LGBT Couples Throughout History

In this hand-picked timeline of LGBT couples marrying throughout history, we say thank you to those courageous campaigners and same-sex couples for bravely placing same-sex marriage firmly on the agenda.

Read their stories, share yours and celebrate a century of diversity and equal love…

The Invisibles: Vintage Portraits of Love and Pride


French film-maker, Sebastian Lifshitz’s collection of images are an unforgettable time capsule of photographs of our queer, brave ancestors, to whom we owe so much.

Captured during a much darker time and published in this brilliant book, we challenge you not to be moved by the contents of these pages.

Buy the book

Jack Baker and Michael McConnell (1970)

In 1970, university students Jack Baker and Michael McConnell (pictured above in 1970, and below, more recently), took their wish to marry each other to court.

Rebuked, but refusing to let it prevent them from marrying, they relocated to a different county where McConnell adopted Baker, Baker changed his name to the gender-neutral one of Pat Lyn McConnell and, a year later, they were legally married.

Baker continued to publicly advocate for gay rights until the ‘80s.

Their journey and memoirs are printed in The Wedding Heard ‘Round the World: America’s First Gay Marriage.

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First Mass Same-Sex Wedding Ceremony, 1987

On 10th October 1987, more than 7,000 people gathered outside the National Mall in Washington DC to cheer on, applaud and throw confetti at the largest mass wedding in America’s history… and it wasn’t just a ‘mass’ wedding; it was a mass wedding of same-sex couples and symbolically marked the beginning of almost 2,000 same-sex marriages.

Joy Wasson and Liz Throop (pictured) were among the same-sex couples to marry at this monumental event.

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The Netherlands Goes Down in the LGBT History Books, 2001

On 1st April 2001, the Netherlands became the first country in the world to legalise same-sex marriage. Helene Faasen and Anne-Marie (pictured) were one of four couples to celebrate equality in love and marriage by making their vows.

The Netherland’s new law converted registered same-sex partnerships into marriages, giving same-sex couples equal legal status as opposite-sex couples.

From that date onwards, they could marry, claim pensions and other benefits, and adopt Dutch children.

All references to gender in laws surrounding matrimony and adoption were replaced with the gender-neutral term, ‘partner’.

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America Joins In, 2004

Tanya McCloskey and Marcia Kadish (pictured) became the first same-sex couple to legally marry in the United States.

Their ceremony took place in In Cambridge, Massachusetts on 17th May 2004.

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Ellen and Portia, 2008

Comic media star Ellen DeGeneres and actress Portia de Rossi held their intimate lesbian wedding at their Beverly Hills home on 16th August 2008.

The couple exchanged their self-written vows in front of 19 friends and family. They feasted vegan-style, outside in their garden overlooking the LA skyline, and shared their first dance to Stevie Wonder’s Ribbon in the Sky.

View more on this story at Image by Lara Porzak Photography

Tweeting it, 2014

In a tweet on Monday 8 September, 2014, actor Neil Patrick Harris wrote: ‘Guess what? @DavidBurtka and I got married over the weekend in Italy.

Yup, we put the ‘n’ and ‘d’ in ‘husband.’,’.

The couple, who had been together for ten years, rented a castle in Perugia, Italy for a small ceremony and celebration at which Sir Elton John performed.

View more at

Speaking of which…

Going to the Chapel, with Instagram, 2014

After 22 years together, Sir Elton John and David Furnish were officially married on 21 December 2014 at their home in front of family and friends, including the Beckham family, Christopher Bailey and Liz Hurley.

The couple married on the ninth anniversary of their civil partnership and asked their two sons to be ring bearers.

Sir Elton shared their wedding with the world via Instagram, posting ‘The exchange of vows. #ShareTheLove’. We couldn’t have said it better.

View images from their wedding at the

Family Officiated Lesbian Wedding, 2017

Actress Samira Wiley and her now-wife, script-writer Lauren Morelli, met on the set of ‘Orange Is the New Black.

They announced their engagement via Instagram and celebrated their nuptials on 25th March 2017 at a colourful ‘funfetti’ wedding in a ceremony that was officiated by Samira’s parents.

View more on this story at

Proposing in Parliament, 2017

On 4 December, 2017, Australian MP Tim Wilson engages in a parliamentary debate on legalising same-sex marriage and ends his speech by proposing to his partner, who is seated in the gallery, saying “Ryan Patrick Bolger, will you marry me?” – what a way to end a debate!

View the video on the Guardian website.

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