A SCOT who married his partner in one of England's first gay weddings has spoken of his hopes that the new laws will transform the institution.

Peter McGraith, 49, who grew up near Airdrie in North Lanarkshire, spent his first day as a married man with husband David Cabreza yesterday after a ceremony at Islington Town Hall in north London just after midnight on Saturday.

Their chief witness was the gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell who said: "Love triumphs over everything."

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They were among a number of gay couples who got married at the venue almost as soon as The Marriage (Same Sex) Act allowed them to do so.

The scenes were repeated across England, with ­same-sex weddings in ­Westminster, Brighton and Northampton.

The newly married couple, who have two children, were greeted by applause as they left the town hall after what Mr McGraith said was a "wonderful" service.

He added: "It was a very nice service, and it felt very nice and relaxed. Islington Town Hall is a lovely, lovely venue and the media were quite separate in the gallery above, so there was no sense the public intruded upon the private, and the members of the press present were very well behaved.

"There is no honeymoon planned at the moment.

"I am glad we did it now, because I didn't feel comfortable with the idea of one of the first couples to be married having nothing to say - whereas I do really feel part of an international community, and all of us still have a long way to go.

"The reception was so beautiful and there were 16 speeches - it was just full of joy and really lovely.

"I really feel that this changes marriage and perhaps can be part of a movement to a new idea of marriage, which is so anachronistic or even misogynist in some ways."

He said he hoped the change in law would also bring hope to gay men and lesbians in countries where equality has not been achieved or where they are criminalised.

The law, passed last year, made gay marriages in England and Wales legal.

The Act came into force in July last year but it was not until March 13 that couples were able to register their intention to marry.

It was followed by Scotland's same-sex marriage bill which was passed last month.

The first Scottish gay marriages will happen in the autumn.

More than 2000 people including a number of famous faces gathered to see comedian Sandi Toksvig and her partner Debbie renew their wedding vows at a public ceremony on London's South Bank.

The couple, who entered into a civil partnership seven years ago, exchanged vows at the Royal Festival Hall.