John M. Becker

Marriage Equality Comes to Scotland

Filed By John M. Becker | December 16, 2014 3:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Politics
Tags: equal marriage, gay marriage, marriage equality, same-sex marriage, Scotland, spousal veto, UK, United Kingdom

gay-scottish-flag.gifZack Ford of ThinkProgress reports that Scotland's marriage equality law, which was passed by that country's parliament in February and approved by Queen Elizabeth II in March, took effect today.

Couples can now give their first notice of intention and begin holding ceremonies following the usual 15 day notice period on December 31. Those who are already in civil partnerships do not have to wait and can immediately convert to marriage for free, and those in marriages legal in foreign jurisdictions will now be recognized. One couple living in Australia converted their partnerships at the British Consulate as soon as the law came into effect Tuesday morning.

Scotland's law also includes unique protections for transgender people. Before it took effect, transgender people were forced to divorce before they were allowed to legally transition their gender. A spouse could thus block their partner's decision to transition. Transgender people will no longer face this awkward complication, and genderqueer people can enjoy gender-neutral language in their ceremony and on forms.

Scotland joins England and Wales in the marriage equality column, leaving Northern Ireland as the only country in the United Kingdom where same-sex couples lack the freedom to marry.

But that could soon change: LGBT advocates announced last month that they're preparing a lawsuit that they hope will grant equal marriage rights to all loving and committed couples in the North.

If you're feeling a surge of Scottish pride, I've included the Scottish National Anthem, an "It Gets Better" video from Scotland's Gay Police Association, and the theme song from the Scotland-themed musical Brigadoon after the jump.

Scottish rainbow flag source: CRW Flags.

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