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Pair book county’s first same-sex marriage

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Two Mansfield women are celebrating after becoming the first same-sex couple to book a marriage ceremony following a change in the law.

Eleanor Plumstead, 23, and Ruth Harris, 31, who both live in Mansfield, have booked a marriage ceremony to take place on Saturday 9th August next year at the town’s register office.

The couple have known each other since August 2011 and the ceremony will be followed by a reception at Mansfield’s 281 Restaurant.

Eleanor said: “I have been campaigning for years for gay marriage so I was straight on the phone to book our wedding when I heard the news.

“Ruth and I have been engaged since August 2012 and we have waited for the law to change so we could get married as it is what we both preferred rather than a civil partnership ceremony.”

Nottinghamshire County Council announced that Eleanor and Ruth were the first same-sex couple to book a marriage in one of its register offices, following the Government announcement that gay and lesbian couples can marry from March 29 next year.

The legislation on the issue received Royal Assent after the Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat leaderships all backed the proposals, which were approved by MPs and peers in July.

During the Commons debate, Equalities Minister Maria Miller said the passing of the bill was “clear affirmation” that “respect for each and every person is paramount, regardless of age, religion, gender, ethnicity or sexuality”.

Helen Scaman from the council’s registration service, said: “Now that we know the date that same-sex marriage ceremonies can take place from we can take bookings which is really exciting and it is a truly historic occasion.

“Couples who are already in a civil partnership are also able to have a marriage ceremony and we will continue to offer partnership ceremonies if couples would prefer this option to mark their relationship.”

The county council has been holding civil partnership ceremonies for same-sex couples at its registration offices in the county and premises approved by the authority since they were introduced in 2005.

Around 35 civil partnership ceremonies are booked from April 2014 to the end of March 2015 and 51 have taken place since April 2013.

For more information on the registration service contact the council on 0300 500 80 80 or visit www.nottinghamshire.gov.uk/registrars.

Big day: Mansfield couple Ruth Harris (left) and Eleanor Plumstead , who have booked Nottinghamshire’s first same-sex marriage following a change in the law earlier this year. They will be tying the knot at a ceremony at Mansfield Register Office in August 2014.

 

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