Today has been a hectic day here in Harrogate. My job list has piled higher and higher, but luckily I got through most of it, a couple of non-urgent jobs will roll over until tomorrow morning. As I took a few minutes out to grab a bite to eat I browsed my twitter feed and came across a BBC News Article: Same Sex Weddings to Begin in March. This is welcome news and a step in the right direction for marriage equality.
On the 17th July 2013 the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013 received Royal Assent allowing Same Sex Couples to marry legally within England and Wales. Same Sex Couples will now be allowed to get married from the 29 March 2014. In addition when Section 9 of the Act comes into force anyone who is registered in a civil partnership will be able to convert that partnership into a marriage. Ben Summerskill, chief executive of gay rights campaign group Stonewall, told the BBC that ‘this historic step will mean that, for the first time, every gay person in England and Wales will finally enjoy exactly the same rights as their heterosexual friends and family.’ Anyone wishing to marry on or soon after the 29th of March 2014 will need to give formal notice by the 13th March 2014. As of June 2014 same sex weddings in British consulates and armed forces bases overseas will be possible. Equality in marriage has been long overdue with the Civil Partnership Act 2004 only going a small way to bridge the gap.
The BBC News Article ends with ‘Equal marriage brings us one step closer to that day: the day when no one will question whether a marriage is between a man and a woman, a man and a man, or a woman and a woman. Their only question will be ‘where am I going to find a decent hat?’ Well crack on! You haven’t got long. March 29 will be here before you know it.’ A sentiment I whole heartedly agree with.
Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013: www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2013/30/contents/enacted/data.htm
BBC News Article, Same-sex weddings to begin in March: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-25321353
Telegraph, The long walk to gay marriage in the UK isn’t over yet: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/womens-life/10510209/Gay-marriage-hear-Mandela-the-long-walk-isnt-over-yet.html
A quick summary of the effect of the act can be found here: http://www.zenithchambers.co.uk/site/zenith_news/newsdetail/top_ten_guide