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“Now you must raise your children up in a world where that union of man and box turtle is on the same legal footing as man and wife…”
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Posts for March, 2014

Marriage Equality (Partly) Arrives In Britain

Jim Burroway

March 13th, 2014

Today, registrars across England and Wales began accepting declarations of intent to marry from same-sex couples as major portions of the recently enacted same-sex marriage legislation went into effect at midnight. This means that the first weddings taking place in England and Wales will take place on March 29 following the required 15-day waiting period. There are exceptions to that waiting period:

The official guidance states: “The Registrar General can allow a marriage to take place without the normal 15-day notice period where one of the couple is seriously ill and is not expected to recover, and in other urgent cases such as where a person is due to be deployed overseas in the armed forces. Such marriages of same sex couples will be possible from Thursday, 13 March 2014.”

They won’t however been the first same-sex married couples in England and Wales. Couples who were married overseas got a head start in becoming legal spouses today as their marriages became legally recognized at the stroke of midnight.

Procedures for converting civil partnerships into marriage will be put in place later this year.

Meanwhile, Queen Elizabeth II has given her Royal Assent to Scotland’s same-sex marriage law today. Same-sex marriages in Scotland will become legal sometime later this year.

Northern Ireland remains the only corner of the United Kingdom where there has been no movement on marriage equality. This is despite more than half of residents supporting same-sex marriage, with particularly strong support among Catholics.

Brits can set the date

Timothy Kincaid

December 10th, 2013

Same-sex couples in England and Wales can plan a spring wedding: (BBC)

The first same-sex weddings can take place from 29 March 2014, Equalities Minister Maria Miller says.

Initially it was thought the first same-sex marriage in England and Wales would not take place until the summer.

Marriage goes to the Queen

Timothy Kincaid

July 16th, 2013

Jim already put up the story, but I love the fireworks pictures.

UK Lords pass marriage equality

Timothy Kincaid

July 15th, 2013

Bloomberg

The upper, unelected chamber approved the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill without a vote in London today. Some members of the house wore pink carnations to mark the occasion.

The legislation has already been passed by the Commons amid opposition from more than 100 lawmakers from Cameron’s Conservative Party. The bill will now return to the Commons, where amendments introduced by the Lords will be considered. If they’re accepted, the bill will be sent to Queen Elizabeth II for her signature before becoming law.

House of Commons officially passes marriage equality

Timothy Kincaid

May 21st, 2013

The House of Commons has now passed the third reading of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill by a vote of 366 to 161.

Altogether 133 Tories opposed the bill, along with 15 Labour MPs, four Lib Dems, eight Democratic Unionists and an independent.

So even after all the hand-wringing and fury about Prime Minister Cameron “betraying” the Conservative Party, less than half of the Tories voted in opposition to the bill.

Now it moves to the House of Lords. Expect some rather wacky statements.

British Parliament votes for marriage (second reading)

Timothy Kincaid

February 5th, 2013

NPR

By an overwhelming majority, the British House of Commons passed a bill that legalizes gay marriage. The bill is expected to become law because it is supported by Prime Minister David Cameron.The House passed the bill with a vote of 400 to 175.

After a weekend of threats of revolt from conservative Tories and whining from church leaders, Parliament has soundly supported the change.

Now the bill goes to committee, a third reading, and the House of Lords.

For a recap of the drama: the Times.