Showing posts from December, 2014

Scotland's Gay Marriage Law

Congratulations, Scotland! Gay marriage is now legal.  It brings Scotland into line with England and Wales and means that we should see the first Scottish same-sex marriages on December 31st 2014 (there's a 15 day notice period). Scottish couples already in a civil partnership will be able to convert to marriage from today, too. And the process will be free until December 2015. We should be congratulating Luxembourg , too. The small, landlocked European nation is due to legalise same-sex marriages on January 1st 2015. So slowly , we are getting there. Scotland (2014) England and Wales (2013) February 2014. Brazil (2013) France (2013) New Zealand (2013) Uruguay (2013) Denmark (2012) Argentina (2010) Portugal (2010) Iceland (2010) Sweden (2009) Norway (2009) South Africa (2006) Spain (2005) Canada (2005) Belgium (2003) The Netherlands (2000) We'd like to send our best wishes to all the couples north of the border. If you're planning a weddin

Converting Civil Partnerships to Marriage FAQs

It's been over 8 months now since we celebrated the first gay weddings in England and Wales . March 29th might be a way behind us now, but it isn't the only landmark that we'll be celebrating in 2014.  From tomorrow (December 10th 2014), gay couples in England and Wales will be able convert their civil partnerships to marriage. We've gathered together a set of FAQs to help explain exactly what you can expect during the process. When can we convert our civil partnership to marriage? Conversions can take place anytime after Wednesday December 10th 2014 . If you haven't already, you'll need to book an appointment with a registrar. How much will a conversion cost? Conversions will cost £45 . However, if  your civil partnership took place before March 29th 2014 then you'll have until December 9th 2015 to convert it to marriage for free .  Why is it free for some couples? Civil partnerships have been legal in the UK since 2005 , bu

Finland Votes to Allow Gay Marriage

On Friday November 28th , Finland became the last Nordic country to legalise gay marriage. It means that Finland is now the twelfth European country to accept that marriage should not be gender specific. Considering how progressive the rest of Scandinavia has been on the issue it's come as a surprise to some that Finland has taken this long. Sweden, Norway and Denmark are years ahead (legal since 2009 and 2012 respectively), and campaigners are eager to bring Finland into line with their neighbours. However, you may want to hold off buying a hat just yet; it's unlikely that we'll see any same-sex weddings in Finland until at least 2016 .  What will be worth waiting for however, is the law change for adoption as gay married couples will be allowed to adopt children. When the result was announced there were jubilant scenes outside the Parliament, but there's still much work for campaigners to do. Victory was slim: 105 members voted in favour, but 92 voted aga

Congratulations Chateau Rhianfa!

The Welsh National Wedding Awards: Chateau Rhianfa 2014 Venue Winners for North Wales Chateau Rhianfa – fantasy meets reality, a glorious grade II listed waterside venue in North Wales, a stone’s throw from Snowdonia and the Menai Strait. A history of romance.  Get married at Chateau Rhianfa and continue an age-old love story. Congratulations to everyone at Chateau Rhianfa . This superb venue is available for weddings all year round, and its latest accolade is very well deserved. Wedding planning is never easy but with a venue like this, it's hard to see where you could go wrong. If you'd like to find out more about Chateau Rhianfa, then you'll find them in our directory here

Rise in Homophobic Crime

19 UK police forces, including Scotland Yard and Greater Manchester Police, have recorded a rise in the number of homophobic crimes. And other forces look set to either equal or surpass last year's figures by the end of the 2014.  The Express and Star website  highlight that between January and October 2014 there were  170 homophobic crimes were reported to West Midlands police alone. The Guardian reported that Scotland Yard has recorded 1,073 violent homophobic offences between January and October, up from 1,007 in 2013 and 1,002 in 2012. Despite same-sex marriage becoming law in England and Wales (Scotland in December), it's obvious that homophobia is continuing to ruin the lives of lesbian and gay people across the UK. Of course, it might not necessarily follow that homophobic crime has risen . It could be that more people are reporting homophobic crime either as a victim or as a witness. Increased education, greater public awareness of gay issues and successful