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UK, Scotland: First Weddings in July?

Monday, February 3rd, 2014

Scotland - Google Maps

from Google Maps

It looks like same sex couples could start marrying a lot sooner than was originally expected.

Gay Star News reports:

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.

If so, gay and lesbian couples will begin marrying in Scotland just three and a half months after their England/Wales counterparts. Northern Ireland, however, continues to drag its feet, even though polls there show 57% support for marriage equality.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Scotland.

UK, Scotland: Parliament Likely to Pass Marriage Equality Bill Overwhelmingly Tuesday

Sunday, February 2nd, 2014

Scotland Parliament - Google Maps

from Google Maps

Scotland could join England and Wales with full marriage equality this week.

Towleroad.com reports:

MSPs are expected to pass Scotland’s marriage equality bill in an overwhelming vote on Tuesday, the Herald reports: The Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Bill will legalise civil and religious same-sex marriages, with an “opt-in” procedure for faiths and celebrants willing to conduct ceremonies and legal protection for those who object. It also relaxes the rules on where civil marriages can take place, and establishes non-religious or “belief” marriage ceremonies. Health Secretary Alex Neil, who has piloted the law through Holyrood, will tell Parliament he expects the first same-sex marriages will take place in Scotland by the end of the year.

However, it’s possible weddings could begin there as soon as July.

In related news, one MP is taking a last whack at wrecking the bill with an amendment.

Gay Star News reports:

According to Scotland on Sunday, Glasgow Shettleston SNP politician John Mason, a devout Christian, has tabled several amendments to the bill and hopes other politicians will support them in the final vote. One of the amendments states no public sector employee should suffer any ‘detriment’ for believing in the traditional definition of marriage between a man and a woman. Mason suggests the same-sex marriage law should be delayed from coming into effect until suitable anti-discriminatory protection for public sector workers is signed into the Equality Act, which is currently passing through Westminster.

It seems unlikely that the effort will succeed.

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

USA, California: State Sees Huge Jump in Weddings In July

Tuesday, November 26th, 2013

Prop 8 OverFollowing the US Supreme Court’s rulings on Prop 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act, California saw a big spike in weddings.

LGBTQ Nation reports:

Statistics from the California Department of Public Health show nearly 30,800 couples received marriage licenses in California in July, a 35 percent increase over July 2012. The data suggest that gay couples rushed by the thousands to purchase marriage licenses after the high court’s decisions paving the way for the legalization of same-sex nuptials in California and for federal recognition of them in Washington. But pinning down just how many of the 30,000 new marriages involved same-sex couples is tricky because California doesn’t make a distinction between same-sex and opposite-sex marriages. “The marriage applications don’t ask about the gender so we don’t have that information,” health department spokesman Matt Conens said.

There was a huge pent-up demand in the state after living for five years under Prop 8 – many couples married during the four month window in 2008, but many more didn’t, hoping to wait for the next year. Mark and I originally planned to have a 2009 wedding with all our friends and family. But we ended up getting married just three days before the hateful initiative passed, afraid we would miss our chance. It’s wonderful to see many of those couples, and many newer couples too, finally have the ability to marry in our state.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in California.