FORTY-FIVE same sex couples have already set a date to tie the knot in Oxfordshire.

Gay marriage becomes legal in the UK today after years of campaigning.

In the county, 12 couples have booked dates for April, five in May, 14 in June, and more throughout the summer – 45 out 1,318 ceremonies planned.

Superintendent registrar for Oxfordshire, Alicja Gilroy, said: “We did anticipate this. There were a group of people who didn’t want to have Civil Partnerships, waiting for marriage to come in, and they are delighted to have the opportunity finally.”

Civil Partnerships were introduced in the UK in 2004, but couples in those partnerships now wanting to get married will have to dissolve them to do so.

The former Bishop of Oxford, Lord Harries, has said he “rejoices” in the introduction of gay marriage, while the current Bishop, John Pritchard, has said he hopes that any of his parishioners still against it will respect the Biblical interpretations of others.

Lord Harries signed a letter, along with 13 religious leaders from Christianity and Judaism, welcoming the news.

The letter states: “As persons of faith we welcome this further development in our marriage law, which has evolved over the centuries in response to change in society and in scientific knowledge.”

  • Are you having a same-sex wedding? Call Pete Hughes on 01865 425431.