Today, Queen Elizabeth II has given her approval on the bill to legalize same-sex marriage in Britain. This legalization in Britain came one day after a parliament passed a similar bill in Whales and England. The first same-sex marriages are to take place next summer.
The Queen’s approval was a formality, as well as the final step to turn a bill into a law. With this new law passed, same-sex couples can participate in both civil and religious marriage ceremonies. Same sex couples who are already in a civil partnership, which has similar benefits to a marriage, will now be able to alter their relationships into a marriage.
All of this advancement follows a meeting this past Monday, when the upper chamber of the UK Parliament, the House of Lords, met and approved a bill to make gay marriage legal, all of which happened without a voting process. While this bill was working it’s way through Parliament, there were numerous attempts to halt its progress. Traditionalists contended that allowing gay marriage would devalue and compromise the sacredness of marriage. All attempts to kill the bill failed, and it ended up in the queen’s hands.
The bill was introduced in January by United Kingdom Prime Minister, David Cameron. His decision to back this bill resulted in a split and quibbling Conservative Party, but his determination for equality aided the bill in becoming law. “Mr Cameron needs to remember that the Coalition for Marriage has nearly 700,000 supporters, nearly six times the number of members of the Conservative Party,” Said Colin Hard, C4M campaign director.
The Associated Press reported that Conservative lawmaker Gerald Howarth was not pleased with passing of the bill and accused the government of “bulldozing” this bill through Parliament, and “offending large swatches” of his party. Equalities manager Yvette Cooper had a different view and said that it’s “time to celebrate, not discriminate.”