THREE couples in Sunderland have registered with the council to have a same-sex marriage.
The first same-sex marriages in the UK took place at the stroke of midnight last night, after years of tireless campaigning by gay couples fighting to have their unions recognised by law.
The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act came into force in July last year, but it was not until March 13 that couples were able to register their intention to marry under the Act for the first time.
Campaigners who spent years battling for the legalisation of gay marriage will see the historic law enacted at midnight, despite objections from the Church of England and some members of the Conservative Party.
Civil partnerships were introduced in England and Wales in 2005 to provide gay couples with the same legal rights as heterosexual partners, but campaigners continued fighting to have their marriages recognised by law.
Ruth Hunt, acting chief executive of gay rights charity Stonewall, said: “Saturday is a momentous day for England and Wales, as the first same-sex marriages mark full legal equality for lesbian, gay and bisexual people.”