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Lib Dems welcome implementation timetable for same-sex marriages

December 10, 2013 2:13 PM
Originally published by LGBT+ Liberal Democrats

A pair of wedding rings (small) (Jeff Belmonte. Licensed as Creative Commons Attribution 2.0.)LGBT+ Liberal Democrats have welcomed the confirmation that the first Same-Sex Marriages in England and Wales will be able to take place from 29 March 2014 onwards.

Adrian Trett, LGBT+ Liberal Democrats Chair, said "Today's announcement confirms, after some delay, when the new legislation will take effect. Same-sex partners can now set dates for their planned weddings and ensure that families and friends have those dates saved well in advance too.

"I'm already looking forward to a number of invitations including from the incoming Chair of LGBT+ Liberal Democrats, Ed Fordham, whose celebrations will happen later on next year".

"This is the final part in the jigsaw that many activists and supporters have been waiting for and I'm particularly proud that this transition in social history has taken shape under my chairmanship which will finish at the end of this year".

The Liberal Democrats were the first party with Equal Marriage as official party policy. In doing so the party has received extensive support from Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, whose personal support for marriage equality predates our policy. The legislation was passed by Parliament after the dogged persistence of former Equalities Minister Lynne Featherstone, with support from across both Houses of Parliament. There were government majorities in both houses with overwhelming support from the Liberal Democrats.

Co-Presidents of LGBT+ Liberal Democrats, Baroness Barker and Lord Paddick, said today: "Liberal Democrats led the fight for same-sex marriages and never wavered. Today we are one step closer to a stronger, fairer society in which everyone is treated with dignity and respect, regardless of whom they love. We hope that people who want to convert their civil partnerships to marriages can do so without delay."

The Liberal Democrats recognise that while the Act still falls short of party policy in several areas; it nonetheless removes a major barrier and cause of discrimination for lesbian, gay and bisexual people in same-sex relationships in England and Wales.