The first day of same-sex weddings in Scotland saw 34 people get hitched today. On the stroke of midnight the first two ceremonies were conducted in Glasgow – Joe Schofield and Malcolm Brown in a humanist ceremony, and Susan and Gerrie Douglas-Scott in a civil ceremony. Members of the Scottish Parliament were in attendance at both weddings – First Minister Nicola Sturgeon as witness to the wedding of Susan and Gerrie.
Read more on Bi Community News
The Scottish Government has at last announced the date for the first same-sex marriage ceremonies in Scotland: 31st December 2014!
Same-sex marriage will be legal in Scotland from 16 December, but that is only the date from which couples can submit notice that they intend to get married. There is a standard 15 day notice period for registering marriages in Scotland, so the earliest wedding ceremonies will be allowed happen on 31 December. That said, couples with extenuating circumstances may be able to get a shorter notice period by applying to the Registrar General.
Same-sex marriages can be performed by registrars and by religious and belief bodies that agree to do so. Quakers, the Unitarians, and the Humanist Society Scotland are expected to take up this opportunity to celebrate relationships.
If you want to convert your civil partnership to marriage you will be able to do so from 16 December. As with Wales and England, converting an existing civil partnership will be free for the first year of the new law.
The Equality Network offer some top tips for those who want to be among the first to get married:
“If you want to be one of the first to marry, or to change your civil partnership to a marriage, we strongly recommend that you contact your local registry office asap to book a date and talk about the practicalities involved.
“If you want your marriage performed by a religious or humanist celebrant, make arrangements with them first and then contact the registry office about submitting notice. You will not be able to submit your marriage notice form or convert your civil partnership before the 16 December, but you can book a date and prepare arrangements in advance. We expect the first few months of the new law will be a very busy period for registry offices, so if you don’t book early you may have to wait a while for an available date.”
Edinburgh is just one of many LGBT Prides with bi presences this summer
Want to join the bis marching at Pride Scotia in Edinburgh this weekend?
To join bis and allies including people from local bi meetup Bi & Beyond, and national group Bi Scotland, meet up at the parade assembly point outside the Scottish Parliament buildings from from 11:30am on Saturday. Look for the bi flags and people wearing purple.
The march will set off promptly at noon and head towards the city chambers. There will be a break at the city chambers for speeches. Following the speeches it moves on to Bristo Square where you will find the afternoon’s entertainment, outside bar, BBQ and the Health and Community Fair in Teviot Row House.
There will also be a bi community info stall at the fair – even if you don’t make the parade, do drop by and say hello!
Bisexuals can feel isolated
LGBT Helpline Scotland celebrates its first birthday today.
Funded by the Scottish Government, LGBT Helpline Scotland provides information and emotional support to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people all over Scotland.
They told BiMedia: “Over the last year we have supported countless LGBT people in the country with issues such as social isolation, hate crime and suicidal thoughts, to name but a few.
“We are proud to have been a lifeline to so many and hope to continue our vital work for as long as we are needed.”
Read an interview with the helpline’s organiser in last April’s edition of Bi Community News magazine here.
You can call the helpline on 0300 123 2523 – it runs Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 12 noon – 9pm.
The final vote in the Scottish Parliament on same-sex marriage will be held later today.
MSPs will vote on amendments to the bill, and will then vote on whether to pass the bill.
It seems likely to pass given the strong majority in support at the first stage, but the amendments may have important effects on areas like the “spousal veto” affecting couples where one partner is transgender, and create differences in the law on same-sex marriage between Scotland on the one hand and England and Wales on the other.