Congratulations Scotland! All gay and lesbian couples can now marry

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Scotland’s first new same-sex weddings are starting, marking the option for gay and lesbian couples to marry across all of Great Britain.

The first couples began to marry at 00:01 on Hogmanay, 31 December 2014.

The move comes after the Scottish Parliament approved same-sex marriage with 105 votes to 18 in February 2014, and the law came into effect earlier this month.

Scotland enforces a 15-day notice period for all weddings, so the first couples not converting to marriage from civil partnerships will marry from 00:01.

17 couples had been reportedly lined up to marry on the first day, with a number set to marry at one minute past midnight, just as the law takes effect.

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon wrote for PinkNews today to welcome the first same-sex marriages which will take place just after midnight tonight.

She wrote: “This legislation does far more than just allow same sex couples to marry. It challenges the negative attitudes that still exist today in our society towards LGBT people. It shows, quite simply, that same sex couples are just as valued as opposite sex couples. No longer will same sex couples be viewed as being separate from opposite sex couples in the eyes of the law.”

Ms Sturgeon was set to attend the midnight wedding of Gerrie and Susan Douglas-Scott, while Minister Marco Biagi – who enacted the legislation – will attend the wedding of Malcolm Brown and Joe Schofield.

Deputy Prime Minister and Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg also told PinkNews

Couples already in Scottish civil partnerships were given the chance to convert to marriages earlier this month, as they were able to skip the notice period entirely.

The move will mark the arrival of same-sex marriage across the entirety of the isle of Great Britain – consisting of England, Scotland and Wales.

Parts of the United Kingdom will still be without marriage equality, however, as the DUP has repeatedly blocked efforts to introduce same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland.

The crown dependencies of Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man – which are regulated autonomously from the UK – are also yet to introduce same-sex marriage.