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Stonewall Scotland gay marriage
Stonewall Scotland celebrates gay marriage@StonewallScot via Twitter

Scotland celebrates as gay marriage law comes into effect

Civil partnerships were already allowed but now couples can tie the knot

Back in February, Scotland voted to allow same-sex marriage. That law came into effect today, meaning that any gay couples who are in existing civil partnerships can convert to a marriage and any same-sex relationships wishing to tie the knot can now inform authorities that they're keen to get hitched.

Douglas Pretsell and Peter Gloster were the first Scottish couple to marry. The Melbourne-based couple took advantage of the 11 hour time difference to convert their civil partnership to marriage on the stroke of midnight in the UK. 

Speaking to BBC Radio's Good Morning Scotland, they said: "We always considered our civil partnership to be our marriage, but in the eyes of the law and society it wasn't held in the same regard. Prior to today, same-sex couples were deliberately treated as though our relationships were inferior and not worthy of the same recognition or respect. Well, from today it's official, we are married and we have the certificate to prove it".

Leanne and Marie Banks were the first gay couple to marry in Scotland at 8.45am, at Dundee Registrars' office.

Scottish support for homosexual marriage is at an all-time high. Statistics released by ScotCen Social Research show that 68% of Scots now believe that gay and lesbian couples should be able to marry, an increase on 61% in 2010 and a huge rise compared to just 41% in 2002.

Scotland has now caught up with England and Wales, countries that legalised same-sex marriage back in March. Northern Ireland remains the only place in the UK that does not allow homosexual marriage and reportedly has no plans to do so, marking their rulemakers out as a bunch of total crybabies.