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04/19/2007


Gay Marriage Officially Begins In England And Wales: VIDEO

GM3

As promised, same-sex marriage became legal a little while ago at midnight in England and Wales. Couples in both realms have already begun to say ‘I do’ and their friends and loved ones have taken to social media to help document this historic occasion. 

The couple pictured above were toasted on Twitter by Craig Baldwin (@goochus73): "You may now kiss the groom". Gay couple marry in historic moment in Camden Town Hall. #equalmarriage 

Though the identity of the first gay couple married in Britain is not certain at this point, the council of Islington, a district in greater London, had suggested that two of its residents, Peter McGraith and David Cabreza (pictured below), would be the first. Indeed, the happy pair have tied the knot, as Twitter user Andy Hull (@AndyHull79) shared: CONGRATULATIONS, Peter McGraith & David Cabreza, now Husband & Husband! #equalmarriage #makinghistory in @IslingtonBC.

Check out more images -- and a video! -- of McGraith and Cabreza along with those of other happy couples from across the pond, AFTER THE JUMP…

GM1

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Same-Sex Marriage Begins At Midnight In England And Wales: VIDEO

Couple

At midnight local time tonight, marriage equality will officially become the law of the land in England and Wales. The campaign has been hard fought but thanks to legislation passed last year and signed in July by Queen Elizabeth II, same-sex couples can finally enjoy the same rights and benefits as their heterosexual counterparts in Britain. 

Calling today, “a great step forward,” Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg seemed to soak in the historic nature of what Britain has achieved. From ITV:

"It's a landmark day," [Clegg] said. "I am so chuffed about this change in the law."

"It's just a simple idea that if two people love each other it doesn't matter that they're the same sex - if they love each other and want to show that commitment towards each other through marriage, they should be able to do so.”

As the Standard reports, Clegg also announced that the rainbow flag will be flown “above the Cabinet Office and Scotland Office from today.”

Labour leader Ed Miliband for his part spoke to ITV, calling this an "incredibly happy time" for same-sex couples as well as "an incredibly proud time for our country".

Andrew Wale and Neil Allard from Brighton (pictured above) will be one of the first couples to be wed after the stroke of midnight, joining many more across the country. The couple told ITV that being able to get married at all is to them a “great privilege.” Trevor Love, the registrar who will officiate the wedding, has called it, “the most exciting day of my life.”

Meanwhile, though the Christian clergy in Britain has been at odds with proponents of marriage equality for some time, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby gave remarks today that some are interpreting as more ‘conciliatory’ in nature: "I think the church has reacted by fully accepting that it's the law, and should react on Saturday by continuing to demonstrate in word and action, the love of Christ for every human being.”

Happy day though it may be, British men still can’t become the Princess of Wales or Queen of England due to changes in courtesy titles associated with peerages that were made to accommodate the new marriage law. 

You can watch a special message from Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, AFTER THE JUMP…

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Queen Elizabeth II Congratulates GLBT Charity Organization On 40th Anniversary

Queen Elizabeth rainbow

Queen Elizabeth II has gone the entirety of her reign without any involvement in LGBT charities nor voiced support of equal rights. All of that has now changed as she surprised London Lesbian & Gay Switchboard on their 40th anniversary with a message of congratulations, saying, “Best wishes and congratulations to all concerned on this most special anniversary.”

Prime Minister David Cameron, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, London Mayor Johnson, and Labour leader Ed Miliband all added their voices of support as well to the organization, Cameron saying,

I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the London Lesbian & Gay Switchboard on reaching its 40th anniversary.

Since 1974 there has been real progress towards lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. Voluntary organisations, such as the Switchboard, have made a vital contribution to that progress. The government continues to work to create a fairer and more equal society by removing the barriers to equality that LGBT people face.


Russian Embassy Compares Vigilante Attacks on Gays to Bullying of Gingers in the UK

Hunted

In a statement released Tuesday, the Russian embassy in London criticized reports of vigilante attacks on gays in Russia, saying the same could be said of attacks on redheads in the UK. The statement specifically singled out Channel 4's new documentary Hunted, saying it “smacks of well-timed and cynical propaganda.” The Independent reports:

[The statement] went on to suggest that if the producers had sufficient evidence of prevalent gay hate crimes in Russia, they would not have waited until an international sporting event takes place to "raise the alarm". […]

"Channel 4’s documentary is not intended to help “suffering” gays in Russia", it said. “The documentary’s emotional appeal is misleading, since the film falls far short of the standards of professional journalistic investigation.

“One could have easily whipped up such 'documentary' about a hunting season on redheads in the UK saying that 'ginger' people face unmotivated verbal and physical abuse on a daily basis."


UK’s Channel 4 Rebrands In Rainbow Colors, Wishes Olympic Athletes ‘Good Luck on Gay Mountain’ – VIDEO


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During Friday’s opening ceremony for the Sochi Olympics, UK’s Channel 4 embraced the rainbow in a show of support for gay athletes and to protest against Russia’s anti-gay laws.

Channel-4-rainbow-logo-fo-008The Guardian reports the rebranded on-screen logo was joined by a cabaret-style prime time TV ad wishing good luck to all the gay athletes competing on “gay mountain.”

Check out the insanely catchy ad (complete with gay Putin cameo), AFTER THE JUMP

Last week’s Google Doodle was a similarly rebranded rainbow in support of gay rights in Russia.

Continue reading "UK’s Channel 4 Rebrands In Rainbow Colors, Wishes Olympic Athletes ‘Good Luck on Gay Mountain’ – VIDEO" »


UK Lawmaker Who Linked Storms with Gay Marriage is Expelled from Party

Silvesteruk

Henley-on-Thames town councillor David Silvester, who was suspended from the UK Independence Party in January for remarks linking the passage of gay marriage to recent storms and flooding, has now been expelled. Silvester has had a publicly homophobic outlook since the UK's same-sex marriage bill was on the table in 2012 when he wrote to Prime Minister David Cameron warning him "that disasters would accompany the passage" of the bill. In fact, in a delicious bit of irony, Silvester defected from the Conservative party and joined the UKIP as a protest against Cameron's pro-gay message.

BBC News reports:

Last month, Mr Silvester's house was targeted by protesters, who threw eggs at the property and attached a "rainbow banner" to the wall.

In the letter to the Henley Standard he wrote: "The scriptures make it abundantly clear that a Christian nation that abandons its faith and acts contrary to the Gospel (and in naked breach of a coronation oath) will be beset by natural disasters such as storms, disease, pestilence and war."

Silvester also claimed that Cameron ignored the will of the "Christian nation."

"But he went ahead despite a 600,000-signature petition by concerned Christians and more than half of his own parliamentary party saying that he should not do so.

"It is his fault that large swathes of the nation have been afflicted by storms and floods."

He went on to say no man, however powerful, "can mess with Almighty God with impunity and get away with it."

The Henley-on-Thames town council will soon hold a meeting discussing Silvester's comments and the controversy surrounding them. In the mean time, anyone is welcome to sign a petition expressing outrage at Silvester's comments.


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