Bid for same-sex wedding after gay marriage Bill

Nathan, left, and Robert are keen for a Scottish first. Picture: Ian Rutherford
Nathan, left, and Robert are keen for a Scottish first. Picture: Ian Rutherford
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GAY couple Nathan and Robert Gale are aiming to have the first official same-sex wedding in Scotland – and Nathan’s mum is ready and waiting to perform the ceremony.

MSPs were today set to give final approval to the law allowing same-sex couples to marry. And the path is expected to be cleared for weddings to take place later this year.

Nathan and Robert from Leith, who have been in a civil partnership for the past four-and-a-half years, want to be the first to tie the knot.

Nathan’s mother, assistant registrar Shirley Young, cannot wait to preside at the occasion. She said: “I would be delighted to be asked to do the ceremony. It would be just wonderful.”

Shirley, 56, said it was only thanks to Nathan and Robert that she became a part-time registrar in the first place.

She said: “It was going to Nathan and Robert’s civil partnership and seeing what a great job the celebrant did that made me want to take it up.

“It’s always an honour to do anyone’s wedding, but what could be a greater honour and privilege than doing it for my son and his partner?”

The Scottish Parliament was debating the final stage of the Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Bill this afternoon.

Once it is passed, secondary legislation will be needed on detailed aspects of how the system will work, but the Scottish Government has promised to put everything in place as soon as possible.

There has been speculation the first gay weddings could take place as early as July, but sources said September or October could be more realistic since MPs at Westminster also have to amend the Equality Act.

Nathan said: “We’d love to be the first. It would be fantastic.”

Nathan, 29, works for the Scottish Transgender Alliance, and Robert, 33, is artistic director of a theatre company in Glasgow.

The couple held a reception for 120 after their civil partnership ceremony at The Hub and plan to have another big party to celebrate their wedding.

Nathan said: “We travel quite a lot and if people ask us and we say we have a civil partnership, they don’t know what it means. We already call ourselves husbands and refer to our relationship as a marriage, but it isn’t.

“We want to be able to say we are married and that will be true.”

The Church of Scotland and most mainstream denominations remain opposed to same-sex marriage and have warned the new law could be challenged under European law.

The Rev Alan Hamilton, convener of the Kirk’s legal questions committee, said: “We accept the government is acting in good faith and don’t want to force churches or ministers to carry out same-sex marriages, but we do believe there is a real risk, if it is successfully challenged, the whole scheme could be dismantled under European human right laws.”