Scotland

More that 1,700 same-sex couples married in first year of law

Nicola Sturgeon, Susan and Gerrie Douglas Scott and Patrick Harvie Image copyright Elaine Livingstone
Image caption Susan (left) and Gerrie Douglas-Scott had Nicola Sturgeon and Patrick Harvie as witnesses at their wedding when they married

More than 1,700 same-sex couples have been married in Scotland since a new law came into effect last year.

A total of 1,137 couples have changed civil partnerships to marriages.

Another 573 new pairs have married, according to figures from National Records of Scotland until September.

MSPs passed the Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Bill in February 2014, making Scotland the 17th country in the world to legalise same-sex ceremonies.

The legislation came into force on 16 December last year, with the first weddings taking place on Hogmanay following the usual minimum notice period for marriages.

Communities Minister Marco Biagi described 31 December last year as a "momentous day" for equality in Scotland and said thousands of people had since been able to marry the person they loved.

'Fairer country'

He added: "This is something to celebrate. Scotland has shown the kind of country it is by leading the way and ensuring we are a fairer and more equal country.

"For those couples who married a year ago today we'd like to say 'happy anniversary', and celebrate in the knowledge that many more same-sex couples can show their love and commitment to each other through a marriage ceremony in the same way as any other couple."

Susan and Gerrie Douglas-Scott were one of the first of 17 couples to be married on Hogmanay last year, tying the knot on the stroke of midnight.

Gerrie Douglas-Scott said: "Being supported in our marriage by Scottish law has meant so much to us and our children - a fairer, more just Scotland.

"Let's take it further to reach all of those who are still struggling to be accepted within their communities. This is what we hope for, and know it will come."

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