Queen Elizabeth II gave her royal stamp of approval to allow gay marriage in Britain. The bill will allow gay couples to get married in both civil and religious ceremonies in England and Wales. Also, those couples who previously had civil partnerships would be allowed to convert to an official marriage.
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg told people celebrating outside Parliament that the new law would ensure that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people felt “recognised and valued, not excluded”. Openly gay Labor 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.”
Separate legislation has been presented to the Scottish Parliament to make same-sex marriage equality legal there. Debates are expected to start in October or November.
England and Wales are the 16th and 17th countries in the world to fully recognize same-sex marriage. By summer 2014, the first gay couples in the UK will be able to unite in matrimony.