Gay Lesbian Same Sex Wedding Marriage Guide

Gay Lesbian Same Sex

Wedding

Marriage

Guide

Gay Lesbian Same Sex  Wedding  Marriage  Guide~

Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013 came into force and the first gay marriages took place at one minute past midnight on Saturday 29 March 2014

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First gay marriage takes place in London

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1. Civil partners can’t marry (yet). The Government says those in civil partnerships cannot get married until systems are updated, which they should happen before the end of the year. Civil partners will be able to “convert” a partnership into marriage in the future, but are under no obligation to do so. When a civil partnership is converted into a marriage, the civil partnership will come to an end and the marriage will be treated as though it had existed from the date of the civil partnership.

2. There is a consultation about the future of civil partnerships. A consultation on the future of the Civil Partnership Act 2004 is currently in progress, closing on 17 April 2014. Some of the questions under consideration: now that we have same sex marriage, should civil partnerships be abolished? Or should their validity be restricted to those who have already entered into them? Or, instead, should civil partnership be opened up to opposite sex couples?

Same sex marriage is seen as being more of a spiritual  commitment than a civil partnership. To enter into a civil partnership, you have to sign a document. By contrast, a marriage ceremony also requires an oral contract: in other words, you have to stand up and speak.

3. Same sex marriages from overseas are already recognised here. Same sex marriages contracted under foreign law are recognised as marriages in England and Wales. This applies to marriages entered into in the future, as well as current marriages. However the Civil Partnership Act 2004 does not provide a mechanism for civil partnerships celebrated according to the laws of other countries to be converted into a marriage.

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4. For same sex spouses, adultery cannot be given as the reason for divorce. Nor will same sex spouses be able to have the marriage annulled on the grounds of non-consummation. Although not defined in statute, case law defines adultery as sexual intercourse between persons of the opposite sex. So a man can be divorced because of a sexual relationship with another woman, but cannot be divorced because of his sexual relationship with another man.

Stonewall, the gay rights group, has pointed out that even if this persists, a gay spouse can still petition for divorce on the basis of their partner’s unreasonable behaviour. This could include having an ‘inappropriate relationship’ with another person.

However I would also like to point out that technically speaking, there is one scenario in which a same sex married couple could divorce because of “adultery”. This would be if one spouse entered into a sexual relationship with a member of the opposite sex.

5. When it comes to pensions, gay married couples cannot yet count on equality. Instead, they are to be treated in the same way as civil partners: by law, they are only required to be treated equally with married couples of the opposite sex with regard to “pensionable service” on or after December 2005.

At present, a loophole in the Equality Act 2010 permits private occupational pension schemes todisregard years of contributions by gay employees and limit survivor benefits for civil partners. The Department for Work and Pensions is currently reviewing the imbalance, so the situation may change in the future.

6. The new Act is also good news for transsexual spouses. Until now, a transsexual person could not be married, if he or she was to get a Gender Recognition Certificate. This certificate gives its holder all the same rights as other people of his or her acquired gender. The restriction was in place because, under UK law, a marriage was only valid if it was contracted by two people of the opposite sex in law. In effect, the new Act means that a spouse who undergoes gender assignment, but who wishes to remain married, can now do both.


What is gay marriage?

Same-sex marriage (also known as gay marriage) is marriage between two people of the same sex. Legal recognition of same-sex marriage or the possibility to perform a same-sex marriage is sometimes referred to as marriage equality or equal marriage, particularly by supporters.The legalisation of same-sex marriage is characterised as “redefining marriage” by many opponents.

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The first laws enabling same-sex marriage in modern times were enacted during the first decade of the 21st century. As of 1 January 2015, seventeen countries (Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and Uruguay) and certain sub-national jurisdictions (parts of Mexico, a majority of the United States) allow same-sex couples to marry.

Historical Background

Male homosexual activity was illegal in the UK until 1967. In the aftermath of the Second World War, convictions for homosexual offences increased markedly, with several high profile figures being prosecuted, leading to increased public pressure for a re-assessment of the law.

Subsequently, the Departmental Committee on Homosexual Offences and Prostitution in Great Britain, headed by Sir John Wolfenden, was set up by the Conservative government in 1954. The resultant Wolfenden Report published in 1957 concluded that criminalisation of homosexuality was an impingement on civil liberty and that homosexual acts between consenting adults in private should not be an offence.

However, the Cabinet at that time declined to implement the Wolfenden recommendations and it was not until a decade later that the Sexual Offences Act of 1967 decriminalised homosexual activity between consenting adults and set the age of homosexual consent at 21, later reduced to 18.

There was no statutory age of consent for lesbian sex until the Sexual Offences Amendment Act 2000 which equalised the age of consent for homosexual and heterosexual men and women to 16 in England, Wales and Scotland. In Northern Ireland the equalised age of consent was reduced to 16 in 2008.

The first civil partnership in the UK was registered on 5 December 2005 between Christopher Cramp and Matthew Roche at Barnabas Hospice, Worthing, West Sussex. The couple were allowed to forego the statutory 15 day waiting period as Matthew Roche was terminally ill with cancer and died the following day.

The first civil partnership in the UK registered after the waiting period was between two women, Shannon Sickles and Grainne Close, at Belfast City Hall, Northern Ireland. This was followed by registrations in Scotland on 20 December 2005 and in England and Wales on 21 December 2005.

Of the Crown Dependencies, the Isle of Man legislated to allow civil partnerships in April 2011 and similar legislation is expected to be enacted in Jersey by April 2012. Civil partnerships have not yet been adopted in Guernsey, although gay rights groups are currently lobbying for their introduction.

Elsewhere in the world, gay marriage has been allowed by some countries since the turn of the century. The Netherlands became the first to legalise same sex marriage in 2001, followed by Belgium in 2003, Spain and Canada 2005, South Africa 2006, Norway and Sweden 2009, and Portugal, Iceland and Argentina in 2010. A few states in the US have also introduced same-sex marriage and others are campaigning to do so.

There are a number of other countries which have stopped short of allowing gay marriage but have introduced civil unions or registered partnerships for same-sex couples.

Gay Lesbian Same Sex  Wedding  Marriage  Guide steel band

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Controversies

Despite the aspirations of gay rights groups, and the progress made so far, gay marriage and civil partnerships remain highly controversial issues.

The decision to amend the Civil Partnership Act 2004 in order to remove the prohibition on religious premises registering civil partnerships was widely criticised. The Government acknowledged that a large number of respondents to the consultation opposed the change, but insisted it was committed to “taking this important step for religious freedom and LGB rights”.

The Church of England and the Roman Catholic Church stated that they would not allow their premises to be used for the registration of civil partnerships.

Equally controversial was the Government’s announcement that a public consultation on extending civil marriage to same sex couples would be held in 2012 with a view to implementing the changes by 2015.

The Archbishop of Westminster, the Most Reverend Vincent Nichols, said: “To respect a life-long partnership is one thing and to call it a marriage, if you like to annexe the territory of marriage, is something quite different…..I am very disappointed that the Government seems to be choosing this direction.”

Former Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Carey, described the proposal to legalise gay marriage as “one of the greatest political power grabs in history.” Lord Carey said: “The state does not ‘own’ the institution of marriage. Nor does the church. The honourable estate of matrimony precedes both the state and the church, and neither of these institutions have the right to redefine it in such a fundamental way.”

However, Equalities minister Lynne Featherstone said she wanted to “challenge the view” that the Government had no right to change marriage. “It is the Government’s fundamental job to reflect society and to shape the future, not stay silent where it has the power to act and change things for the better,” she said.

And she insisted that it was not a battle between gay rights and religious beliefs. “I believe that if a couple love each other and want to commit to a life together, they should have the option of a civil marriage, irrespective of whether they are gay or straight,” she said. “We are not prioritising gay rights, or trampling over tradition; we are allowing a space for the two to exist side by side.”

Although Christian churches are opposed to gay marriage, they all warn against intolerance of, and discrimination against, homosexuals. They all also face calls from dissenting groups within their churches for the issue of gay marriage to be reconsidered

Homosexuality is forbidden under Islam, but there are increasing reports of gay Muslims seeking equality. And although Orthodox Judaism considers homosexuality to be a violation of Jewish law, Progressive Judaism does not.

British Quakers agreed in 2009 to treat same sex committed relationships in the same way as opposite sex marriages and the British Unitarian Church is also seeking the right to hold marriages for same sex couples.

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Gay Lesbian Same Sex  Wedding  Marriage  Guide steel band

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Statistics

The provisional number of civil partnerships in the UK in 2010 was 6,385, an increase of  1.7 per cent since 2009.
For the first time in the UK in 2010 more female than male civil partnerships were formed.
The average (mean) age of men forming a civil partnership in the UK in 2010 was 40.6 years. For women the average age was 38.4 years.
By the end of 2010, 1.6 per cent of male civil partnerships in the UK had ended in dissolution, while 3.3 per cent of all UK female partnerships had ended in dissolution.
In 2010, less than one person (0.5) per 1,000 unmarried adults aged 16 and over entered into a civil partnership in England and Wales.

Source: Office for National Statistics 2011

65% of LGB secondary school pupils experience homophobic bullying at school.
One in five gay or lesbian people have experienced a homophobic hate crime or incident in the last three years.
Between 50% and 90% of LGB people anticipate being discriminated against if they were to run for election as a member of a mainstream political party.
Homosexuality is still illegal in over 70 countries worldwide and punishable by death in eight.

Source: Home Office – 2011

Gay Lesbian Same Sex  Wedding  Marriage  Guide steel band~

Quotes

“The fact that same-sex marriage has been legalised on three continents demonstrates progress in equality. However, while the right to same-sex marriage may be viewed as the last step in ending discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation, legalisation does not end discrimination, either by officials or other people.”

Boris O. Dittrich, acting director of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Rights Programme at Human Rights Watch – 2011
“Conservatives believe in the ties that bind us; that society is stronger when we make vows to each other and support each other. So I don’t support gay marriage despite being a Conservative; I support gay marriage because I’m a Conservative.”

The Prime Minister, David Cameron, in a speech to the Conservative Party Conference – October 2011.
“Marriage is a right of passage for couples who want to show they are in a committed relationship, for people who want to show they have found love and wish to remain together until death do them part. Why should we deny it to people who happen to be gay or lesbian who wish to show that commitment and share it with their family, friends and everybody else?”

Equalities Minister Lynne Featherstone – February 2012

Gay Lesbian Same Sex  Wedding  Marriage  Guide

 Licensed Gay-Welcoming Wedding Venues – UK

Southernhay Church, Devon

Clerkenwell Centre, London

Elmore Court, Gloucestershire

The Well, London

Chiswell Street Dining Rooms, London

Beaumont Estate, Berkshire

Selsdon Park, Surrey

The White Swan, London

Museum of London Docklands, London

One Canada Square, London

Little Ship Club, London

Risley Hall, Derbyshire

Eastwood Hall, Nottinghamshire

28 Portland Place, London

Ashdown Park, East Sussex

Hotel Russell, London

Morland Hall, Cumbria

Wotton House, Surrey

East Wintergarden, London

Strattons, Norfolk

The Lowry, Manchester

St. David’s Hotel, Cardiff

Grand Connaught Rooms, London

Soho Hotel, London

Park Hall Country House, Worcestershire

The Mallard Suite, Uxbridge

Coq d’Argent, London

Ash Barton Estate, Devon

Pentillie Castle, Cornwall

Rosewood Hotel, London

Stoke Newington Town Hall, London

Swan, Shakespeare’s Globe, London

Hotel du Vin, Brighton

Trevor Hall, Denbighshire, Wales

Eltham Palace London

Newbattle Abbey

Southernhay House

Woodhall Manor

Portmeirion, Wales

Kenilworth Castle

350e4e6adf9b0950e5f384d8f1ac7960

Architecturally Stunning

Innately stylish, Aviator – a hotel by TAG – binds the timeless glamour of aviation with seductive interiors and architecturally-stunning spaces to create the perfect backdrop for breath-taking and memorable civil partnership and wedding celebrations.

Located in Hampshire, Aviator is one of the most striking and stylish design hotels of recent times. Few architectural and interior designs will make a bigger impact.

Bespoke Planning

A unique venue that inspires couples to do things differently, Aviator can cater for wedding and civil partnership celebrations for up to 200 guests and offers a range of stylish and versatile event spaces. Both civil partnerships and weddings at Aviator are centred around PURE, Aviator’s bespoke wedding planning service, specially designed to help couples realise their dreams and create a flawless wedding day.

Designed to provide a step by step civil partnership and wedding planning service tailored to individual requirements and budgets, PURE also provides a signature list of ideas and options that are expertly selected for every scale of celebration, to help guide and inspire couples. They can even arrange for your very own private jet to whisk you away on your honeymoon in style.

~21ff4b0de30aea5cbc6d8145826bd480Burgh Island, Art Deco gay welcoming hotel and wedding venue, Devon

Gay Wedding Steel Band Hire
Gay Wedding Steel Band Hire

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