Information On Gay Marriage In England

The UK has been pretty progressive when it comes to England gay marriage. This article from Manplay.com looks at some history behind it becoming legal. The English government had been extremely vocal in their intent to legalize gay marriage in the past decade, which led to positive changes being made to the country's legislation.

England Gay Marriage History

The journey to legal gay marriage in England really began in earnest in 2011. In September of the year, the leading party announced that they would be holding a consultation in March of 2012 over how England should go about legalizing gay marriage. The intent behind the consultation was to eventually have legislation changed to reflect modern changes regarding gay unions. England Prime Minister, David Cameron, publicly stated his support for legalizing gay marriage in the country, which his opposition actually applauded. It was looking as though England was finally ready for legal gay marriage.

In March of 2012, England's Government officially launched their consultation on the topic of gay marriage. Some of the proposals included in the consultation were that gay couples could marry, including at religious institutions who were willing to participate. Religious marriages, however, which would remain of the stance that marriage be between a man and a woman. There were also stipulations that gay couples who were already in recognized civil partnerships would have the option to convert their status to married if the wanted to. This consultation appeared to take many aspects of concern that could crop up and addressed them for gay marriage to be able to be legalized, and citizens were excited.

In December of that same year, the government had their response to the consultation they had proposed. The majority were in agreement that gay marriage should be legalized in England, 53%. This meant that legislation could officially be drafted which make same-sex marriages legal in the country. England's Minister for Equalities also announced that month that they planned to have legislation ready to present in March of 2013. The only change made to the proposal in response to feedback was the option to allow religious officials to opt out of performing gay marriages if they wished. These officials would not be punished on grounds of discrimination, which they otherwise would have been. They drafted amendments to the Equality Act to ensure that religious officials couldn't be forced to participate if they were against it.

In January 2013, the government introduced the Marriage (Same-Sex Couples) Bill, which would legalize gay marriage. In February, the bill passed through the House of Commons for the first of 3 separate readings, which required some amendments, before finally being accepted and passed. In December of 2013, it was announced that gay marriages could officially start taking place in March of 2014. An amendment to the act also required that England recognized gay marriages that had previously been performed and officiated out of the country.

England Gay Marriage Statistics

Many aspects of English civilization were more than ready for gay marriage. The ONS included gay marriage statistics in their studies, which helped to get a look at the numbers surrounding gay marriages and partnerships in the country. For instance, there were 1,409 gay marriages registered in the period between March 2014, when it became legal, and June of that year. 796 of those marriages were between female couples, or 56%, while 613 were male couples, 44%. The number of gay marriages didn't slow down after the first month though. In April, there were 351 gay marriages performed, and 465 done in May. June saw 498 gay marriages being officiated in England.

When looking at the average age that gay couples entered into married, the numbers were a bit different between men and women. For women, the age was usually 37, while males typically married at age 38. At a younger age, though, women were more likely then men to marry. The ages around where women would marry younger would be 25 to 29 or 30 to 34. 63% of younger women entered gay marriage between the age of 25 and 29, while the number was 60% for ages 30 to 34. Within the age range of 30 to 34, 220 gay men married, while 330 females did the same.

Before entering into gay marriages, the survey also looked at the previous marital statuses of couples. The majority of individuals entering into gay marriages had never been married before. This number was 91% for men, and 79% for females. Females were more likely to have been in prior civil partnerships or marriages before their current one. When it came to remarrying after being widowed, very few men and women did so. Only 0.5% of men got married again after their partner died, and that number was 0.9% for women.

Looking at the number of gay marriages in comparison with civil partnerships is interesting. The Civil Partnership Act 2004 was engaged in December of 2005, which allowed gay couples to formalize their relationships with the government. In the first three days that civil partnerships were allowed in England, 1,227 gay couples registered their unions. When it came to being allowed to marry, gay couples didn't necessarily respond as quickly as they did when civil partnership became legalized. This could be because their unions had legal recognition with the government of England for almost a decade before gay marriage was allowed, so they may have already felt married.

Current Status Of Gay Marriage In England

In England, gay marriage is currently legal under the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act. This Act was put into effect in March of 2014, and gay couples immediately flocked to marry in their home country. Same-sex couples have been able to be together and have their relationships recognized by their government for years before marriage became officially legal. The Civil Partnership Act was the first step toward equalizing marriage rights for gay couples, in 2005. There has been a sense of equality for gay unions because of this; gay couples had recognition from their government and were allowed to formalize their relationships in a sense already.

Gay couples, and transgender individuals changing genders, are officially protected by law in England now. English Parliament passed legislation through relatively quickly in order to allow gay couples to wed as soon as possible. Clearly the English government has their peoples' happiness and rights in mind, being able to propose and then pass a gay marriage bill in under a year. Gay marriage is in a great place in England right now, with full equality for all.

Future Status of Gay Marriage In England

The future of gay marriage in England is very bright. Civil partnerships had been legally allowed in the country since 2005, so the next natural step was to legalize marriage for gay couples. The Civil Partnership Act 2004 let gay couples have officially recognized unions, and the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013 allowed them to marry. But the Act doesn't stop at simply allowing gay marriages. The legislation includes provisions to allow more freedoms to gay couples than just marriage. Couples whose marital status was registered as a civil partnership had the option to simply convert their relationship status to married if they wanted. Transgender people also had protecting under this law, allowing them to remain married to their spouse in the event that they change their gender.

The Government Equalities Office of England reviewed gay marriages and civil partnerships from January to April 2014. It was determined via overwhelming response that it was too soon to make further changes to the legislation. Having just enacted huge change in the country in terms of marriage law, making changes to the Civil Partnership Act at that point was considered a bad idea. Gay couples would have access equally to marriage or civil partnership, whichever they chose. As long as there are committees like this one, things will remain good in terms of marriage law for gay couples. England has finally legalized marriage for gay couples, and with a massive amount of support from both the public and government officials. Having openly gay supporters as members of Parliament behind the front lines to keep an eye legislation and gay rights is a phenomenal step. With legislatures hesitant to make changes to the laws now that gay marriage is legal, there more than likely won't be further adjustments to the law regarding same- sex marriages.

For more information about gay marriage in the United Kingdom visit:

Gay Marriage Rights In Ireland

England Gay Marriage Rights