The UK parliament passed the new legislation last July, which came into effect just after midnight on March 29th.
“This first day of marriage is a joyous and exciting time for lesbian and gay couples in England and Wales, and we offer our congratulations to all who will marry”, said Kieran Rose, GLEN Chair.
“The advent of marriage is a further historic step in the journey to full equality for lesbian and gay people in England and Wales and contributes significantly to the growing international momentum for equality. A very strong message of inclusion, value, respect and equality is being sent to people everywhere”, continued Rose.
Same-sex marriage will also become legal in Scotland in Autumn of this year, as yet Northern Ireland has no plans to introduce new legislation.
Over the weekend, many UK couples tied the knot seconds after the law became legal. Prime Minister David Cameron tweeted his congratulations to the happy couples, saying:
Congratulations to the gay couples who have already been married – and my best wishes to those about to be on this historic day.
— David Cameron (@David_Cameron) March 29, 2014
The Irish Government recently decided to accept the recommendation of the Constitutional Convention and will hold a referendum on access to civil marriage for lesbian and gay couples in 2015. All Political parties in Ireland support equal access to civil marriage for lesbian and gay couples.
Rose added, “Ireland has made extraordinary progress towards full equality for lesbian and gay people, with joyous celebrations of civil partnership all across the country and very strong and growing public support for marriage and equal Constitutional protection for lesbian and gay couples.
“We firmly believe that the people of Ireland will continue their warm acceptance of lesbian and gay couples and their families and that a yes vote can be carried in the forthcoming referendum on access to civil marriage” concluded Rose.
© 2014 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.
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