Gay Marriage | News | Queen Elizabeth II | United Kingdom

Marriage Equality To Become Law In Britain This Week

QueenThe UK marriage equality bill, which was given its final approval in the upper House of Lords yesterday, has now been sent to Queen Elizabeth II for royal assent, a final step that is little more than a formality. With her signature, the bill is expected to become law later this week, BBC news reports:

It is expected that the first gay and lesbian wedding ceremonies will take place by summer next year.

Under the terms of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill, religious organizations will have to "opt in" to offering weddings, with the Church of England and Church of Wales being banned in law from doing so.

MPs decided not to oppose a number of minor changes agreed by the House of Lords.

Among these were protections for transgender couples, which will allow people to change sex and remain married.

 

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  1. "It is expected that the first gay and lesbian wedding ceremonies will take place by summer next year."
    That means another year. Why?
    I think the French law was effective immediately after it was passed and ceremonies took place right after that.

    Posted by: simon | Jul 16, 2013 8:31:18 PM


  2. Meanwhile in the US ....

    Posted by: MArk | Jul 16, 2013 8:45:51 PM


  3. and american lgbts continue being persecuted by the american taliban with no end in sight.

    Posted by: candide001 | Jul 16, 2013 9:00:01 PM


  4. That means another year. Why?

    They don't want to waste all the husband/wife only forms that they have.

    Posted by: anon | Jul 16, 2013 9:07:51 PM


  5. Technically yes but only in England and Wales (until Scotland follows suit very soon).

    Posted by: Probationboy | Jul 16, 2013 9:20:14 PM


  6. @ ANON - I don't think this length of time is uncommon in Great Britain. I beilieve it has something to do with implementation steps written into bills - giving government agencies time to plan for things that might be affected by the bill. (In this case, I've read there was concern about how pensions were going to be handled.) While a year seems lengthy, the process as is may have removed some issues from debate between the two Houses (that could have stalled the bill further) and passed them on to administrative agencies to handle AFTER passage. So that could be seen as a good thing???

    Posted by: Fox | Jul 16, 2013 9:27:27 PM


  7. So the official state religions of England and Wales, the Anglican, are simply told by the UK government they must accept gay marriage and have no legal way out? This is going to destroy the worldwide Anglican Church in the 3rd world, and further it's decline and irrelevancy.

    I'm not saying this because I'm against gay marriage, far from it! Just curious about the religious angle. This will end up actually benefiting the Catholic Church and various evangelical and orthodox.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Jul 16, 2013 9:49:07 PM


  8. Thanks for using a photo of the Queen of Canada.

    Posted by: Commoner | Jul 16, 2013 9:54:42 PM


  9. That's backwards ratbastard. Churches have to opt in to perform same sex marriages, and the Anglican church is not allowed to opt in. They weren't going to opt in anyway, but they banned them in this law to prevent people from bringing suit against the church to protect the Church of England from legal claims that as the National Church it is bound to marry anyone who requests it.

    Posted by: ger | Jul 16, 2013 9:58:25 PM


  10. RB Not quite right- The State Church Of England has the same choice to opt in to carrying out same sex marriages only if they want to, it has just been done in a different way from other religions being the state church an' all.
    It is Civil Marriage by a registrar that has been made legal for all couples (same and opposite sex) Churches and other religions can opt to perform same sex marriages only if THEY decide to.

    Posted by: renovato | Jul 16, 2013 10:06:43 PM


  11. OK, my bad Ger. Thank you for educating me.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Jul 16, 2013 10:07:28 PM


  12. OK, thanks Renovato

    Posted by: ratbastard | Jul 16, 2013 10:08:32 PM


  13. ANON:
    That is not possible. The Churches both Catholic and Anglican have predicted the demand for those forms will decrease because SSM will affect heterosexual marriages.

    Posted by: simon | Jul 16, 2013 10:30:45 PM


  14. Sorry to nitpick--but this picture is the formal portrait of the Queen of Canada. Yes, it's Elizabeth II, but it's her formal portrait taken in Ottawa wearing her Canadian honors for use in her role as Head of State of Canada.

    She is the sovereign of 16 independent countries. There are numerous formal portraits available of her online (granted, this is one of her best, most recent portraits).

    Posted by: homogenius | Jul 16, 2013 10:44:49 PM


  15. Sorry to nitpick--but this picture is the formal portrait of the Queen of Canada. Yes, it's Elizabeth II, but it's her formal portrait taken in Ottawa wearing her Canadian honors for use in her role as Head of State of Canada.

    She is the sovereign of 16 independent countries. There are numerous formal portraits available of her online (granted, this is one of her best, most recent portraits).

    Posted by: homogenius | Jul 16, 2013 10:44:49 PM


  16. Who cares if it's Canadian portrait?

    Posted by: JMC | Jul 16, 2013 10:49:37 PM


  17. I'm so dazzled by that tiara I didn't notice the canadian ribbon.

    Posted by: Randy | Jul 16, 2013 11:21:47 PM


  18. So the Church of England/Wales are "banned" from offering same-sex weddings. How convenient. And Queen Elizabeth II is the head of the Church of England. How very convenient.

    Posted by: Kev C | Jul 16, 2013 11:27:09 PM


  19. so does that mean that let's say prince Harry :) can marry a guy?

    Posted by: Superboy | Jul 16, 2013 11:33:00 PM


  20. About bloody time.

    Posted by: danswon | Jul 16, 2013 11:46:36 PM


  21. This is not really equality; it's "almost" equality. No religious denomination should be told that it is forbidden by the government from making a future choice to treat its members as equals. That clause will obviously be amended someday, but meanwhile it will always be the one thorn in the bill reminding gay people that they are only ALMOST equal.

    I also don't see why so many people including these lawmakers seem to think that equality has to be made complicated. It's like they're debating how will two men get married, how will two women get married, how will a transsexual be married? They may as well ask what if a married woman has a breast removed due to cancer -- will her husband be "half-married" because he married her with two breasts?
    I mean, it should be like getting any other type of license. You apply for a driver's license based on being an adult and being able to drive, and you apply for a marriage license based on being two adults who can consent to the obligations of marriage.
    It should be none of the county clerk's business to ask for a virtual peek in your pants to see what your genitals look like before issuing ANY kind of license. And the legal obligations can and should remain the same no matter what your genitals look like. That's nobody else's business.

    Posted by: GregV | Jul 17, 2013 12:05:05 AM


  22. Gregv, your problem is that you're making sense. Gay equality in the UK means gays are second class citizens who are allowed to marry somewhere other than first class.

    Posted by: Kev C | Jul 17, 2013 12:20:14 AM


  23. Yes the Queen's signature is a "formality". But without that "formality" it would never become law.

    Take down the Queen of Canada portrait and replace with Queen of United Kingdom one.

    http://i.telegraph.co.uk/multimedia/archive/02135/queen_2135851b.jpg

    Posted by: Winston | Jul 17, 2013 12:23:06 AM


  24. Just to clarify. No religious denomination is being stopped from performing same Sex marriages if they wish. The Church of England is the "established church and, subject to Parliament agreeing, can directly change the law. There is therefore no compulsion.

    Posted by: Craig Nelson | Jul 17, 2013 4:04:00 AM


  25. Excellent.

    Posted by: Matt26 | Jul 17, 2013 4:20:51 AM


  26. 1 2 »

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