The first "gay weddings" in the UK took place today as the Civil Partnerships Act took effect.
I'm honestly not sure what I think of civil partnerships. It is indisputably good that same sex couples can have their partnership recognised in law, given how often they are locked out, but fundamentally they are not marriages. Legally they are transacted by contract, not public affirmation (although a public signing ceremony can take place), whilst also they can only be conducted by registrars and not by clergy. This is very much a two tier system and the calls for civil partnerships to be extended to heterosexual couples (who don't need them - they can get married) will only serve to undermine the institution of marriage. It would have been far simpler and a better step to equality to remove the gender distinctions in marriage law and to hell with the bigots who cling to ancient dictionaries.