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England, Wales marriage equality bill is now law, marriages start in 2014

Marriage equality

By Scottie Thomaston

Yesterday, the House of Lords in the UK gave final approval to the marriage equality bill, sending it back to the House of Commons (where it was voted on and passed previously) and then to Queen Elizabeth II for her royal assent.

The bill faced a two hour debate in the House of Commons yesterday, where it was approved again, finally, and sent to the Queen. Today the royal assent, a formality in the UK, was given, and marriages will be allowed in 2014:

The Queen’s approval of the Marriage (same sex couples) Bill was a formality, and now clears the way for the first gay marriages, the first of which are expected to be conducted by Summer 2014.

The bill enables gay couples to get married in both civil and religious ceremonies in England and Wales. It also will allow couples who had previously entered into a civil partnership to convert their relationship to a marriage.

Seventeen countries allow same-sex couples to marry.

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