Ten years of equal marriage

Today, 17 July 2023, marks ten years since David Cameron's Conservative-led coalition government changed the law in England and Wales to extend marriage to same sex couples.  

Marriage is hugely important institution in this country and the principles of long-term commitment and responsibility underpin and bind our society to make it stronger. 

  • Today, we mark the tenth anniversary of the Marriage Act 2013 extended marriage to same sex couples. Since then, over 42,000 couples have got married with marriage and civil partnerships open to both same and opposite sex couples across the UK. 
  • We are determined to build a society where everyone can live their lives as they wish, without fear of intimidation or discrimination for who you are or who you love. 

Today's Conservative government is supporting the LGBT community by: 

  • Marking ten years since the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013 came into law, extending marriage to same sex couples. We do not believe in preventing couples from marrying unless there are very good reasons and loving someone of the same sex is not one of them. That is why ten years ago today, a Conservative-led government passed the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013. 
  • Extending same sex marriage to Northern Ireland, supporting couples right across the UK. Same sex marriage became legal in Northern Ireland in January 2020, meaning couples right across the UK can marry who they love – strengthening the law we passed in 2013. 
  • Banning conversion practices, putting an end to this abhorrent practice. Ministers will publish a draft bill with details of plans to ban conversion practices in England and Wales.  
  • Pardoning gay and bisexual men convicted of now-abolished sexual offences, acknowledging the real harm done by the unjust and cruel homophobic laws of the past. We can never undo the hurt caused, but we have apologised and taken action to right these wrongs. The Policing and Crime Act has enshrined in law pardons for those convicted of consensual same-sex relationships. 
  • Setting up a world-leading support service for victims of conversion therapy, ensuring victims have somewhere to turn. Galop is the nation’s leading anti-violence LGBT charity – which is why they have been selected by the Government to deliver a first of its kind, Government-funded support service for victims of conversion therapy.   


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