We’re delighted that moments ago the Government in Westminster announced the timetable for the implementation of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act in England and Wales.
Same-sex couples will now be able to get married in a registry or approved religious premises from 29 March 2014. We’re particularly pleased that, following pressure from Stonewall, ministers have been persuaded to bring forward the commencement date from summer 2014 as they’d originally proposed. There will be a slight further delay for people who want to ‘convert’ from civil partnerships to marriage.
This historic step will mean that, for the first time, every gay person in England and Wales will finally enjoy exactly the same rights as their heterosexual friends and family.
Don’t forget if you are thinking of booking a date for your big day in the New Year, it’s now against the law for any business to treat someone less fairly because of their sexual orientation – whether they’re a registry office, a hotel or a florist. If you experience any problems, do contact Stonewall’s Information Service on 08000 50 20 20 or firstname.lastname@example.org for advice or support.
It’s particularly resonant for us that this announcement has been made on UN Human Rights Day. As we celebrate the progress made in Britain, we’re marking the day by launching new guidance for equality activists worldwide. The guide, which is free to download, and further details of Stonewall’s work with international LGB & T activists in over 35 countries can be found at: www.stonewall.org.uk/international
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