British minister marries her lesbian partner

September 29th, 2008 - 8:18 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Sep 29 (IANS) As India still debates decriminalising homosexuality, a British minister has married her lesbian partner in a perfectly legal and socially accepted wedding ceremony.Treasury Minister Angela Eagle, 47, the only openly lesbian member of parliament in Britain, took part in a civil partnership ceremony with British Telecom engineer Maria Exall at a south London register office Saturday.

Dressed in a white tailored jacket and black trousers, Eagle kissed her bride in front of the 50 or so guests.

“It’s been great, everyone was very pleased and they are very much in love,” said Eagle’s twin sister Maria.

The marriage was made possible by legislation that grants new rights in areas such as employment, pensions and inheritance.

Civil partnerships, which have allowed same-sex couples in Britain to cement their relationship in law since 2005, give gay couples rights and responsibilities similar to married heterosexual couples.

Earlier this year, senior opposition MP Alan Duncan became the first parliamentarian to enter into a civil partnership.

Other notable figures who have entered civil partnerships include British pop star Elton John and his long-term partner, Canadian film maker David Furnish.

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