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Same-Sex Marriage Is Now Legal In Scotland

Couples who already had a civil partnership have been getting married all over Scotland today.

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Scotland voted to legalise same-sex marriage in February, following in the footsteps of England and Wales, where same-sex couples have been able to get married since March. Northern Ireland remains the only part of the UK where same-sex marriage is illegal and has no plans to change the law.

From today, Scottish couples who are already in civil partnerships can take advantage of the new rules to convert their status to married.

Other same-sex couples in Scotland can give 15 days notice of their intention to wed, meaning the first Scottish same-sex weddings will take place on Hogmanay, which is 31 December.

The new legislation was used for the first time shortly after midnight, when Pretsell and Gloster converted their civil partnership at the British consulate in Sydney.

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The couple told the BBC's Good Morning Scotland:

We always considered our civil partnership to be our marriage, but in the eyes of the law and society it wasn't held in the same regard. Prior to today, same-sex couples were deliberately treated as though our relationships were inferior and not worthy of the same recognition or respect. Well, from today it's official, we are married and we have the certificate to prove it.

The Scottish parliament passed the same-sex marriage act in February with a huge majority of 105 votes to 18.

As the laws came into effect, Scotland's first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, said: "I believe that the love between a couple, regardless of their gender, sexuality, belief or background, is powerful and should be valued and recognised."

A proud day for Scotland & equality. #equalmarriage

Gerry Hassan@GerryHassanFollow

A proud day for Scotland & equality. #equalmarriage

9:22 AM - 16 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Civil partnerships are being converted into marriages all over Scotland.

That's it, Martin and I are officially married. First ones in Irvine! #equalmarriage

Matt K. McGuire@mattkmcguireFollow

That's it, Martin and I are officially married. First ones in Irvine! #equalmarriage

10:32 AM - 16 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

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That's us officially Married Just converted our Civil Partnership. 😃 #equalmarriage

Sam Riggs@SamRiggs91Follow

That's us officially Married Just converted our Civil Partnership. #equalmarriage

10:04 AM - 16 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Now legally married to my wife! #equalmarriage

Woohoo! We Are Married! #EqualMarriage @LGBTIScotland

Pipa Riggs@Pipa_RiggsFollow

Woohoo! We Are Married! #EqualMarriage @LGBTIScotland

9:38 AM - 16 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Others are now on the hunt for a potential Scottish spouse.

So excited for #equalmarriage Time to start lining up chaps. Who wants this?

Themo H Peel@ThemoHPeelFollow

So excited for #equalmarriage Time to start lining up chaps. Who wants this?

9:55 AM - 16 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Merry #equalmarriage (for people in civil partnerships already - 31st for others) day! To celebrate I have proposed to a friend of mine.

Chris Belous@belouschrisFollow

Merry #equalmarriage (for people in civil partnerships already - 31st for others) day! To celebrate I have proposed to a friend of mine.

9:43 AM - 16 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Available in Scotland today: Gay marriages for all! Get them while they’re hot. #equalmarriage

Bunny Wubb@bennywebbFollow

Available in Scotland today: Gay marriages for all! Get them while they’re hot. #equalmarriage

9:18 AM - 16 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Thank you Scotland. My friends and I can all now marry the person we love, whoever that might be. #equalmarriage

Lee Samuel@LeeSamuelFollow

Thank you Scotland. My friends and I can all now marry the person we love, whoever that might be. #equalmarriage

9:26 AM - 16 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Jamie Ross is a Scotland reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Edinburgh.

Contact Jamie Ross at jamie.ross@buzzfeed.com.

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