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House of Lords approves Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill
From Stonewall, Freedom to Marry press releases
2013-07-15

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From a Stonewall press release

Lesbian, gay and bisexual couples in England and Wales will be able to marry next spring, after the House of Lords moments ago gave Third Reading to the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill.

Subject to consideration of amendments in the House of Commons — a technicality, as the Bill made it through the Lords without any material amendments — the Bill will now receive Royal Assent and become law.

Stonewall Chief Executive Ben Summerskill said: "It's impossible to express how much joy this historic step will bring to tens of thousands of gay people and their families and friends. The Bill's progress through Parliament shows that, at last, the majority of politicians in both Houses understand the public's support for equality — though it's also reminded us that gay people still have powerful opponents.

"Stonewall's volunteers, supporters and staff have worked flat-out for equal marriage in England and Wales, and Stonewall Scotland's campaign continues north of the Border. We'll redouble our efforts in Scotland so that every single gay person in Britain will soon enjoy full equality."

During the Bill's progress through Parliament, Stonewall staff and volunteers produced thousands of personalised briefings and speaking notes for MPs and peers. The charity gave evidence to the Bill Committee in the House of Commons and has attended and lobbied at every stage of the Bill's progress.

The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill will now return to the House of Commons for consideration of amendments. It will then be sent to the Queen for Royal Assent.

Stonewall is the gay equality charity founded in 1989. For more information about Stonewall's campaign for equal marriage visit www.stonewall.org .uk/marriage .

Weddings in Britain to start in 2014

From a Freedom to Marry press release

Britain's House of Lords approved freedom to marry legislation Monday, paving the way for same-sex couples to marry next year in England and Wales after final approval in the House of Commons, which is all but assured, and approval from the queen.

Evan Wolfson, founder and president of Freedom to Marry, released the following statement:

"After a rich and extensive months-long debate in the House of Commons and the House of Lords, Britain's parliament passed a historic freedom to marry bill, introduced by a conservative prime minister and drawing support from across the spectrum. This victory makes 18 countries on five continents in which gay people can now share in the freedom to marry, with England and Wales joining Uruguay, New Zealand, France and Brazil in ending marriage discrimination this year alone. With the Supreme Court's powerful ruling on federal respect for marriages nationwide, Freedom to Marry has laid out the roadmap of work needed to ensure that the United States joins these countries on the right side of history."

Freedom to Marry partnered with Freedom to Marry UK on the legislative efforts in Britain, with a focus on making the case to conservative members of the parliament and the public.


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