July 29 2014 Latest news:
Saturday, March 29, 2014
A couple from Kentish Town described their “joy of being part of history” as they became what is claimed to be the first ever gay married couple in the country.
In a landmark moment for civil rights, Sinclair Treadway, 20, and Sean Adl-Tabatabai, 32, exchanged rings at the stroke of midnight in a ceremony at Camden Town Hall in Judd Street.
Conducted by Cllr Jonathan Simpson – Camden’s first openly gay Mayor – the two grooms were racing about a dozen other couples across the country also bidding to become the first same-sex married couple.
A packed council chamber saw tears of joy and live music in a ceremony that lasted just six minutes.
The moment - which Camden Council has already claimed as the country’s “first ever” same-sex marriage - marked the enacting of new laws at midnight.
It comes after a long and passionate struggle by campaigners to get equal marriage rights extended to the LGBT community.
Mr Adl-Tabatabai, who has lived in Camden for the last 10 years and has his own production company, said: “It’s quite simply the best day of my life.
“It all happened so fast but I’m really looking forward to spending the rest of our lives living together.
“It’s been terrible that gay people couldn’t be part of the institution of marriage for so long.
“But now we feel that wrong has been righted and we’re part of history. We can look back knowing were part of such a big moment for civil rights and equality.”
Husband Mr Treadway, who he met in America, added: “This country has such a rich history in civil rights and with promoting gay rights.
“The struggle isn’t over but this is a momentous occasion.
“It was fantastic to have the ceremony conducted by the Mayor of Camden too.
“To have a politician who is able to be openly gay while leading the borough is really special and a statement of how far we’ve come in itself.”
The pair will be spending their honeymoon in the Caribbean in a few months.
Cllr Jonathan Simpson was noticeably moved by being part of the ceremony, saying he felt “so proud” to be involved.
“It’s a huge privilege and as a gay man myself it is hugely significant,” he said.
“The gay community has fought against acts of discrimination, fought for changes in adoption laws and championed rights in the workplace.
“But today marks one of the biggest steps in the equal rights campaign.
“It’s an incredible night – who can sleep after a night like this?!”
The couple – along with about 100 guests – were taken by a routemaster bus to Proud Gallery to celebrate into the early hours of Saturday morning.
Camden will host to two more same-sex marriage ceremonies on Saturday – one at the Town Hall and one at Burgh House in Hampstead.