March 8 2014 Latest news:
Sunday, February 16, 2014
An Islington couple are set to make history by becoming one of the first same-sex couples to tie the knot in the UK when gay marriage is made legal next month.
Peter McGraith and David Cabreza will beat other same-sex couples to the punch by being the first to say ‘I do’ in Islington Town Hall in Upper Street on the stroke of midnight March 28.
“We are thrilled to be getting married,” said writer and designer, Peter McGraith, 49.
Mr McGraith, who was at the House of Commons along with 60 other activists when the vote was passed, says the marriage is sending out a political message.
“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. We are also delighted to be marrying within such a diverse and inclusive community as Islington.
“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 and we believe that this change in 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.”
The Scottish and American couple have been together for 17 years, and will finally be able to wed in their own borough, which is renowned for its stance on equality.
Always at the heart of the gay rights movement, Islington hosted the first public gay rights protest in 1970 and the first London Pride marches in 1971 and 1972.
Cllr Richard Watts, Leader of Islington Council said: “We are excited for Peter and David ahead of their marriage at Islington Town Hall. It’s further recognition of our commitment to making Islington a fairer place.”
David and Peter’s midnight marriage announcement comes as Islington and Camden host one of the country’s largest LGBT History Month celebrations.