The House of Lords just passed the marriage equality bill on the final reading. Gay Star News reports:
History is made as marriage equality has passed the final vote for England and Wales. The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill passed in the House of Lords without a vote. Peers in favor of same-sex marriage wore pink carnations as a symbol of their support. Before the vote, one of the lead backers of the bill and openly gay Lord Alli gave a moving and passionate speech. ‘You have given me equality where there was sometimes prejudice,’ he said. ‘My life will be better today than yesterday.’
The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) told GSN there will need to be a ‘clearing up’ period, allowing both Houses to give their approval to small word changes and amendments. Culture Secretary Maria Miller will introduce the amendments at 7pm in the House of Commons tomorrow (16 July). They then said they hoped Queen Elizabeth II will be able to sign the bill into law by the end of this week. Perhaps frustratingly, the DCMS said it could take up to a year for gay marriage to be implemented in England and Wales. While they say it could be earlier, they said gay couples will definitely be able to officially marry by summer 2014.
Next summer sounds like an awfully long time. Anyone over there know why it wouldn’t take affect sooner?