Islington Town Hall this Friday, March 28, from 11pm
You are invited to celebrate the historic first same-sex marriages:
11pm to midnight, this Friday evening, 28 March,
Islington Town Hall, Upper Street, London N1 2UD.
Nearest tube and train station: Highbury and Islington. Buses: 4, 19, 30 and 43.
Bring rainbow flags, streamers, whistles, sparklers, vuvuzelas and flowers.
The first – or one of the first – same-sex marriages in the UK will take place at one minute past midnight this Friday, 28 March.
Peter McGraith and David Cabreza, who have been partners for 17 years, will marry.
Their chief witness will be the human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell, who has spearheaded the campaign for marriage equality for the last 22 years. Together with OutRage!, he organised five same-sex couples to mount the first challenge to the ban on same sex marriage, way back in 1992.
The two grooms will be joined at the Town Hall by a large throng of friends, well-wishers and gay equality supporters from 11pm for the big countdown.
Because of space limitations, only invited wedding guests will be allowed inside the Town Hall. The main celebrations will take place outside the main entrance.
Peter and David will greet supporters and hold press conferences outside the Town Hall on Friday night at just after 11pm and again just after midnight.
Speaking on behalf of himself and David, his future husband, Peter McGraith said:
“We are thrilled to be getting married. It is a mark of significant social progress in the UK that the legal distinction between gay and straight relationships has been removed.
“Marriage is hugely symbolic. If people don’t take up the opportunity to marry, then we lose the opportunity to show the world that in some countries, like the UK, we have the same rights as everyone else, which includes the right to marry.
“Very few countries afford their gay and lesbian citizens equal marriage rights. We believe that this change in the law will bring hope and strength to gay men and lesbians in Nigeria, Uganda, Russia, India and elsewhere, who lack basic equality and are being criminalised for their sexual orientation.”
Peter Tatchell added:
“Peter and David are personal friends and long-time gay rights campaigners. I am delighted to be their witness on this historic day. Their marriage is a celebration for them and for the whole lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. It marks the end of the ban on same-sex marriage and is another hugely significant milestone in the quest for lesbian and gay equality.
“The legalisation of same-sex marriage ends the last major legal discrimination against gay people in England and Wales. Scotland will follow later this year. Sadly, Northern Ireland remains a bastion of homophobia. The unionist parties vetoed marriage equality last year.
“I share the feminist critique of marriage. I would not want to get married. But as a democrat, I defend the right of others to make that choice. I believe in the principle that we should all be equal before the law; that homophobic discrimination is wrong and should be overturned. Banning LGBT people from marriage was anti-gay discrimination. That’s why I fought to overturn it.
“Same-sex marriage is an unstoppable global trend because love and commitment are universal human traits, regardless of sexual orientation or nationality. No ignorance or prejudice can hold back the triumph of love,” said Mr Tatchell.