Great Britain to approve same-sex marriage

Posted by AzBlueMeanie:

What will all the Anglophiles in America do now? If Parliament and Her Majesty the Queen can sign off on same-sex marriage in Great Britain, what objection do these Anglophile Americans have to same-sex marriage in the "colonies" on the other side of the pond?  

The Guardian reports, Gay marriage bill expected to complete passage through House of Commons:

Legislation to introduce same-sex marriage is expected to complete its passage through the House of Commons on Tuesday, with the first weddings under the law to take place in England and Wales next summer.

Jubilant gay rights campaigners were celebrating the successful passage of the marriage (same-sex couples) bill through the House of Lords on Monday night – and vowing to take the fight for marriage equality to Scotland and Northern Ireland.

MPs
will debate amendments made to the legislation in the upper house on
Tuesday evening, but this is expected to be little more than a formality
and is unlikely to delay its progress into law, with royal assent
within the next few days.

The deputy prime minister, Nick Clegg,
told campaigners celebrating outside parliament that the new law would
ensure that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people felt
"recognised and valued, not excluded".

Pink-carnationAnd the gay Labour peer
Lord Alli told fellow members of the second chamber – some of them
sporting pink carnations: "My life and many others will be better today
than it was yesterday."

* * *

The bill survived a stormy passage through the Commons despite fierce
opposition from dozens of Tory backbenchers, and then overcame an
attempt to "wreck" it in the House of Lords last month.

James-J
Walsh, campaigns director of Out4Marriage, hailed the Lords' approval of
the bill as "a momentous occasion in lesbian and gay equality in
England and Wales, overcoming the last major hurdle on our path to full
legislative equality".

Walsh added: "With this legislation Britain
shines a light as one of the most progressive countries in the world,
and manages to balance both lesbian and gay rights with religious
freedoms."

The Stonewall chief executive, Ben Summerskill, said:
"It is 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."

The Equal Love campaign co-ordinator Peter Tatchell
said: "This vote is a defeat for discrimination and a victory for love
and marriage. After a 21-year-long campaign, we are now on the cusp of
same-sex marriage but not quite marriage equality."

Clegg said the
bill was a mark of "the kind of open, modern, tolerant and diverse
society we want Britain to be in the 21st century".

The Telegraph adds, Gay marriage clears the House of Lords:

The Queen is expected to be asked to give her approval to the Bill – one of
the most radical pieces of social legislation of her reign – by the end of
this week.

It opens the way for the first legally recognised same-sex weddings to take
place in England and Wales by next summer and brings the centuries-old
understanding of marriage as being solely between a man and a woman to an
end.

Peers gave their assent to the third reading of the Government’s same-sex
marriage bill without a formal vote after a short debate in the Lords, also
backing plans for a review of pension arrangements for gay couples.

Unless MPs object to the bill at the eleventh hour during a short Commons
debate set to take place on Tuesday, it is expected to receive royal assent
within days.

Baroness Stowell, the Government spokesman who steered the bill through the
Lords, told a chamber packed with peers wearing pink carnations, that it was
an “historic” achievement.

* * *

The passage of the Bill brings an end to one of the most acrimonious debates
of recent years which has divided the Conservative party and, at times,
pitted Church against State.

Speaking earlier, Nick Clegg, the Deputy Prime Minister, claimed that despite
huge controversy, most people would soon be asking: “What was all the fuss
about?”

* * *

In what was, at times, an emotional debate, Lord Alli, the Labour peer, said
it had been “truly humbling” to play a leading role in driving the bill
through the Lords.

Speaking of his 15 years as a peer, he thanked the House of Lords, adding: “As
a gay man over those 15 years you have changed my life.

"You have given me dignity where there was sometimes fear. You have
given me hope where there was often darkness and you have given me equality
where there was sometimes prejudice.

"This is a special place and I am proud to have figured in it."

UPDATE: The AP reports Britain Legalizes Gay Marriage:

Britain has legalized gay marriage after Queen Elizabeth II gave her royal stamp of approval.

House of Commons Speaker John Bercow told lawmakers that the royal
assent had been given Wednesday — the day after the bill to legalize
same-sex marriage in England and Wales cleared Parliament.

The queen’s approval was a formality. It clears the way for the first gay marriages next summer.

h/t graphic: Marilyn Stowe blog www.marilynstowe.co.uk

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