Same-sex partners convert to Marriage – and more rights for transgender people too
I am sure all my followers will join me in wishing Douglas Pretsell and Peter Gloster, and Scott and David Barclay in becoming the historic first same-sex couples to become married under Scots Law.
From midnight Tuesday 16 December it became legal for same-sex couples to give intention to marry, giving the usual 15 day notice, which means that actual wedding ceremonies will take place on Hogmany (31 December to the uninitiated).
However an option within the Marriage and Civil Partenership (Scotland) Act means that couples already in civil partnerships would have the option to convert that to marriage from 16 December. Scott and David were the first to take advantage of this generous clause within Scotland. The first couple do so however were Douglas Pretsell and Peter Gloster, who married at the British Consulate in Melbourne, Australia, taking advantage of the fact that the new law includes some UK embassies abroad.
Also from 16 December the marriages of foreign same-sex couples will be fully recognised, married transgender people will not have to divorce the person they love before they are allowed to have the gender they live as recognised in law, there is no ‘spousal veto’ on gender recognition in Scotland, meaning any transperson seeking legal recognition will be fully respected without objection from their spouse.
The first actual same-sex wedding will be that of civil partners Susan and Gerrie Douglas-Scott, which will take place on 31 December 2014, to which First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon MSP, and Co-Convenor of the Scottish Green Party, Patrick Harvie MSP, have been invited to be witnesses.
The couples mentioned were only the first of many to take advantage of this new legislation, among the most progressive in the world, and I equally wish them my heartiest congratulations and best wishes.
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