The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill has been given Royal Assent, after being passed through both the House of Lords and Commons. The first same sex wedding could now take place as early as next summer.
Many are hailing the legislation as a major step forwards towards equality. Deputy PM Nick Clegg has previously commented that “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”.
Linda Hunter, Head of Family Law comments “this is an important step towards equality for all and will hopefully go a long way towards breaking down some of the barriers faced by the LGBT community”.
Equalities Minister Maria Miller has said that the passing of the bill was a clear affirmation that “respect for each and every person is paramount, regardless of age, religion, gender, ethnicity or sexuality”.
Linda adds “Any individuals who previously entered in a Civil Partnership should take legal advice about their situation before looking at entering into a marriage.”
Under the terms of the Act, religious organisations will have to “opt in” to offering weddings.