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Marriage Equality Comes to Scotland

Tuesday, December 16th, 2014

titleScotland joins England and Wales in welcoming marriage equality.

Think Progress reports:

It took ten additional months, but legal marriage equality has officially arrived in Scotland. The country’s parliament approved the law in February by a vote of 105-18, one of the strongest endorsements of marriage equality by any legislative body. Scotland joins its United Kingdom counterparts England and Wales, leaving Northern Ireland as the only part of the Kingdom that doesn’t recognize same-sex couples’ marriages.

These are civil partnership conversions – the first “new” weddings will take place starting on 12/31.

Interestingly, the first Scottish same sex marriage took place halfway around the world, in Australia.

Gay Star News reports:

Scottish citizen Douglas Pretsell has become the first of his countrymen to legally marry another man as Scotland’s marriage equality law comes into effect today. Pretsell married Australian man Peter Gloster at the British consulate in Melbourne at 11.01am today at the exact moment when Scotland’s equal marriage legislation came into effect.

And a new poll shows that marriage equality support has reached new highs:

A study by ScotCen Social Research released to mark the occasion shows that opposition to equality has dropped to a new all-time low ahead of the changes, with 68 percent in favour and just 17 percent opposed. The numbers are a marked change from 2010, when 61 percent were in favour and 19 percent against – and a seismic shift from 2002, when just 41 percent were in favour and 29 percent opposed.

Amazing – Northern Ireland, are you listening?

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UK: New Poll Shows Conservative Opposition to Marriage Equality Dropping

Tuesday, November 18th, 2014

titleA new YouGov poll shows that only a bare majority of the country’s most conservative voters now oppose marriage equality.

Pink News reports:

A YouGov survey into the views of supporters of political parties uncovered data suggesting that people who vote for UKIP are increasingly at odds with some of the party’s right-wing members. The data found that just 51 percent of the party’s supporters remain opposed to equal marriage – with 39 percent now in favour. Same-sex marriage has the support of the majority in all other parties, however, with 77 percent of Lib Dems, 68 percent of Labour voters and 53 percent of Conservatives in favour. Marriage equality is opposed by 35 percent of Tories, 21 percent of Labour supporters, and just 14 percent of Liberal Democrats.

Marriage equality came to England and Wales, and the sky didn’t fall. That tends to take a lot of the wind out of the opposition’s sails.

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

New Poll: Britons Think Marriage Equality is the Best Thing Conservatives Have Done

Wednesday, October 1st, 2014

titleA new poll shows that only 28% of Britons think that marriage equality was a bad thing the Torys accomplished, compared with much higher negative percentages for their other acts:

The only Tory policy perceived to be “good for Britain” by the public was the introduction of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act, which came into effect on 29 March 2014.
39% said they thought same-sex marriage was good for Britain, 24% said it was neither good nor bad and 28% said it was bad for Britain. The Comres poll for ITV fond that a majority of Britons, 57%, think the management of the NHS under the Tories has been bad for Britain, that 55% thought changes to tuition fees were bad, 56% agreed that increased overseas aid spending was bad for Britian, and 65% said they thought the way immigration has been managed was also bad for Britain.

When you add the Goods, the I Don’t Knows, and the Neutrals, 82% think that marriage equality is either a good thing or does no harm.

Authored By Joseph Patrick McCormick – See the Full Story at Pink News

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

Poll: Average British Person Knows Five and a Half Gay Men

Sunday, July 6th, 2014

titleA new UK poll shows how many gays and lesbians the typical British person knows.

Gay Star News reports:

A new government poll has revealed the average British person knows more gay men than lesbian women. Statistics show the average British person knows 5.5 gay men and 3.1 lesbian women. The poll only focused on these two aspects of the LGBTI community. The information was gathered by government body YouGov in a survey aiming to find a reasonable number for how many gays and lesbians there are in the UK. No official data exists as to how many gays and lesbians there are in the UK, but some groups, such as LGBTI equality group Stonewall, say a figure of six per cent of the population being LGBTI is a sensible estimation.

Next poll – how many gays are between you and Kevin Bacon?

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UK, Northern Ireland: Marriage Equality Rejected by Assembly 51-43

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

Northern Ireland - google maps

from Google Maps

The Catholic Church got its way again in Northern Ireland, where the Assembly, led by the DUP, once again rejected a marriage equality bill.

Pink News reports:

It is the third time the assembly has voted down a same-sex marriage motion in 18 months, with stiff opposition from DUP and some UUP members. The motion had been tabled by six MLAs, from the Alliance, Sinn Fein and Green parties, but its passage was deemed unlikely after DUP tabled a petition of concern, hindering cross-party efforts to pass it. MLAs from the Social Democratic, NI21 and Labour parties also backed the motion, while the sole UKIP and Traditional Unionist Voice MLAs voted against. Two Alliance MLAs, Judith Cochrane and Trevor Lunn,voted against the motion despite their party supporting it.

This despite a poll last year showing 57% support marriage equality in the country.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Northern Ireland, UK.

UK, Northern Ireland: Protests Held Over Lack of Marriage Equality

Saturday, March 29th, 2014

Northern Ireland - google maps

from Google Maps

LGBT activists in Northern Ireland are not happy that they can’t participate in the marriage equality festivities taking place across the channel.

Gay Star News reports:

Demonstrations are taking place this evening by LGBT campaigners in Northern Ireland who are highlighting how it’s the last remaining part of the UK where equal marriage is yet to be legalised. The Equal Marriage Northern Ireland Campaign is holding two demonstrations at Belfast City Hall and the Guidlhall Square in Foyle from 5-6pm…

“In the South of Ireland, a referendum is expected in the early part of 2015, and early opinion polls suggest a significant majority in favour. Twice before, an equal marriage motion has been debated in the Northern Ireland Assembly, losing by a small margin both times. We are demonstrating today, to remind our political leaders and representatives that we do not want to be left behind in the march toward full legislative equality for LGB&/T people and their families.” Northern Ireland is the only remaining UK nation where equal marriage has not been legalised.

Northern Ireland’s government is becoming more and more isolated as all the other governments around it move to pass marriage equality. How long can they hold out?

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Northern Ireland.

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, 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: UKIP Party Will Not Try to Abolish Marriage Equality

Tuesday, March 18th, 2014

Nigel Farage - UKIPThe leader of one of the UK’s newest (and generally anti-gay) parties, the UKIP, said that the party will not try to overturn the new marriage equality law.

Pink News reports:

In January, we invited PinkNews readers to submit their questions to UKIP leader Nigel Farage. The overwhelming subject mentioned was whether he would abolish same-sex marriage. Replying “no”, Mr Farage pointed towards the possible implementation of something similar to the French system which requires a civil ceremony with the option of a religious one afterwards…

If UKIP won a general election, would it seek to overturn the marriages of the tens of thousands of same-sex couples who will be married by May 2015. (Asked by many readers): “No.”

The UKIP has been embroiled in a series of anti gay episodes, including a member who claimed that gay marriage causd massive flooding on the country.

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

Ireland: Same Sex Marriages from Other Countries to Be Recognized

Monday, February 10th, 2014

irelandIreland will recognize marriages from the UK as civil partnerships, and then as marriages if the proposed marriage equality referendum passes there in 2015.

The Independent reports:

SAME-SEX couples who travel from Ireland to marry in the UK will have their status recognised in this country if next year’s referendum is passed. A Department of Justice spokesman last night confirmed that – prior to the referendum – same-sex marriages in England and Wales would be recognised as civil partnerships in Ireland. If the referendum allowing same sex marriage in Ireland is passed, however, unions that took place in 45 foreign countries will be granted retrospective recognition as marriages in this jurisdiction. These include France, New Zealand, Canada, Uruguay, The Netherlands, Argentina, Spain, New York and Norway.

“A same-sex marriage contracted in England or Wales would be recognised as a marriage in Ireland, from the date on which same-sex marriage were to become available here, should the referendum to be held during the first half of 2015 pass,” the Department of Justice said in a statement.

It’s a good step. Polls look promising in Ireland, where various polls over the last two years have pegged support between 57 and 76%.

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