On 24 January 2013 Rt Hon Maria Miller MP (then Culture Secretary) introduced the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill to Parliament. The Bill set out the necessary legislation to extend the legal form of marriage to same-sex couples. Despite attempts to derail it, on Tuesday 21 May the Bill passed its Third Reading vote in the House of Commons by 366 votes to 161 free from any wrecking amendments.
The Bill received its Second Reading in the House of Lords on 3 and 4 June. In the debates loving and committed same-sex relationships were likened by some opponents to incest and bigamy. Lord Dear proposed a motion that would have effectively killed the Bill. On 4 June Lord Dear’s motion was defeated by 390 votes to 148, a majority of 242.
The final stage in the House of Lords, Third Reading, took place on Monday 15 July. The Bill was approved, and returned to the House of Commons.
On 16 July 2013 the House of Commons considered all amendments introduced by the House of Lords – none of which were wrecking amendments – and passed the Bill. The Queen gave her Royal Assent immediately.
The first marriages of same-sex couples took place from March 29th 2014.
We decided in April 2013, when we got engaged, that we wanted a Summer Wedding, and opted for late August to be sure the law would have changed in time. We are glad things had ‘bedded down’ by the time we tied the knot.
Nonetheless – we were the first same-sex couple to get married in Glastonbury, and a photographer from the Central Somerset Gazette came to record the event. Pink News, and a number of other outlets, also picked up the story from the local paper.