UK: England/Wales: House of Lords Approves Marriage Equality

Written by scott on July 15th, 2013

Gay RightsThe 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.’

What’s next?

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?


1 Comments so far ↓

  1. Craig Nelson says:

    I’m afraid it’s sort of the way of things in the UK. Civil Partnerships introduced in 2005 after the bill passed 12 months earlier. Same with most other bills.

    When legislation is passed in the UK it is usual for the law to include a power to allow the Govt minister to bring the bill in (commencement order). The other thing to state is that UK legislation usually entails wider order makig power for ministers on certain technical matters which takes a certain amount of time to prepare and bring in.

    It is a little frustrating, to be sure – in France same sex couples are already marrying! But there we are – it’s just the way it is in the UK.

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