A couple has tied the knot on the stroke of midnight in one of Scotland’s first same-sex weddings. Joe Schofield and Malcolm Brown, both 42, were among the first of 17 couples who will marry today – Hogmanay.
What’s the big hurry?
It’s been a very long time coming. MSPs passed the Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Bill in February, making Scotland the 17th country in the world to legalise same-sex ceremonies. More than 250 couples have converted their civil partnerships to marriage since the law came into effect earlier this month. Today is the first day after the usual 15-day notice period for marriages that same-sex weddings can take place.
This was a pivotal year for same-sex couples in Scotland …
So it’s no wonder so many Scots can’t wait to walk down the aisle. Mr Schofield, a public health worker, and Mr Brown, a former DJ, both from Tullibody in Clackmannanshire, have been together for nine years and were married by Humanist Society Scotland celebrant Ross Wright at the Trades Hall, Glasgow.
What did the happy couple have to say?
In a statement, Mr Schofield and Mr Brown said: “We are very proud to be one of the first couples in Scotland to be able to officially call ourselves husband and husband. This is an amazing chapter in Scotland’s history which we are all witnessing and can be proud of.” ”
Meanwhile, across the city …
Susan Douglas-Scott, 54, and Gerrie Douglas-Scott, 59, got hitched in Glasgow at the same time as Mr Schofield and Mr Brown. The Douglas-Scotts, who have five grown-up children, had a civil partnership in March 2006 and decided to convert it through a full marriage ceremony. They said: “We are delighted that, at long last, after 18 years together our love finally has the same recognition in law and society as all other married couples.”
And the guest of honour was none other than Nicola Sturgeon!
Scotland’s First Minister acted as a witness at the marriage of the Douglas-Scotts. Ms Sturgeon said: “This [is] a momentous day for equality in Scotland, one where same sex couples have the right to marry the person that they love. This will send a message to people about the kind of country we are.”