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Government announces date of first same-sex marriages in England and Wales

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  1. Robert in S. Kensington 10 Dec 2013, 2:18pm

    At long last! Obviously this coincides with Scotland’s bill which would receive Royal Assent subject to stage three being passed.

    1. I think the Scottish Parliament will be voting to make the bill law around March 2014, assuming there are no hold ups during the amendment stage. It will require a similar period of time as in England & Wales before the first marriages can take place in Scotland (assuming the bill passes). I think official estimates are early 2015 for marriages to actually take place in Scotland.

      Congratulations to everyone in England & Wales! You’ve only got a few months to go. Maybe we’ll see a reverse Gretna Green effect for the next year!

      1. Robert in S. Kensington 10 Dec 2013, 8:07pm

        Bennie, let’s hope after it passes, you won’t have to wait until 2015. We’ve had to wait 8 months instead of 12 so perhaps our Scottish gay brothers and sisters will be marrying by year’s end 2014 or sooner. I’d read somewhere the third stage would happen in February and Royal Assent in March 2014.

        1. Yes, the quicker the better. Given that the process in Scotland has taken quite a bit longer than in England & Wales, I doubt that they’d rush it at the end. Hopefully when (if) the bill is passed it will just be a matter of months until the first marriages take place.

          I’m so pleased that people in England & Wales will be able to get married in just a few months. Scotland is on it’s way too, so let’s hope Northern Ireland’s politicians realise the tide has turned and they won’t keep opposing it for too much longer.

  2. This is welcome news.

    But I eagerly await what those of us currently in Civil Partnerships will have to do to convert to marriage.

    1. Another website is reporting that conversion of CPs to Marriage won’t be possible until the end of 2014.. :(

      1. CH Brighton 11 Dec 2013, 8:57am

        But presumably, should they wish to do so, people in a civil partnership can marry (and pay the fees) rather than wait for a postal upgrade later in the year.

    2. PantoHorse 10 Dec 2013, 2:31pm

      From Diva:
      “Stonewall’s Ben Summerskill told DIVA: “We’re particularly pleased that, following pressure from Stonewall, ministers have been persuaded to bring forward the commencement date from the summer as they’d originally proposed. There will be a slight further delay for people who want to “convert” from civil partnerships to marriage.””

  3. Jake Jenkins 10 Dec 2013, 2:22pm

    Sweet

  4. GulliverUK 10 Dec 2013, 2:42pm

    Good news – but no news of equal survivor private pension rights – two-thirds of private pensions discriminate. If you are married someone dies first, there is always a survivor, so it is not insignificant. The cost is estimated at £18m to fix it, a drop in the ocean. Who would vote to re-elect a government which hasn’t fixed this ?

    1. Tim Chapman 10 Dec 2013, 6:41pm

      Yes, this MUST be fixed. As Cameron said yesterday (in a different context) there’s never a wrong time to do the right thing. How about now?

  5. Good to know now.

  6. Fantastic news. But can someone tell me why the BBC and other news organizations have to use controversial when they talk about equal marriage or equal marriage legislation. It is rather annoying and offensive.

    1. The BBC isn’t very diverse-friendly when it comes to marriage equality. Check out Newsround Blog and/or respond to the BBC Trust news & current affairs consultation, which ends this Friday

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/bbctrust/news/press_releases/2013/news_current_affairs.html

      1. Robert in S. Kensington 10 Dec 2013, 6:59pm

        It was the minority of religious loons and daily rags such as the Mail which made it controversial. Parliament proved it wasn’t with overwhelming majorities in both houses, conceded by even Justin Welby. The Mail was convinced it would be ‘massacred’ in the Lords and yet the result there was 73% by acclamation in third and final reading, no vote taken. That totally gob-smacked the right wing religious demented freaks big time. Even Christian Concern withdrew its demonstration once it learned there wasn’t going to be a vote but they didn’t really believe it would turn out the way it did.

    2. Well, the fact is it is controversial but hopefully within ten or twenty years people won’t be bothered by it and will say they always supported it even if they didn’t.

    3. GulliverUK 10 Dec 2013, 5:36pm

      The BBC isn’t worth saving to be honest. They do make some great programmes which might not be made by commercial companies, but most of what they have is trash and junk, their news programmes are generally trash (except Radio 4 is not TOO bad), and I rarely ever allow myself to be subjected to their dumb news 24 broadcasts. I’ve no idea where the rest get their news – I no longer read a newspaper – but that’s what they say about people who work in chocolate factories too – I get it all from RSS feeds, tweets, email, Google+ and YouTube. What I see today might hit the mainstream news outlets in 3-5 days, so why wait. As a former BBC employee I kept my mouth shut, but I think it’s misogynistic and homophobic, badly run, offers poor value for money, and I don’t agree with the license fee. I think much of what is needed can be achieved with public sector money being spent with the commercial companies – and I’m a socialist, not a capitalist, so this feels strange for me to be saying.

  7. Amazing!! Happens to be the date my future wife and I have our civil partnership booked for!! Hello marriage!!

    1. What a delightful coincidence! Sweet serendipity! May all your preparations, and the day itself, go well!

    2. congratulations. My husband and I got wed on our 13th anniversary in Minnesota on September 26 this year. Welcome to the world of equal marriage

  8. Godric Godricson 10 Dec 2013, 4:36pm

    Why are Stonewall and Ben Summerskill being quoted at all? No thanks to them at all. Also, why a delay in converting CP’s to marriage? Seems odd altogether! Not exactly the ringing endorsement of equality

  9. I just registered intention for a CP – asked about marriage and was told in no uncertain terms it wouldn’t be sorted in time – I queried that. I’m sure I will have to pay the money again and go and re register but I can’t wait to say I told you so!

  10. Colin (Queenstown/London) 10 Dec 2013, 6:48pm

    Just me but I still get a lump in my throat when realising it happened. Somehow I think the penny will finally drop when I see all the happy couples getting married next year.

    Happiness to all.

  11. Tim Chapman 10 Dec 2013, 6:50pm

    “The announcement also noted that the timetable for the conversion from Civil Partnership to marriage will be announced in the next few weeks, and will probably include a minimal fee.”

    Should be do-able online, and free. I’ve already been ripped off – CP (2nd class) fee = Marriage (1st class) fee. Shouldn’t have to pay any more.

  12. What is the situation regarding a M to F transsexual already in a marriage and wants a Gender Recognition Certificate – can she remain married and get the GRC?

  13. The majority of marriages that will happen in the first year are all those of us desperate to convert our CPs to marriages. I don’t see why there is a delay for us, surely this is simple case of just providing us with a new certificate! Why the further delay? March 29th is already a delay of 9 months from the date when equal marriage was passed, the baby will be born before the marriage takes place!!!!

    1. Tim Chapman 10 Dec 2013, 9:21pm

      At last, john, common sense. All that’s required is a replacement certificate – it’s not rocket science! (Unless they’re planning to make us jump through more hoops, which would be a big mistake).

  14. They should have scrapped CPs and auto upgraded everyone. If there are any crazies who are in a CP but wouldn’t want to be married, they could have just given them a fast track annulment.

    CPs should be consigned to the history books for the homophobic nonsense they are.

  15. Finally a date we have been waiting for!!!!!

    Long Overdue!!!!

    Still waiting here in down under (AKA Australia/New Holland/Convict Land)!!!!!

    Fony Tony Abbott (Catholic Bigoted Monk) Blocking marriage equality in what ever way possible down here!!!!

    My mother and myself is ashamed at being a Catholic now that Tony Abbott is using his religious to be bigoted!!!!!

    I AM AN ATHIEST NOW!!!!!!

    I am 100 percent Aussie and I support gay marriage 100 percent too!!!!!

  16. Jock S. Trap 11 Dec 2013, 11:45am

    Oh yes!!! Excellent!

    Love is equal no matter how much the bigoted want to change it.

  17. Ian in Manchester 11 Dec 2013, 11:47am

    My fiancé and I got engaged in August. We’ve been waiting for the confirmation of when marriages could take place so we can book our venue and plan the wedding. We’ll have to wait now until 2015 to get the date and venue we want but that’s fine by me. Just knowing it’s now available to us makes it all the more exciting! Plus I get a bit longer to save for the big day, stag do and honeymoon! woooo!

  18. MarylandKid 18 Dec 2013, 5:08am

    I don’t understand why this is taking so long. I have to admit some ignorance as to Britain’s government processes, and I am aware that multiple readings of the bill is necessary, but once a majority in each chamber has voted in favor, does it really take nearly a year to carry out those extra readings and implement the legislation? How much extra work is involved? New Jersey had something like a four day turnaround when their law changed to when they started issuing marriage certificates.

  19. Hopefully, the first wedding will be televised like France.

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