It can hardly have escaped general awareness in the UK that single-sex weddings were last week given the go-ahead.
In case you somehow missed it, single-sex weddings in England and Wales will be legal as from 29th March 2014 – in time for the Easter rush in mid-April.
Nick Clegg, Deputy Prime Minister, described this as a “wonderful step forward for equality”, but not everyone was in agreement. The Coalition for Marrriage considered the news as “sad”.
The legislation was bitterly contested along the way, but it secured overwhelming support in both the Commons and the Lords.
Where can these weddings take place?
There are a few Church of England churches (notably, military chapels – though only from June 2014) permitted to host single-sex weddings, but the vast majority will not be allowed to. Registered venues, such as hotels and country houses, will be free to host these, as will Town Halls and registry offices.
Venues already registered for weddings will not need any additional registration process in order to perform same-sex weddings.
The Secretary of State said: “Marriage is one of our most important institutions, and from March 29 2014 it will be open to everyone, irrespective of whether they fall in love with someone of the same sex or opposite sex.”
Nick Clegg commented: “This is the news many couples have been waiting for.
“After a long and important battle, this is a wonderful step forward for equality. Love is the same, gay or straight, so it’s only right that the civil institution should be the same.
“Next March will be a real moment for celebration as same sex couples finally get the chance to express their love through marriage.”
Benjamin Cohen, the publisher of PinkNews and founder of the Out4Marriage campaign said: “There are many gay couples who have been eagerly awaiting this news and will now be able to plan their wedding.
“The first marriages will, I hope, herald a new age of equality in our country, where all couples, regardless of their sexuality will be treated equally under the law, and eventually in society.”
Those looking to celebrate a single-sex wedding are welcome to contact a celebrant, who can ensure a bespoke, personalized, memorable service.
Michael Gordon can help prepare and conduct a tailor-made life-cycle civil ceremony in or around London or, indeed, in Europe.