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Congratulations! England and Wales begin to recognise overseas same-sex marriages

  • Robert W. Pierce

    Congratulations to the couple! Meanwhile, the Queens just gave Royal Assent to Scotland’s Equal Marriage bill! Welcome to the family, Scotland!

  • Dewey

    I just wish all of us couples in CPs could be saying the same…Tmrw the 13th is the date of our cp anniversary and it would have been wonderful if we could have been celebrating the same as this couple! but still congrats to them!!! :)

    • barrybear1980

      Dewey, you clearly didn’t read the article, the reason that these ladies marriage is being recognised from tonight is because one of them is terminally ill. I am sure that you and you partner would rather wait a few months than one of you being left behind in the near future, I know I would.

      Ladies, it’s lovely that your marriage is to be recognised early, such a shame that it isn’t in better circumstances, I wish you the very best for your future together x

      • Dewey

        where does it say one of them is terminally ill?? their marriage is getting recognised because they got married outside of the uk and not because one is ill!

        • Joe McDougall

          The article is ambiguous and needs clarification, as both of you could be right!

          At no point does the article state that either woman is ill. However, it does state that people who are terminally ill can marry from tonight.

          By inference, at least one of the women is terminally ill – but we can’t be sure!

          Either way, I’m glad they’ve got what they wanted and are entitled to.

          • Jess Key

            Umm, no – there is no terminal illness involved here. The terminal illness bits only apply to anyone who wants to enter into a new same-sex marriage.

            From tonight any same-sex couple who married abroad will have their marriage recognised in the UK as a marriage (currently they are recognised only as a CP). This is because same-sex marriage is legal in the UK from 12.01 tonight. The only reason that there won’t be many marriages until the 29th is that you normally have to give 16 days notice.

          • Joe McDougall

            Perfect – that is much clearer.

          • Dewey

            thanks for clarifying that Jess! :)

  • Cal

    Congratulations to all the newlyweds. Being in a CP I will have to wait a bit longer but I can’t find any good reasons to whine about this. Equal marriage is assured for all of us in the very near future. We in the UK are at the right end of a long struggle. These are the good times.

    • Steven Gregory

      But you’re leagues ahead of the US. Congratulations to you and your nation!

      • Cal

        Much of the US is in the poisonous grip of Christianity. But the communities that are fighting for Equality are winning despite this. Exciting times over there, too. Even the new “right to discriminate” laws will not survive legal challenges. And recent opinion polls show strong support for equal marriage.

        • Steven Gregory

          Yep, state after state is seeing its “traditional marriage” law challenged, and governors and attorneys general in some surprising Southern states have conceded and refused to defend it.
          There was a very interesting article comparing the struggles in France with the UK. Apparently American evangelicals descended upon France and worked with the Catholic church to whip up all kinds of public uproar. Meanwhile in the UK American religious troublemakers were unable to enter the country because the Anglican church wasn’t interested and UK has longstanding laws against admission of foreign agitators.

          • Cal

            I was really surprised at the negative reaction in France. Thought they were generally very permissive. Interesting to know that US evangelists had a hand in it. What is their problem!?

          • Steven Gregory

            Here in the U.S., those who headed organizations like NORM (National Organization to Respect Marriage) and pro-DOMA (Defense Of Marriage Act) are basically out of work. For the past 13 years they made money fighting against equal marriage and refining their tactics. They finally got their day in court — twice, against the California Supreme Court and then against the Supreme Court of the United States — and put forth their arguments. Even conservative justices couldn’t uphold their weak arguments.
            They were in Europe hoping their tactics based on religious outrage would be popular. Instead they rousted groups of ridiculous French morons who mounted a protest campaign with the official color PINK. It was farcicle.

  • rej4sl

    It is cool that our wedding in Minnesota is now legally recognized in England and Wales. We still live in Minnesota but it is great news that is if we go to England or Wales we will be recognized as legally wed.

    • Steven Gregory

      Congratulations! all over again.

  • john


    There seems to be utter confusion over here in Australia as to when we can take advantage of the new same sex marriage bill in the UK. Some of the Australian press is saying that we can get married in the embassy in Sydney (if one of us is British). However, when I wrote to the British embassy in Canberra they said “although consular marriage of same sex couples will be available in a limited
    number of countries outside of the UK from June 2014 this list of countries has
    yet to be agreed, and we have no further information on this as yet.”
    Brilliant! I would I have thought the embassies should know something by now!
    When you go into the fco website and follow the question and answers for getting married in the embassy in Australia and finally get to the question are you marrying someone of the same sex then it automatically throws you out into the CP info pages only, there’s nothing about getting married!

    • Steven Gregory

      Just wondering: since Equal Marriage is the law of the land in New Zealand, would it be a viable option to hop over for your nuptials at their British embassy?

    • Robert W. Pierce

      From my understanding, only countries where equal marriage is legal can a national of those countries marry a British national at a UK embassy. It’s a reciprocal agreement between the UK and those countries where we can marry. I doubt if it will be permissible in Australia just yet but New Zealand definitely. I could be wrong but that’s my reading of the law thus far. If someone has other information, perhaps they can post it here.

      • john

        That doesn’t really make much sense. If I was living in NZ then the British embassy would simply expect me to get married under the country’s local registry regs. Australia doesn’t recognise CPs but it allows you to perform one at the British embassy in Australia. Surely the intention is to allow British nationals to do a CP or marriage where it isn’t possible under the current country’s law.
        After all many ex-pats still have assets/property in the UK and unless we can get married asap sometimes then we are not covered if something was to happen to the other partner.

        • Dewey

          We are expats in a cp and live outside of the uk and this is exactly why we need cps upgraded as soon as possible to cover us!

  • Colin

    Wonderful news for all of us. Roll on Norman’s Birthday later this month!!!!

  • white squirrel

    so where are all the storms and tsunamis and earthquakes and meteor showers?
    UK allows gay marriage and England basks in sunshine – so what does that say about ‘god’s’ opinion of it !

  • Steven Gregory

    This is great news for my friends — a US citizen and a UK citizen — who were married in Iowa. Their marriage isn’t recognized by the US federal government, so no visa or green card for the UK spouse. But when they applied for a visa to the UK, they were informed that their US marriage would be honored as a civil partnership. This was a few years ago and since the US citizen was offered a teaching position in a UK hospital. The US government makes stupid decisions anytime religion enters the picture.

    • Tammy Brantley

      Steven your friends need to get up to date on the changes in the US. Since the US Supreme Court struck down most of DOMA last summer, the US federal government DOES recognise their Iowa marriage for immigration purposes. They should check out for a all the information.

      I’m an American (also have British citizenship) married to a British woman, and could sponsor have for a US green card, but have setter in the UK and won’t be going back to the US soon, although we could anytime.

      • Steven Gregory

        I’ll pass it along. I’m sure they’re up-to-date, I just don’t hear all the latest because they’re so busy. I know they blew a bundle on attorney fees and official document acquisitions during the attempt to get US citizenship, then the attorney took them through similar exercises for the UK application, which may not have been necessary.

    • Mary Welsh

      Steven I have to say that you need to keep up with affairs in the US when going to make comments on them and get facts correct your friends marriage in Iowa in the state that I live in has been recognized since DOMA was overturned last year. It is recognized by the federal government for tax purposes and immigration purposes. Also for Social Security and all benefits related to the Federal Government.
      The Federal Government does not make decisions based on religion it is the individual States that make the decisions on marriage equality up till now not the Federal Government and it is certain states that are making stupid choices based on religion forgetting that this country was founded on separation of church and state. By the way I am an ex pat and my partner was born and raised in Iowa

  • allancsn

    Sorry – the joy of last summers momentous decision has rather been lost for me. I have been in a CP since 28/12/2005 and was really looking forward to being married.
    It seems to me that CPs and Marriages could never really have been ‘the same’, why else is it so hard to convert them over – as promised – if that were true.
    I suspect someone in Government realised that the potential change in status of up to 64,000 couples had a far wider reaching political and financial implication than they wanted.
    If same sex couples from abroad can now be recognised then my only conclusion is that there is something that UK ‘married couples’ were eligible for that if CPs converted and were backdated they too might have a right to. Only reason I can come up with for the delay. Or maybe it’s just because ‘they’ can.
    But like the good boys and girls that we all are we’ll just patiently wait until our ‘elders and betters’ deem we are ‘worthy’ of the gift they promised us.
    Keep doing your homework, wash behind your ears and be seen and not heard boys and girls and mummy and daddy might one day give us the sweeties they promised. But not for now ‘cos we’ve all been naughty and expected too much.

    • Dewey

      and if we do complain about having to wait pple get all bitchy and call us attention seekers….

  • val

    Actually I was looking for information on this on the government website and found the information confusing.

    As one half of an overseas marriage I was curious to find out when my husband and I were going to be recognised as married in this country.

    I read some time ago in a PN article that it was going to be today, so we had prepared the champagne for 12:00am last night.

    Given that PN does make mistakes, I then checked the .gov website that states that overseas marriages were going to be recognised “from March”, stating no clear date.

    Subsequently I found another PN article stating that two ladies who had married in Canada were going to be recognised as married from 1st March.

    Now this article says today… Which one is it? And can anyone quote an official source for that? Not that it matters hugely… Just curious…


  • Jones

    A momentous point in our history. Very proud to be British.

  • Brilliant and well done, especially those who have got married overseas. Congratulations from a queer Marriage Celebrant in New Zealand. xxxx

  • allancsn

    quite frankly I’ve kinda given up caring what people on this forum think.
    It seems to be the same dozen people and they appear to lack any sort of empathy, kindness or tolerance. I post really just to get things off my chest and in the hope somebody somewhere with a bit of influence might just read it.

    • Dewey

      That’s why I keep mentioning the upgrades for cp as it seems to have been forgotten about or brushed aside. But I guess those not in cps aren’t bothered as it doesn’t have any impact on their lives….

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