Gay couple: We never thought we'd see marriage

On the right Ruth Harris from Mansfield age 31 On the left Ellie plumstead 23 from Mansfield
Ruth Harris (right) and Elly Plumstead have been together since August 2011

From midnight tonight gay couples in England and Wales will be able to get married.

Campaigners say the change in the law is about making sure they have the same rights and opportunities as everyone else.

Twenty three-year-old Elly Plumstead and Ruth Harris, 31, are one of hundreds of same sex couples who are planning to get married.

They say the changes are a big milestone.

Elly said she remembers when the changes were confirmed.

She said: "We'd been watching the debates in Parliament and were snuggled up in a blanket with glasses of wine watching it.

"It was just so exciting, we celebrated a lot when it actually got passed through. I never thought I'd see it honestly."

The couple met three years ago and now live together in Nottingham. Their wedding is booked for 9 August.

Same-sex statues on wedding cake
68% agree that gay marriage should be permitted, according to BBC research

Not everyone's happy about the changes though.

A survey commissioned by BBC Radio 5live found one in five British adults would turn down an invitation to a same sex wedding.

The poll of 1,007 people suggests younger people are more likely to be in favour of same sex marriage, while some religious groups say they're "deeply uncomfortable".

Elly and Ruth say they find this type of criticism of gay marriage hard to accept.

Ruth said: "Because we're Christians we do believe in marriage, even if the church hasn't yet taken the step of believing in same sex marriage yet, we do believe in marriage."

Gay men holding hands
There are no plans for gay marriage to become law in Northern Ireland

Gay people have been able to enter civil partnerships since 1995, but campaigners said not being able to be married suggested same-sex relationships were inferior.

Whilst knew they wanted to commit to each other, Elly and Ruth didn't want a civil partnership.

Elly said: "I really, really knew in my heart that I was not happy to take a civil partnership and say 'Oh yes I'll have second best thank you very much'."

For now though, they're both looking forward to their wedding day and they've broken tradition by seeing each other's dresses.

"It's not the old tradition anyway because its a gay wedding, so we thought we'd rather look good together," said Ruth.

"We got two wedding dresses that go well together don't they and that also suit our figures."

Legislation allowing gay marriage was passed in Scotland in February and the first same sex ceremonies are expected to take place in October.

Northern Ireland has no plans to change its current law which does not allow same sex marriages.

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