A GAY couple are celebrating after same-sex marriage became law.
Conor Marron and James Lattimore got involved in the movement for equal rights when they launched the online petition, Coalition For Equal Marriage, to counter one that had been set up oposing gay marriage.
Now the couple, who have been together for six-and-a-half years, have a reason to celebrate.
Last week, The Queen’s Royal Assent was granted to the Bill, turning it into the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act, after it cleared the final stage in Parliament.
The Bill officially became law once its Royal Assent was announced in both the Houses of Commons and Lords, and the first same-sex marriages in England and Wales are likely to take place next summer.
Conor, 30, from Hebburn, said: “We’re just absolutely delighted. I can’t even really describe how we feel – we’re just so happy.
“All we’ve ever wanted is to have the same rights as everyone else, and it should never have taken this long for that to happen.
“When we first launched our online petition, we were just trying to get the word out, but we never expected it to blow up the way it did.
“All of a sudden we were in the paper and on TV and radio, and I was even on the radio in Perth the other day.”
Conor also enlisted the help of a film-maker to create a short movie to promote equal marriage.
The film, called Homecoming, sees soldiers returning after a tour of duty and being reunited with their partners, with one male soldier running into the arms of his waiting partner before proposing to him.
It has been viewed on YouTube more than one million times.
Conor said: “This isn’t just happening in the UK, it’s happening all over the world and I honestly can’t say how happy I am. It’s not just about me and James, it’s about couples everywhere.”
However, it might not mean wedding bells for Conor and James, 34, just yet.
Conor said: “We’ve always said we’d want to be together for at least five years before we got married, and that we’d wait until it was legal, rather than having a civil partnership, so both those boxes are ticked now.
“But we’re not in a massive hurry, and now we know we can just do it whenever we’re ready to, and that’s what matters.”