At pm EST this Tuesday, a young couple will make their way to Greenville county court in South Carolina to confirm their commitment to each other by getting married. For this couple, however, the normal pre-marital concerns about lost rings, rowing families and too-revealing speeches will be overshadowed by the certain knowledge that their request for a marriage licence will be denied. Alyssa Weaver and Michel McIver are one of six same-sex couples attempting to get married in South Carolina, where gay marriage is illegal. Three couples, including Weaver and McIver, will request marriage licenses in Greenville on Tuesday afternoon.
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When Sias Strydom arrived at his wedding in the small South African town of Klerksdorp, the first thing that he saw was a group of giggling police officers hiding behind a wall. They were clambering up to see if Strydom, a man who had joined the police force a year previously, was wearing a white dress. To their disappointment, Strydom and his sweetheart both got married in traditional dark suits, crisp white shirts and silk ties. Strydom and Brent Browning are South Africa's first gay, married police officers. They were "wed" in a lay ceremony in September of last year, seven years after the end of the apartheid regime under which homosexuality was considered such a serious crime that suspected gays could be killed on sight without a trial. Under the Sexual Offences Act, a police officer or any member of the public could arrest someone they suspected of committing sodomy - and they had the right to kill the suspect if he tried to resist arrest.
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The words said during your wedding ceremony are undoubtably the most important part of your day. They are the vows that will bind you and the words spoken over your marriage in front of your closest loved ones. This is not the beginning, but a celebration of the next chapter in their lives together. Today, they will affirm this bond formally and publicly.
Just three years previously, this ceremony, with more than family members and friends in attendance, would have been illegal in the Republic of Ireland. The result, which was overwhelmingly 62 per cent in favour of legalisation, amended the country's constitution forever. The same day Lynch asked Dahn to marry him. I felt vindicated and finally free to love the love of my life. We are finally equal in the eyes of the law.