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First Same Sex weddings to happen from 29 March 2014

Women and Equalities Minister Maria Miller has announced that the first same sex weddings in England and Wales will be able to take place from Saturday 29 March 2014

Following the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013 successfully completing its journey through Parliament in July 2013, the government has been working hard to ensure that all the arrangements are in place to enable same sex couples to marry as soon as possible.

As a result of this work, the first same sex weddings can now happen several months earlier than anticipated, subject to Parliament’s approval of various statutory instruments, to be laid in the new year.

Maria Miller said: “Marriage is one of our most important institutions, and from 29 March 2014 it will be open to everyone, irrespective of whether they fall in love with someone of the same sex or opposite sex. This is just another step in the evolution of marriage and I know that many couples up and down the country will be hugely excited that they can now plan for their big day and demonstrate their love and commitment to each other by getting married.”

Those couples wishing to be among the first to marry will need to formally give notice of their intention to marry on 13 March 2014.

Kerry McCarthy (Lab, Bristol East), John Penrose (Con, Weston-super-Mare), Chris Skidmore (Con, Kingswood), Steve Webb (Lib Dem, Thornbury and Yate), Stephen Williams (Lib Dem, Bristol West) were among local MPs who all voted for the passing of the Act, however North Wiltshire MP James Gray was one of those to vote against legalising gay marriage.