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Scotland Hosts UK's First Pagan Same-Sex Wedding

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The first pagan same-sex wedding in the United Kingdom took place in Edinburgh, Scotland last Sunday, reports LGBTQ Nation.

Scotland pagan weddingTom Lanting and Iain Robertson (both aged 34) have been together for 12 years. Both are Hedge Witches.

They were married in the 16th century cellars of Marlin’s Wynd (right) in Edinburgh's historic Old Town by Pagan Federation (Scotland) Presiding Officer Louise Park.

The ceremony included a number of Pagan traditions: casting a circle; invoking the elements of earth, air, water, fire and spirit; sharing a quaich of mead; handfasting; and jumping the broom.

The Pagan Federation - the largest umbrella group supporting the Pagan community in Scotland - has legally solemnized hundreds of same-sex marriages since 2005.


Church of Scotland Approves Ordination of Gay Ministers in Preliminary Vote

Gay Ministers

Almost two years ago the Church of Scotland approved a rule to allow for the ordination of gay and lesbian ministers. Now the Kirk has revealed the breakdown of the votes of the presbyteries: a total of 1,391 presbytery members voted in favor and 1,153 against, resulting in a 54.6% to 45.4% split. Additionally, 32 of 45 presbyteries backed proposals to allow ministers in civil partnerships.

The story isn't done just yet, however, as a final decision will be made at the General Assembly scheduled in May.

Same-sex marriage in Scotland began January 1. 


Same-Sex Marriage Begins in Scotland: VIDEO

SCOTLAND

Same-sex marriage is officially underway in Scotland. The nation's first same-sex wedding happened just moments ago, uniting Joe Schofield and Malcolm Brown at a humanist ceremony at the Trades Hall in Glasgow. Susan and Gerrie Douglas-Scott are also to be among the nation's first same-sex couples to tie the knot. Scotland's new marriage law went into effect earlier this month but couples had to wait the 15 days required by Scottish law before saying "I do." The BBC reports:

[First minister] Nicola Sturgeon and Scottish Green Party co-convener Patrick Harvie MSP will act as witnesses at the marriage of Susan and Gerrie, while Scotland's national poet Liz Lochhead and Scottish government minister Marco Biagi MSP are expected to attend the ceremony for Mr Schofield and Mr Brown.

A total of 250 couples have converted their civil partnerships to marriage since the new law - the Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Bill - came into effect on 16 December.

Scotland's first minister said: "This a momentous day for equality in Scotland, one where same sex couples have the right to marry the person that they love.

"I am personally proud that as Health Secretary, I led the consultation which started this journey. I said then that it was the right thing to do, and I believe that today.

"This will send a powerful message to people about the kind of country we are."

According to the Scottish government, 17 same-sex couples are expected to marry on Hogmanay.

UK BuzzFeed reporter Jamie Ross has been live tweeting the wedding of Schofield and Brown. Check out video and photo highlights of the couple's happy day, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Same-Sex Marriage Begins in Scotland: VIDEO" »


Gay Couple of 49 Years Among First to Convert Civil Partnership to Marriage in England

A gay couple together for almost 49 years were among the first to be married under new laws in England allowing civil partnerships to be converted to marriage, reports LogoTV.

Roger192Roger Lockyer (87) and Percy Steven (75) were among the first couples in England to enter into a civil partnership in 2005.

Lockyer said:

“To me, it feels like reaching the top. We really are married. Which is what we have been for nearly half a century of course. But to have formal recognition of that I think is something that’s so unexpected and wonderful.”

Steven said that he is most looking forward to finally joining the couple’s utility accounts because he can now “ask for an account in both names.”

Same-sex marriage became legal in Scotland on Tuesday.  Northern Ireland is now the only part of the UK where gay marriage remains illegal.


Same-Sex Marriage Now Legal In Scotland - VIDEO

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Same-sex couples can legally marry in Scotland now, reports Equality Network.

In February, Scotland became the seventeenth country in the world to legalise gay marriage. The Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Act 2014 received Royal Assent in March and government has since been implementing the new law, including passing required secondary legislation.

Equality network scotlandScotland is considered to have one of the most progressive marriage equality laws in the world. The legislation differs from same-sex marriage laws in England and Wales in a number of respects including better protections for transgender people. The law also allows any religious or belief body to opt in to conducting same-sex marriages and does not ban religious or belief bodies from opting out.

Religious and belief organisations already authorised to conduct same-sex marriages include the Humanist Society Scotland, the Quakers, the Liberal Jewish Community, the Metropolitan Community Church, One Spirit Interfaith Foundation and the Open Episcopal Church in Scotland.

Scottish couples in civil partnerships also now have the option to convert to marriage through a free administrative process. Same-sex marriages performed abroad will also now be recognized in Scotland.

The first couple to make use of the new law were Douglas Pretsell and Peter Gloster, who converted their Scottish civil partnership to a Scottish marriage at the British Consulate in Melbourne, Australia.

Scott and David Barclay will be the first couple to take advantage of the new law by converting their civil partnership to a marriage in Scotland.

With the standard 15 day notice period required, it is expected the first same-sex marriages will take place on Hogmanay (December 31st).

Watch a Huffington Post report on the legalization of same-sex marriage in Scotland, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Same-Sex Marriage Now Legal In Scotland - VIDEO" »


Scotland's First Gay Marriages to Take Place New Year's Eve

Scotland is set to stage its first same-sex weddings at the end of the year, following the Scottish Parliament's overwhelming vote of approval back in February.

BBC reports:

ScotlandThe Scottish government said the move was the right thing to do, but Scotland's two main churches - the Catholic Church and Church of Scotland - are opposed.

The legislation will see religious and belief bodies opting in to perform same-sex marriages, and ministers have stressed that no part of the religious community would be forced to hold such ceremonies in churches.

[Health Secretary Alex] Neil said the move was an "important signal that our nation is absolutely committed to the same rights for all our citizens".

He added that Hogmanay would be "a proud and no doubt emotional day for many" and said: "I, for one, can't wait."

Hogmanay is the Scots word for the last day of the year. 


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