10/12/2013 10:10 GMT | Updated 25/01/2014 16:01 GMT

The First Gay Weddings Will Be On Norman Tebbit's Birthday

PA/PA Archive
Lord Tebbit speaks during a tribute to Baroness Margaret Thatcher in the House of Lords in London.

Happy birthday Norman! The first gay weddings in Britain are due to take place on the same day as Lord Tebbit's birthday.

On Tuesday the government announced that the first wedding ceremonies would be able to take place on 29 March 2014. On the same day the former chairman of the Conservative Party will turn 83-years-old.

Tebbit has been one of the most ferocious critics of David Cameron's push to allow same-sex couples to wed. During the fractious parliamentary debates on the legislation earlier this year, he warned of the dangers of a lesbian Queen and suggested the change in law would allow him to marry his own son.

He also said the prime minister had "fucked things up" by pushing through the gay marriage legislation despite opposition from many on the Tory benches.

Conspiracy theorists might think the prime minister was getting his own back on the veteran Tory peer.

Culture secretary Maria Miller said today: "Marriage is one of our most important institutions, and from 29 March 2014 it will be open to everyone, irrespective of whether they fall in love with someone of the same sex or opposite sex."

"This is just another step in the evolution of marriage and I know that many couples up and down the country will be hugely excited that they can now plan for their big day and demonstrate their love and commitment to each other by getting married."

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport said couples wishing to be among the first to marry will need formally to give notice of their intention to marry on 13 March 2014.