Lawmakers voted 400 to 175 in favor of legalizing same-sex marriage in Britain Tuesday. Prime Minister David Cameron was a staunch supporter of the bill, along with the Labour Party and Liberal Democrats party.
Couples already registered in civil partnerships will be able to transfer their arrangement into a marriage. Religious organizations will not be obligated to marry same-sex couples. The exception: the Church of England – the country’s official faith – may not perform such marriage ceremonies unless laws are updated as it currently does not allow same-sex marriage under its doctrine.
According to CBC:
The bill will have to go through more detailed parliamentary debates and a vote in the House of Lords, where a vote in favour is likely given the strong support Tuesday. If it becomes law, the proposed bill would enable same-sex couples to get married in both civil and religious ceremonies, provided that the religious institution consents.
Earlier, Cameron — who did not attend the debate — said passing the bill is "an important step forward" for Britain.
"I am a strong believer in marriage. It helps people commit to each other and I think it is right that gay people should be able to get married too," he said. "This is, yes, about equality. But it is also about making our society stronger."
"Marriage is the union between a man and a woman, has been historically, remains so. It is Alice in Wonderland territory, Orwellian almost, for any government of any political persuasion to seek to come along and try to re-write the lexicon," Conservative lawmaker Roger Gale said.
If passed, the bill's provisions would come into effect in 2015, ahead of the next British general election.
According to BBC:
Deputy Prime Minister and Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg said: "I genuinely believe that we will look back on today as a landmark for equality in Britain.
"Tonight's vote shows Parliament is very strongly in favour of equal marriage.
"No matter who you are and who you love, we are all equal. Marriage is about love and commitment, and it should no longer be denied to people just because they are gay.
"The Liberal Democrats have long fought for equal marriage. It is party policy and I am proud that the Liberal Democrats are part of the coalition government that are making it happen."
Click here to read about how this new law affects state pensions.
Click here to read about how this new law affects children born to same-sex parents.
Click here to read about how this new law affects places of worship.
Click here to read about how this new law affects the armed forces.