Same-sex marriage in the United Kingdom
|Legal recognition of
*Not yet in effect
- Legislation to allow same-sex marriage in England and Wales was passed by the Parliament of the United Kingdom in July 2013 and came into force on 13 March 2014, and the first same-sex marriages took place on 29 March 2014.
- Legislation to allow same-sex marriage in Scotland was passed by the Scottish Parliament in February 2014 and received Royal Assent on 12 March 2014. The first same-sex marriages are expected to occur during Autumn 2014.
- The Northern Ireland Executive has stated that it does not intend to introduce legislation allowing for same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland. Same-sex marriages from other jurisdictions are treated as civil partnerships.
- 1 Background
- 2 Wilkinson v. Kitzinger and Others
- 3 Debate
- 4 Same-sex marriage in Scotland
- 5 Amendment to civil partnership legislation
- 6 Same-sex marriage in England and Wales
- 7 Situation in Northern Ireland
- 8 See also
- 9 Notes
- 10 References
- 11 Further reading
At common law a marriage between persons of the same sex was void ab initio. In 1680, Arabella Hunt married "James Howard"; in 1682 the marriage was annulled on the ground that Howard was in fact Amy Poulter, a 'perfect woman in all her parts', and two women could not validly marry. In 1866, in Hyde v. Hyde and Woodmansee (a case of polygamy), Lord Penzance's judgment began "Marriage as understood in Christendom is the voluntary union for life of one man and one woman, to the exclusion of all others."
In Talbot (otherwise Poyntz) v. Talbot in 1967, the prohibition was held to extend where one spouse was a post-operative transsexual, with Mr Justice Ormerod stating "Marriage is a relationship which depends on sex, not on gender". In 1971 the Nullity of Marriage Act was passed, explicitly banning marriages between same-sex couples in England and Wales. The parliamentary debates on the 1971 act included discussion on the issue of transsexualism but not homosexuality.
The 1971 act was later replaced by the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973, which also declared that a marriage is void if the parties are not respectively male and female. Prohibition of same-sex marriages was also included in the marriage legislation of Scotland and Northern Ireland. The Marriage Act (Scotland) 1977 and the Marriage Order (Northern Ireland) 2003 both state there is a legal impediment to marriage if the parties are of the same sex.
On 17 July 2013, Her Majesty the Queen granted Royal Assent to the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013. On 10 December 2013 Her Majesty's Government announced that the first same sex marriages could take place from 29 March 2014.
In 2004 the Civil Partnership Act was passed and came into effect in December 2005. It created civil partnerships, which gave same-sex couples who entered into them the same rights and responsibilities of marriage. These partnerships were called 'gay marriage' by some of the British media; however, the government made clear that they were not marriages.
When Section 9 of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013 comes into force, it will grant anyone who is registered in a civil partnership the ability to convert that partnership into a marriage.
Wilkinson v. Kitzinger and Others
On 26 August 2003, Celia Kitzinger and Sue Wilkinson, both British university professors, legally married in British Columbia, Canada. However, on their return their marriage was not recognised under British law. Under the subsequent Civil Partnership Act, it was instead converted into a civil partnership. The couple sued for recognition of their marriage, arguing that it was legal in the country in which it was executed and met the requirements for recognition of overseas marriages and should thus be treated in the same way as one between opposite-sex couples. They rejected the conversion of their marriage into a civil partnership believing it to be both practically and symbolically a lesser substitute. They were represented by the civil rights group Liberty. The group's legal director James Welch said it was a matter of fairness and equality for the couple's marriage to be recognised and that they "shouldn't have to settle for the second-best option of a civil partnership."
The High Court announced its judgement on 31 July 2006, ruling that their union would not be granted marriage status and would continue to be recognised in England and Wales as a civil partnership. The President of the Family Division, Sir Mark Potter, gave as his reason that "abiding single sex relationships are in no way inferior, nor does English Law suggest that they are by according them recognition under the name of civil partnership", and that marriage was an "age-old institution" which, he suggested, was by "longstanding definition and acceptance" a relationship between a man and a woman. He agreed with the couple's claim that they were being discriminated against by the Civil Partnership Act 2004, but considered that "To the extent that by reason of that distinction it discriminates against same-sex partners, such discrimination has a legitimate aim, is reasonable and proportionate, and falls within the margin of appreciation accorded to Convention States." The Attorney General, as Second Respondent, sought £25,000 in legal costs from the couple, which the High Court ordered them to pay.
Wilkinson and Kitzinger said they were "deeply disappointed" with the judgement, not just for themselves, but for "lesbian and gay families across the nation." They said that "denying our marriage does nothing to protect heterosexual marriage, it simply upholds discrimination and inequality" and also said that the ruling insulted LGBT people and treats their relationships as inferior to heterosexual ones; not worthy of marriage but only of an "expressly different, and entirely separate institution." They said, however, that they believed the judgement "won't stand the test of time" and that they looked forward to the day when "there is full equality in marriage." They had originally announced their intention to appeal the decision but later abandoned it due to lack of funds.
Gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell said that the establishment's aggressive opposition to same-sex marriage and the successful demand of £25,000 from the couple damaged the government's "gay-friendly credentials". He also claimed that the demand in legal costs was designed to damage the couple financially so they would not be able to appeal. He said he was "angry but not downcast" about the ruling and that this was only a temporary setback in the "long struggle for marriage equality."
Equal Marriage, a campaign for same-sex marriage in Scotland, was established by the Equality Network in 2008, with a focus on securing same-sex marriage and mixed-sex civil partnership in Scotland. In England and Wales, the first major campaign for same-sex marriage was Equal Love established by Peter Tatchell in 2010. The first major campaign against same-sex marriage in Britain was Scotland for Marriage established in 2011, followed by the Coalition for Marriage in England and Wales in 2012. Subsequent campaigns for and against same-sex marriage have been established by a wide variety of organisations, including the Coalition for Equal Marriage and Out4Marriage, both established in England in 2012. In Northern Ireland, a campaign for full same-sex marriage was established by LGBT rights activist and political campaigner Gary Spedding in June 2012 with the specific goal of challenging social attitudes whilst lobbying the Northern Ireland Assembly to enact legislation to update the Marriage Order (Northern Ireland) 2003
Conservative: During the run-up to the 2010 general election the then Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, said that a Conservative government would be happy to "consider the case" for ending the ban on same-sex marriage, although he was criticised for not making any specific promises. On 4 May 2010 the party published a "Contract for Equalities" which said it would 'consider' recognising civil partnerships as marriage if elected.
Labour: In April 2010 Labour Minister for Equality Harriet Harman when asked about same-sex marriage said the issue was a "developing area" and that the government still had a long way to go with what it had done with gay rights. Then Prime Minister Gordon Brown said the government did not allow same-sex marriage because it was "intimately bound up with questions of religious freedom". During the 2010 Labour leadership election campaign, each of the Labour candidates expressed their support for reform to lead to the recognition of same-sex marriage. Following Ed Miliband's victory it has become Labour party policy, with the party welcoming the Government's consultation and calling for legislation to be brought forth as soon as possible.
Liberal Democrats: Leader Nick Clegg stated in 2009 that his party backs legalisation. On 4 July 2009 in an article for LabourList, Clegg wrote that "although civil partnerships have been a step forward, until same sex marriage is permitted it is impossible to claim gay and straight couples are treated equally." Following this, the party's LGBT equality body DELGA launched a petition "Marriage Without Borders" calling for all gender restrictions on marriage and civil partnerships to be lifted, and for same-sex relationships to be recognised across Europe and internationally. The petition was run at Manchester Pride and Reading Pride in 2009, and launched online in January 2010 following an interview with Clegg in Attitude magazine in which he reaffirmed his commitment to equal marriage. However this did not make it into the party's manifesto. In an interview in July 2010 Lib Dem deputy party leader Simon Hughes confirmed that the coalition government plans to open marriage to same-sex couples, saying, "It would be appropriate in Britain in 2010, 2011, for there to be the ability for civil marriage for straight people and gay people equally ... The state ought to give equality. We’re halfway there. I think we ought to be able to get there in this parliament".
Scottish Liberal Democrats: At their 2010 spring conference a motion was passed calling on the Scottish Government to allow gay couples to marry, describing the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage as a "discrimination that needs to end". In September 2010, the Liberal Democrats at their Autumn Federal Conference voted to make marriage equality a party policy at the Westminster level.
Green Party: On 22 May 2009 the Green Party called for an end to the ban on civil marriages between same-sex couples in Britain and in other EU member states. Party leader Caroline Lucas said the party wants marriage equality for same-sex couples and that married gay couples who travel throughout Europe should be able to have their relationship recognised on the same basis as married heterosexual couples. Peter Tatchell, who was the party's candidate for Oxford East at the time, said there is a "confusing patchwork" of different partnership laws throughout Europe and that "for a majority of lesbian and gay couples their legal rights stop at their own borders". He said, the "best and most universally recognised system of partnership" is civil marriage and, "anything less is second class and discrimination".
At their Yearly Meeting in 2009, the Quakers decided to recognise opposite-sex and same-sex marriages equally and perform marriage ceremonies for same-sex couples, making them the first mainstream religious body in Britain to do so. Under the current law registrars are not allowed to legally officiate a marriage between same-sex couples but the Quakers stated that the law does not preclude them from "playing a central role in the celebration and recording of same-sex marriages" and asked the government to change the law so that these marriages would be recognised. In a joint press release in 2012, the Quakers, Liberal Jews, and Unitarians and Free Christians gave their endorsement to the same-sex marriage consultation. The Dutch Church in London is in the process of extending its existing marriage licence to allow same-sex marriages.
The largest Christian denominations have been wholly opposed to the legalisation of same-sex marriages. The Catholic Church in England and Wales has been most vocal in its opposition, urging both parishioners and schools within its care to sign the petition against the government plans. The Church of England is largely against the plans to legalise same-sex marriage and is concerned that its legalisation will undermine its status as the state religion of England. The Methodist Church of Great Britain, in responding to the government's consultation on same-sex marriage, acknowledge that many Methodist churches had, over the last 20 years, affirmed and celebrated the participation of gays and lesbians in a union, but noted that the Methodist church could not use the word "marriage" with reference to same-sex unions.
The Muslim Council of Britain has launched a campaign against the legalisation of same-sex marriage called "Muslims Defending Marriage". The Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks and the Rabbinical Council of the United Synagogue have also come out in opposition of the plans, stating that same-sex marriage is "against Jewish law".
Opinion polls have shown general support for same-sex marriage among Britons.
A 2004 poll by Gallup reported that 52% agreed that 'marriages between homosexuals' should be recognised while 45% said they should not. Support for same-sex marriage among British respondents was 17% higher than people in the USA who were asked. The poll found that 65% supported allowing gay couples to form civil unions. A 2006 Eurobarometer survey reported that 46% of Britons agreed the same-sex marriages should be allowed throughout Europe, support being slightly higher than the EU average of 44%. A poll conducted in September 2008 by ICM Research for The Observer found that 55% of Britons believed that same-sex couples should be allowed to get married while 45% disagreed.
An opinion poll conducted in June 2009 by Populus for The Times reported 61% of the British public agreed with the statement 'Gay couples should have an equal right to get married, not just to have civil partnerships', while 33% disagreed. Support was highest among those aged between 25 and 34 where 78% agreed and 19% disagreed. It was lowest amongst those over 65 where 37% agreed and 52% disagreed. A majority of both men and women agreed but support was higher among women (67%) than men (55%). On voting intention, 73% Liberal Democrats, 64% Labour voters and 53% Conservatives agreed that gay couples should have the right to marry.
A poll conducted by Angus Reid in July 2010 showed that 78% of people supported either same-sex marriage or civil union for gay couples, with 41% opting for same-sex marriage and 37% opting for civil union. The amount of people who supported no legal unions for gay couples decreased by 3% since August 2009.
According to the 2010 Scottish Social Attitudes Survey, 61% of Scotland's population supports same-sex marriage. Just 19% said they disagreed, while 18% said they neither agreed nor disagreed. In a similar poll in 2002, 42% of Scotland's population supported same-sex marriage. In 2006, 53% of Scots backed same-sex marriage.
In July 2011, a representative survey conducted by Angus Reid Public Opinion showed that 43% of Britons believe same-sex couples in Britain should be allowed to legally marry, 34% think same-sex couples should be allowed to form civil partnerships, but not marry, and 15% would grant no legal recognition to same-sex couples.
A poll published by YouGov in March 2012 showed that 43% of people supported same-sex marriage whilst 32% supported civil partnerships. 16% were opposed to the recognition of homosexual relations all together. Support was particularly high amongst women, young people, people in Scotland and supporters of the Liberal Democrats. Support was lower amongst the working class, Conservative voters, men and older people. In the same poll, 62% believed that homosexual relationships had the same value as heterosexual ones, but 47% of people supported the right of the Church of England to defend traditional marriage and 37% disagreed.
A June 2012 YouGov survey shows highly accepting attitudes of the British population toward LGBT rights. The report found that 71% are in favour of same-sex marriage. Two YouGov polls in December 2012 found that 55% of the population was in favour of introducing same-sex marriage.
Another poll in May 2013 again confirmed public support for the bill with 53% in favour of the introduction of same sex marriage. A second poll in May showed a similar support of 54%, also showing that 58% of people who considered same sex marriage an important election issue would be more likely to vote for a party supporting it. A May 2013 Ipsos poll found that 55% of respondents were in favour of same-sex marriage.
The latest poll made by BBC Radio in March 2014 found that 68% of the respondents agreed same-sex marriage should be permitted and 26% opposed it. The research also found that younger people were more likely to support same-sex marriage, with 80% of 18 to 34-year-olds backing it, compared with 44% of over-65s. Of those polled, women were more likely to support same-sex marriage than men, with 75% of women for it compared with 61% of men in favour. 
Same-sex marriage in Scotland
In January 2009, a petition was drawn up by Nick Henderson, director of gay rights group the LGBT Network, to be submitted to the Scottish Parliament. The petition called for a change to the law that disallows two people of the same sex from getting married, by amending the Marriage (Scotland) Act 1977. The petition also called for allowing same-sex marriage ceremonies to be performed by faith groups, but only if the religious institution gives consent. As well as political support from the Leader of the Labour Party in the European Parliament, Glenis Willmott MEP and veteran gay rights activist Michael Cashman MEP, the petition has drawn the signatures and support of Celia Kitzinger and Sue Wilkinson and of eight church leaders, both Episcopalian and Church of Scotland. The Very Reverend Kelvin Holdsworth, Provost of the Scottish Episcopal St Mary's Cathedral in Glasgow, has often spoken of his willingness and desire to perform valid same sex marriages in his church, and is a key supporter of the petition. It also attracted high profile support from Labour MSP George Foulkes. The petition closed on 6 March, having gathered 1007 signatures.
On 17 March 2009, the Petitions Committee unanimously agreed to question the Scottish Government on whether and when it planned to amend the Marriage (Scotland) Act 1977 to allow same sex marriages. They also requested that a reason be provided if an amendment could not be considered.
In March 2009, shortly before submission of the LGBT Network's petition to the Scottish Parliament, NUS Scotland established an Equal Marriage Campaign, launching a similar petition to the Scottish Parliament and calling for the amendment of legislation to allow same-sex marriage and mixed-sex civil partnerships in Scotland, although the petition itself did not distinguish between civil and religious marriage. This campaign attracted the support of a number of MSPs and MEPs, as well as activist organisations and individuals. The petition closed on 1 September 2009, having gathered 1,317 signatures. On 8 September the Petitions Committee convened after a summer recess, and agreed to contact the Government seeking responses to specific points raised in both petitions and the discussion.
On 1 December 2009, the Petitions Committee decided to seek a meeting between a government minister and the petitioners, as well as enquire as to whether the Government might consider setting up an advisory committee of interested parties. The Government rejected the petition, as legalising same-sex marriage in Scotland only would require changes in non-devolved matters such as the areas of immigration, pensions and inheritance law all of which would have to be done at national level. The head of the government's equality unit Hilary Third said that although from an equalities point of view "equal marriage is where we want to be" it would be a "difficult situation" if same-sex marriage was legal in Scotland but not England. In 2011 Her Majesty's Government announced a consultation on the legalising of same-sex marriage in England and Wales would be held, and it began in March 2012.
From September – December 2011 the Scottish Government held a consultation on the issue after the Scottish Social Attitudes Survey found 60% of Scots to be in favour of legalising same-sex marriages in Scotland. The consultation offered consideration on both removing religious prohibitions for civil partnerships and also legalising same-sex marriage within that country. In the foreword to the consultation document, Deputy First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon stated
"The Scottish Government is choosing to make its initial views clear at the outset of this consultation. We tend towards the view that religious ceremonies for civil partnerships should no longer be prohibited and that same sex marriage should be introduced so that same sex couples have the option of getting married if that is how they wish to demonstrate their commitment to each other. We also believe that no religious body or its celebrants should be required to carry out same sex marriages or civil partnership ceremonies."
Unlike the English and Welsh Consultation, the one for Scotland dealt with the issue of same-sex marriage in a religious context. On 10 December 2011, The Scotsman newspaper reported that some 50,000 responses had been received from within Scotland. In reality, when counting was finished, the total stood at 77,508  The Government presented the results and analysis of the consultation in July 2012. Respondents who opposed the introduction of same sex marriage were in the majority, with 67%. However, 14,869 (19%) of responses came from outside of Scotland and 26,383 (34%) were submitted by a pre-printed postcard rather than via the proper Consultation form.
On 25 July 2012 the Scottish Government announced it would bring forward legislation to legalise both civil and religious same-sex marriage in Scotland. The Government reiterated its intention to ensure that no religious group or individual member of the clergy would be forced to conduct such ceremonies; it also stated its intention to work with Westminster to make necessary changes to the Equality Act to ensure that this would be guaranteed.
On 27 June 2013, the Scottish Government introduced the Marriage and Civil Partnerships (Scotland) Bill in the Scottish Parliament. LGBT rights campaigners, celebrating outside the UK parliament on 15 July 2013 for the clearance of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill in the House of Lords, declared that they would continue the campaign to extend same-sex marriage rights to both Scotland and Northern Ireland.
The majority of the members of the Scottish Parliament have declared their support for same-sex marriage, including the leader of each party in Parliament: Alex Salmond (SNP; First Minister of Scotland), Johann Lamont (Labour), Ruth Davidson (Conservative), Willie Rennie (Liberal Democrats) and Patrick Harvie (Green).
The bill was fast-tracked through the Scottish Parliament with the aim of achieving Royal Assent for the legislation by March 2014. The Equal Opportunities Committee considered the bill from 5 September to 7 November, with a report published on 8 November. On 20 November, the bill passed Stage 1 with a 98 to 15 vote and 5 abstentions. Of the 98 MSPs that voted "yes" on the bill, 52 were members of the Scottish National Party, 31 were members of the Labour Party, 7 were members of the Conservative Party, 4 were members of the Liberal Democrats Party, 2 were members of the Green Party, and 2 were Independents. Of the 15 MSPs that voted "no" on the bill, 6 were members of the Scottish National Party, 8 were members of the Conservative Party, and 1 was a member of the Labour Party. Of the 5 MSPs that abstained, 2 were members of the Scottish National Party, and 3 were members of the Labour Party.
The bill returned to the Equal Opportunities Committee for Stage 2. The Committee considered the bill on 19 December 2013, rejecting several amendments proposed by opponents of the legislation. The Committee continued Stage 2 on 16 January 2014. The final Stage 3 debate and vote was held on 4 February 2014. The bill was approved with 105 MSPs in favour and 18 opposed, with no abstentions. The bill received Royal Assent as the Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Act 2014 on 12 March 2014 and the first same-sex marriages are expected to occur in autumn 2014.
Amendment to civil partnership legislation
An amendment to the Equality Act 2010 tabled by Labour peer Waheed Alli, Baron Alli removed the restriction on religious bodies blessing same-sex civil unions in England and Wales, but was not implemented on commencement of the bill. Liberal Democrat minister for Equalities Lynne Featherstone announced in February 2011 that the amendment would be implemented along with other reforms to marriage law and LGBT equality, including allowing night-time marriages and deleting old convictions for sodomy under the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012.
Same-sex marriage in England and Wales
On 17 September 2011, at the Liberal Democrat party conference, Lynne Featherstone announced that the government would launch a consultation in March 2012 on how to implement equal civil marriage for same-sex couples with the intention of any legislative changes being made by the next general election. The Prime Minister's Office let it be known that David Cameron had personally intervened in favour of legalising same-sex unions, and on 5 October 2011 the Conservative Party Conference applauded Cameron's support for same-sex marriage in his Leader's Speech.
On 12 March 2012, HM Government launched its consultation on equal civil marriage in England and Wales. The Government's proposals were:
- to enable same-sex couples to have a civil marriage i.e., only civil ceremonies in a register office or approved premises (like a hotel);
- to make no changes to religious marriages. This would continue to only be legally possible between a man and a woman;
- to retain civil partnerships for same-sex couples and allow couples already in a civil partnership to convert this into a marriage;
- to continue to permit civil partnership registrations on religious premises as is possible, i.e., on a voluntary basis for faith groups and with no religious content; and
- to allow individuals to be able legally to change their gender without having to end their marriage.
The following groups and individuals expressed their support for same-sex marriage legislation in England and Wales:
- The Green Party of England and Wales;
- The Liberal Democrats;
- The Labour Party;
- Plaid Cymru - the Party of Wales;
- The Times;
- The Guardian;
- The Independent, which launched a campaign Equal Partners.
The following parties and newspapers expressed their opposition to same-sex marriage legislation in England and Wales:
- The Democratic Unionist Party;
- The Daily Telegraph;
- The British National Party opposes same-sex marriage and civil partnerships;
- The UK Independence Party;
- The Daily Mail;
- The Sunday Times, in opposition to its sister paper.
The following parties had no official position or a position of neutrality on either the issue or the legislation as it applies to England and Wales:
- The Conservative Party: senior Conservatives, including David Cameron, William Hague, George Osborne, and Theresa May supported the bill, however, the issue is contentious in the party. Just over half of Conservative MPs voted against the second reading but polling has shown that the majority of Conservative voters support the bill;
- The Scottish National Party do not vote on English and Welsh matters, and therefore did not take part in the second reading vote, although the SNP-led Scottish Government introduced a bill to allow same-sex marriage in Scotland;
- Sinn Féin are abstentionist and therefore do not take their seats or vote in the House of Commons. A Northern Ireland Assembly motion proposed by Sinn Féin and the Green Party of Northern Ireland to call for same-sex marriage was defeated by the Democratic Unionist Party and the Ulster Unionist Party.
On 11 December 2012, HM Government released its response to the consultation. Of the 228,000 responses to the consultation, via the online form, email or correspondence, 53 percent agreed that all couples, regardless of their gender should be able to have a civil marriage ceremony, 46 percent disagreed, and one percent were unsure or did not answer the question. The Government also confirmed that it separately received nineteen petitions from faith groups and organisations such as the Coalition for Marriage, with over 500,000 signatures opposing same-sex marriage.
On 11 December 2012, the Minister for Women and Equalities, Secretary of State Maria Miller announced that the Government would bring forward same-sex marriage legislation for England and Wales in early 2013. In response to the consultation results, the proposals were extended to allow religious organisations to opt into performing same-sex marriages if they wish, and a 'quadruple-lock' of additional measures to put the protection of religious freedoms "utterly beyond doubt". These are:
- ensuring the legislation states explicitly that no religious organisation, or individual minister, can be compelled to marry same-sex couples or to permit this to happen on their premises;
- providing an 'opt-in' system for religious organisations who wish to conduct marriages for same-sex couples, which also allows individual ministers to continue to refuse to perform same-sex marriage even when their religious organisation opts in;
- amending the Equality Act 2010 to reflect that no discrimination claims can be brought against religious organisations or individual ministers for refusing to marry a same-sex couple or allowing their premises to be used for this purpose; and
- ensuring that the legislation will not affect the Canon law of the Church of England or the Church in Wales, i.e., unless Canon law and the same-sex marriage legislation are changed in future, both churches will be legally barred from performing same-sex marriages.
Her Majesty's Government also addressed consultation responses about the possibility that the European Court of Human Rights could force all churches to marry same-sex couples, stating:
Both the case law of the European Court of Human Rights and the rights enshrined in the European Convention on Human Rights put the protection of religious belief in this matter beyond doubt. We will draft the legislation to ensure that there is a negligible chance of a successful legal challenge in any domestic court, or the ECtHR that would force any religious organisation to conduct marriages for same-sex couples against their will. Any possible claims would be brought against the Government, rather than an organisation to ensure religious organisations would not have to use their resources to fight any legal challenges.—Equal marriage: The Government's response, December 2012
|Wikinews has related news:|
On 24 January 2013, the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill was introduced to the Commons by Maria Miller, and a full debate occurred at the Second Reading on 5 February. The bill retains some distinctions from marriage between a man and a woman e.g. in divorce proceedings, adultery can only involve sexual conduct between two persons of the opposite sex, while non-consummation will not be grounds for divorce.
On 5 February 2013, the bill passed its second reading in the House of Commons by 400 votes to 175.
The Bill was examined in 13 sittings by the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill Committee, a Public Bill Committee established to scrutinise the Bill line by line. The Bill completed its committee stage on 12 March 2013 and had its report stage in the House of Commons on 20–21 May 2013. The third reading took place on 21 May, and was approved by 366 votes to 161, with the bill receiving its first reading in the House of Lords the same evening.
The bill had its second reading unopposed in the Lords on 4 June, after a "wrecking amendment" proposed by Lord Dear was defeated by a vote of 390–148, thus allowing the bill to proceed to the committee stage.
The bill passed its third reading in the House of Lords on 15 July 2013 and the Commons accepted all of the Lords' amendments on the following day, with Royal Assent granted on 17 July 2013.
On 10 December 2013 Minister Maria Miller of The Department of Culture, Media and Sport announced that same sex marriage ceremonies would begin on 29 March 2014 in England and Wales. Couples wishing to be among the first to marry were required to give formal notice of their intention by 13 March 2014. As of 13 March 2014, couples who have entered into same-sex marriages overseas are recognised as married in England and Wales. The parts of the law that will allow civil partnerships to be converted into marriages, and allow married people to change their legal gender while remaining married, is expected to come into force on 10 December 2014 (subject to Parliamentary approval of the necessary secondary legislation). The processes for conversion are likely to include a new application procedure; provision for attendance at a register office with proof of identity; conferral of functions on various office holders; changes to registration records; information for couples, and the setting of application and other fees.
Same-sex marriages in England and Wales began at midnight on 29 March 2014.
Situation in Northern Ireland
- i.e. they registered an abstention by voting both for and against the motion
- "Same-sex marriage now legal as first couples wed". BBC News. 29 March 2014. Retrieved 29 March 2014.
- "Scotland's same-sex marriage bill is passed". BBC News. 4 February 2014.
- Mendelson, Sara H. (Jan 2008). Hunt, Arabella (1662–1705). Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 14 March 2012.
- Hyde v. Hyde and Woodmansee [L.R.] 1 P. & D. 130
- Brent, Gail (1972–1973). "Some Legal Problems of the Postoperative Transsexual". Journal of Family Law 12: 405.
- "HC Deb 02 April 1971 vol 814 c.1829". Hansard.millbanksystems.com. 2 April 1971. Retrieved 2012-04-29.
- Cretney, Stephen (2003). Family law in the twentieth century: a history. Oxford University Press. pp. 70–71. ISBN 0-19-826899-8.
- "1 (a) Marriages between persons of the same sex". Report on Nullity of Marriage. Law Reform Commission Reports 9. Ireland: Law Reform Commission. October 1984. pp. 4–8.
- "Matrimonial Causes Act 1973". Legislation.gov.uk. Section 11(c). Retrieved 4 March 2012.
- "Marriage (Scotland) Act 1977 (c.15)". Office of Public Sector Information. Retrieved 31 August 2009.
- "The Marriage (Northern Ireland) Order 2003". Office of Public Sector Information. Retrieved 31 August 2009.
- "Same-sex weddings to begin in March". BBC News UK. 10 December 2013. Retrieved 10 December 2013.
- Rozenberg, Joshua (6 October 2005). "All-embracing partnership Act". The Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved 15 September 2009.
- "Plans for 'gay marriages' revealed". Daily Mail (London). 30 June 2003. Retrieved 6 August 2009.
- Jones, George (25 June 2004). "'Gay marriage' Bill left in disarray". The Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved 6 August 2009.
- "House of Commons Standing Committee D (pt 4)". Parliament of the United Kingdom. Retrieved 15 September 2009.
- Hirsch, Afua (9 December 2008). "UK challenged the right to civil partnerships of gay couples abroad". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 6 August 2009.
- "Couple challenge UK stance on Gay Marriage". Liberty. 11 August 2005. Retrieved 7 September 2009.[dead link]
- "Lesbians lose legal marriage bid". BBC News. 31 July 2006. Retrieved 11 August 2009.
- Murphy, Megan (31 July 2006). "British Lesbians Lose Bid to Validate Their Marriage". Bloomberg. Retrieved 30 October 2009.
- Wilkinson v Kitzinger & Ors  EWHC 2022 (Fam) (31 July 2006), paragraph 122
- "High Court Judge Endorses the ‘Sexual Apartheid’ of Same-Sex Marriage Ban". UK Gay News. 31 July 2006. Retrieved 16 September 2009.
- Rozenberg, Joshua (1 August 2006). "Lesbians lose battle to have marriage recognised". The Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved 30 October 2009.
- Wilkinson, Sue; Kitzinger, Celia (2007). "Editorial". Lesbian & Gay Psychology Review, Vol. 8, No. 1. equalmarriagerights.org. Retrieved 30 October 2009.
- Shoffman, Marc (11 October 2006). "Lesbian couple drop marriage appeal". Pink News. Retrieved 3 September 2009.
- Tatchell, Peter (2 August 2006). "Equality is still a dream". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 30 October 2009.
- "George Osborne says Tories will 'consider gay marriage'". BBC News. 11 April 2010.
- Hope, Christopher (11 April 2010). "Chris Grayling row: Conservatives to consider 'legalising gay marriage' if they win power". The Telegraph (London).
- Sanders, James (12 April 2010). "Tory party make no promises, says George Osborne". Pink Paper. Archived from the original on 16 July 2011.
- Beckford, Martin (4 May 2010). "Gay couples could be allowed to marry under Tory election plans". The Telegraph (London).
- Robb, Simon (16 April 2010). "Harriet Harman admits marriage equality still has 'a long way to go'". Pink Paper. Archived from the original on 16 July 2011.
- Geen, Jessica (5 May 2010). "Exclusive: Gordon Brown tells gay voters that support for Lib Dems will lead to a Tory victory". Pink News.
- "The Government should go further than they currently plan on same sex marriage – Cooper". The Labour Party. 15 March 2012. Retrieved 2012-08-11.
- "Lib Dem Leader speaks up for same-sex marriage". DELGA. 4 July 2009. Retrieved 28 October 2009.
- "LDEG's Antony Hook interviews Nick Clegg MP". Liberal Democrat European Group. 17 September 2009. Retrieved 31 October 2009.
- Clegg, Nick (4 July 2009). "While the Conservatives try to appear gay-friendly, they now stand shoulder with march-banning bigots". LabourList. Retrieved 28 July 2009.[dead link]
- "Marriage Without Borders". DELGA. 14 January 2010. Retrieved 14 January 2010.
- Grice, Andrew; Taylor, Jerome (13 January 2010). "Clegg lays down law to Cameron on gay rights". The Independent (London). Retrieved 29 January 2010.
- "Nick Clegg: A Liberal with Attitude". DELGA. 13 January 2010. Retrieved 14 January 2010.
- "Updated:Lib Dems introduce LGBT manifesto but it doesn't include pledge of full gay marriage rights rights". Pink News. 14 April 2010.
- "UpdatedDeputy Lib Dem leader Simon Hughes says government will allow gay couples to marry". Pink News. 19 July 2010.
- "Lib Dems back same-sex marriages". Google News. Press Association. 8 March 2010. Archived from the original on 8 March 2010. Retrieved 9 March 2010.
- "Equal Marriage in United Kingdom". Liberal Democrats. 21 September 2010. Retrieved 16 June 2012.
- "Green Party calls for EU-wide gay marriage". Pink News. 22 May 2009. Retrieved 31 October 2009.
- "Quakers 'to allow gay marriages'". BBC News. 30 July 2009. Retrieved 28 October 2009.
- Gledhill, Ruth (1 August 2009). "Quakers back gay marriage and call for reform". The Times (London). Retrieved 7 August 2009.
- "Quakers, Liberal Judaism and Unitarians welcome equal marriage consultation". Quakers in Britain. 15 March 2012. Retrieved 5 February 2013.
- Jeevan Vasagar, education editor (25 April 2012). "Catholic church urges pupils to sign anti-gay marriage petition | World news". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 2012-08-11.
- "Scotland: Catholic Church declares ‘war on gay marriage’". PinkNews.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-08-11.
- "Church of England warning on gay marriage". BBC News. 12 June 2012. Retrieved 3 July 2012.
- The Methodist Recorder (Issue 8060, 14 June 2012) p.3
- "Muslims Defending Marriage website". Muslim Council of Britain. Retrieved 2012-07-03.
- Rocker, Simon (19 June 2012). "Chief Rabbi will oppose gay marriage". The Jewish Chronicle. Retrieved 2012-07-03.
- Mazzuca, Josephine (12 October 2004). "Gay Rights: U.S. More Conservative Than Britain, Canada". Gallup. Retrieved 15 September 2009.
- "Standard Eurobarometer 66 / Autumn 2006 – TNS Opinion & Social". European Commission. Retrieved 15 September 2009.
- "Sex uncovered poll: Homosexuality". The Observer (London). 26 October 2008. Retrieved 15 September 2009.
- "The Observer Sex Survey". ICM Research. Retrieved 15 September 2009.
- Bennett, Rosemary (27 June 2009). "Church 'out of touch' as public supports equal rights for homosexuals". The Times (London). Retrieved 15 September 2009.
- "Gay Britain Survey". Populus. Retrieved 27 July 2009.
- "A Third of Americans Favour Same-Sex Marriage". Angus Reid. 27 July 2010. Retrieved 27 July 2010.
- "61 per cent of Scots support gay marriage".
- "Two-in-Five Britons Endorse Same-Sex Marriage". Angus Reid. 3 August 2011. Retrieved 1 September 2011.
- "Living together: British attitudes to lesbian, gay and bisexual peoplein 2012". stonewall.org. Retrieved 13 June 2012.
- "YouGov / Sunday Times Survey Results". YouGov. 16 December 2012. Retrieved 19 December 2012.
- "YouGov / Sunday Times Survey Results". YouGov. 12 May 2013. Retrieved 13 May 2013.
- "YouGov / Sunday Times Survey Results". YouGov. 19 May 2013. Retrieved 19 May 2013.
- "Same-Sex Marriage". Ipsos. 7–21 May 2013.
- Robert Pigott (2014-03-28). "Gay weddings: 'Fifth of Britons would turn down invitation'". Bbc.com. Retrieved 2014-04-05.
- Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill. House of Commons Research Library. 2013. p. 42. Retrieved 10 February 2013.
- "Same-sex marriage supporters to petition Scottish Parliament". Pink News. 13 January 2009. Retrieved 11 August 2009.
- "Same Sex Marriage Ban Must Be Lifted, Say Scottish Gays". UK Gay News. 13 January 2009. Retrieved 11 August 2009.
- Holdsworth, Kelvin (5 March 2009). "Last Chance". Retrieved 11 August 2009.
- "George Foulkes MSP joins our campaign for Marriage Equality". LGBT Network. 1 March 2009. Retrieved 11 August 2009.
- "Scottish Parliament e-petitions: Right to same sex marriage". Scottish Parliament. Retrieved 11 August 2009.
- "Parliament to consider the petition". LGBT Network. 4 March 2009. Retrieved 11 August 2009.
- "Public Petitions Committee Official Report 17 March 2009". Scottish Parliament. 17 March 2009. Retrieved 11 August 2009.
- "Gay Marriage in Scotland: Parliament to Ask Scottish Government to Review Marriage Act". UK Gay News. 17 March 2009. Retrieved 11 August 2009.
- "The Equal Marriage Pledge". equalmarriage.org.uk. Retrieved 11 August 2009.
- "Scottish Parliament e-petitions: Right to same-sex marriage and mixed-sex civil partnership". Scottish Parliament. Retrieved 2 September 2009.
- "Public Petitions Committee Minutes of Proceedings". Scottish Parliament. Retrieved 16 September 2009.
- "Public Petitions Committee Official Report 8 September 2009". Scottish Parliament. Retrieved 16 September 2009.
- OUTfrontUK (3 December 2009). "EXCLUSIVE: Petitions Committee letter to Government on Marriage". OUTfrontUK. Retrieved 5 November 2010.
- "Exclusive: SNP leader and Scottish first minister Alex Salmond answers your questions". Pink News. 5 May 2010. Retrieved 11 May 2010.
- Lyell, Carrie (11 December 2009). "No end in sight for marriage equality, says Scottish Equality Unit". Pink Paper. Archived from the original on 16 July 2011. Retrieved 11 May 2010.
- Scotsman newspaper 3 Sep 2011: Holyrood consults[dead link]
- "Ministerial Foreword". Government of Scotland. Retrieved 25 July 2012.
- "Consultation sees 50,000 responses". The Scotsman. 10 December 2011. Retrieved 25 July 2012.
- Scottish Government website: Consultation analysis
- "Registration of Civil Partnerships, Same Sex Marriage: Consultation Analysis". Scottish Government.
- "Scottish government sets date for gay marriage". Gay Star News. Retrieved 25 July 2012.
- "Gay marriage to be introduced in Scotland". BBC News. 25 July 2012. Retrieved 25 July 2012.
- "Same-sex marriage to be legalised". Government of Scotland. Retrieved 25 July 2012.
- Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Bill
- "Bill published to make same-sex marriage legal in Scotland". PinkNews. 27 June 2013.
- Andrew Woodcock (16 July 2013). "Gay marriage moves a step closer in UK". The Australian. Retrieved 16 July 2013.
- "Support". Equal Marriage Scotland. Retrieved 1 July 2013.
- "Same-sex marriage Bill to be fast-tracked through Holyrood". Herald Scotland. 31 August 2013.
- "Equal marriage bill overwhelmingly passes Stage 1 Debate in Scottish Parliament". PinkNews. November 20, 2013.
- "Scotland's same sex marriage bill: How MSPs voted". BBC News Scotland Politics. 20 November 2013. Retrieved 22 November 2013.
- "Scottish Parliamentary committee rejects attempts to waterdown same-sex marriage bill". PinkNews. 19 December 2013.
- "Scottish parliamentary committee votes to remove spousal veto from equal marriage bill". PinkNews. 16 January 2014.
- "Scotland legalizes same-sex marriage". LGBTQNation. 4 February 2014.
- "Thursday 13 March 2014 - Announcements - Scottish Parliament". scottish.parliament.uk. 13 March 2014.
- Travis, Alan (17 February 2011). "Gay marriages and heterosexual civil partnerships may soon be welcomed". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 18 February 2011.
- "Gay church 'marriages' set to get the go-ahead". BBC News. 14 February 2011.
- "Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill — 5 Feb 2013 at 18:52". Divisions — 2010-present, Westminster. Public Whip. 6 February 2013. Retrieved 7 February 2013.
- Lowther, Ed (5 March 2013). "Yes but, no but... MPs who vote both ways". BBC News Politics. Retrieved 4 February 2014. "five of his [Michael Fabricant's] Conservative colleagues voted both yes and no on the government's same-sex marriage legislation in February"
- Geen, Jessica. "Government proposes introducing gay marriage after Cameron intervention". PinkNews.co.uk. Retrieved 29 April 2012.
- Grice, Andrew (18 January 2012). "Clegg: We will defy anti-gay marriage rebellion". The Independent (London).
- "Greens urge end to ban on same-sex marriage". Green Party. 22 May 2009. Retrieved 2012-04-29.
- Stamp, Gavin (21 September 2010). "Lib Dems call for end to barriers to gay marriage". BBC. Retrieved 2012-04-29.
- Equal Civil Marriage: A Consultation Response. Plaid Cymru - the Party of Wales. http://www.partyofwales.org/uploads/downloads/Equal_Marriage_Consultation_Plaid_Cymru_Response_13-6.pdf
- "UK News, World News and Opinion". The Times. Retrieved 2012-04-29.
- "Gay marriage: torn asunder from reality". The Guardian (London). 27 February 2012. Retrieved 2012-04-29.
- "Equal Partners". The Independent (London). Retrieved 2013-01-27.
- "Majority of MPs indicate that they will vote for same-sex marriage in England and Wales". Pink News. 16 January 2013. Retrieved 2013-01-16.
- McDonald, Henry (1 October 2012). "Northern Ireland assembly rejects motion on gay marriage". The Guardian (London).
- Telegraph View (15 March 2012). "A marriage proposal fraught with pitfalls". The Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved 2012-04-29.
- Roberts, Scott (26 October 2012). "Nick Griffin: Civil partnerships lead to death of children". Retrieved 12 February 2013.
- Roberts, Scott (16 November 2012). "‘No intention to support same-sex marriage’ says UKIP". Pink News. Retrieved 17 April 2014.
- Daily Mail Comment (16 March 2012). "Where's the demand for gay marriage law?". Daily Mail (London). Retrieved 2012-04-29.
- Park, James (8 April 2012). "Sunday Times disagrees with sister paper The Times over allowing gay couples to marry". PinkNews.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-08-11.
- Smith-Spark, Laura; Shubert, Atika (5 February 2013). "UK lawmakers approve same-sex marriage in first vote". CNN.
- Anthony Faiola (25 February 2011). "British Conservatives lead charge for gay marriage". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2012-04-29.
- Schofield, Kevin (10 December 2012). "Tories at war". London: The Sun. Retrieved 2012-10-12.
- Maddox, David (5 February 2013). "Same-sex marriage vote goes through as Tories split". The Scotsman.
- "New poll: Most Conservative voters support David Cameron’s same-sex marriage policy". PinkNews.co.uk. 26 December 2012. Retrieved 18 July 2013.
- "Equal marriage: The Government’s response". HM Government. 11 December 2012. Retrieved 2012-12-11.
- "Government: Churches will be able to marry gay couples from next year". Pink News. 11 December 2012. Retrieved 2012-12-11.
- "Gay marriage: MPs set to vote on proposals for the first time". BBC News. 24 January 2013.
- "Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill 2012-13 to 2013-14". Parliament of the United Kingdom.
- Bowcott, Owen (5 February 2013). "Gay marriage: some legal inequalities will remain". The Guardian (London).
- "Gay marriage: Legislation passes Commons despite Tory opposition". BBC News. 5 February 2013.
- "Parliamentary business for Monday 20 May 2013". Parliament UK. Retrieved 10 May 2013.
- "Parliamentary business for Tuesday 21 May 2013". Parliament UK. Retrieved 10 May 2013.
- "Gay marriage: Commons passes Cameron's plan". BBC News. 21 May 2013. Retrieved 21 May 2013.
- "21 May 2013". Parliamentary Debates (Hansard) (House of Lords). col. 834.
- "House of Lords votes in favour of same-sex marriage bill at second reading". Pink News. Retrieved 4 June 2013.
- Bingham, John (15 July 2013). "Gay marriage clears the House of Lords". The Daily Telegraph (London).
- "Same-sex marriage set to enter law later this week". BBC News. 16 July 2013. Retrieved 16 July 2013.
- "First Same Sex weddings to happen from 29 March 2014". Retrieved 16 January 2014.
- "Congratulations! England and Wales begin to recognise overseas same-sex marriages". Pink News. 13 March 2014. Retrieved 13 March 2014.
- "Sajid Javid: I am pleased to announce that couples can soon convert civil partnerships to marriage". Pink News. 26 June 2014. Retrieved 27 June 2014.
- Letter from The Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP (Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport and Minister for Equalities) to The Rt Hon Nick Clegg MP dated 3 July 2014
- Sam McBride (2013-06-26). "Assembly members vote to block gay marriage - Belfast Newsletter". Newsletter.co.uk. Retrieved 2014-01-06.
- "Same-sex marriage law bid fails". Belfast Telegraph. Retrieved 29 April 2013.
- Smart, Carol; Heaphy, Brian; Einarsdottir, Anna (2013). Same sex marriages: new generations, new relationships. Genders and sexualities in the social sciences. Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 9780230300231.