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  • This just in    March 29 
First same-sex couples marry in England, Wales

Shortly after midnight on Saturday, England's first same-sex couples tied the knot as gay marriage became legal in England and Wales.

Civil partnerships have been an option for same-sex couples in the country since 2005, but many waited for Parliament to pass the gay marriage law, saying it gave them more truly equal rights. Prime Minister David Cameron tweeted out his congratulations, following up on a statement in which he noted that "this weekend is an important moment for our country. It says we are a country that will continue to honour its proud traditions of respect, tolerance, and equal worth."

The law still prohibits the Church of England from performing same-sex marriages, and it allows other religious groups to refuse them, too, essentially creating two legal definitions of marriage: one recognized by religious groups and one recognized by the state.

"The Church of England believes marriage is between one man and one woman for life," Bishop of Norwich, the Right Reverend Graham James, told the BBC. "It's untidy for the law to have two definitions…but I think we can live with untidiness."

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