Stephen Fry Will Oversee England’s First Televised Gay Marriage

stephen_fry_hobbitWhere will you be on March 29? If you’re a longtime gay couple in England, you’ll probably be getting married, since that’s the first day that the empire’s marriage equality law takes effect.

And who better to celebrate the event than Stephen Fry, member of the Greatest Living British Isles Homosexual Club along with Sir. Ian McKellen, John Barrowman and Graham Norton.

Theater-people Benjamin Till and Nathan Taylor are staging a wedding spectacular on edgy Channel 4, complete with musical numbers. That’s pretty gay. Stephen Fry will officiate, and has hinted that special guests will be in attendance. The Queen, perhaps?

The two have been together for 12 years, so here’s to things worth waiting for.

It certainly took long enough to get the marriage bill passed in the UK. Explicitly prohibited since the 1800s, marriage equality was repeatedly banned by various laws in the 1960s and 1970s. But then the government launched a consultation in 2012, after years of endorsement from the Green Party, Liberal Democrats, Labour and Plaid Cymru.

The marriage bill was formally introduced a little over a year ago, and passed various legislative hurdles throughout 2013. It was finally a done deal in December of 2013.

If you’re planning to wed on the first day, you’d better get planning now: you can’t just waltz up to a marriage counter. Instead, you have to declare your intention to marry two weeks ahead of time. The deadline for that is March 13.

Scotland is following England and Wales, with a marriage bill of its own that will likely pass this year. Things are a bit more dodgy in Northern Ireland, though, which has defeated equality for the last couple of years.