‘A huge leap foward’: date set for first same sex marriages

Posted on 14/10/2014 by


An easy date to remember: it’s Snogmanay!

Set the date for first Same Sex MarriagesThe first same sex marriage ceremonies in Scotland will go ahead in Scotland from Hogmanay.

Also, from 16 December, couples in an existing Scottish Civil Partnership would be able to change their relationship to a marriage. Conversions of this type will be free for the first year of the legislation.

The gap between 16 December and the first possible ceremonies is to allow for the minimum notice period for marriage of 14 clear days.

Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing Alex Neil said: “It is wonderful that same sex couples can now begin to make plans to have their marriage just as any other couple can.

“This historic legislation had overwhelming support across the Scottish Parliament, demonstrating to the world how importantly Scotland views equality.

“That support means that, from 31 December, same sex couples who want to show their love and commitment to each other could get married in front of family and friends at a ceremony they choose together.

“This will be an important signal that our nation is absolutely committed to the same rights for all our citizens.

“It will be a proud and no doubt emotional day for many, and I, for one, can’t wait.”

The Equality Network, the Scottish lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) equality charity welcomed the announcement.

Tom French, Policy and Public Affairs Coordinator for the Equality Network, said: “We are very pleased that after years of campaigning for equal marriage it is now just weeks away from becoming a reality. Today’s milestone announcement means that same-sex couples across Scotland will be able to set a date and start planning their weddings. With the first ceremonies set to take place on Hogmanay, Scotland can be proud that we will bring in the new year as a fairer and more equal country.

“The 31st December 2014 will be a date that is remembered for many years to come, and a profoundly emotional day for those couples who celebrate their commitment to each other, and for all LGBTI people who grew up in a country where being gay was still criminalised until 1981. Scotland is now a leader on LGBTI equality, with one of the most progressive equal marriage laws in the world.

There is still more to do to ensure full equality in people’s day-to-day lives, but this year we have taken a huge leap forward towards creating the fair and equal Scotland we all want to see.”