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Last Updated: Tuesday, 8 November 2005, 21:26 GMT
Gay 'victory' after wedding vote
Anthony Smallman and Ian Farmer
Anthony Smallman and Ian Farmer have been together five years
Gay rights campaigners have claimed victory as one of the last councils in the UK has voted to allow same-sex marriage ceremonies.

Ian Farmer, who led a protest outside Medway Council's offices in Strood, had threatened legal action if the council did not vote to allow gay "weddings".

"It is the right thing. At last lesbian and gay people in Medway can live free from discrimination," he said.

Cllr Tom Mason said: "I don't accept there has been a lack of action."

Loving relationship

Same-sex civil partnerships will become law in December but councils can stop them taking place in their register offices.

Gay rights campaign group Stonewall claimed Medway was one of the last councils to allow ceremonies.

"We are well ahead of the legislation," said Cllr Mason.

"This authority and myself would not want to discriminate against anybody."

Mr Farmer and his partner Anthony Smallman, live in St Mary's Island, Chatham.

"My partner and I have been together for five years," said Mr Farmer.

"We are in a wonderful, loving, happy relationship with a house, dogs, jobs, cars and all that kind of stuff.

"We have every right to this in a modern society and an equal world."

Gay couple aim for wedding date
29 Aug 05 |  England
Gay unions banned in wedding room
04 Jul 05 |  Northern Ireland

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