civil Partnership to Marriage

Friday, January 24th, 2014

Big BenA UK couple is not happy that they may have to wait an extra year before their civil partnership can become a marriage.

Gay Star News reports:

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. They hope a judge will rule the government has failed to implement section nine of the Marriage (Same-Sex Couples) act, which allows conversions to take place.

Seriously, it does seem to be taking the UK government long enough to implement the new gay marriage law, let alone the extra time it is taking for converting existing civil partnerships. Does the UK just have an exceptionally hidebound bureaucracy? Or…?

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in the United Kingdom.

UK, England/Wales: Same-Sex Couples Can Marry Starting March 29th

Tuesday, December 10th, 2013

LondonWe finally have a date for the first same-sex weddings in England and Wales, and it’s three months earlier than we thought.

Gay Star News reports:

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. As a result of this work, the first weddings in England and Wales will now be able to happen several months earlier than the government anticipated.

That’s great news for same-sex couples in England and Wales, who had to endure a longer waiting period than most places that have passed marriage equality. Will Scotland get its act together to let couples marry at the same time?

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in the United Kingdom.

UK: Bill to Send Marriage Equality to a Public Vote Withdrawn

Saturday, November 23rd, 2013

UK Member of Parliament Peter BoneA Member of Parliament who disagreed with the passage of the marriage equality bill in Parliament has withdraw his bill to send it to a public vote.

Pink News reports:

The MP who described equal marriage as “completely nuts” has withdrawn his private member’s bill for a referendum on the issue. The Same Sex Marriage (Referendum) Bill 2013-2014 had been tabled by Conservative MP Peter Bone earlier this year as part of an “alternative Queen’s Speech” by backbench Tories. Mr Bone’s bill was due to receive its second reading in the Commons on Friday 29 November but it has now been withdrawn.

That should help remove any lingering doubts about the bill’s fate. Now if Scotland and Northern Ireland can just get their acts together…

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in the United Kingdom.

UK: England/Wales: Sikh Temples Consider Dropping Civil Weddings

Sunday, July 21st, 2013

Big BenAfraid that they might be forced to perform same sex wedding ceremonies, UK Sikh Temples may no longer perform any civil wedding ceremonies. Pink News reports:

The Telegraph reports that advisory group Sikhs in England have written to gurdwaras urging them to halt all marriages, due to the legalisation of same-sex marriage in England and Wales. The group advises that gurdwaras should deregister as wedding venues. If they do so, they could still perform wedding ceremonies, but these would have no legal force. Couples would have to attend another ceremony in a registry office or other registered venue in order to have a legally binding marriage.

I thought the law was clear that no religious institutions in the UK would be forced to perform same sex weddings?

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in the United Kingdom.

UK: Everything You Need to Know About the New Marriage Equality Bill

Sunday, July 21st, 2013

Parliament, LondonNow that the United Kingdom has passed the marriage equality bill for England and Wales, Pink News has put together a handy FAQ, including:

When will the first same-sex marriages take place?: No one knows the answer to this question. The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), the government department responsible for equalities, has said that they must take place by the Summer of 2014. We expect that they will take place earlier, more than likely in the Spring.

Why can’t couples get married straight away?: In some other countries, same-sex marriages were held almost immediately after the law being , while in England and Wales they will take longer. This was also the case with civil partnerships, where there was a year’s wait. In part it is to ensure that all of the relevant changes are made to secondary legislation that refers to a married couple. There are also other administrative changes to be made too. PinkNews published a costing of these changes earlier this year. In addition, government sources have told us that the Westminster government is hoping that Scotland could introduce same-sex marriage at the same time. This would mean that gay couples throughout the mainland of the UK will be able to marry, wherever they live.

Se these and many more at the link above.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in the United Kingdom.

UK, England/Wales: Why It Will Take a Year to Implement Marriage Equality

Friday, July 19th, 2013

LondonEver since the UK passed the marriage equality bill earlier this week, we’ve been asking why same sex couples will have to wait another year to marry. Now Gay Star News has an answer:

‘Work is already underway and there is a lot to be done across government to ensure that all couples who want to get married; or convert their civil partnership to a marriage; or remain in their existing marriages when they change their legal gender, can do so,’ a spokeswoman said. The changes the DCMS will be implementing include the court rules, IT systems, the processes for civil registrations, religious buildings registration, religious consents (when a marriage of a gay couple is conducted with religious rites but does not take place in a registered building – such as in a house-band, deathbed or a prison) as well as guidance for registrars, religious organizations and the public.

The spokeswoman added: ‘Parliament will also need to scrutinize a number of statutory instruments setting out how the new arrangements will apply to other legislation; on the detail of certain processes; and to ensure that marriages of same sex couples in England and Wales are treated in Scotland and Northern Ireland as civil partnerships. ‘This all takes time.’

And yet, other countries have done it in a matter of days or weeks. Is it also partly because it was implemented as a separate law, with slightly different benefits and responsibilities from the existing marriage law that governs straight marriages?

Find more articles and gay wedding resources.

UK, England/Wales: It’s Official – Queen Signs Marriage Equality Bill

Wednesday, July 17th, 2013

Queen Elizabeth SignatureMarriage equality is now the law of the land in England and Wales after the Queen signed the bill into law. Gay Star News reports:

Queen Elizabeth II has signed same-sex marriage into law in England and Wales. By summer 2014, the first gay couples in the UK will be able to unite in matrimony. It is the last step in the long battle to get the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill through parliament.

Although there’s still a wait (until summer 2014), same sex couples now have secured the right to marry in half the UK. Battles go on in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in the United Kingdom.