- West Country (W)
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History has been made across the West Country today as gay couples were allowed to marry for the first time.
The Mayor of Exmouth was one of the ones saying 'I do', to his partner of more than twenty years.
Our correspondent Duncan Sleightholme reports:
From midnight tonight same sex marriage will become legal in the UK. At the moment, only civil partnerships have been available to gay people.
But the law does not mean that religious organisations have to perform marriage ceremonies, and couples already in civil partnerships cannot get married. That means the change in the law has only been given a cautious welcome by gay and lesbian organisations here in the West Country.
The founder and chairman of Cornwall Pride says the move to legalise same sex marriage is a "magnificent move forward".
Christian Diamant organises the Cornwall Pride parade in Truro, which celebrates the Lesbian, Gay, bisexual and transgender communities.
He is in a civil partnership which he hopes to transfer into a marriage. But, he says that means waiting until further legislation is brought in later this year:
The first gay weddings will take place in the region tomorrow (Saturday 29 March) after changes to legislation governing same-sex relationships. Until now, gay couples had only been allowed to enter civil partnerships.
Jonathan Draper, Dean of Exeter, gives the Devon Diocese's perspective on the change:
The first gay weddings will take place in the region tomorrow after changes to legislation governing same-sex relationships. Until now, gay couples had only been allowed to enter into civil partnerships.