Save the date: 29 March set for first same-sex weddings

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Words by Lily Pritchard

Christmas has come early! Well, not really – it’s still on the 25th, but it may feel like an early present for some gay couples who can now marry in three months-time.

The Marriage (Same-Sex Couples) Act was passed last July. Originally, it was thought that the first weddings would not take place until summer 2014.

However, Maria Miller (Equalities Minister) announced yesterday that gay marriage will be legal as of March 29 2014 and that gay couples can formally give notice of their intention to marry from March 13.

Ms Miller said: “Marriage is one of our most important institutions, and will be open to everyone, irrespective of whether they fall in love with someone of the same sex or opposite sex.”

During the memorial to Nelson Mandela, President Barack Obama managed to convey the true spirit of what Mandela stood for by pointing out during his speech that “around the world today, men and women are still imprisoned for their political beliefs and are still persecuted for what they look like, and how they worship and who they love”.

A reminder that, for the UK, this is a huge step forward but being gay is still punishable by death in some countries.

Roger Lewis and Keith Willmott-Goodall have been in a relationship for 14 years. They were one of the first couples in the country to register their intention to form a civil partnership at Brighton Town Hall eight years ago.

Mr Lewis told The Argus: “It really is the icing on the cake.”

As a result of the news, Trevor Love, who is Brighton and Hove’s City Council’s senior ceremonies registrar, is being interviewed by The Argus.

Readers have their chance to ask him their questions by commenting on their website, emailing news@theargus.co.uk or calling The Argus on (01273) 544300.

In spite of this news, it is important to remember that there are still have battles to be fought. It comes just after diver Tom Daley announced on YouTube that he was in a relationship with a man, which he described as a ‘terrifying’ decision.

Hopefully, in the near future, young people will be able to tell family and friends about who they love without fear and without being ashamed. For now though, let’s celebrate!

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