Neil Allard and Andrew Wale were amongst the first same-sex couples to be married in England and Wales, as their wedding ceremony took place at the Royal Pavillion in Brighton just after midnight last night. While the Rainbow Flag flew alongside the Union Flag in London, the LGBT community in the UK celebrated the major milestone of marriage equality in the two most populous countries of the UK.
British Prime Minister, David Cameron, congratulated the couples who had planned their wedding ceremonies for today, as the Marriage (Same-Sex Couples) Act came into effect throughout England and Wales. He posted on Twitter:
Congratulations to the gay couples who have already been married – and my best wishes to those about to be on this historic day.
— David Cameron (@David_Cameron) March 29, 2014
Mr Cameron also said that the introduction of equal marriage in England and Wales sends out a “powerful message” about Britain.
However, while Scotland’s own marriage equality legislation will come into effect later this year, Northern Ireland remains the only part of the UK where same-sex marriage is not on the political agenda. Protests are taking place across Northern Ireland this weekend to highlight this difference between the region and the rest of the UK, with demonstrations taking place in Belfast yesterday and in Derry~Londonderry earlier today.
Despite protests, it seems that the Stormont Assembly in Belfast has no intentions to introduce legislation that would bring the region back on par with the rest of the United Kingdom. Instead, many groups, such as Amnesty International NI, say that the only way for equal marriage to be brought to Northern Ireland is by way of legal action via the courts.
– Video via Euronews.