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Equal marriage bill passes final House of Commons stage and will receive Royal Assent

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  1. Can someone clarify for me why the first weddings aren’t set to take place until next summer? What determines when the law comes into effect?

    1. bobbleobble 16 Jul 2013, 9:32pm

      There’s the million dollar question although it always takes us an age to implement anything in this country. It took over a year for civil partnerships to start after passage of the Civil Partnership Act. It seems our civil service are nowhere near as adequate as that in France who needed only a week to put the bill into practice.

    2. It’s similar for us Kiwis. We passed our marriage equality legislation back in April, but it apparently takes for months for all the bureaucratic and regulatory paperwork to be changed, so we’ll get to be able to tie the knot a month from now.

      1. Rubbish. What is there to change? The government will be doing precisely what it is doing now, only it won’t take note of the sex of the marriage applicants. The only possible change might be to the wording on the license form and/or application, an edit that might require 5 minutes to accomplish.

        1. There’s the whole religious opt-in process to sort out, changed arrangements for gender recognition certificates, forms for conversion of civil partnerships, etc. Then there is secondary legislation needed to sort out the recognition of English marriages as civil partnerships in Scotland and Northern Ireland, and to allow SSM in consulates and overseas military bases. Registrars will have to be given guidance about the changes, and software will have to be updated. Some private organisations will have to make changes to forms and computer systems, too.

    3. Because there needs to be time made to properly train civil servants who will be performing the ceremonies, and time to put together and agree upon wording of the paperwork, printing it all etc…

      The ‘legal contract’ side of it needs to be done right or there will be huge outcry of people who are angry at not being treated fairly by the system or having a marriage certificate where someone has scribbled out ‘wife’ and put husband… I think its more than sensible to give them the time they need to implement this properly!

      1. bobbleobble 16 Jul 2013, 11:48pm

        All of which France managed in a week, New Zealand will be done in 90 days. England and Wales takes a year, just how inept is our civil service?

      2. Marriage already exists, there isn’t a new ceremony for civil servants to train for. They will continue to do the same work and paperwork as they did for straight marriages. France achieved all this within weeks of passing their same sex marriage bill. Waiting until next summer is an outrageous delay.

        In the next 9 to 12 months some of those who have been wainting a lifetime to get married will probably die …

    4. jamestoronto 17 Jul 2013, 3:57am

      Congratulations to our English and Welsh cousins!! It has been a long and arduous process but in the end a victory for equality. Almost a year before the effective date seems like a very long period when most jurisdictions usually have a 60- or 90-day interval. France was only a week. In Canada, the law became effective at the same time as Royal Assent was given and marriages in those provinces without equal marriage could performed immediately.

      PS Can anyone post what the actual vote was or was it a voice vote? Cannot seem to find any mention of the numbers anywhere on the gay news services or on the BBC website.

      1. It was a “passed by acclamation” or, in other words, a “voice vote”.

        1. jamestoronto 18 Jul 2013, 12:31am

          Thank you Mishka

    5. Richard Gadsden 17 Jul 2013, 12:08pm

      The main reason is to let the Scots catch up.

      Because it will be so complicated to have English marriages recognised as civil partnerships in Scotland for a few weeks/months until the Scots bring in their own legislation, they’ve put in a requirement that it be implemented by secondary legislation, so they can both be implemented together.

  2. When I joined CHE (Campaign for Homosexual Equality) In the early 80’s. I never thought we would see this day.

    In fact I don’t even think it was discussed as being part of the agenda. Equal right for the gay community in the UK, are now a reality. We can not let up though as public attitudes still need to be changed and we need much greater action/ re-action by government to events in other parts of the world.

    I think the question of pension survivor benefits will be sorted out in the near future. Frankly because I don’t think they will have a choice

    1. Helge Vladimir Tiller 17 Jul 2013, 12:42am

      MarkB–YOU WON ! Life can be wonderful—

    2. But did they ever fix the 1967 Sexual Offenses Act which singles out gay men (but not lesbians and heteros) to say that it is only legal in private and makes it illegal if more than two people are present? I don’t think the 2003 Sexual Offenses Act ever updated that discrimination.

      1. Baby steps Daniel, one small step at a time. This is how we have come to the place we are today! (big cheer!!)

        I am sure any other inequities in the law will be straightened out eventually. We have to identify areas that need change then push for those changes

      2. Hi Daniel, yes, the 2003 Act took care of both.

        The 1967 Act decriminalised only private sex between two men, leaving “buggery” (Sexual Offences Act 1956 sec 12) as an offence when engaged in by more than two men or in a public lavatory or public place. Section 13 of the 1956 Act, criminalising gross indecency, also remained in force (and without statutory definition).

        The ECtHR declared male group sex should be legal back in 2000. The 2003 Act removed both buggery and gross indecency from the law (schedule 6 clause 11).

        Group sex between men is legal in the UK.

        Sex in a lavatory is illegal for any gender (sec 71).

        Sex in a public place is often illegal under various offences. Gender is not relevant. Recent case law suggests public sex is ok if you have a reasonable expectation of being unseen, e.g. in the middle of nowhere. Police do not usually prosecute public sex in a de facto sex club e.g. sauna, but may arrest where the place has other uses: http://bit.ly/fNuRtl

  3. bobbleobble 16 Jul 2013, 9:34pm

    WOO HOO!

  4. Rob, it’s because the Act is implemented using secondary legislation (regulations), which also now need to be passed, although without debate in parliament usually. This takes some time….

    Phenomenal result though!

    1. Thanks for the explanation.

  5. As a teenager in the 1970’s,I never dreamt that there would be gay marriage in my lifetime or indeed ever.
    Grateful thanks to the pioneers of Gay Lib back then who endured vicious attacks both verbally and physically without whom this would never have happened.

  6. Robert in S. Kensington 16 Jul 2013, 9:40pm

    Fantastic! I watched the entire debate. Tory MP Gerald Howarth was vicious and obnoxious but brilliantly knocked down by Nick Herbert! Well done to both Houses. We’re now country number 15.

    Congratulations to all who lobbied and deep gratitude to Pink News and Ben Cohen. Job well done! A truly glorious historic day in our history. Now I will get a good night’s sleep for once.

    1. You deserve it, after all that lobbying, Robert!

      1. Robert in S. Kensington 16 Jul 2013, 11:29pm

        We all deserve it Rehan, even if only one MP or Lord was contacted. Every bit helped. I can’t begin to describe how I feel. Truly an emotional day for all of us. Cool Britannia for sure!

    2. bobbleobble 16 Jul 2013, 9:43pm

      Aren’t we country 16?

      1. Hmm, don’t know. This bill affects only parts of the country (England and Wales) and not other parts (Scotland and Northern Ireland). So it’s like the US where some states allow marriage, and others don’t. The difference is that England and Wales account for nearly 90% of the UK population, and Scotland is likely to follow suit bring it to 97%.

        It’ll be a while before you can tick the equal marriage box for the whole of the UK.

        1. bobbleobble 16 Jul 2013, 10:34pm

          Not all of Denmark, New Zealand or the Netherlands is covered by their laws either but they aren’t discounted.

        2. Scotland, Wales and England are all individual countries, not states like the USA. Combined they’re a kingdom when you include N.Ireland. England and Wales will be 15 & 16, unless Scotland gets there first.

          1. The Scottish Bill is only at stage 1 of the legislative process. It was introduced to the Scottish Parliament on 26 June, the day before it went into recess for summer, which was a wee bit unfortunate on timing! I’m no expert, but I think it will take several months before the final vote as it has to go through committee stages. I think it will get passed in Scotland, but we can’t be complacent and just assume it’s a done deal. Just because enough MSPs have pledged support doesn’t guarantee they’ll vote for it – anyone remember the Lib Dems pledging to vote against tuition fees in Westminster? I’d urge anyone who hasn’t done so to contact their MSPs – we don’t want another Elaine Smith using their constituents as an excuse!

            Here’s a couple of links which explain a wee bit about the process of the Bill in Scotland:

            http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/parliamentarybusiness/Bills/64983.aspx

            http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/parliamentarybusiness/CurrentCommittees/63773.aspx

      2. England and Wales / Cymru a Lloegr = two countries !

    3. All depends on how you define country recognition. I count 19 national governments that now recognize SSM. That includes Uraguay, Brazil, Mexico and the USA, although there are states within those nations that do not.

  7. Robert in S. Kensington 16 Jul 2013, 9:41pm

    An interesting point made by one of MPs was that there was higher support in the Lords, 73% compared to 69% in the Commons. Has to be a historic fact too! Truly amazing result!

    1. Lets not forget the stirling efforts of some of those in support of SSM in the HoL. People such as Lord Ali, Lord Fowler, Lord West, Lord Winston and many others whose names I can’t recall at the moment.

      1. Robert in S. Kensington 17 Jul 2013, 2:13pm

        Yes indeed, as well as dear Lord Jenkin, the magnificent Lord Lester of Herne-Hill, Baronesses Stowell, Thornton, Noakes, Royall, Jenkin, Shackleford, and several others. They did a spectacular job knocking down those wrecking amendments leaving the Bill in tact and expediting it into law.

        There must be an award to give them. StonewallUK should give serious attention to that.

  8. This is extraordinarily good news. I have to admit that I was reserving celebration until it was well and truly cleared of all hurdles, just because the opponents seemed so deranged in their determination.

    But it might just be time to pop open the Prosecco at last…!

    1. de Villiers 16 Jul 2013, 11:28pm

      Prosecco? Talk about marriage-lite.

      1. Metsän poika 17 Jul 2013, 2:31am

        You snob de Villiers. Each to their own, I say celebrate in anyway that is meaningful to the individual. You enjoy your Prosecco Rehan.

        1. I feel like a right commoner, I don’t even know what Prosecco is!

      2. de Villiers 17 Jul 2013, 8:38am

        It’s a joke. A French person would not drink Prosecco.

        Cremant, perhaps.

        1. Times of austerity, you know …. but it’s all right de Villiers, I understood! If I wanted to provoke you I’d say I think both champagne and crémant overpriced, so therefore prefer the non-French options. :-)

      3. de Villiers 17 Jul 2013, 8:39am

        I suggest you get a glass and ‘chill’.

    2. Robert in S. Kensington 16 Jul 2013, 11:31pm

      Go on Rehan, spoil yourself, splurge. I have a bottle of Grande Dame Veuve Clicquot in my cellar. Once Royal Assent is given, I will imbibe it with ravenous gusto accompanied by a delicious meal with friends. It’s still a great day of jubilation and joy for all of us!

  9. Wedding bells for you lot next year, then? Once again, congratulations. Your turn, Scotland.

  10. Woo! Now I need a fiancé! Anyone?

    I cry totally adorable over gaining equality. Quite the catch, really.

  11. Beelzeebub 16 Jul 2013, 9:54pm

    Next on the gay agenda.

    1) Overthrow all religions
    2) Go to work
    3) Not forgetting the pint of milk on the way to work.
    4) Dance and party at this wondrous end to a long long fight.

    Our lives and lives may still get hated on but now we have the law on our side.

    1. bobbleobble 16 Jul 2013, 9:55pm

      Shush! Dont give it away!

    2. Should have said “lives and loves”.

      Bloody Android Tablets……

      And perhaps a few celebratory Bacardi..

      And whilst I’m at it.

      A great big raspberry to all those viscous religiously addled sh!its who have come across as being totally incapable of stringing together a coherent thought without referring to their brainwashed cults whilst not understanding one word of there so called christian message.

      Today. Life did get better for many people, in spite of these idiots

      There hate progressed it.

      .

    3. de Villiers 16 Jul 2013, 11:30pm

      What gets hated is people thinking you are trying to deny their rights in a democracy. Reflect.

      1. Sacre bleu 17 Jul 2013, 2:54am

        I agree with you. Whilst I am an apatheist, I acknowledge their right to believe in whatever they want, but do not agree that they have the right to impose their religious beliefs on anyone or any group. This is no different to my attitude towards homosexuals – consenting adults with respect and dignity – with the exception/difference being that homosexuality is not a choice whereas religion is.

        Religion and State should be completely separate. So I say let them have their religion, but with no rights to impose their beliefs on anyone and no special rights i.e. broad tax exemption. Tax exemptions should be for altruistic charitable acts and not for proselytising.

  12. That There Other David 16 Jul 2013, 9:59pm

    Congratulations everyone. We got there :-)

  13. Wonderful news! I can now get married (sometime next year), now I just need to find the right guy. Such an incredible day for us all. A big thank you to all the MPS, Lord and everyone else who spent years never giving up. Next struggle to stamp out homophobia and bullying in schools.

    1. St Sebastian 17 Jul 2013, 2:55am

      ‘now I just need to find the right guy’

      Me too!

  14. Fantastic!

    But who the hell am I going to marry now? I’m single :-(
    I guess I still have time until next summer…

    1. The fact of the matter is. You now have that choice.

      Some of us didn’t.

      At the end of my first relationship which lasted for 13 years,
      there was a lot of bitterness.

      He spent my money behind my back, falsifying my signature et al.

      The police were not interested, deeming it a domestic even though no gay partnership law existed.

      Ta Ta £200,000 for me.

      Anyhoo, having been with my current partner for 7 years we wanted everything formalized and our Civil Partnership did that to an extent, however we both deemed it as “back of the bus” second best.

      Not quite equal.

      Now, I care not one jot who says that it is not right, or not gods law or whatever.

      The law is on our side and the bigots can enjoy there jail time if they dare to offend our democratically and parliamentary won rights.

      I now for the first time in my 47 years as a fully productive tax paying citizen feel equal.

      IE: GAY. Good As You. Perhaps better given that my rights were fought for. Not gained by default

      1. Sacre bleu 17 Jul 2013, 2:58am

        “I now for the first time in my 47 years as a fully productive tax paying citizen feel equal.”

        Good for you, good for us! Rejoice!!!!! :-)

  15. Pavlos Prince of Greece 16 Jul 2013, 10:14pm

    This historical year is like one fast gay marriage express, I can say. What “stations” next: Faro Islands, Scotland, Luxembourg, Finland ?

    1. Those are all next plus confirmation by the Supreme Court of Brazil that it is a full equality nation.

      But the one country on which all of our efforts should focus is Germany. Germany is the key to locking down the EU. Once the UK, France and Germany are all on board, marriage equality will become a norm within the framework of the ECHR and the member states will come in line.

      1. bobbleobble 16 Jul 2013, 11:38pm

        It’ll take the removal of Merkel for anything to happen in Germany. Her party is dead set against any movement on this issue. They have elections over there this year I believe.

      2. Pavlos Prince of Greece 17 Jul 2013, 1:28am

        Yes, Germany has became the most important place in the battle for gay marriage here in Europe. Sadly, but current opinion pols still give quasi no hope: it will be no new (leftist) majority in Berlin this September, Merkel and her Christian Democrats will win (and they victory will be very high), so gay marriage bill will have any chance to be approved in the Bundestag. Only realistic hope for German gay community is the Constitutional Court: no less than 7 decisions in favor of same-sex couples in civil partnerships in the last 4 years ! (the latest of them – in favor of tax equality this June). However, gay marriage can became a reality only in Berlin, not in Karlsruhe (where office of Constitutional Court is).

  16. Glass of champagne or two at the weekend I think! x

  17. CanadianChris 16 Jul 2013, 10:16pm

    This is amazing news. Finally glad to see my Commonwealth brothers & sisters in The UK have finally achieved the equality that they deserve.

    PS: David Burrowes looks like an angry little power-bottom.

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 16 Jul 2013, 11:35pm

      Thanks, Chris. His amendment was going nowhere, hasn’t learned his lesson from the Committee hearings. Every one of them shot down in flames. Of course, the hate-mongers will be on a rampage over the next few days, more temper tantrums, tales of gloom and doom from the religious loons.

    2. Sandgroper 17 Jul 2013, 3:14am

      Yes, congrats to the Brits. Hopefully the next Commonwealth country will be Australia!

    3. Spot on – loved your “power bottom analogy”

  18. Congratulations, our dear English and Welsh cousins! I am so proud and excited for you!!! This is absolutely fantastic news. Wow, when I come to visit family in Sheffield in the fall, this news will make the trip even sweeter!

    Let’s keep it up! Scotland and Ireland soon???

    warmly, Tip

    1. This is where we must congratulate Cardinal O’Brien of the Scottish Catholic church.

      The SNP were beholden to him and his cult until all was revealed with his rapid sexual admissions and subsequent invisibility.

      I was growing up as a coming out teenager there when that Catholic sh!t Brian Souter coughed up millions to the SNP to keep clause 2A otherwise known as Section 28 in place.

      I left the dump and only go back to visit my aged parents returning back to a village in South Wales of all places.

      FFS. Scotland invented just about everything. Stick religion into it and poof. All buggered up.

      I think that only now that the SNP see that they will be in the wrong side of history will they change there tune and refuse this bigots funding that they currently in 2013 still receive.

      Either way. I will NOT go back to that sectarian dump,

      1. I can’t believe I’m about to defend the SNP, but here goes!

        Brian Souter isn’t a catholic, he’s a member of an evangelical church called the Church of the Nazerene.

        The SNP weren’t in government during Clause 2A in 2000. A Labour/Lib Dem coalition repealed it, supported by a majority of SNP MSPs.

        You are correct about him giving the SNP millions – he gave them half a million pounds prior to the 2007 Scottish Parliament election, and they promptly dropped their long standing bus re-regulation policy. He gave them another half million just before the 2011 election.

        However, the SNP have proceeded with the same sex marriage legislation without any apparent pressure from him so far. They even angered O’Brien and the catholic church in Scotland by doing it..

        I do agree that they shouldn’t take Souter’s money, given his homophobic views, and I’ve written to lots of people in the SNP over the last 6 years. I’m disappointed to say that I haven’t made any inroads at all.

  19. Congratulations!

  20. What fantastic news!

    Glass or two Champagne at the weekend I think!

    Well done x

  21. Happy weddings, everybody! :)

  22. David from Austin, tx 16 Jul 2013, 10:31pm

    Congrats Brits

  23. What fantastic news!

    Glass or two Champagne at the weekend I think!!

    X

  24. Great News!!! would be nice to see it announced on the live news tonight, why all the hush hush.. lets see if anything is announced on the front pages of the news paper tomorrow or during the week. . . Next Summer! I hope my grandparents keep strong, I want them at our big day. Congratulations guys and gals, well done for all the hard work and efforts. bad luck to all you bigots (rott in hell) :)

  25. Fantastic news!!! Just wondering if anyone knows of the legal difference(s) between same-sex marriage and a civil partnership.

    My partner and I are in a CP but were wondering whether we need to ‘top up’ (for want of a better phrase) to achieve full equality with straight married couples.

    Thanks in advance for any information.

    1. That There Other David 16 Jul 2013, 10:47pm

      The main difference is that CPs are not valid outside of the UK unless you’re going to South Africa or Ireland. No other countries recognise them. Marriages in contrast will be recognised in all countries where same-sex marriage is legal, plus Israel, and even the USA now that DOMA is gone. In those countries that have CPs, such as Ireland or Germany, they will be recognised as that. At least until those two countries pass their own marriage equality acts, which can only now be a matter of time.

    2. Its not so much the legal difference.

      It is a human dignity concept of “other”

      “Not the same”

      “Not good enough”

      “You drink from that water spout”. ” We drink from this one”

      “Difference in loving another person” whereby despite physiological differences there is no difference
      other than ignorance exemplified by religious indoctrination.

    3. This video gives a good explanation: “Equal Marriage for Same-Sex Couples – Why We Need It”

    4. I think you will be able to convert the CP into a marriage without any further ceremony. That was how I understood it. Whether that will change as they are allowing heterosexual civil partnerships in the final bill I am not sure.

      1. Almost certainly without any further ceremony. It’s not absolutely fixed and those are some of the regulations the Government is now drafting. but the good news is that when anyone converts their CP into a marriage the marriage will be backdated to the date of the CP. So you were married all along!

  26. And before I go to bed drunk as a skunk.

    “HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY JOY JOY JOY”.

    Toodles……

  27. Great news except for the fact that N Ireland has been left behind in the dark ages. This needs to be brought to the European court of human rights so people in NI can celebrate too!

  28. Jacob Dugan-Brause 16 Jul 2013, 10:43pm

    What wonderful results! I was listening to a C4M video yesterday — to hear them tell it we didn’t even care about marriage.

    Well, actually we did. Got married in Canada and have been waiting for it to be recognised as something more than a CP since 2007.

    Now my partner and I will be able to call each other husband like we mean it and the law will support that. Nice.

    Yes, thank-you to the many people who joined us in our struggle including a rather remarkable Conservative PM. But still, I think this bill belongs to the future for all lgbt kids coming up behind us.

    Good for them (and us).

  29. Fantastic, fantastic fantastic news!

    One in the eye to the religious loons! Love and equality before the law triumphs over hate and religious bigotry.

    Well done to all involved!!

  30. This is wonderful news but bitter-sweet for me in that my partner died of an unexpected illness 6 months ago, it’s upsetting to have just missed out so close.

    Over the last five years I supported many petitions for both English and Scottish SSM, I’ve written to and lobbied MP’s and commented here on Pink News for years in support of SSM.

    As a couple we rejected civil partnership as discriminatory in law, we were holding out for marriage with a reasonable expectation, being very fit and healthy, that SSM would be legislated for in our lifetimes, sadly it didn’t happen that way.

    I have just paid an enormous Inheritance tax bill & after 32 living years together I look set to receive only a pittance from my partners pension scheme (if I manage to secure even that) whereas if I had been his wife and married for just a few days I could expect £45,000 a year.

    I feel we as a same sex couple have been cheated by time and circumstance.

    1. I don’t want to spoil the celebrations but the delay in finalising the legislation and implementing same sex marriage means other couples can still get caught out in the meantime.

    2. That is indeed a very heavy price to pay for your principles. Sorry to hear for your loss. (I think I would have been all to pragmatic and rushed through an ‘emergency’ civil partnership in those circumstances!)

      1. Yes, we might have arranged a civil partnership in the hospital even but it was not possible as my partner was put on paralysing drugs in the critical care unit and kept unconscious throughout.

        We all tend to think we have all the time in the world to sort out everything, especially when you have otherwise always been strong and healthy but today’s resistant and aggressive infections can hit so unexpectedly and progress so rapidly.

    3. I am so, so sorry to hear about your loss.

      1. Thanks Mark.

    4. Colin (London) 17 Jul 2013, 8:05am

      Pavlos
      My heart goes out to you on many levels.

      I certainly cannot fully understand your circumstances. It may be bitter sweet but know that by your actions many many others will never feel the loneliness, rejection and the wrongs done to you and your partner. You changed our world Sir.

      Thank you and I hope you find happiness and good friends to lift your heart. My respects

    5. Is there absolutley no way you could take this further? It makes me me really sad and angry. It’s just not fair! I’m so sorry for your loss and wish you all the best in the future Pavlos and I know your spouse would be proud of you today.

  31. This news is so extraordinarily awesome that the usual PinkNews hate trolls have given up and gone home. It’s a great day to be English and gay!

    Congratulations from America to our English and Welsh brothers and sisters.

    1. I was absolutley certain we’d see a few regulars come and try and spoil the party. I’m actually a little worried nobody has turned up! I know many people still “disagree” with gay marraige and LGBT people in general and I’d like to thank those who do for being respectful and courtious on this thread and letting us celeberate in peace for once :)

  32. In the words of Sir Quentin Crisp:

    “You cannot touch me. I’m a stately homo now.”

    1. Sacre bleu 17 Jul 2013, 3:21am

      Love that quote! :-)

  33. Jon "maddog" Hall 17 Jul 2013, 1:13am

    Congratulations to my brothers “accross the pond”.

    1. Jon "maddog" Hall 17 Jul 2013, 1:13am

      And sisters too, of course!

  34. Still an imperfect piece of legislation, but the door has been opened now.

    Feels like a very long journey, from the run up to CP (I remember feeling betrayed and enraged after so much work that we were grudgingly granted a poor compromise) to so many letters and emails, petitions and conversations, everything it took to make an adjustment to the national zeitgeist to make this more likely to pass (politicians being opportunist after all).

    Am quite content now to go back to never giving marriage another thought. The injustice is corrected in principle, and that cannot be undone.

    1. Hi Valsky

      Which story was you comment on snot bubbles attached to – it’s one I wish to save x

  35. gay Activist Paul Mitchell 17 Jul 2013, 5:55am

    Long overdue!

    Well the bill has finally passed and is awaiting the good old “Royal Assent”!!!

    The law should go into effect from 1 July, 2014!

    My 54 year old mother was born in England and I am proud of the motherland (England and Wales only) allowing same gender marriages!

    Scotland and Luxembourg are next late this year in Europe!

    2013 has been a wonderful year for equal marriage – so take that all you bigoted scum out there YOU LOSE!!!!

    Since 2007 I have supported same-sex marriage or “marriage equality” [a better term I suppose]

    Uruguay, Brazil, Columbia, France, England & Wales, New Zealand have all took this marriage equality step just this year!

    Kevin Rudd supporting marriage equality – Julia Gillard kicked to the kerb!!!!

    Meanwhile all of Australia, Texas, Mississippi, West Virginia, Alabama, Utah, Kansas, Oklahoma, Kentucky, Tennessee, Missouri and Idaho will have marriage equality until at least 2050!!!!!!

    These are the most conservative US states were constituti

  36. These are the most conservative US states were constitutional amendments banning gay marriages topped over 70 percent!!!!

    Australian law even if it did pass gay marriage (say 2017 for example) = the High Court will just invalidate the gay marriage law down as unconstitutional!!!! Not because the Australian constitution bans gay marriage (which it does not) – but because the High Court will say that the definition of marriage under the Common law (bought from the UK in 1788) says that marriage is between a man and a woman – that’s why!!!!! I want gay marriage here in Australia (and so does 66% of Australians according to polls) – so we might have to go to a referendum (or plebiscite) – just like Ireland will in 2014!!!!!! (70% support in Ireland too according to polls)

    Hawaii, Illinios, New Jersey will have marriage equality in at least 2014-2015.

    Montana, Colorado, Oregon, Nevada and Wisconsin will have marriage equality in at least 2016-2017.

    Pennsylvania, Indiana, Wyoming and N

    1. Paula Thomas 17 Jul 2013, 2:08pm

      If the Australian High Court says English Comon Law from 1788 says that marriage is between one man and one woman it will actually be wrong!! It wasn’t defined that way in English law until 1949!!!

  37. Pennsylvania, Indiana, Wyoming and New Mexico will have marriage equality by at least 2018-2019!!!!

    Arizona, Louisiana, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, North Dakota, South Dakota, Virginia, Nebraska, Ohio and Florida will have marriage equality by at least 2020!!!!

  38. I’m now more aware of the Parliamentary process and found the last weeks of live feeds must watch tv the last few days in the HoL and Commons has had me in the edge if my seat screaming at the tv. I would buy the DVD of the highs and lows.
    Really happy we got there.
    And I never thought I’d write and email my local MP never mind senior ministers and members of the House if Lords.
    But you know what I think all the contacts, all the blogging – even on the red top newspaper sites did make a difference.
    I thing it has shown others and ourselves – the LGBT community – that we do have a voice, we can make a difference and we are a force to be reckoned with.
    Never ever let them tell us we a f****ing abominations again
    Well done to us all

  39. Comenters here seem to be very accepting of the delay in implementation ….

    The Govt have not given any explanation of the delay. Are we supposed to believe that no work has been done before today on how the Act will be implemented?

    It is highly probable that many couples will be tempted, like Pavlos (see above) to wait that extra year to register their relationships, so that they can have a marriage ceremony.

    But anyone in these circumstances should definitely do a CP straight away so as to get the necessary rights.

    1. “But anyone in these circumstances should definitely do a CP straight away so as to get the necessary rights.”

      Totally agree, don’t wait for the SSM legislation to be implemented but have that CP now, confident in the knowledge that it will be upgraded to marriage a little further down the line… just in case the sudden unexpected should happen.

  40. Once again, i’m reading this article with tears in my eyes, not because i’m too gay or anyting but because for once, we have the rights that we always fought for, I’m so proud to be me, i’m so proud of the gay community. Thanks to the lords and the commons for putting this in the right side of history. I’m a happier person now

  41. Colin (London) 17 Jul 2013, 7:52am

    We have so many people to thank. History is and has been made.

    I have cried tears of joy several times as this bill has gone through Parliament. While writing to many politicians I have relived moments of my life in which neither family or others understood my separateness and loneliness as being slightly different in society.

    I have lost jobs, been beaten etc as have many of us.

    The thought that we can openly celebrate our lives now fills me with joy. And my two gay nieces have a future free from fear and hiding who they are.

    I thank so many people from my heart. Words fail me but my heart is bursting with pride

    Thank you to all.

  42. Jock S. Trap 17 Jul 2013, 8:20am

    This is fantastic. I did see all the debate and in the most part it was civil and respectful and they clearly were proud to be passing this legislation.

    I applauded Nick Herbert who put Gerald Howarth in his place as it seemed Mr Howarth and his band of bigots were just there to state their opposition for the sake of it Nothing to do with the amendments but just to be nasty.

    Even though some of the language in the House of Lords was questionable at times I take my hat off to them because those that opposed backed off and decided not to challenge meaning a vote after the third reading wasn’t needed.

    If Only Gerald Howarth could have done the same instead of acting in a very aggressive manner Just to get his negative point across.

    I also have to say to Mr Howarth, who bleated on about Children and then Freedom of Speech and Expression of Teachers in faith schools…. What about the Freedom of Speech and Expression of Children wanting to opening challenge the religious point of view?

    1. Jock S. Trap 17 Jul 2013, 8:27am

      Will they be allowed to speak freely and ask questions supportive of Equal Marriage or will they be shouted down and denied their Freedoms for the Sake of Religion and bigots like Gerald Howarth.

      All that aside Today we have something to celebrate and cheer about.

      I applaud David Cameron for sticking to his guns by showing true leadership over too many in his party who chose to remain negative. I voted for David Cameron and this was one of the issues I voted for him at a time When Gordon Brown had stated that Us having Civil Partnerships we enough. They weren’t and now we celebrate.

      Today Though who supported and pushed this through will have their place in history and those who bitterly opposed, using sometimes the worst of the English language to get their message across, well their place is there too… they will forever be in the ‘Should Be Ashamed’ lsit of history!!

      It’s a Great Week for us and I am Very, Very Proud to be British.

  43. Michael 2912 17 Jul 2013, 8:45am

    This is fantastic. Our country just became so much more civilised and we all just became true citizens of it. Maybe our work to reduce prejudice and its vile effects and to heal the pain caused by it will get easier. In the meantime – celebrate with pride.

  44. So you gay men (doesn’t apply to lesbians as women are naturally monogamous) are all going to rush out and get married now?

    I doubt it; let’s be realistic about this: I can understand people wanting revenge on a system that has oppressed them and this is indeed sticking two fingers up at the oppressors. I understand the jubilation. I know it’s very very male behaviour (gay AND straight) to want one over and win.

    But now that marriage has been granted, it’s obvious that it will be EXPECTED by straights that gay men will have to settle down and get married. With rights come expectations, remember that,

    Forget happy bachelorhood, that’s gone now. You will be expected to settle down at 30.

    There’s a downside to everything.

    The party’s over.

    1. bobbleobble 17 Jul 2013, 9:47am

      It may blow your tiny little mind but actually there are plenty of men who want to settle down at 30. And no this wasn’t about revenge but about ensuring that all of us have the same options in life. You may have noticed that the first couple to marry in France was male.

      I wasn’t a happy bachelor, I’m happy in a relationship and now I get to formalise that relationship in the way I want. I have nothing against the happy bachelorhood life if that’s what you choose but don’t pretend that that’s what all or even the majority of men want. What you’re talking about isn’t realism, it’s your view and it’s a pretty small minded and pathetic one.

      And women are naturally monogamous? Where did you get that idea from?

    2. That There Other David 17 Jul 2013, 10:12am

      Sam, I’ve been in a monogamous relationship since the age of 27. I’m now in my mid-40s. Whatever your preconceptions are about gay men the fact that people and my partner exist means same-sex marriage is necessary. We deserve the choice, just as straight people do. What individuals choose to do going forward is their own business.

      1. That There Other David 17 Jul 2013, 10:13am

        That should read “people like my partner and I exist”

    3. Your slippery slope prediction might at least have a valid starting point if you were a Victorian. Marriage rates are the lowest for well over a hundred years, and fallen a third just since 1981. The only people “expecting” couples to get married these days for reasons of social conformity are out of touch dimwits living in another age.

    4. “Women are naturally monogamous”? What compendium of clichés have you swallowed?

      As a lifelong singleton I can tell you that, even long before SSM was thought of, there has always been a good deal of pressure for gay men to be coupled, both from other gays as well as non-gays.

      1. I don’t believe that for one second. Sorry, I don’t; marriage is not something that men-regardless of sexuality- actively seek.

        Just political correct rubbish.

        Welcome to a lifetime of bourgeois sexless social conformity, guys.

        1. Jock S. Trap 17 Jul 2013, 11:27am

          Just goes to show that you know nothing of humanity.

        2. That There Other David 17 Jul 2013, 12:22pm

          When you grow up, Sam, you’ll understand that projecting your particular feelings onto others and extrapolating out as if that’s what everyone feels….well, it doesn’t actually ever work.

          And when that happens, you may even remember this little forum discussion and cringe at how you showed your own naivety in public.

          1. No I won’t. The gay men who actually wish to marry each other are few and far between, That’s a simple fact of life. Amongst gay men, the ones who have commented here are the oddities. Not odd for being gay; but odd for wanting to marry each other.

          2. “Few and far between”? Are you joking? I alone know over 2 dozen male couples who’ve been together over 10 years. You really need to get out more and try and meet a greater variety of people!

        3. Your experience of men, as well as of women, seems to be remarkably limited. Some men (certainly many in history) actively seek not just one marriage but several – marriage and sexual exclusivity being, of course, completely different things.

          Just a hint, it might help if you got out more: there’s quite a variety of people out there.

        4. Sam, clearly if you had two brain cellos you could create friction – sadly you leave us all cold. Vacuous nutter!

    5. What a load of redundant sweeping generalisations. Couples have to negotiate all differences in opinions and attitudes, this is just one the mature adult men and women, gay or straight, have to negotiate.

      Go and rain on your own parade.

    6. I’m glad it’s over. It was a false party thrown for the wrong reasons.

      I hope to settle down, be married, have kids and live the life I wanted when I was a kid. Not the one I feared I’d have to accept when I was a teenager, which is the ‘party’ you mention. I wanted society to change to accommodate me rather than separate myself from it, and now it has I’m proud to call myself part of it.

    7. Jock S. Trap 17 Jul 2013, 11:25am

      You really don’t understand the difference between Love and Duty do you?

      There are many gay couples, male and female, who have been in love with a partner for years and now they have the choice to marry. A lot will and some will not but that is now a choice and that’s what is important. We marry for love not duty.

      I know had my partner still been around after being together 20 years we would have been marrying next year, it’s something we had already decided and I feel very sad that he never got to celebrate this bill going through as well as marrying the one man I truly loved with all my heart.

      I feel Very sorry for you.

  45. PeterinSydney 17 Jul 2013, 9:58am

    Well done Britn. Now Australia needs to follow the example of the mother Country. The Queen of England will give royal assent in Britain. Now since she s also Queen of Australia it is time to give Royal Assent.

    1. Colin (London) 17 Jul 2013, 10:55am

      Peter

      We are over the moon here in the UK.

      But know our hearts are with you as your country faces up to it’s duty to stand with us as equals. We will do what we can to influence Great Australia’s future acceptance of EQUALITY and Marriage for all.

      We wish you and your gay and straight country men and women well

    2. Robert in S. Kensington 17 Jul 2013, 11:55am

      Australia will do it, Peter. You will eventually win, inevitable. I can’t imagine yesterday’s vote in London isn’t going to give Australia’s politicians pause for thought to do the right thing. A powerful message has been sent to all Commonwealth countries.

  46. I was dreading this question coming from my son when he is older: Why can’t Mummy & Mama get married?

    No need to worry anymore!!

    1. No, now that your son can now have married same sex parents, that question doesn’t need to arise.
      Are you in a civil partnership presently?

      1. We are yes. Hopefully we don’t have to convert, don’t fancy paying again.

  47. Ethel Clutterbuck 17 Jul 2013, 10:39am

    Wonderful, but we’re country number 15. This was printed 12 years ago in QB

    Now same-sex folk get wedding bands
    In Belgium and the Netherlands,
    Though red-faced clerics’ voices swell
    And Amsterdamn us all to Hell.
    We gay men – whether camp or butch –
    Can plight our troth thanks to the Dutch.

    And women, should their thoughts turn Sapphic,
    May join the Channel-crossing traffic.
    So get on board that boat from Harwich
    If you prefer a lesbian marrwich
    As wedding vows for she and she
    Have legal force on Zuider Zee.

    Fairies who grow mutually fonder
    Are linked by law in Dendermonde.
    If matrimony’s for you benders
    Then join the pink throng of Ostenders.

    Those men who like to shag a gent
    Could do much worse than visit Ghent.
    Men who take it up the bum
    Can now get matched in Hilversum
    There’s union for the homosex
    Amid the splendour that’s Utrecht’s.
    If you’re a dyke, a poof, a bugger,
    Get spliced in Antwerp or Zeebrugge,

    But Tory queers (let’s not be vague) at all costs must avoid The Hague

    1. St Sebastian 17 Jul 2013, 3:05pm

      Thank you Ethel, what a great ditty.

  48. Paula Thomas 17 Jul 2013, 11:04am

    Three o’clock today – House of Lords has an item on its Order Paper ‘Royal Assent’. So far as I can tell there are three bills in the queue. So might include ours but one can hope…

    1. Just checked their diary for the next two weeks and this is the only royal assent listed. I guess the Queens gagging to get off on her hols so it might be today. That be great for a party weekend.

  49. Amazing news, so proud to be part of this historic moment and I’m grateful to everyone who has campaigned for equality right from when homosexuality was still illegal. I just hope that in maybe a 100 years time gay marriage will be legal throughout the world, or is that too optimistic?

    On another note the BBC hasn’t even reported this yet. Too busy reporting about Google maps, unemployment and football it seems…

      1. Ah, missed that thank you.

        1. It’s pretty unimpressive though, filing it away like that on the main news site. I’m giving them the benefit of the doubt for now, but if it doesn’t make headlines when it receives the Royal Assent I think a complaint to the Beeb might be in order.

          1. That’s what I was thinking, seems like it’s been delegated to the backwaters of their site, unfitting for such a profound event.

      2. But notice the additional back-handed metacommunication to bigots with the sub-heading “bulldozed” (yes, all those free votes and 18 months+ of consultation? Totally bulldozed).

        Swines.

  50. Fantastic news! Congratulations to everyone in England & Wales! We won’t be too far behind in Scotland, hoepfully!

    1. Colin (London) 17 Jul 2013, 3:06pm

      We hope so too and wish you well. Keep positive it will happen soon.

      1. Yes, I’m pretty sure it will happen in Scotland too, but I just don’t want us to get complacent about it and consider it a done deal. I know it has wide support in general, and more than enough MSPs have pledged support, but it doesn’t guarantee they’ll all vote for it. It’s almost unthinkable that it wouldn’t happen in Scotland now, after all that’s happened so far, but until it actually becomes law there’s always the tiniest chance something could happen to stop it!

        Thanks for the best wishes, btw, I’m sure my fellow Scots appreciate it as much as I do!

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