The Queen’s approval of the Same Sex Marriage Bill now opens the way forward for equal marriage, which by the summer of 2013 the first couple is expected to be wed.
Stone Wall has supported The Gay Marriage Act with an Advan driven across the central London roads highlighting the importance and gratitude to the support of others after Queen Elizabeth II gave her royal stamp of approval. Before the passing of the Act, the only option for same-sex couples was to form a Civil Partnership but it could only be carried out as a civil ceremony, not as a religious one.
The Act covers England and Wales only and does the following:
- Introduces civil marriage for same sex couples,
- Enables religious organisations to opt in to conduct same sex marriages if they wish to do so and protects religious organisations and individuals from being forced to conduct same sex marriages.
This is a triumphant moment in history for lesbian, gay and bisexual people along with their friends and family.
The Bill was published in the name of the Conservative Culture Secretary and Minister for Women and Equality, Maria Miller, who said: “The values of marriage bind families and communities together and bring stability. I believe that couples should not be excluded from marriage just because they love someone of the same sex. In opening up marriage to same-sex couples, we will further strengthen the importance of marriage in our society.”