From midnight today, same-sex couples will be able to legally marry in England and Wales.
In a move that has been hailed across all parties, married same-sex couples will now have equal rights as heterosexual couples.
Prime Minister David Cameron said the law would encourage young people who were unsure of their sexuality.
He added, “We are a nation that is growing stronger economically because of our long-term economic plan. But I hope we can also be a country that is growing stronger socially because we value love and commitment equally.”
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said Britain will be a different place as a result of the law. He congratulated his party for being a part of the reform stating, “If our change to the law means a single young man or young woman who wants to come out, but who is scared of what the world will say, now feels safer, stronger, taller – well, for me, getting into coalition government will have been worth it just for that.”
Labour leader Ed Miliband also voiced his approval of the new law.
“This is an incredibly happy time for so many gay couples and lesbian couples who will be getting married, but it’s an incredibly proud time for our country as well, recognizing equal marriage in law,” he said.
The law has faced criticism from religious leaders and critics who claim that allowing gay couples to marry in Church was against the teachings of Christianity.
The Church of England is currently prohibited by law from performing same-sex marriages although there is a debate within the church about the issue.
The church has banned its ministers from performing the ceremonies but some of them have said that will go ahead and do what they believe in, even if it meant losing their jobs.
A BBC poll revealed that 5% of the population would reject an invitation to attend a gay wedding.
Gay couples around the country have been planning to tie the knot, with the first wedding planned at the stroke of midnight.