British prime minister David Cameron's Bill to allow same-sex marriage in England and Wales formally became law yesterday after Queen Elizabeth II gave her assent to the legislation.
The speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow, made the announcement to lawmakers in London.
The first same-sex marriage is due to take place by summer 2014. The Commons approved amendments to the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill on Tuesday after it was passed by the unelected House of Lords the previous day.
“This is a historic moment that will resonate in many people’s lives,” women and equalities minister Maria Miller said in an emailed statement. “I am proud that we have made it happen, and I look forward to the first same-sex wedding by next summer.”
Making marriage available to all couples “demonstrates our society’s respect for all individuals regardless of their sexuality”, she said.
The law will allow same-sex couples to marry in religious services where the religious organisation has “opted in” as well as at civil ceremonies. Couples with civil partnerships will be able to convert them into marriages and people in heterosexual marriages will be able to change gender and stay married. – (Bloomberg)