England legalizes gay marriage

UPDATE: The Queen has given her assent (a required formality) after parliament passed a law legalizing gay marriage yesterday. That means England (and Wales) have just legalized gay marriage.  Same-sex weddings are expected to begin in 2014.

A rather odd clarification from the BBC:

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

The Church of England wanted parliament to ban it from ever choosing to conduct gay weddings?  How messed up is that?  I do love how desperate the church is, and how desperate church-y members of Parliament are, that they’re willing to establish the precedent of Parliament telling the church what it can and can’t do.  God forbid, the Church of England decide on its own some day what is and isn’t God’s will without the stamp of approval of Parliament.

I’m not opposed to necessary concessions.  But how messed up is it that Parliament is banning the church from recognizing what it determines to get God’s will.  The Church of England has posted an “explanation” of how this isn’t anything unusual.  As a lawyer myself, this reads like a bunch of bs.

Gay marriage legislation passed the British House of Lords today, after having previously passed the House of Commons, which means.

According to the BBC, that means the law should be passed by the end of this week (after another technical vote in the House of Commons), leaving only the Queen’s assent.

Gay weddings are expected to start in 2014.

Equal marriage supporters at a Stonewall rally outside the House of Lords as peers gave the Bill Third Reading on 15 July. (Photo credit: SIMON CALLAGHAN.)

Equal marriage supporters at a Stonewall rally outside the House of Lords as they gave the Bill Third Reading on 15 July.
(Photo credit: SIMON CALLAGHAN.)

More from Stonewall UK, one of the large gay rights groups leading the fight on marriage:

Subject to consideration of amendments in the House of Commons — a technicality, as the Bill made it through the Lords without any material amendments — the Bill will now receive Royal Assent and become law.

Stonewall Chief Executive Ben Summerskill said: “It’s 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.

Here are the countries that have, or soon will have, gay marriage nationwide or in parts of the country:

  1. Argentina
  2. Belgium
  3. Canada
  4. Denmark
  5. Iceland
  6. Netherlands
  7. Norway
  8. Portugal
  9. Spain
  10. South Africa
  11. Sweden
  12. Brazil (parts)
  13. Mexico (one state and the capital)
  14. US (some states)
  15. France
  16. Uruguay
  17. New Zealand
  18. England and Wales – marriages should start in 2014.

Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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