After Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Iceland, The Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, South Africa and Sweden the UK finds itself in a race with France to become the 12th place in the world where marriage equality becomes a nation-wide reality. Channel 4 used the opportunity to air a segment about Britain’s changing attitudes towards gay rights.
Some minor legal inequalities will remain under the proposed marriage equality legislation in the UK though as, the Guardian points out:
Those who draft the parliamentary bills have been unable to define what constitutes consummation of a same-sex union. Consequently there is no provision for divorce on the grounds of non-consummation of a gay marriage.
That problem also means that same-sex couples who wish to divorce will not be able to cite adultery with someone of the same sex – the civil servants similarly struggled to find a definition of adultery between two men or two women. Adultery will, nonetheless, be a permitted grounds for divorce if it follows sexual intercourse between one of the couple and someone of the opposite sex. That, at least, is consistent with existing marriage laws: if a man decides he is gay and leaves his wife for a man, she can divorce him for unreasonable behaviour but not adultery, which is defined as sexual intercourse.