Transport for London (TfL) will mark the legal change by displaying the colourful crossing opposite the Charing Cross Road entrance on Trafalgar Square, near Nelson’s Column, today until 7.00pm. Couples are  invited to visit the crossing and have their pictures taken in celebration of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) diversity.

Same sex marriage has been legal in England and Wales since March this year, but couples who had already entered into civil partnerships have had to endure a frustrating wait until today for the right to convert their legal contract into a marriage.

Martyn Loukes, chair of TfL’s LGBT+ Network, said: “Once again we’re showing our support for our LGBT customers, families and staff in London, and we would love couples to come down and have their picture taken to celebrate this momentous event.

“I’ll be converting my civil partnership on the day and will be marking the occasion by going to Trafalgar Square with my husband to have our picture taken on the crossing.”

TfL first used the rainbow crossing for Pride in London, in June, and then again at Arsenal tube station in September to support the anti-homophobia in sport campaign. The crossing is similar to others that have appeared in Brighton, Tel Aviv and Sydney.

Same sex couples in Scotland must wait until next Tuesday, December 16, for the right to get married. The first same-sex marriages north of the border are expected to take place on New Year’s Eve. However, same sex marriage will remain illegal in Northern Ireland.