Interview: Scott

Name: Scott
Location: Manchester
Age: 34

At what age did you first realise that you were gay?

When I was 6 I had the first memory of thinking a passing man was attractive but it wasn’t until I was 10 that I first told my mum.

Have your family and friends always been supportive?

Yes, I’ve been very fortunate to only have people around me who have been accepting and supportive. I never had a huge group of friends at school but those I had were close and I suspect that anyone who was close, knew before I told them.

Who has been the most influential person in your life and why?

I had a couple of people growing up, older friends who have helped give me confidence in my sexuality. I’ve always associated with older people and I benefited from their experience and wisdom and that helped me a a great deal but there’s never been ONE specific person.

Have you ever experienced discrimination in life because of your sexuality?

Yes, I have been forced out of two jobs for being gay. Solicitors have commented that it was clearly because I was gay that the employers took a dislike to me yet they were very careful not to say as much. At the same time though, it has been beneficial. Many companies appreciate gay staff because they’re so good with customers, they care and generally work better in customer service environments.

Do you think that the world have become more accepting and welcoming to gay people in more modern times or do you feel that there is still a long way to go?

Definitely. Even since I was young, the attitudes have changed immensely. It has now become in the UK at least, almost a trophy to be gay. People will often be proud to say they have a gay best friend or groups of friends will almost always have a ‘token gay’ guy amongst them because it’s seen as being fashionable. If you don’t know or like gay people, you are almost frowned upon by other groups in society now. That said, there is a LONG way to go before things are equal and there is no discrimination but I am proud of the way society is headed.

What would you say to someone out there who is struggling with their own sexuality or coming out or who is been bullied or discriminated against because of who they are?

I would urge them to be strong, find people like them and try to establish connections with people who think they same as they do. Spend some time in gay areas like the Village in Manchester, Soho in London, you will be able to realise that it’s OK to be gay and that people are all around us in the same situation. Above all, you need to know yourself and be strong enough to stand for what and who you are. Don’t let people smother you and if they are, move, find other people who want to be around the real you.

Are you religious? What do you think of the Church’s attitude towards gay people?

No, I’m not religious. The church in my opinion are extremely hypercritical. Many ministers have been known to be gay, have abused boys in the past and I dare say that many use the Church as a means to cover their sexuality. They don’t marry and claim the church is their wife as an easy way to cover their true feelings. That could be wrong but I suspect there are many gay chuch folk out there too scared to be themselves. The Church is responsible for a lot of hatred and discrimination and of all people you’d expect to be supportive and loving, they can be the worst.

Are you political? If so, is there any organisations whose work you particularly admire?

No, I’m not political but I do have views on current events such as the break up of the UK with Scotland wanting to leave the union. I also have views on immigration, unemployment etc. I do feel that all politicians are truly in it for themselves, there are very few politicians in power who are the ‘common man’ and who have the power to change things for the greater good of ‘Joe Public’. 

That said, there are organisations like Stonewall, The British Heart Foundation and many others who all play important roles in trying to make life better for people.

Have you ever been in love?
Many times. I am now. I love my long term partner and I have loved many times before. I’m currently coming to terms with the death of someone I loved very much. I firmly believe you can love more than one person and each love is unique and does not belittle the love you have for another.

Are you married? If so, what was your wedding day like? If not would you like to get married someday?

No we’re not. I often think about it but my partner is scared that if we were to marry, we would affect our 14-year relationship and we don’t want anything to change. We’re happy how we are.

Are you a father? If so, what does fatherhood mean to you? If not would you like to be a father someday?

No but I would love to be. My partner says he hates kids but he doesn’t. He loves my nephews like they are his own, as do I. I doubt I will ever be a father but I would very much to have children. Who knows?

Interview: Justice

Name: Justice

Location: SE1 – Bankside

Age: 29

At what age did you first realise that you were gay?

I would say first when I was about 6 years old. Then when I was about 8 I realised what it was. Growing up I always saw myself marrying a man. I must say.

Have your family and friends always been supportive?

I’ve had it easy ‘cos I’m very black and white so it’s how I presented it. You in? Or you out? I’m happy either way! My background is Jamaican, and over there they use religion and hate to almost use homophobic abuse as a sport. Once I was armed with my friends approval it made it easy to get the family’s. This is me I said! You in?

Are you involved in political activism? Is there any organisations whose work you particularly admire?

No I don’t. But I have plans to. They are a group of gays living in a storm drain in Jamaica, after being forced out of a swart. It moved me to see the length people have to go to, to be themselves. I have plans to get involved.

Are you religious? What do you think of the Church’s attitude towards gay people?

Well religion is always a messy one. I consider myself spiritual and can respect others’ choices. I just think people need to be aware of what religion really is! And that all the power is with inside of you. I believe most religions are there to control people, they can’t control us with it, so they demonise us with it, while open to recruiting us telling us we can change! They way I see it is this! What ever gives you comfort! Go for it! But not at the expense of others, in an unhealthy way.

Do you think that the world have become more accepting and welcoming to gay people in more modern times or do you feel that there is still a long way to go?

It’s a hard one! Yes we still have a way to go. But! We wasn’t going away! And now with the birth of reality tv it just would not work without us . From behind the scenes to in front of the camera. Most of all! Everyone using our lingo from our forefathers. #hastagedat! Lol

Music and fashion are bringing lots of people together, and gays are at the heart of that melting pot! It’s a great time to be gay! Lol. Nobody is shocked anymore! Next stop bearded ladies! Lol

Have you ever experienced discrimination in your life because of your sexuality?

Oh gosh, not since late 90s but it would be people saying as you walk past. But yes everyday! In entertainment business it can hinder or when you come across a closet or some with issues! They can offload their insecurities on you. Nowadays days they know that we are the makers of cool! Lol

What would you say to someone out there who is struggling with their own sexuality or coming out or who is been bullied or discriminated against because of who they are?

Gosh! I would say it gets better! Once you have made peace with it! Know no one on the earth can get in your way! As gay people we get to choose our family ( in my Ru Paul voice) so there is love ready and waiting for you. Being yourself is the best feeling in the world.

Growing up did you find it easy to meet other gay people?

It was hard, but saying that! It’s like we can smell it on each other! You just know! Sometimes it’s in our eyes! Gay eyes! Lol. I remember sniffing out the others and the girls who are down with us. Others not so lucky! No!

Have you ever been in love?

Yes I have. But it’s hard not to dedicate your whole life to it, as you have seen people in love for years and wondered, when’s it my turn?! I used to be obsessed with love, being older I now know better.

Are you married? If so, what was your wedding day like? If not would you like to get married someday?

My Fave question, I’m not married but I have been planning my wedding since I was 6. I used to play weddings by wrapping myself around a duvet, to make a wedding dress. And marry a man of course! I would say my husband when asked! Lol. It’s one of my life goals, to be fulfilled before 35 for sure.

Are you a father? If so, what does fatherhood mean to you? If not would you like to be a father someday?

In my first relationship, we had a plan to have kids. We were on a mission to be fathers, but now I feel too busy making my career happen! But when I’m married if my husband wants kids I’m up for that.

Interview: Billy

Name: Billy

Location: Lincoln, originally from Scotland

Age: 19

At what age did you first realise that you were gay?

I knew from quite a young age as I realised I wasn’t quite like the other boys in school as I found myself noticing them noticing girls at the age of around 10 and I quickly convinced myself that wasn’t right.

Have your family and friends always been supportive?

Once they found out they where more than supportive and helped me through a lot of hard times, however my parent whom I lived with prior to moving in with my mother were very nonchalant about such delicate matters such as throwing the words ‘poofter’ and ‘pansy’  and a few more I’m reluctant to mention around without a care.

Were you comfortable openly been yourself growing up? For example in school? When was the first time you felt truly comfortable been yourself?

I was far from comfortable, I grew up in a very backwards town in the west of Scotland where any kind of difference was noticed and chastised, I may sound somewhat barbaric and this may seem like an exaggeration but to me it was hell where I was trapped to be something I just wasn’t. All the boys in my family loved cars, trucks and getting dirty outside while I much preferred the comfort of the indoors with some pencils and paper.
Wimp, poof, gayboy and queer where just some of the names I would hear slip out of the mouths of my family.

Have you ever experienced discrimination in work because of your sexuality?

I work for Tesco and they have a non-tolerance to discrimination of any kind, they even have a colleague social site for lgbt people called outattesco.com

Do you think that the world have become more accepting and welcoming to gay people in more modern times or do you feel that there is still a long way to go?

The world has made leaps and bounds as of late in the topic of equality but there are still far too many close minded bigoted people in the world who are breeding hate in the next generation and I can only hope, like so many of my generation, they grow up independently of their parents’ bigoted opinions.

What would you say to someone out there who is struggling with their own sexuality or coming out or who is been bullied or discriminated against because of who they are?

If you aren’t comfortable being you then find somewhere that you will be, no matter how long you wait there will always be somewhere in the end that will be your place to be you, it gets easier and better and those who don’t support you are not worth fretting over. Trust me I learnt that the hard way.

Who has been the most influential person in your life and why?

My mother without a doubt. Without her I could never have gotten to where I am today. Her constant support gave me the strength to leave behind my wretched life and start a new one with her in England with her husband and my sister and im now off to UNI to study fine art and live my life.

Are you political? Is there any organisations whose work you particularly admire?

I’m not political – I don’t see why the morality of my sexuality that’s unique to me should be decided by anyone but myself.

Have you ever been in love?

Oh god ‘love’. I do believe I have been in love and nothing felt better and it was innocent and pure before the world weaved in and warped our minds and twisted them into adulthood. People may say we could never be in love at 15 but I know for sure that we were and it’s four years later. One thing to be said though, be prepared as nothing stings more than the first love lost.

Are you married? If so, what was your wedding day like? If not would you like to get married someday?

I would love to be married one day. To be with that one person who makes me feel perfect and to make them feel the same.

Are you a father? If so, what does fatherhood mean to you? If not would you like to be a father someday?

I would like to be a father one day not anytime soon but when I can afford to give a child the best start in life.

Republic of Ireland Vote Yes In Marriage Equality Referendum

On the 22nd of this month my wonderful country the Republic of Ireland voted Yes to marriage equality. We have become the first country to legalise same-sex marriage by a popular vote and I couldn’t be more proud. We showed we were a loving, compassionate country with liberal, caring minds who embrace equality and love and I’m so happy to be in a country with so many wonderful, open-minded people.

There was a huge turn-out to vote in this very important referendum with the Yes campaign winning in the end by more than 1.2 million votes, claiming victory by over 460,000 votes. Irish people from around the world travelled home to take part in the referendum and many people gathered at Dublin Castle to celebrate the result on the 23rd of May. Amendment 34 to the Irish constitution passed by 62% to 38%. Overwhelmingly victorious which makes this whole win even more beautiful because so many people believe in equality. On the 23rd Vincent Browne also presented a referendum results show from The George and rainbows were seen in Cork and Dublin as the last results came through:

From Amanda Cooke’s Twitter:

Here is some reactions about this amazing result:

From Fine Gael Limerick Twitter:

Aw too cute! 🙂 Congrats to the newly engaged couple! 🙂

Taoiseach Enda Kenny said,

Panti Bliss said,

“This is the epitome of a grassroots campaign that started 40 years ago when a tiny group stood up and said they had nothing to be afraid of.”

Leo Varadkar said,

“Something has been awakened in the Irish people … it was not just a referendum it was more like a social revolution.”

Hozier said,

Pat Carey said,

“It’s down to the brave, ordinary people of Ireland who took their courage in their hands.”

Senator David Norris said,

“It’s wonderful. It’s a little bit late for me … I’ve spent so much time pushing the boat out that I forgot to jump on and now it’s out beyond the harbour on the high seas, but it’s very nice to look at.”

Sir Ian McKellen said,

Stephen Fry said,

And my own:

I am so happy. I honestly couldn’t have beared it if the yes vote didn’t go through. It would have been awful. Now the country is an even more beautiful place than it was before. Well done to all! 🙂

My Thoughts On The Marriage Equality Referendum

Tomorrow it is going to be a huge day in Ireland. A huge day for politics and a day when hopefully love, positivity and equality will win out over negativity. Of course I’m talking about The Marriage Referendum which will be taking place.

I remember the first time I realised that gay people couldn’t get married in Ireland. I was about 11, 12, 13 and I was writing a story and my main character was getting married to his boyfriend and my sister had to tell me that it wasn’t in the law. And I remember been incredibly sad about that. It had just never crossed my mind that stopping two people of the same sex from marrying would be a law or be even allowed to be a law. It was an eye-opener to the horribleness and prejudice that existed in laws and from then I’ve been on the Yes side but it’s only now I can do something about it.

I have heard so much about the No side feeling persecuted during the campaign. I find it quite amusing and ironic considering I don’t think the No side knows the meaning of the word persecution. Every time I see a No poster I get a pang of pain in my stomach. It’s just been faced with that moment each time of knowing there is people who campaign to stop people from been happy. There is just something so cold and distant about a person who could believe that two people in love who want to get married shouldn’t be able to because the person they love is the same sex. It feels like they have a lack of goodness and I know that because someone from the Yes side would hate themselves if they thought like that. I certainly would. On the other hand every time I see a Yes poster I feel happy because there is people who campaign for goodness, love and equality and thankfully for me there is more Yes posters up in Bray! Although two of the Yes posters have been vandalised by black marker with one saying “No” and the other saying “No. Bad Example.” As much as I hate seeing the No posters I’d never write on them. Didn’t like that sort of behaviour at all.

I do have to comment about something I read someone from the No side saying recently. Something along the lines of christians been persecuted if the Yes vote wins. I think that is a ridiculous comment. I’m Catholic and I am certain that not everyone thinks we are all against everything. After all the majority of the Republic of Ireland is Catholic so if the Yes vote goes through I think it’s safe to say a good lot of the voters who would have voted Yes would have been Catholic.

I remember hearing a guy I knew once who was gay talking about his future wedding. I think the guilt hit home with me because I don’t really mind either way whether I marry or live with the man of my dreams when I meet him but he did. And I found that upsetting because I had that choice and he didn’t and he clearly wanted to marry more than I did. It isn’t right. An adult should that choice regardless of their sexuality. We all have the right to happiness and by voting No people are attempting to take that happiness away from people. And there is no excuse, whether it is religion or whatever the reason is, for taking that away from people. Obviously everyone is entitled to their opinion but we are also all entitled to dislike a person for an opinion they might have when it’s as serious as this is and it’s difficult for me to like a person who could do that to another human being while they are happy and it not even flicker on them. Of course I’d be polite to a No supporter and I’d like to think that they’d be nice to me too but I’m pretty sure we wouldn’t be hanging out, let’s put it that way.

We are all born equal and we are still all equal even when we aren’t always treated as such and while I don’t know what it is like to be made feel unequal in terms of my sexuality I know what it is like in so many ways that I have lost count. Tomorrow people of Ireland let’s do this. Let’s make Ireland equal for everybody of every sexuality. Let’s do away with this prejudice law set up years upon years upon years ago. Let’s be kind, decent people. Let’s vote Yes. I certainly know I will be.

Interview: Rachael Donovan

Here is the second interview from the interviews I did with gay, transgender and androgynous people. Was really great interviewing everyone but it was great to get interview someone from Ireland for the interviews been Irish myself.

Here is Rachael Donovan’s interview:

Name: Rachael Donovan

Age: 20

From: Cobh, Cork

At what age did you first realise that you were gay?

I was sixteen when I came out as bisexual but around eighteen was when I figured out I’m gay.

Have your family and friends always been supportive?

My friends- yes. My family have no idea yet except for a few of my cousins who have been supportive.

Who has been the most influential person in your life and why?

The most influential people have been Ellen Page and Ellen Degeneres because they have reminded me that I am not alone.

Have you ever experienced discrimination in life because of your sexuality?

Yes. Slightly. I don’t think my mother is very supportive.

Do you think that the world have become more accepting and welcoming to gay people in more modern times or do you feel that there is still a long way to go?

Yes I think it has.

What would you say to someone out there who is struggling with their own sexuality or coming out or who is been bullied or discriminated against because of who they are?

That they are not alone and there is always someone to talk to.

Are you religious? What do you think of the Church’s attitude towards gay people?

I am not very religious. I think it is shocking about the way the Church discriminates against us.

Have you ever been in love?

Yes. It didn’t end well.

Are you married? If so, what was your wedding day like? If not would you like to get married someday?

I am not married but I would like to be.

Are you a mother? If so, what does motherhood mean to you? If not would you like to be a mother someday?

I am not a mother and still not sure if I would like to be.

Interview: Kai Pünjer

Recently I did a lot of interviews with gay, transgender and androgynous people about what life is like in the 21st century been gay, transgender or androgynous for submissions for Et Alors? Magazine and Eile Magazine and it was very intriguing finding out peoples’ varying answers to the questions I put to them. It was interesting reading peoples’ experiences and then from the angle of wanting to get into journalism it was great to get a chance to interview people and to get confidence in my own ability in that vein. It was great. The Eile interviews are currently running each month in the magazine and should do so up until April and I’ll put up links to them when they’ve all been published. Currently two have been which is great. I still don’t know about the Et Alors? interviews currently as I’m still awaiting what’s happening there. It was great to get to do interviews about this issue because I feel very strongly about it and even though I’m straight, born female and only slightly androgynous when you see discrimination against people because of who they are it would make your blood boil. I felt very privileged that people were so open and honest with their answers and it was also great that I got such a fantastic response from people wishing to be interviewed. The only downside to that of course was that I couldn’t feature everyone who applied in the magazine interviews so here is the first interview for the blog of what I hope will be a few (Still waiting on some answers back from people currently).

Here is Kai Pünjer’s interview:

Name: Kai Pünjer

Age: 22

From: Berlin, Germany

At what age did you first realise that you were gay?

I was 17 years old and loved my best friend.

Have your family and friends always been supportive?

No, for my brother it was okay and my siter was proud of me, but my mum and dad were not so happy at the first time, but now everything is perfect.

Who has been the most influential person in your life and why?

Hmmmm…. let me think about it. I believe that Person was my grandma, so she´s always understood me and my kind. And she knew that I was gay before myself….

Have you ever experienced discrimination in life because of your sexuality?

Yes, but it´s always a part of a gay life, anywhere you are, in Berlin, London, Paris, everywhere are people that discriminated you.

Do you think that the world have become more accepting and welcoming to gay people in more modern times or do you feel that there is still a long way to go?

Yes, definitely! I think the world has become more accepting for gay people and for the gay World 🙂 But it´s a different way in the different countries. In Germany where I live, it’s not far away, the politicians are talking about gay marriage in Germany now, but in Turkey of course not.

What would you say to someone out there who is struggling with their own sexuality or coming out or who is been bullied or discriminated against because of who they are?

Hmmm… what can I say to those people?! I don´t understand it, really?! Why are they doing this? It´s so nice to be different, and it´s so interesting to test everything, it’s my opinion.

Are you religious? What do you think of the Church’s attitude towards gay people?

Yes I am. I am Catholic. Yes that’s difficult, because the rules of Church are sooo old, they were made and written in another century of course, so it’s not so easy to change that. But I think that the Chruch is on the right way to do that but that would be a long way to go.

Are you married? If so, what was your wedding day like? If not would you like to get married someday?

No, I’m not married! Yes maybe we want it, but not now 🙂 In a few years I think so, we have so much time together because we’re so young:)

Have you ever been in love?

Haahaa yes! Not once, not twice, but three times 🙂 The first love couldn’t be a relationship, because I was falling in love to my Best friend and he, had a girlfriend, that hurts 😦 At the second time, I was so young (18) and inexperienced and I wanted to be free, so we broke up. But i have a boyfriend since 3 years now and its soooooo wonderful and everyday I am so happy with him 🙂

Are you a father? If so, what does fatherhood mean to you? If not would you like to be a father someday?

No! I don´t know! So I want to have a child in a few years too, but I´m not sure that the rest of the world is ready for this, and the most important thing is that your child can be happy, and I can’t say exactly if my son or daughter would be happy and if the other kids in school would discriminate against my child.

Benji, The Gay, Irish Bull Saved From Death! Yay!

I hadn’t heard about this story until today and I am so happy that Benji the bull has been saved. Now he’s off to an animal sanctuary to enjoy life and hopefully meet a nice English bull. Saved from the slaughterhouse with the help of co-creator of The Simpsons Sam Simon as well as a further £4,000 by a crowd-funding initiative set up by ARAN and TheGayUK.com after an appeal by animal rights groups ARAN and PETA Benji is off to Hillside Animal Sanctuary in Norwich.

Benji is a Charolais bull from Mayo here in Ireland and came to attention internationally when it was heard that he was going to be slaughtered because he was gay. Because Benji wouldn’t mate with and breed with female cows the farmer thought he had no other option but to feed him lots and then kill him. But that wasn’t how everyone felt as donations flooded in including Sam Simon’s £5,000 to purchase Benji.

Simon said:

“PETA told me about Benji, and I felt compelled to help. All animals have a dire destiny in the meat trade, but to kill this bull because he’s gay would’ve been a double tragedy. It thrills me to help PETA and ARAN make Benji’s fate a sanctuary rather than a sandwich.”

Arrangements have been arranged by ARAN to transport Benji to the sanctuary and he is expected to arrive before Christmas. There was over 250 donors, supporters and members of the public on hand to fund his transfer to his new home.

One of my heroes ARAN’s John Carmody said:

“The response from around the worldwide has being so very encouraging, but to now hear that Sam Simon, co-creator of the world’s most popular animated sitcom is stepping in, is just icing on the already well baked cake. What could be better than to present Benji with a Christmas gift that will literally last a lifetime, by giving him a one way ticket to freedom.”

PETA’s hope is that people will consider becoming vegetarian and save many more animals like Benji.

All the best of luck to Benji in his new life and I hope he meets a lovely English bull who in my head is called Bart and was brought down from London after been left in a field and misses the city but then doesn’t care because Benji becomes his whole world. 🙂

Attitude Magazine’s Attitude Love & Marriage issue On Sale Now!

Image

Attitude Magazine’s Attitude Love & Marriage issue is currently on shelves and features Union J star Jaymi Hensley and his fiancé Olly Marmon who have become the first same sex couple to feature in advertising for popular wedding tailor Moss Bros. The couple, who will marry at the end of the year, feature in pictures wearing looks from the brand’s spring collection.

The happy couple, who have been together for over four years are seen in a touching clinch smiling at each other.

Image

Jaymi previously said,

‘I’m getting married in December. It’s going to be a big day… Management have been trying to say the next tour is in December so maybe we’ll get married during the interval.’

The advert is a big departure for men’s formal-wear firm Moss Bros which was founded in 1851 and the national campaign aims to celebrate the historic change in British law which will, from 29th March, let same sex couples marry in England and Wales.

Chief Executive Officer Brian Brick said,

“Moss Bros are proud to welcome all couples in store and help dress them for the most important day of their lives – as we have done for the last eight generations.” 

In order to realise this, Moss Bros joined forces with the magazine Attitude, as the fashion sponsor for its special issue ‘Attitude Love & Marriage’. 

It is the first wedding magazine in the UK exclusively targeting the gay market. The collection is exclusively featured in “Attitude Love & Marriage” and 70 Moss Bros store windows nationwide.

Attitude Managing Director Mike Buckley said:

“This is history in the making and we are truly humbled that a British high street institution such as Moss Bros have shown their commitment to equal marriage by supporting our Love & Marriage special issue and dressing their windows to mark the partnership.”

Image

Also featured in the issue of Attitude is Sir Elton John and David Furnish who are planning their wedding after gay marriage was legalised.

The couple were one of the first couples to enter into a civil partnership in December 2005 and eight years on the singer and filmmaker who have been together for more than 20 years and they have two sons, Zachary, three, and one-year-old Elijah, are planning their wedding day.

David Furnish wrote in Attitude magazine’s Love & Marriage special:

“Elton and I will marry – as a high-profile couple, we feel it is our duty to do it, to make sure that everyone knows that this is something that many gay men living in this country never dreamed would happen. When it was announced that gay couples were able to obtain a civil partnership, Elton and I did so on the day it came into law. As something of a showman, [Elton] is aware that whatever he says and does, people will sit up and take notice -so what better way to celebrate that historic moment in time. Our big day made the news, it was all over the internet within minutes of happening and front page news the next day. Elton and I both think there is a massive difference between calling someone your ‘partner’ and calling them your ‘husband’. Partner’ is such an impersonal word and doesn’t adequately describe the love we have for each other. When Zachary and Elijah are grown up and having children of their own, they will – hopefully – be living in a world where everyone can be equal, when being married isn’t about whether you’re straight or gay, but simply about being human.”

Also featuring is John Whaite and his boyfriend Paul Atkins who are the cover stars. They are discussing their country wedding.

Also featuring is Corrie actor Charlie Condou and his fiancé Cameron Laux.

Attitude Love & Marriage is out now.

England and Wales Legalize Same-Sex Marriage!

Marriage is now legalized for gay couples in Wales and England. Yay!

Marriage is now legalized for gay couples in Wales and England. Yay!

The world is moving further in the direction of been a much better world with the UK having its first marriage ceremonies for gay people on Saturday when a law authorising same-sex marriage came into effect at midnight after the last stage in a long campaign for equality.

David Cameron, the prime minister said it was an “important moment for our country”, and a rainbow flag flew above government offices in London to celebrate.

Cameron gave his backing to the change in law despite strong opposition from members of his Conservative party and the established Church of England and wrote in an article in Pink News,

“This weekend is an important moment for our country.”

He said,

“Put simply, in Britain it will no longer matter whether you are straight or gay – the state will recognise your relationship as equal.”

Civil partnerships have been legal since 2005 and marriage brings no new rights. For example the ability to adopt was introduced in 2002 but campaigners rightly say that only the right to marry gives them full equality with straight couples.

Teresa Millward, 37, who married her long-term girlfriend on Saturday said,

“We didn’t want to get married until it was a marriage that my mum and dad could have.”

The gay marriage law is the last victory in a long battle going back to the decriminalisation of homosexuality in England in 1967.

However there is also some to try to spoil the apple cart. The Church of England had opposed same-sex marriage, saying that weddings should only take place between a man and a woman, and secured an exemption from the new law while the House of Bishops last month also warned clergy they should not bless married gay couples and a poll for BBC radio said 20 percent of British adults would turn down an invitation to a same-sex wedding.

But the survey also found that 68 percent agreed gay marriage should be permitted, with 26 percent opposing it and Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, the leader of the world’s 80 million Anglicans, said the Church had accepted the new law and would continue to demonstrate “the love of Christ for every human being”.

Andrew Wale, a writer and actor and his partner, Neil Allard, a guesthouse owner were among the first couples to marry after the law came into effect. The couple have long waited for this day.

Wale, 49, said,

“When we were born, it was illegal to be gay, let alone get married. I didn’t think about the possibility for most of my life. It is only really recently that suddenly the option seemed to be on its way.”

Donning velvet-collared three-piece suits with white flowers in their buttonholes, the smiling, happy couple of seven years hugged and kissed after they became husband and husband in the Royal Pavilion in the English city of Brighton. The pair won a competition by the local council to find the right couple for the historic occasion and they exchanged vows not long after midnight under the nine lotus-shaped chandeliers which hung down from the gilded cockleshell domed ceiling of the music room.

England and Wales are among 15 countries as well as parts of the United States and Mexico that authorised same-sex marriage. The Netherlands was the first in 2001, and last year Brazil, Uruguay, New Zealand and France also did the right thing. Scotland last month became the latest to give the green light to gay marriage. However, the other British country, Northern Ireland, has said it does not intend to introduce same-sex marriage legislation.

I want to see a day when all of Ireland, both South and North, introduces same-sex marriage. In fact I want to see a day when the entire world does. However this is another massive step forward and I must say well done to the campaigners and government. It is so sweet seeing all the happy couples getting married and I’d like to congratulate each and every one of them.