IN less than 48 hours a Scot and his partner will make history.

At midnight tomorrow, ­Peter McGraith and David ­Cabreza become the first gay couple to marry in the UK.

Peter said: "Politically, it's hugely significant to us.

"It's our government - and society - recognising gay relationships as equal."

It is also important personally for the 49-year-old.

Peter, who is a campaigner and writer from Lanarkshire, and David, 42, who works in finance, have been together for 17 years and have two children they adopted six years ago.

For him, the marriage is an important marker in their long relationship and a chance for a celebration with around 100 friends and family.

It is also a chance to redefine marriage and take it out of the hands of Tories and traditionalists.

He said: "I'm not buying in to a conventional marriage and I don't want people to think that's what this is about. We are changing ­marriage - it is not marriage changing us."

The ceremony will happen at midnight on tomorrow, just a few seconds after The ­Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act comes into effect.

Passed last year, it made gay marriages in England and Wales legal and was followed by Scotland's same-sex marriage bill which was passed last month (the first Scottish gay marriages will happen in the autumn).

Peter, who lives in London, was in the House of Commons to see the marriage bill pass in July last year and knew straight away he wanted to be among the first to take advantage of it.

The ceremony will take place at Islington Town Hall and will be one of a number of gay marriages taking place in the early hours of Saturday.

Peter hopes it will be a good day but he also hopes the publicity will act as a positive sign for gay people in countries where they are still persecuted.

He said: "Our marriage is happening on a particular day, a day in history, but it's not the end point because as everyone is congratulating us, there are many gay men and lesbians around the world who are not invited to the party and we want to send out a message of hope and solidarity to them."

The chief witness at the ceremony will be the couple's friend and gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell, who said: "The legalisation of same-sex marriage ends the last major legal discrimination against gay people in England and Wales.

"Scotland will follow later this year. Sadly, Northern ­Ireland remains a bastion of homophobia."

Peter does accept that ­marriage is not for everyone.

He said: "I do have my concerns about the institution of marriage.

"So many of the traditions around marriage are also anachronistic and reek of ­misogyny so there'll be nobody being 'given away' on Friday."

There will also be a reception before the wedding rather than the other way round, as is traditional.