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UK House of Lords backs same-sex marriage bill in third reading

Monday, July 15, 2013

LONDON — The upper chamber of the British parliament, the House of Lords, voted Monday to back the government plans to legalize same-sex marriage in England and Wales.

LGBT couples in England and Wales will be able to marry next spring, after the House of Lords moments ago approved the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill by a voice vote on its third and final reading.

Stonewall UK
Demonstrators outside the British Parliament celebrate after the House of Lords backs same-sex marriage.

Subject to possible amendments in the House of Commons – a technicality, since the bill had made it through the Lords without any material amendments – the Bill is expected receive Royal Assent, a formality where Queen Elizabeth II signs it into law.

LGBT advocates outside the British parliament greeted the news with cheers.

Ben Summerskill, Chief Executive of the UK advocacy group Stonewall said: “It’s impossible to express how much joy this historic step will bring to tens of thousands of gay people and their families and friends.”

“The bill’s progress through Parliament shows that, at last, the majority of politicians in both Houses understand the public’s support for equality – though it’s also reminded us that gay people still have powerful opponents,” said Summerskill.

“Stonewall’s volunteers, supporters and staff have worked flat-out for equal marriage in England and Wales, and Stonewall Scotland’s campaign continues north of the Border. We’ll redouble our efforts in Scotland so that every single gay person in Britain will soon enjoy full equality,” he said.

Prominent British LGBT activist Peter Tatchell, called the vote “a defeat for discrimination and a victory for love and marriage.”

“After a 21-year-long campaign, we are now on the cusp of securing same-sex marriage,” said Tatchell.

“Ending discrimination against same-sex couples in marriage law will overturn the last major legal discrimination against LGBT people in Britain,” he said. “It is of huge symbolic importance; signalling that same-sex love has social recognition, acceptance and parity.”

The bill passed Report Stage last week, and was already backed by the House of Lords in its previous votes on the two readings.

Previously the House of Commons, the UK’s lower chamber of parliament, backed the gay marriage bill in its third reading.

The bill applies only the England and Wales — Scotland is already in the process of legalizing marriage equality with a bill expected to be put to the vote later this year.

In Northern Ireland, lawmakers rejected a marriage equality draft bill, leaving it the only part of the United Kingdom with no plans to legalize same-sex marriage.

At 7 p.m. GMT, Maria Miller, the UK Culture Secretary Maria Miller will introduce the House of Commons to amendments added to the bill.

These include provisions to hold reviews of equal pension survivor rights, humanist weddings and civil partnerships for opposite-sex couples.

The House of Commons is expected to approve the bill unaltered by tomorrow evening, and then send it for “Royal Assent.”

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36 more reader comments:

  1. Luxo

    Posted on Monday, July 15, 2013 at 3:14pm
  2. Yay finally :)

    Posted on Monday, July 15, 2013 at 3:17pm
  3. Beautiful!

    Posted on Monday, July 15, 2013 at 3:19pm
  4. Congratulations England. I am a shamed of the U.S. government for not passing a equal marriage law by now.

    Posted on Monday, July 15, 2013 at 3:22pm
  5. Brazil Against homophobia

    Posted on Monday, July 15, 2013 at 3:28pm
  6. Brasil contra a homofobia

    Posted on Monday, July 15, 2013 at 3:28pm
  7. Go England!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Posted on Monday, July 15, 2013 at 3:28pm
  8. good :)

    Posted on Monday, July 15, 2013 at 3:32pm
  9. Watch out haters… the world is finally starting to right a wrong…. Finally slowly but surely we will all have full rights (Y)

    Posted on Monday, July 15, 2013 at 3:33pm
  10. So maybe Australia will follow.

    Posted on Monday, July 15, 2013 at 3:40pm
  11. Way to go England yea about time.

    Posted on Monday, July 15, 2013 at 3:45pm
  12. Way to go England

    Posted on Monday, July 15, 2013 at 3:47pm
  13. So is that the final hurdle? Is it legal now? X

    Posted on Monday, July 15, 2013 at 3:52pm
  14. RIGHT ON EQUAL RIGHTS

    Posted on Monday, July 15, 2013 at 3:55pm
  15. Congrats Great Britain

    Posted on Monday, July 15, 2013 at 4:06pm
  16. I want those shirts. Where can I get?!

    Posted on Monday, July 15, 2013 at 4:10pm
  17. YOU GO UK

    Posted on Monday, July 15, 2013 at 5:01pm
  18. Yay!! Im movin to England. Here I come Marsha Todd!!!!

    Posted on Monday, July 15, 2013 at 5:01pm
  19. You go glen coco

    Posted on Monday, July 15, 2013 at 5:05pm
  20. Belgium is ok, too, Amy. Full wedding, paperwork and rights incl

    Posted on Monday, July 15, 2013 at 5:16pm
  21. Freedom !!

    Posted on Monday, July 15, 2013 at 5:25pm
  22. Yay !!! Great News !!! Worth All the effort ! ;o)

    Posted on Monday, July 15, 2013 at 5:31pm
  23. (Canada is closer. . .)

    Posted on Monday, July 15, 2013 at 5:34pm
  24. This is only for England and Wales, Scotland has a devolved power on this issue, which means Scotland can decided for itself. that being said, all the best England and Wales! :)

    Posted on Monday, July 15, 2013 at 5:59pm
  25. May God help u all realize this isn´t His way.

    Posted on Monday, July 15, 2013 at 8:50pm
  26. May God help u all realize this isn´t His way.

    Posted on Monday, July 15, 2013 at 8:50pm
  27. May God help u all realize this isn´t His way.

    Posted on Monday, July 15, 2013 at 8:50pm
  28. Timothy: Your imaginary sky daddy is your own delusion. I care NOTHING for bronze age superstition.

    Posted on Monday, July 15, 2013 at 9:34pm
  29. GOD loves everyone

    Posted on Monday, July 15, 2013 at 11:01pm
  30. Its about bloody time,

    Posted on Monday, July 15, 2013 at 11:05pm
  31. Ty UK

    Posted on Tuesday, July 16, 2013 at 7:44am
  32. Oh my gosh!!! If The House of Lords can do it, then why not the United States of America!!!

    Posted on Tuesday, July 16, 2013 at 12:11pm
  33. thinking is too advanced for USA. . .

    Posted on Tuesday, July 16, 2013 at 12:23pm
  34. and rightly so!

    Posted on Tuesday, July 16, 2013 at 2:12pm
  35. About time next up…ummm USA? Anyone?

    Posted on Tuesday, July 16, 2013 at 2:20pm
  36. I am so proud of being an Anglophile!

    Posted on Tuesday, July 16, 2013 at 4:17pm