Scotland celebrates one year since first same-sex marriages

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Today marks a year since the first same-sex weddings took place in Scotland.

Equality came to Scotland last year later than England and Wales – with the first couples beginning to marry at 00:01 on Hogmanay, December 31 2014.

Despite the delay, the country has been praised for its progressive marriage laws – which permit a wider range of groups like Humanists to conduct weddings, unlike in England and Wales.

Among the first couples to marry were Susan and Gerrie Douglas-Scott – with Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, and Scottish Green Party co-convener Patrick Harvie serving as the pair’s witnesses for the ceremony.
Scotland celebrates one year since first same-sex marriages
Joe Schofield and partner Malcolm Brown were the first to wed, in the first legally recognised Humanist same-sex wedding in the country.

Scotland’s progressive marriage laws also later led to some unique services – with one same-sex couples later becoming the first to legally tie a literal knot, in a pagan service.

Hedge Witches Tom Lanting and Iain Robertson married in a ceremony that involved invoking the elements of earth, air, water, fire and spirit, casting a circle, exchanging rings and binding the couple’s hands.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon paid tribute to all the couples, writing: “Happy anniversary to all those who got hitched when #equalmarriage became legal this time last year.”

Figures up to September show that so far, more than 1700 couples have taken advantage of the new laws – with 573 new marriages, while 1137 couples converting civil partnerships to marriages.

The country has also since amended laws to help couples ‘trapped’ in Northern Irish civil partnerships by a legislative quirk.