In Britain, some argue that true equality won't have been reached until a gay couple can be married by a priest in Westminster Abbey, as Prince William and Kate Middleton were in 2011. Some gay-rights activists think embracing marriage is caving in to a heterosexist world order.
Still, Saturday feels momentous to couples including Laura Smith and Sarah Nutley, marrying at London's elegant Mayfair Library in a service that includes Britney Spears lyrics — Nutley is a fan — and quotes from "The Rocky Horror Show," which Smith loves.
"We're quite a traditional couple in a lot of senses, so we always wanted to get married," said Smith, a 25-year-old office manager from Boise, Idaho who moved to London six years ago. She met her 30-year-old British partner at work — "She thought I was an obnoxious American and I thought she was a bit standoffish."
They recently celebrated their fifth anniversary, but were never tempted to have a civil partnership.
"As much as civil partnership does give the couple the same benefits as marriage ... it's not the same," said Smith.
Jill Lawless can be reached at http://Twitter.com/JillLawless
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