A Decade of Love: Celebrating 10 Years of The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act.

Posted on: March 25th, 2024

Love knows no boundaries, and a decade ago, significant steps were taken towards recognising and celebrating that truth.

This week as we commemorate the 10th anniversary of legalising same sex marriage, we look at the groundbreaking milestone that marked a watershed moment in the ongoing journey towards equality and LGBTQ+ rights, but also brought transformative changes in the realm of family law.

The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act was passed on 17th July 2013, and allowed same-sex couples to commit themselves to each other through marriage, or those already with civil partnership status, the ability to convert this into a marriage.

By allowing same-sex couples to marry, the Act granted them the same legal rights, responsibilities, and recognition as opposite-sex couples. It eliminated the need for civil partnerships for same-sex couples in England and Wales, providing a unified framework for marriage irrespective of gender.

The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act held significant cultural and symbolic importance.  The passage of the Act was the result of years of advocacy, activism, and societal change. The UK joined a small but growing number of countries recognising and celebrating the rights of same-sex couples.

The first marriages of same-sex couples took place on Saturday 29th March 2014.  According to the Office for national statistics, in the first 48 hours after the law came into force, 95 same-sex marriages took place, with around 15,000 taking place in England and Wales between March 2014 and October 2015.

While celebrating the progress made, our commitment to the principles of equality and justice remains unwavering. As a Law firm, we recognise the legal implications that occur.

It is not widely recognised that having Will in place before marriage or entering a civil partnership renders the Will invalid. This can lead to significant complications, particularly if a couple wishes to distribute their estate differently or in cases involving blended families.

It’s crucial for couples planning to marry to contemplate the implications for their Wills. By informing your solicitor, a clause can be included before marriage or civil partnership to safeguard the Will from being revoked. However, if overlooked, it’s essential to consider drafting a new Will afterwards.

The last 10 years has been a beacon of hope for same-sex couples. Families have been created, all under the protection of a law that values and respects the diversity of love. Our team is dedicated to address ongoing issues, advocating for the rights of the LGBTQ+ community, and contributing to a legal landscape that is truly inclusive.

Should you require guidance on how marriage or civil partnership affects your Will, our team of specialist solicitors are available for consultation.

Contact our office on 01642 777680.

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If you require any of our legal services or you're not sure where to get started, please contact us at our Redcar High Street office and our solicitors will guide you every step of the way.

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