Gay marriages have begun in England and Wales!

At the stroke of midnight, Friday night (8pm Eastern time US), gay marriage became legal in England and Wales, and the first gay wedding ceremonies commenced.

Scotland passed its own gay marriage law this past February – marriages should start there this coming October.

Our English tweeps report that Sky News showed a live wedding taking place at midnight.  Nice.

Here’s one of the weddings!

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Sean and Sinclair were married at midnight.

And another! This is Peter and David – more on them here.

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The BBC has more:

Long-term couple Teresa Millward and Helen Brearley plan to get married on Saturday morning.

The pair, who will wed in Halifax, have not had a civil partnership because they believed it did not offer the same rights as marriage.

Ms Brearley said the new legislation puts them on a more equal footing with heterosexual married couples.

Ms Millward, her fiancee, added: “The certificate we get on the day will be the same as the certificate that my dad has with his wife, that my mum has with her husband, that my brother has with his wife and that my sister has with her husband.

“There will be no difference, so in that case, there is true equality.”

British gay rights leader Peter Tatchell has an article out explaining how they won:

The battle for equal marriage in England and Wales did not begin a year or two ago. It started way back in 1992 when the LGBT direct action group OutRage! organised the first challenge to the ban on same-sex civil marriage. Five lesbian and gay couples from OutRage! filed marriage licence applications at Westminster Register Office in London on 19 March 1992. They were refused. But this was the opening shot in the long campaign for equal marriage….

Securing same-sex marriage was ultimately the cumulative, collective effort of many LGBT organisations and tens of the thousands of grassroots LGBT people – and our many straight allies – who signed petitions, made submissions to the government, lobbied their MPs and wrote letters to newspapers. Bravo!

The Brits have a poll out showing that 20% of people over there would turn down an invitation to a gay couple’s wedding. That doesn’t strike me as terribly high – we’d probably have the same number here.

As legislation in England and Wales allowing gay couples to marry comes into force on Saturday, the BBC Radio 5 live survey also found men were nearly twice as likely to stay away as women.

The poll of 1,007 people found 68% agreed gay marriage should be permitted, with 26% opposing it.

One gay rights charity said people’s attitudes were “incredibly positive”.

A spokesman for lesbian, gay and bisexual charity Stonewall said it was important to highlight the fact that four in five people would accept an invitation to a gay wedding.

But Catholic Voices, which represents the Catholic Church, said the findings of the survey reflected the reality that people remained “deeply uncomfortable” with being honest about their true feelings on the meaning of marriage.

People remain deeply uncomfortable?  We’re at 80% in that poll, Mary.  If anything that number suggests that your hate and intolerance remains deeply marginalized.


(I’m told that in order to better see my Facebook posts in your feed, you need to “follow” me.)


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown (1989); and worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, and as a stringer for the Economist. Frequent TV pundit: O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline & Reliable Sources. Bio, .

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  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    Oy… I imagine they’d also have considered slavery abolitionists the ‘true racists.’

  • Monophylos Fortikos

    Oh, by the way, supporters of marriage equality are the true bigots. The Mail said so.

  • Bill_Perdue

    It’s another big win for our sisters and brothers in England and very gratifying. They kept pushing and pushing and finally won another victory. This one was won when the Labour party mobilized to defeat the anti-marriage equality groups in the Conservative party. “The government’s gay marriage bill was saved after David Cameron was forced to rely on Ed Miliband (Labour leader – BP) to defeat an attempt by his own MPs to derail the measure by trying to extend civil partnerships to heterosexual couples. An 11th-hour plea to the Labour leadership by the Tory chief whip Sir George Young… http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/may/21/labour-cameron-gay-marriage-bill

    Most of the victories of the LGBT communities in England, including the overturn of the Tories Section 8, have come from Labour governments, often because of pressure from the EU.

    Democrats in the US share massive campaigns of union busting, plans for austerity and a propensity for wars of aggression with the Tories. Democrats are the American equivalent of the English Conservatives. “Obama says he’d be seen as moderate Republican in the 1980’s – “The truth of the matter is that my policies are so mainstream that if I had set the same policies that I had back in the 1980s, I would be considered a moderate Republican…” http://thehill.com/blogs/on-the-money/domestic-taxes/272957-obama-says-his-economic-policies-so-mainstream-hed-be-seen-as-moderate-republican-in-1980s

  • FLL

    In proper sexphobic 19th-century tradition, you must associate with your wife only for the purposes of procreation, using the sex-through-a-hole-in-the-sheet method, and hope that you don’t eventually put arsenic in each other’s tea. Bonne chance.

  • Monophylos Fortikos

    Wait…doesn’t that mean that nobody can have sex ever? I mean, a bodily urge is a bodily urge no matter who’s involved, and even Biblically sanctioned coitus is a pleasure and an indulgence–at least it should be. I can’t speak for the pleasurableness of any of your own sexual congresses. If any.

  • The_Fixer

    Well… aren’t you the little party pooper! Guess you really told us!

    Funny, they’ve tried and tried to cure this disease, an any attempts has so far resulted in deleterious effects for the subjects of such trials. Additionally, all sober scientific inquiry finds that homosexuality is part of the natural condition, as is heterosexuality.

    I’m not too hot on your idea that every pleasure or indulgence leads to a weakening of the human body. In fact, some can strengthen the body and mind. Your declaration sounds an awful lot like Catholicism, from which I made a thoughtful, full speed run long ago.

    And this business of “And the way to power lies through suffering.” is what unscrupulous human beings have been telling the masses for thousands of years. Curiously, they’ve never led by example. Wonder why that is…

    In the end, suffering is suffering, and it is seldom noble when it can be prevented. To say otherwise is deserving of ridicule.

    I also fear you live in a very dark and confused world when you say things like “If a man is honest with himself, he will see clearly how bad he is that, that he has neither individuality nor conscience.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    I think he needs to self-flagellate more vigorously and crank that Celice a few turns tighter. I’m sure that’ll make him feel so much better.

    Mortify that naughty flesh!

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    Honestly? I don’t like weddings, and in my half century on this here planet, I’ve been to my share of ‘em. My wife and I were glad just to dash off to the County Clerk in San Bernardino last August, with just one good friend in attendance as a witness.

    I don’t refuse to go to weddings. But if there’s a handy excuse to decline and just send a nice present…

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    And what about us women? Oh right — according to your violent Bronze-age myths, we’re not actually people at all, but property.

    Thank you, but no.

  • PeteWa

    good old lying catholic voices!

  • pappyvet

    The Bible contains six admonishments to homosexuals and 362 admonishments to heterosexuals. That doesn’t mean that God doesn’t love heterosexuals. It’s just that they need more supervision. ~Lynn Lavner

  • Dave of the Jungle

    All righty then…

  • pappyvet

    Brilliant !

  • rextrek1

    hey asshole – U aint any better then anyone else- just cause’ you’re a muff diver and pounder…mmmmkayyyyy

  • caphillprof

    I wonder how many don’t like weddings or refuse to go to weddings generally regardless of the genders of the couple? I also wonder whether there is a difference between I won’t go to a hypothetical same-sex marriage and I won’t go to my nephew’s same-sex marriage?

  • samNH

    Obviously, not much.

  • coemgenus

    Hows the medication working out mate?

  • Vitaly Klitschko

    Gay marriage is nothing more than a celebration of disease.

    Gurdjieff Work involves temporary suffering to avoid eternal suffering. And it is the body which must suffer. Because a real man, as opposed to a man in quotation marks, is master of his body. Every pleasure, every indulgence weakens the organism.

    A man has a choice, remain a piece of meat ruled from below by his bodily urges – or develop personal power. And the way to power lies through suffering. If a man is honest with himself, he will see clearly how bad he is that, that he has neither individuality nor conscience.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    To quote an old Irish saying, “May the bigots gag on their hatred and intolerance.”

    No wait. that’s not an Irish saying at all. That’s just me bein’ happy.

  • 2patricius2

    “Catholic Voices, which represents the Catholic Church…” Which means Catholic Voices, which represents the bishops of the Catholic Church. My guess is that Catholic laity in England are at least as supportive of marriage equality as Catholic laity in the US. Which means well over 60%.

  • http://www.bloomsburyreview.com Webster

    Jolly Good!

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