Friday , 22 February 2019

Congratulations Scotland: One year to Equal Marriage and counting

Equal Marriage One Year and Counting

Paul Coleshill and Tony Ozell
Paul Coleshill and Tony Ozell

Equal marriage came into effect in Scotland a year ago today. Around 2000 same-sex couples have married during the year.

Paul Coleshill and Tony Ozell, as well as Scott and David Barclay were one of the first couples in Scotland to convert their civil partnership to marriage at the Glasgow City Council Registration Office as soon as it opened a year ago, first thing in the morning.

Scott and David Barclay were joined by family and friends, Scottish Government Minister Marco Biagi MSP, who yesterday signed the new law into effect, Glasgow City Council’s chief registrar Fiona Borland, and representatives from the Equality Network, to celebrate their marriage and mark the start of the new law.

Nathan Paul Young Gale, Tom French, Scott Barclay, David Barclay and Marco Biagi at Glasgow City Council
Nathan Paul Young Gale, Tom French, Scott Barclay, David Barclay and Marco Biagi at Glasgow City Council

Tim Hopkins, Director of the Equality Network, told KaleidoScot: “It’s been a great year for equal marriage in Scotland, with around 2000 same-sex couples registering a marriage so far – more than expected, and proportionately more than south of the border. Congratulations to all those couples, and thanks again to everyone who campaigned for equal marriage!”

“Married trans people can also now get gender recognition without divorcing, but we’re still waiting for the arrangements to be put in place so they can obtain their new marriage certificates. And the big piece of unfinished business from the equal marriage campaign is that we still don’t have equal civil partnership – we’ll be continuing to campaign for that.”

Speaking with KaleidoScot, Gerrie and Susan Douglas-Scott, who were one of the first same-sex marriages in Scotland –  attended by Nicola Sturgeon and Patrick Harvie – said: “On this day one year ago we handed on our Marriage Schedule, along with many couples, so that we could all be married as the bells tolled at midnight 31st December 2014.

Susan Douglas-Scott and Gerrie Douglas-Scott  marry, their witnesses Nicola Sturgeon and Patrick Harvie
Susan Douglas-Scott and Gerrie Douglas-Scott marry, their witnesses Nicola Sturgeon and Patrick Harvie

“It was a day we could never forget; we were legally married by the wonderful Fiona Borland Chief Registrar of Glasgow.  It was such a joy, we could finally say I do to each other and be heard, recognised, celebrate and cherish this moment like everyone else.  And that’s the point, this day was not just a big step in the right direction for us, but for the whole of Scotland, as we aspire to become a more accepting, inclusive and fairer society.

“At the same time we recognise there is still a long road ahead, and LGBTI people still face major problems even when they are getting married by us as Humanist Celebrants;  We recently had a couple ask us to marry them, but begged us to keep it in secret and were visibly shocked when they understood that Susan and I are married.  And they were from a well educated and affluent part of Scotland.

“So, congratulations to Scotland, campaigners and all the couples who opened themselves and showed it could be done, we’ve seen tremendous advancements both socially and legally, but there is still lots to do.”

MSP Margaret McCulloch tweeted earlier today: “Today Scotland marks a whole year since our first same-sex marriage. Well done everyone who made it possible.”

About Dan Littauer

Dan Littauer is a journalist who specializes in LGBTI current affairs, travel writing, feature writing and investigative journalism. He is a correspondent for LGBTQ Nation, ManAboutWorld, and previously worked for Gay Star News, PinkNews, San Diego Gay and Lesbian News, Gay Middle East, Lonely Planet as well as contributing occasionally to the BBC, Al-Jazeera, CNN and The Guardian. He also had an extensive career outside journalism, which included teaching psychoanalysis and social science, and consultancy work for the travel market. When he is not busy writing, he can be spotted rambling around the stunning Scottish landscape, where he lives, spending time at home with his cat.

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