Gay Marriage in the UK

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How to Man Up | 14018

Gay Marriage in England, Scotland and Wales

The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013 became law on 17 July 2013. The Act permitted same sex marriages in England and Wales commencing from 29 March 2014. Couples wishing to be among the first to marry had to give formal notice of their intention to marry on 13 March 2014.

The Act introduced the marriage of same sex couples in England and Wales, and contained measures about gender change by married persons and civil partners, about consular functions in relation to marriage, for the marriage of armed forces personnel overseas, for permitting marriages according to the usages of belief organisations to be solemnized on the authority of certificates of a superintendent registrar, for the review of civil partnership, and for the review of survivor benefits under occupational pension schemes.

A marriage between two people of the same sex became legal, but religious organisations were not compelled to perform them. There were guidelines by which the religious opt-out will be enforced and enabled. Same sex marriages could be conducted in religious buildings and the Act states how they should be performed and registered.

For members of the Church of England, that means that you will not be able to get married in Church, you will have to get married somewhere else, and then go and see your Vicar to have your union blessed informally by him. He is required to discuss aspects of the Church’s teachings about marriage with you.

Same sex marriages are allowed in other religions and in Chapels in the Armed Forces. Deathbed same sex marriages are also legalised. Marriages of same sex couples in Churches in Wales are legalised.

Couples who have already had a civil partnership ceremony would be able to convert their civil partnership into a full marriage from 10 December, 2014. To convert a civil partnership into marriage, a couple will have to attend a registry office and sign a declaration that they wish to be married in front of a registrar. A set of Statutory Instruments to enable this is being drawn up between a number of Government Departments.

Persons who have had a gender change can take part in same sex marriages.

The Foreign Marriage Act of 1862 was repealed.

15,098 gay couples have legally married since gay marriage became legal on 29 March 2014.

7,366 were new marriages and 7,732 were conversions from civil partnerships to marriages.

The number of couples opting for civil partnerships fell by 70% between 2013 and 2014. The most popular month in which to get married was August 2014 with 844 marriages.

55% of marriages were between female couples and 45% were between male couples.

Gay Marriage became legal in Scotland on 16 December 2014.

The Jersey Assembly voted in September 2015 to introduce gay marriage on the island from 2017.

Scottish Government – Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Bill
The Same Sex Marriage Act 2013 [pdf]
Directgov, No Date: Marriages and civil partnerships in the UK
Deed Poll Service, No Date: A couple’s name change rights and options upon a civil partnership
Gov UK, No Date: Civil partnerships review terms of reference and timetable
Government of Scotland, No Date: Scottish Government Review of Civil Partnership
Science Daily, 13 July 2010: How sexual agreements affect HIV risk, relationship satisfaction
The Law Commission, 6 Feb 2012: Clarifying the law on financial provision for couples when relationships end
BBC News, 12 Dec 2012: Gay marriage: Draft bill launched in Scotland
Gay History, 17 July 2013: Gay Marriage, England and WalesGuardian, 5 Nov 2013: Ireland to hold referendum on gay marriage
BBC News, 10 Dec 2013: Same-sex weddings to begin in March
Pink News, 24 Jan 2014: UK Government launches consultation into future of civil partnerships
BBC, 4 Feb 2014: Scotland’s same-sex marriage bill is passedDaily Telegraph, 15 Feb 2014: Church offers prayers after same sex weddings but bans gay priests from marrying
Guardian, 26 June 2014: Civil partnerships can be converted to marriages from December 2014
BBC, 16 December 2014: Gay marriage becomes legal in Scotland
BBC News, 19 October 2015 – Gay marriage statistics

SP

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