American Foundation for Equal Rights

Marriage News Blog

Marriage equality legalized in England and Wales

Queen Elizabeth II swiftly gave her royal assent to marriage equality legislation after lawmakers formally adopted the bill last night. It cleared its last major hurdle in the House of Lords on Tuesday with a 390 to 148 vote.

Gay and lesbian couples will be able to get married in England and Wales as early as next summer. Couples were previously able to enter into a civil partnership since 2004.

A key proponent of the marriage legislation was longtime supporter Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron. In 2011 he said this is a speech to the Conservative Party:

“To anyone who has reservations, I say: Yes, it’s about equality, but it’s also about something else: commitment. Conservatives believe in the ties that bind us; that society is stronger when we make vows to each other and support each other. So I don’t support gay marriage despite being a Conservative. I support gay marriage because I’m a Conservative.

Gay and lesbian couples can now get married in thirteen other countries: Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, as well as certain jurisdictions in Mexico.  Marriage equality will begin in Uruguay on August 1, and in New Zealand on August 19.