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The Associated Press March 27, 2010, 5:05PM ET

UK Parliament hosts first same-sex marriage

Britain's Europe Minister Chris Bryant has taken part in Parliament's first gay marriage, celebrating a civil partnership ceremony at the historic venue.

Bryant, a member of the governing Labour Party, won permission to hold his civil partnership ceremony with partner Jared Cranney at the Palace of Westminster -- home to the Houses of Parliament.

Britain has officially recognized same-sex civil partnerships since 2005, giving the couples the same legal protection and inheritance rights as in heterosexual marriages.

Bryant lobbied House of Commons speaker John Bercow to apply for a license to host his civil partnership ceremony.

Members of the public will also now be allowed to apply to hold their same-sex ceremonies at Parliament.

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