The BBC has announced that it has been given access to film one of the first same-sex marriages as it takes place when the law changes on 29 March.
John Coffey, 52, a television producer, and Benardo Marti, 47, a brand stylist for a gardening business are to get married at 12:01am on 29 March, and their big day (night) will be filmed as part of BBC London’s ‘Gay, Married and Legal’, documentary.
The Pimlico based couple will be married by Westminster council’s superintendent registrar Alison Cathcard in a double ceremony featuring straight friends.
Mr Coffey on announcing the ceremony, said: “We will be their witnesses, and they will be ours. In my mind, that will be a true symbol of equality — a straight wedding and a gay wedding at the same time.
Dippy Chaudhary, BBC London Editor, said: “John and Bernardo, who live in London, were the first gay couple in the country to give notice of their intent to be married. They contacted Westminster City Council one day after the Government announced that same-sex marriages would be acknowledged in law. BBC London’s documentary will capture this landmark event and explore the struggle for gay equality.”
The marriages of gay couples married abroad were recognised from today, and same-sex couples intending to marry are able to register to do so from today.
Several same-sex couples have announced that they intend to marry just after midnight on 28 March.
Maria Miller, Minster for Women and Equalities announced the date of the first same-sex weddings in December. Couples in civil partnerships have been promised that they will be able to convert to marriage before the end of 2014, but a date is yet to be confirmed.
The documentary ‘Gay, Married and Legal’, will be broadcast on BBC One in April.