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Get Out the Bagpipes and Kilts, Marriage Equality Has Come to Scotland

Get Out the Bagpipes and Kilts, Marriage Equality Has Come to Scotland


Just in time for a destination New Year's Eve wedding!

Photo: Equality Network/Same Love Photography

In February, the Scottish Parliament voted in favor of legalizing same-sex marriage by a landslide vote of 105 to 18 (the third strongest majority seen to date internationally). After recieving royal approval in March, as of midnight this morning, Dec. 16, equality has become the law of the land. Marriages performed abroad will now be recognized as such in Scotland, Scots in civil partnerships can now legally transfer their relationship status to "married" for free, and couples can give notice to marry as soon as December 31.

This has been a big year for marriage equality in the British Isles. Gay couples began marrying in England and Wales at the end of March, and the Republic of Ireland announced its intention to hold a referendum on marriage equality in mid-2015. While the latest polls indicate that the referendum will be a resounding success -- with more than 80% of Irish people supporting same-sex marriage -- things have failed to progress in Northern Ireland. Part of the United Kingdom, it is now the only home nation (England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland) that neither recognizes nor performs same-sex marriage. In fact, attempts to extend such rights have been repeatedly shot down in Stormont (Northern Ireland's Parliament).

From ancient castles sat atop extinct volcanoes to small seaside villages, ancient university towns and stunningly rugged landscapes, there's no shortage of idyllic wedding locations. And when you toss in the Scottish brogue, men in kilts, and the fact that weddings can begin on Hogmanay (the Scots word for the last day of the year--and basically a huge New Year's Eve celebration), Scotland is a welcome addition to the growing number of nations proving themselves proponents of equality.


Edinburgh Castle during Hogmanay (Photo from Britain By Heart)

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