Here Comes the Groom and Groom
Scotland’s year has been pretty unforgettable. It could be argued, the most important year since the Act of the Union in 1707.
Whether it be the Independence Referendum, Radio 1’s Big Weekend, MTV EMA’s, Ryder Cup or even the tragic fire at the Glasgow School of Art, Scotland has been at the forefront of breaking news across the world in 2014.
Still Game’s unbeatable run of shows at the SSE Hydro, TITP’s final year at Balado or the triumphant and once in a lifetime experience of Glasgow hosting the Commonwealth Games, 2014 has been unbelievable.
Throw another Glasgow based winner of the Turner Prize, Duncan Campbell, into the mix and its clear to see why people are in awe of the “Dear Green Place”.
Many consider this the rebirth of Glasgow as a cosmopolitan city, or even Glasgow’s Renaissance. What can’t be denied is that it’s certainly an exciting time to be alive and living in Glasgow.
However on the 16th of December 2014 something historical happened in Glasgow, a life changing event, a spark that alongside a few other countries will ignite a fire of change that will captivate the world…
A couple got married!
“How is this historical?” Glad you asked.
16th December 2014, a unique day in Scottish history
David and Scott Barclay became the first same sex couple in Scotland to be married. We caught up with them in the Merchant City’s Wild Cabaret for a quick chat about their wedding day. “We’ve been together for 11 years,” said Scott, “8 of them in a civil partnership.”
“But we’ve always been really conscious that the civil partnership is (considered) second down, whereas this today actually validates us in the name of the law. It means we’re the same as our mum and dad, brothers and sisters, up until the law was changed we weren’t the same.”
The Netherlands in 2001 led the way in liberal thinking for same sex marriage and ever since then international gay rights groups have campaigned for the rest of the world to follow suit.
December 2005, a day after Northern Ireland, Scotland passed the Civil Partnerships Act which granted same sex couples the ability to register their intentions with local councils to commit to the same person for life.
Scott said. “We can now choose, but when David and I got our civil partnerships, it felt very sterile, whereas this felt very personal, obviously we can’t have the ceremony until the 31st but it was still very personal. Glasgow City Council by the way could not have done any more, they were absolutely amazing.”
“We really can’t thank them enough,” interjected David.
The happy couple, after mingling with the world’s media (NBC America, Canadian television, Dubai television et al) unwound in the Merchant City’s Wild Cabaret with champagne, a show and dinner. “Oh they’ve been wonderful here for us, we come here all the time, fantastic shows and a brilliant atmosphere, they even gave us complimentary champagne and invited us to be their guest of honour at the Hogmanay bash, we feel like stars.” Laughed Scott.
There are unsupported claims that same sex marriage will disrupt the fabric of marriage, but try considering the controversial topic from a different angle. Marriage ratings in 2011 were at their lowest in history. (There has been a very minimal increase in marriage since.)
Statistics for divorce are at some of the highest rates since they began
Now if a section of society who were previously forbidden from marrying, but were still willing to spend the rest of their life with each other, were suddenly granted the opportunity to marry, and they wish to, would that not strengthen the sanctity of marriage?
For richer or poorer, sickness and in health, til death do them part, and the rest of the solemn vows. Same sex couples will be just as willing to share their vows and spend the rest of their life with each other as a heterosexual couple.
Scott said. “We pay our bills, taxes like any other couple, we’ve raised thousands of pounds for charity and we also share the same surname, we’re no different from many other couples.”
“But to have this opportunity now, it’s amazing,” said Scott.
How does it feel to be married? “Well, to be honest it hasn’t really sunk in yet, maybe in a few days, when its all calmed down. You know, after seeing ourselves in the papers and on the news.” Laughed David.
16th December 2014, a unique day in Scottish history.
A regular couple got married.