Delight as Capital hosts its first gay weddings

Nate Richardson, right, and Scott Read will exchange vows at The Pantry in Stockbridge. Picture: Malcolm McCurrach

Nate Richardson, right, and Scott Read will exchange vows at The Pantry in Stockbridge. Picture: Malcolm McCurrach

22
Have your say

A Capital couple have tied the knot in their favourite restaurant as they became one of the first Scottish couples to tie the knot in a same-sex ceremony.

IT brings a whole new meaning to love taking its course.

Nate Richardson and Scott Read will today become one of the first Scottish couples to tie the knot in a same-sex ceremony – after opting to exchange vows in a favourite restaurant.

The pair, who have been together for seven years, are due to wed at The Pantry, Stockbridge, before a gathering of close friends and family.

They are one of four Edinburgh couples to get hitched today, with another 13 ceremonies taking place across Scotland.

Civil partnerships for gay couples became legal in 2005 after decades of campaigning but the first same-sex wedding ceremonies will take place today after equal marriage legislation came into effect on December 16.

Hundreds who entered into civil partnerships have already converted them into full marriages, with new figures showing 55 Edinburgh couples had taken the plunge – the most of any local authority – by December 23.

Nate, 31, a pharmacist and trainee nutritional therapist, said he and his 37-year-old partner, who both live in Stockbridge, were “hyperactively” excited by the occasion, which will be conducted by a humanist minister.

He said: “I would say getting married means for us what it does for anyone – it’s a joining and a partnership in a very real sense, and being able to declare it in front of friends and family.

“As wonderful as civil partnerships are, it wasn’t quite what we wanted. [This is] spiritual and emotional, as well as something that’s legally recognised as equal to a marriage between a straight couple.”

He added: “It will be a humanist ceremony so I would say it will be fairly personal to us as a couple.”

The newlyweds, who are both originally from the Birmingham area, hailed 
Edinburgh as an open-minded and gay-friendly city.

“We feel fairly relaxed most of the time,” said Nate.

“Certainly, over the past few years the negative things have never really entered my mind.”

Some of the city’s best-known venues could also be in line for a major revenue boost following the legalisation of same-sex marriage, with many already enjoying a surge in booking queries.

A spokeswoman for the Edinburgh Corn Exchange said the venue was happy to host weddings regardless of religion, ethnicity or gender, adding: “We had a significant number of inquiries, over and above what we would normally get for civil partnerships, at our November fair. And I would definitely think we’ll get more [in the weeks to come].”

Political leaders welcomed today’s weddings as a “milestone” on the road to a more equal society.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “I give my warm congratulations to couples all over Scotland who on Hogmanay and in the days, weeks, months and years to come will celebrate their love by deciding to get married.

“There are still attitudes that we need, collectively, by coming together, to challenge. But for now, I think we should all take the moment to celebrate this milestone for equality.”

johnpaul.holden@edinburghnews.com