1. Gay couples in England and Wales will be able to get married from March 29, 2014, it has been announced.
A government statement reads:
“The government has been working hard to ensure that all the arrangements are in place to enable same-sex couples to marry as soon as possible.
As a result of this work, the first same-sex weddings can now happen several months earlier than anticipated, subject to Parliament’s approval of various statutory instruments, to be laid in the new year.”
3. Women and Equalities Minister Maria Miller made the announcement today.
Under the new legislation, couples wishing to get married on the first possible day will need to give formal notice of their intention by March 14. Details on giving notice can be found here.
4. Ms Miller said:
Marriage is one of our most important institutions and from 29 March 2014 it will be open to everyone, irrespective of whether they fall in love with someone of the same or opposite sex.
5. The Marriage (Same-Sex Couples) Act made it through parliament in June this year.
The timetable announced today also confirmed that same-sex couples married abroad under foreign law and currently treated as civilly partnered will be officially recognised as married by March 2014. The government also said that it is working toward civilly partnered couples being able to convert their status to marriage, and married people wanting to change their legal gender to be able to do so while remaining married. They aim to do this before the end of 2014.
6. The minister added:
This is just another step in the evolution of marriage and I know that many couples up and down the country will be hugely excited that they can now plan for their big day and demonstrate their love and commitment to each other by getting married.