Scotland celebrates one year since first same-sex marriages
Today marks a year since the first same-sex weddings took place in Scotland.
Equality came to Scotland last year later than England and Wales – with the first couples beginning to marry at 00:01 on Hogmanay, December 31 2014.
Despite the delay, the country has been praised for its progressive marriage laws – which permit a wider range of groups like Humanists to conduct weddings, unlike in England and Wales.
Among the first couples to marry were Susan and Gerrie Douglas-Scott – with Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, and Scottish Green Party co-convener Patrick Harvie serving as the pair’s witnesses for the ceremony.
Joe Schofield and partner Malcolm Brown were the first to wed, in the first legally recognised Humanist same-sex wedding in the country.
Scotland’s progressive marriage laws also later led to some unique services – with one same-sex couples later becoming the first to legally tie a literal knot, in a pagan service.
Hedge Witches Tom Lanting and Iain Robertson married in a ceremony that involved invoking the elements of earth, air, water, fire and spirit, casting a circle, exchanging rings and binding the couple’s hands.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon paid tribute to all the couples, writing: “Happy anniversary to all those who got hitched when #equalmarriage became legal this time last year.”
Figures up to September show that so far, more than 1700 couples have taken advantage of the new laws – with 573 new marriages, while 1137 couples converting civil partnerships to marriages.
The country has also since amended laws to help couples ‘trapped’ in Northern Irish civil partnerships by a legislative quirk.