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England LGBT rights and marriage equality news

 

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: Same-Sex Marriage Dawns, Equality Fight Continues

Sunday, April 6th, 2014
Warren Hartley and Kieran Bohan sign the Schedule of Civil Partnership at Ullet Unitarian Church in Liverpool

FIRST FOR EQUALITY: My partner and I become legally recognised as a couple on May 6th 2012 – the first time a civil partnership was registered in a place of worship in the UK.
PHOTO: Simply Perfection

THE CLOCKS WENT FORWARD in the UK last weekend, in more ways than one. The official start of British Summer Time with daylight saving coincided with the legalisation of same-sex marriages in England and Wales. So began an extraordinary week for LGBT equality.

On Saturday March 29th, lesbian and gay couples around the country vied to be the first to be legally married, with several timing their services as close to midnight as possible:

NEWS: Same-sex marriage now legal as first couples wed

An estimated 70 couples across England and Wales took advantage of the change in law on Saturday, and the media was filled with mostly positive portrayals of this landmark for equality.

A BBC survey revealed that 80% of people would attend a gay wedding if invited (though their headline focussed on the negative responses:

NEWS: Gay weddings: ‘Fifth of Britons would turn down invitation’

Twitter feeds filled with supportive messages from celebrities. Actor and comedian Les Dennis tweeted:

Sadly it was not all good news.

Click to continue »

UK: Moment of Awwww – The UK’s First Gay Wedding

Sunday, March 30th, 2014

UK Gay WeddingSaturday just after midnight, same sex couples began marrying in Wales and England.

Queerty has one of the first weddings on video.

One of the UK’s first gay married couples, Sinclair Treadway, 20, and Sean Adl-Tabatabai, 31, have released a video of their marriage ceremony. The wedding took place at 00:01 today (GMT local time) at Camden Town Hall, North London. Queerty were the first to break the news with a speech from openly gay Mayor of Camden, Jonathan Simpson.

Awww…..

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

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: One Third of Church of England Bishops Gay?

Thursday, March 27th, 2014

England ChurchAn Anglican with the Church of England claims a huge percentage of the church’s Bishops are gay.

Queerty reports:

Same-sex marriage is set to kick into gear on March 29th in England and Wales, and it’s stirring conversation on both sides of the issue. Religious leaders are for the most part doing what they do best — staunchly opposing progress. But it looks like the Church of England may be even more hypocritical than usual when it comes to gays tying the knot. According to one Anglican clergyman’s account on The Daily Beast, at least 14 of the church’s 42 Bishops — one third — are gay, though none have publicly come out.

Wow. I’d love to see the same statistics for the Catholic hierarchy!

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

UK, England/Wales: First Same Sex Weddings This Weekend

Wednesday, March 26th, 2014

UK WeddingsMarriage equality officially comes to England and Wales this Saturday.

Queerty reports:

Following the passing of landmark legislation allowing same-sex marriage in England and Wales, the first gay weddings in the UK will take place this weekend on Saturday, March 29th. The Deputy Prime Minister of the UK, Nick Clegg (pictured), has always been a strong supporter of marriage equality and gay rights in the UK. He said today (25th March) that:

“I strongly want to join my Right Honourable Friend in recognizing the joy of many same-sex couples who will finally be able to marry under British law this weekend. It’s a great, great moment, it’s a day which they will always remember and I hope it’s a day the nation will never forget. I think it’s a great, great step forward for us all.”

We’re thrilled for our brothers and sisters across the pond!

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: Confusion Abounds Over Start Date for Marriage Equality

Saturday, January 11th, 2014

Big BenSome same-sex couples will have to wait an extra nine months to get married in the UK.

Gay Star News reports:

…couples in civil partnerships are being left disappointed when they realized they were unable to get married on 29 March. It is expected they will have to wait until the end of the year to convert their civil partnerships into marriages. The Department of Culture, Media and Sport has explained it will take longer for couples in civil partners to get married as computer systems have to be reformed. The Department of Culture, Media and Sport has explained it will take longer for couples in civil partners to get married as computer systems have to be reformed. Paul and Michael Atwal-Brice from Barnsley were told they must dissolve their civil partnership if they wanted to get married on the historic date. ‘We’re being penalized because we’re in a civil partnership,’ Paul Atwal-Brice told Gay Star News.

The UK does seem to be having a lot of difficulty getting its act together to implement last year’s marriage equality law, don’t they?

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.