Couples have to give 15 days’ notice of their intention to marry at a register office, and need to do so today if they want to be among the first to benefit from the passing of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013.
The Act received Royal Assent in July 2013 and media reports suggest that many gay couples are planning to celebrate their new right by tying the knot just after midnight on 29 March 2014.
The Government is also hopeful that couples who want to convert their civil partnerships into marriages and married people who want to change their legal gender, whilst remaining married, will be able to do so before the end of the 2014.
Same sex couples who married abroad under foreign law are currently treated as civil partners in England and Wales, but they will be recognised as being married from today.
Emma Alfieri, family practitioner, commented that today marks an important step forward for gay couples up and down the country. Further news about when existing civil partnerships may be converted into marriage is eagerly awaited from the Government.
For further information please contact Steeles Law’s family team.