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First same-sex couple to marry named

Gay and lesbian couples across the country are busy preparing their special day as new marriage legislation comes into force next month

Gay and lesbian couples across the country are busy preparing their special day as new marriage legislation comes into force next month.

Brighton's Andrew Wale and Neil Allard are set to be one of the first same-sex couples to marry in Britain on March 29, when the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act comes into effect.

Actor Mr Wale felt he was privileged to be part of this historic moment.

"I feel so lucky to live in a country where human rights and equality are moving in the right direction and in a city with such an impressive history of tolerance and inclusion," he said.

The celebration is to take place at the Royal Pavilion, which was the backdrop to the couple's first date over seven years ago.

Brighton and Hove City Council senior ceremonies registrar Trevor Love said: "Brighton and Hove is a popular location for ceremonies and we have been busy keeping people up to date with the latest news about the introduction of same-sex marriage.

"It is wonderful to see this law change being welcomed so enthusiastically in the city."

Office of National Statistics data shows that over 7,000 same-sex civil partnerships were enacted across the country over the course of 2012.

The Same-Sex Marriage Bill was passed last year with a majority of 400 to 175 in the Commons and the Conservative vote split over the question.

The Church of England stated last week that it will continue to rule out religious blessings to gay and lesbian weddings.

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