United Kingdom

British House of Lords Passes Bill Legalizing Same-Sex Marriage in England and Wales


Credit: Terry Moore/wikimedia

In May, the British House of Commons passed the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill, which would legalize same-sex marriage in England and Wales. After being passed by the House of Commons the bill was sent to the House of Lords, where it was passed.

From the BBC:

Same-sex marriage in England and Wales is a step closer to becoming law after the House of Lords approved the change.

Peers backed a government bill paving the way for gay couples to marry. It is set to become law by the end of the week, with the first weddings in 2014.

Labour's Lord Alli said its passage meant "my life and many others will be better today than it was yesterday".

But Tory peer Lord Framlingham said the "ill-thought through" change had been "bulldozed" through Parliament.

Peers approved the principle of same-sex marriage last month, despite efforts by opponents to "wreck" the legislation.

MPs had earlier done the same, in the face of opposition from many Conservatives, the Church of England and other faith groups.

The passage of the bill by the House of Lords means that gay marriage is close to being legal in England and Wales. After the House of Commons approves amendments to the bill from the House of Lords all that is needed for same-sex marriage to be legalized in England and Wales is royal assent.

Prime Minister David Cameron went against many in his own party, the Conservative Party, in supporting the bill in the House of Commons. It was only thanks to the Labour Party that the bill made it to the House of Lords.

Unfortunately for Cameron the issue of same-sex marriage could motivate more Conservatives to support UKIP (United Kingdom Independence Party), the eurosceptic party that supports civil unions, but not marriage, for same-sex couples, which could cause the Conservative Party a few headaches in coming elections. 

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  1. Sales of Gilbert & Sullivan are going to skyrocket on iTunes.

    1. I’m putting my money on Mary Poppins.

  2. I don’t understand why this bill was necessary in the UK, where from what I understand they already have civil unions that are exactly equivalent to marriages and where this has not been an issue for many years.

    This seems like an attempt to heap burning coals on the backs of social conservatives in that country for no other reason than because they can.

    1. I thought all of Europe was just one big paradise of tolerance, unlike Amerikkka, so how is it that they’re just now passing gay marriage?

    2. And social conservatives have been so kind to the gays over the years.

      1. Bugger off, ya pouf.

  3. Yay! Now those dudes from Torchwood can finally get proper married!

    1. They didn’t legalize necro-homo-marriage EDG.

  4. But what about sheep?

    1. Oh, Scotland will still be around, so they’ll still have plenty of male company.

    2. The law covers only England and Wales. They’re not sheep fuckers. That’s Scotland.

      1. I thought the Welsh were stereotyped for having lots of sheep?

      2. I thought the Welsh were sheep fuckers? I have a coworker who is Irish and she says that back in the old days the penalty in Wales for stealing a sheep was more severe than fornicating with it, so a man caught trying to steal a sheep would confess to merely fucking it.

        1. Well, sure. I’m certain there are common instances of Welshmen fucking sheep. Hence, the terms “Swansea Backdoor”, “Cardifflingus”, and “Aberystwyth Chocolate Bar”. But the sheep fucking capitol of the British Isles is definitely Scotland.

  5. People still get married in England? Outside of the royals, I thought it was nothing but “partners.”

    1. It’s “partners” all the way down

      1. Eh. After a while, even a “partner” will stop going down.

  6. Can we quit calling it “legalized”? It’s not like marijuana, you don’t go to jail if you are gay and get married. You just don’t get benefits. We should call it “entitleized”.

    1. I recently had this discussion with a lawyer who’s gay. He said that in some states, you actually can be charged with a crime if all you do is fill out an application for a marriage license where the spouses are the same sex.

      So I can kinda understand why some people refer to this as “legalization,” although you’re right that it’s not a crime for two dudes or two gals to be “married” in some license-free way.

      1. He said that in some states, you actually can be charged with a crime if all you do is fill out an application for a marriage license where the spouses are the same sex.

        I’m having a hard time believing this. If you aren’t falsifying the license, but just applying for a license you aren’t eligible for, that’s a crime?

        I’m not saying its impossible, but it just sounds really, rally unlikely.

        1. You’re suggesting that bureaucrats would fail to somehow escalate an innocuous gesture to a potentially criminal ordeal, especially when it concerns “falsifying” paperwork. I think it’s not only possible but inevitable that they wouldn’t. Fail. To do so.

          Worded that awkwardly.

        2. I’m guessing that this (or something like it) is what he had in mind. Sounds like an unintended consequence:

          Indiana’s gay marriage ban is drawing renewed national attention in the blogosphere this week because of little-known provisions in state law that potentially criminalize the matter.

          The laws make it a felony for a same-sex couple even to apply for a marriage license and a misdemeanor for a clergy member to solemnize such a marriage.

          But while several blogs portray those crimes as new laws passed this year by the Republican-controlled General Assembly, they’ve been on the books for more than a decade.

          They date back at least to 1997, when the state’s marriage laws were recodified by the legislature. And they may have been on the books much longer, since they don’t specifically address same-sex marriage. Instead, they generally address perjury on a marriage license application and attempts to perform marriages not allowed by law.

  7. It’s all a big head fake. “You’re getting freer, see?”

  8. Finally. Charles and Camilla can make it official.

    1. Bestiality is still illegal.

  9. Congrats to the House of Lords and LGBTQ people in England and Wales. Liberty wins.

  10. I always wanted to be a Lord. Not the current weakened Lords, but the old aristocratic ones. Yeppers.

  11. “Partners For Life” by Jimmy Roland.
    HuffPost: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/…..97134.html

    1. Partner For Life is Available on iTunes

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