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One year since same sex marriage

Published: 31 Dec 2015 00:01

Anniversary of same sex legislation taking effect in Scotland.

Around 2,000 same sex couples have married in Scotland since legislation took effect in December, 2014.

1,137 couples have changed civil partnerships to marriages, while another 573 new couples have married – based on figures from National Records of Scotland up until September 2015

Celebrating a year since the first same sex marriage ceremonies took place, Communities Minister Marco Biagi said: "December 31, 2014 was a momentous day for equality in Scotland. We are now a year on, and around 2,000 people have been able to marry the person they love.

"This is something to celebrate. Scotland has shown the kind of country it is by leading the way, and ensuring we are a fairer and more equal country.

"For those couples who married a year ago today we'd like to say 'happy anniversary', and celebrate in the knowledge that many more same sex couples can show their love and commitment to each other through a marriage ceremony in the same way as any other couple."

Susan and Gerrie Douglas-Scott were one of the first couples to be married on the historic day, tying the knot at 00:01 on Hogmanay 2014. Gerrie said: "Being supported in our marriage by Scottish law has meant so much to us and our children - a fairer, more just Scotland.

"Let's take it further to reach all of those who are still struggling to be accepted within their communities. This is what we hope for, and know it will come."

Notes to editors

Background

The provisions relating to same sex marriage in the Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Act 2014 were brought into force on December 16, 2014. In line with usual practice, there was a minimum notice period for marriage of 14 clear days. This is why the first same sex marriage ceremonies took place in Scotland on December 31, 2014.

Couples in an existing Scottish civil partnership have been able to change their relationship to a marriage, if they wish, through a simple administrative procedure since December 16, 2014. It is also possible for couples in a Scottish civil partnership to change their relationship into a marriage though having a marriage ceremony.

Couples in a civil partnership[ registered outwith Scotland are also now able to change their relationship into a marriage in Scotland though having a marriage ceremony. This aspect of the legislation came into force on October 31, 2015.

Religious and belief bodies who wish to solemnise same sex marriage must 'opt-in' to be authorised.

The Scottish Parliament voted to pass Same Sex Marriages in February 2014.

Quarter

Total marriages

Changes from Civil Partnerships to marriages

New relationships

Quarter 4, 2014

367

359

8

Quarter 1, 2015

443

332

111

Quarter 2, 2015

425

236

189

Quarter 3, 2015

475

210

265

Totals to Sept 2015

1,710

1,137

573