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Equal marriage bill for England and Wales given Royal Assent and is now law

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  1. Robert in S. Kensington 17 Jul 2013, 2:27pm

    Celebration, jubilation, rejoicing across England and Wales. Time to party!

    Have a good life, C4M, Christian Concern, Anglican Mainstream and concentrate on doing some real good for a change.

    1. Btw Robert, i have loved your contributions throughout this campaign. There are times i’ve envisaged steam coming off of your keyboard when it came to the mere mention of the names Burrows or Hart. Thanks for keeping us all informed and entertained.

      1. I second that!

      2. bobbleobble 17 Jul 2013, 2:42pm

        Seconded Robert, you’ve been a star and you’ve encouraged me to do my part too especially recently with the Lobby A Lord website.

        1. Me to. In fact I hate to say but I’ve enjoyed all the comments o er the months. I’ve rather come to rely on my daily fix from you all. And I’ve learnt so much from you all. I think we helped make this happen in our own way
          Count me in for the next fight.

          1. Colin (London) 17 Jul 2013, 2:56pm

            Totally agree with you all boys. Count me in too.

          2. And a further cheer for Robert from me. And if you used LobbyALord as much as you mentioned it, I wouldn’t be surprised if you get a restraining order in the post soon!

            But also to everyone else, I only recently discovered the message boards here but I’ve enjoyed watching history change alongside people who are passionate interested and engaged with making things better. Drinks all round ; )

        2. Me too, Robert you are the reason I lobbied the lords.

    2. @Robert: while I am disappointed at the outcome, which for some months now has seemed inevitable, I should congratulate you and other PN readers who have worked so passionately to support this campaign.

      It happens that I do support C4M, Christian Concern and Anglican Mainstream and believe many of the people involved do real good. My hope is given the amount of poverty, social injustice and deprivation in our society that you and I and people on both sides of the same sex marriage debate can join forces to do the very good your rightly discern needs to be done.

      1. .....Paddyswurds 17 Jul 2013, 5:31pm

        … how does it feel to be so utterly on the wrong side of histor and to be thought of as a homophobic bigot, because that is what you and you religotard friends at C4M, Christian Concern and Anglican Mainstream are, homophobic bigots all….. The next battle for GLBs is to fight for the eradication of religious fantasy from the memory of and for the good of mankind….

        1. Magnanimous much?

          John said “I should congratulate you and other PN readers who have worked so passionately to support this campaign.” He went on to say that “My hope is … that … people on both sides of the same sex marriage debate can join forces to do good…”

          A hard-earned victory was signed into law today and most people would respond to John’s graciousness in defeat with at least a similarly respectful magnanimity in victory. You sound angry, as though all you want to do is pick a fight or kick someone when you think they are down. There are plenty of rabid churchgoers who will behave like that today. There is no need, today, for you to behave like them.

        2. Paddyswurds, there is a place for attacking religious dogmatism, but the tone of your response to JohnB does not reflect the best of human potential. There does not seem to be much room for forgiveness in your world. I hope you yourself are shown more leniency and forgiveness than you are apparently willing to show other people.

          Can I also point out that your neologism “religiotard” is a contraction of “religion” and “retard”. If you think it is acceptable to use a derogatory term for someone with learning difficulties to insult people you don’t like, perhaps it’s not only the people you are attacking who have something important to learn about equality, respect for others and ending prejudice.

      2. Tim Chapman 17 Jul 2013, 6:32pm

        “With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.” ― Steven Weinberg

        1. interesting quote Tim and one with a semblance of truth

      3. Thank you for your thoughtful comment, JohnB. I have always been a very strong supporter of equal marriage, but at the same time, remain conscious that what divides two human beings can so often be much less than what unites them.

        And while not a Christian, I believe that the parable of the Good Samaritan reflects some very important wisdom about the human condition. In our real hour of need, the person who is there for us may well be someone with whom we have fundamental differences of opinion on a range of matters.

        Our common humanity prevails, and we are all too complex to be defined into little boxes.

        1. @Gazza: there is much wisdom in what you say and thanks for sharing it. Citing the parable of the good samaritan is an excellent place to begin even though you say you are not a Christian. Besides the loving God imperative, which if you don’t believe you may wish to ignore, there is also that of loving our neighbour and the parable is an excellent illustration of how. While picking up and sorting out someone mugged in the streets who is different to us may not be something we can get to do, there are plenty of things all of us can do. For example, working among rough sleepers as I do (often with CC,C4M and AM supporters), I count it a real privilege and joy when joining with LBGT folk with a compassionate heart. The ideological cultural battles will no doubt continue but many of the practical needs in our communities must and can be attended to and such differences should not be a barrier.

          1. Tim Chapman 17 Jul 2013, 9:46pm

            Take out the God imperative, John, and you’re pretty much left with the Humanist philosophy. We want to do good because we want to do good, without reference to any god or biblical parable. Goodness is a human characteristic.

      4. I am afraid I have no tollerance of the people who would enshrine in our laws religious persecution and ongoing discrimination of gay transgender and intersex kids without consequence or relief, in our schools and education system, and treat as second class those same kids as they grow into adults.
        Religious freedom does not include the freedom to harm and persecute others for who they are because of YOUR beliefs. The amount of harm that the organisations whom you support has caused has only been limited by our efforts and those of reasonable people, to prevent it.

      5. Jock S. Trap 17 Jul 2013, 8:17pm

        Well lets hope one day C4M, Christian Concern and Anglican Mainstream will apologise for it’s appalling behaviour towards the LGBT community.

        Guess that will be a long time coming though.

    3. Tim Chapman 17 Jul 2013, 5:02pm

      Well done Robert. You’ve played a part in history and you are an inspitation. We have made a difference!

    4. Well done Robert, you’ve put me and many others to shame: I have to confess that I only e-mailed my boring Tory MP who voted against. (At least he didn’t vote in the second round.)

      Can’t believe how suddenly it’s really 100% all over, bar nothing. Not so long ago it was suggested that it would be on a knife edge in the Lords with only 10 or so votes in it. Little did we believe that it would sail through with a bigger majority than in the Commons, and that a majority of Tory members would support it !

      I hope that all your tireless work means that your celebrations will be all the more more joyous, and that before very long you’ll be happily married if that’s your wish.

    5. Robert, Thanks for your effort, insights and enthusiasm on these pages during this effort to make us that much more equal. Much appreciated.
      Wow that Royal assent happened really fast, wonder if the wax seal is cooled yet?

    6. In honor of Baroness Knight, I suggest we all go out shopping for antiques.

  2. Wonderful. Of course in the old days of the Brief Encounter (now St. Martin’s hotel), the place was full of members of the Royal household. Hence the Queen has probably been a secret advocate all along. Notwithstanding, this is lovely news on a lovely sunny day. Congrats to everyone who fought so hard. Particularly Lord Alli

    1. I despise these people who “tolerate” homosexuals but not homosexuality – which has been the attitude of Church and Establishment in this country for generations. I doubt that the Queen is privately in favour of this legislation, as she holds very traditional views, as everyone knows.

  3. bobbleobble 17 Jul 2013, 2:31pm

    Wow she got that done quickly. Maybe she’s a supporter, was she wearing a pink carnation!

    I’m so happy and excited right now! There’ll be corks popped tonight!

  4. That There Other David 17 Jul 2013, 2:33pm

    Wonderful news. Done and dusted before the Summer Recess, just like the government promised. Have to confess, I had my doubts they could meet that, but I’m rather glad to have been wrong :-)

  5. Kevin OBrien 17 Jul 2013, 2:34pm

    Why a whole year before weddings will actually take place?

    1. there needs to be a recall ofold legislation in registry offices/data companies etc.. lets face it, a year is worth waiting

      1. David Cary Hart 17 Jul 2013, 5:28pm

        That should take all of a week or two. Seriously. Yes. It’s worth waiting for but there is no reason to wait.

        1. Tim Chapman 17 Jul 2013, 9:51pm

          At least we know in the meantime it’s in the bag. And who knows, in a year’s time, the pensions issue may have been sorted out, making the fist same-sex marriage also an equal marriage.

  6. This has not fully sunk in.. I am ecstatic! Faith in the parliamentary system = restored

    1. Not just me then?! lol I was on the verge of tears but nothing came out because I was so damned shocked!! I know it WILL sink in! lol It’ll just hit me when I’m not looking! hahaha

  7. That was quick – I’m amazed!

  8. Excellent, this is the best news I’ve heard in ages, it was quicker than I expected to be honest.

    Finally we have the equality we deserve.

    1. That There Other David 17 Jul 2013, 2:43pm

      Not quite (see today’s Peter Tatchell article as to why), but this is a HUGE step forward and most welcome :-)

      1. Thanks, that was quite an enlightening article.

        We’re getting there though and that can only be a good thing. :-)

  9. Great news.

    My bf and I are already married in Canada, so under the terms of the Blil… I mean Act (need to get used to that!) we won’t have to convert from a CP.

    I wonder when it’ll be recognised here, though. Maybe PN could tap out an article clarifying these issues?

    Anyway, a happy day!

    1. I believe all the government have said is that they aim for same-sex marriages to be possible by next summer, but that other aspects of the bill (which may include recognition of foreign marriages) might take longer.

      1. While certain aspects may take a while to resolve, recognising marriages conducted abroad isn’t on that list (for fairly obvious reasons)

        Anyway, it’ll all become apparent over the next few weeks

  10. Beelzeebub 17 Jul 2013, 2:44pm

    If you have already had A Civil Partnership does that mean that when you convert to full marriage you can get presents all over again….;-)

    And a second party…

    1. Of course you can:-)

    2. Yes! And enjoy being invited to friends celebrations too ;)

  11. I’m so so happy about this. It’s a been a long year and a bit campaigning, but it’s finally here!

    Well done all who e-mailed an MP, recorded and Out4Marriage video or stood outside parliament and show their support!

  12. Tim Hanafin 17 Jul 2013, 2:52pm

    Marvelous! When I was at secondary school sex between men was illegal and now we have marriage. I never thought I’d see it in my lifetime.

  13. Jock S. Trap 17 Jul 2013, 3:02pm


  14. Slightly premature Pinknews. it is only law when the assent of the Queen is announced to BOTH houses. Announcement in House of Lords imminent. See here:-

    1. The Parliament website says it is law –

      “The Commons has approved all changes proposed to the bill by the Lords, and it has today received royal assent and become law (Wednesday 17 July).”

  15. :D :D :D Yeeeeah

  16. What a historic day, time to celebrate! :D

  17. Pavlos Prince of Greece 17 Jul 2013, 3:06pm

    Her ancestors has give once their Royal assents for laws punishing or criminalizing homosexuality (like Queen Victoria), even with death penalty (I think, in England it was even until first half of 19 th century), then penalty of jail (Oscar Wilde), and now we have same-sex marriage law on the Royal desc in the Buckingham Palace. I doubt if The Queen really thinks so or understand all the significance of this moment (its rather just simple formality for her, part of job), but it is what it is: an piece of history, happen right now.

    1. A Bill receiving the Royal Assent is really only a Parliamentary formality nowadays. Her Majesty does not actually sign Bills into Law – a minor Court functionary automatically does it on her behalf. AND it would be a brave Monarch who would seek to deny the very-well expressed wish of Parliament.

      1. Pavlos Prince of Greece 17 Jul 2013, 5:01pm

        “a minor Court functionary automatically does it on her behalf”. This information was unknow for me, thank you very much indeed ! No “original” signature of Elisabeth II on any new piece of law, no ? In fact, in continental Europe only the King of Sweden does not sign Bills into Law (under constitution of 1975), perhaps he still is head of state and army.

    2. Don’t underestimate the Queen, she a very knowledgeable woman, she needs to be.

      1. She’s just a bloody figurehead, and very poorly educated through no fault of her own. None of the Royal Family are very intelligent!

        1. Then you clearly know nothing about her. She is an extremely well-educated and knowledgeable woman with an incredible memory bank. Education doesn’t stop when you leave school; and the Queen’s been learning her incredibly difficult and draining job and perfecting it all her life since she became queen.

          She never asked for it, she saw it utterly kill her father and suck the life from him. But she does it anyway, never expecting or demanding thanks.

          She spends several hours each day reading government papers so she can keep an eye on what they’re up to; she’s the Psychiatrist-in-Chief to every PM under her reign and she’s the greatest ambassador this country has ever had.

    3. St Sebastian 18 Jul 2013, 2:13am

      Time to look forward Pavlos.

      You can’t change the past but the future for all gays has taken a very positive change.

    4. But several of her ancestors were gay, as well though; in times when, even being the monarch, it was a dangerous thing to be. An example would be King William II and Piers Gaveston the Lord Cornwall. They were well-known lovers (so it is strongly believed) and William was murdered for it, by being given the stereotypical UFO anal-probing treatment of a red-hot poker.

      James I was apparently openly bisexual and was flirtatious with several male courtiers.

  18. Jeremy Hoad 17 Jul 2013, 3:06pm

    Equality? Hardly.

    This legislation requires the Secretary of State to review (after 01/07/14) whether homosexual married couples can have the same pension rights as heterosexual married couples. The decision rests entirely with the Secretary of State.

    So this ‘equality’ legislation is a sham. It is superficial and facile. Equalities legislation should REMOVE discrimination, not enforce and continue it. This also goes for the continuation of Civil Partnerships as legal contracts exclusively available to homosexual couples.

    I have not been fighting for equality for the sake of a sodding piece of paper and a ceremony. I have been fighting for equality in terms of gaining the same human rights and legal and financial rights and benefits that are automatically accorded to heterosexual couples when they get married. Thank goodness the HoL made the amendment or there wouldn’t even be a review.

    See page 3, point 11, under “After Clause 14” here:

    1. That There Other David 17 Jul 2013, 3:23pm

      Jeremy, try and understand the legal implications of this Act. The pensions disparity must now be removed by Parliament or the courts will remove it for them. My guess is that Parliament will want to appear to have resolved this themselves, so don’t expect that pension issue to be there in 18 months time.

    2. Although I am elated at the news today, and don’t want to be cited as being a killjoy, I ponder just how much this “equality” means “equal”.
      The pension issue is of extreme importance to older gay men and women in civil partnerships and should be rectified forthwith – or are we not really worth it when it comes to the government coughing up hard cash (which, incidentally, was partly generated by us!).
      We’ve got the marriage – and thanks to everyone for putting themselves on the line for this – so let’s have the full rights, financial and otherwise, afforded to our heterosexual friends.

    3. Robert in S. Kensington 17 Jul 2013, 4:12pm

      Well, it’s sorted then, don’t get married, don’t have a CP either.

    4. St Sebastian 18 Jul 2013, 3:30am

      Whoa Jeremy, much anger. Patience, think of this as a process, not a result. Each win is a rung further up the ladder of equality. We progress one step at a time.

      It would be very difficult for the government to retreat from this current position and I would expect the threat of court action would temper any rash move.

  19. Fantastic news! Wow! This is HUGE!

    I’d like to thank all of you, especially Pink News, who have fought so long and hard for marriage equality. Your determination and success serve as a heart-warming example to those of us across the globe who fight for equal marriage in our own lands.

    Next up: Scotland, Ireland, the Faroes, Luxembourg,….and I hope my Colorado!

    warmly, Tip

  20. Really excellent news for England & Wales!

    Let’s hope it’s just a matter of a few months before we catch up here in Scotland, and as for Northern Ireland, I realise it will take a wee bit longer, but hopefully they’ll have equal marriage too in the not too distant future.

    1. Pavlos Prince of Greece 17 Jul 2013, 9:08pm

      I wonder, why in Scotland this process is much less fast than in the South ? It was exactly one year ago, when government in Edinburgh has make his plans to legalize gay marriage publicly (after a couple of “delaying’s”) – and most important thing what was happen since then, is that Cardinal O’Brien is gone: but this nice history about self hated secret gay has nothing to do with activity of “Equality Scotland” and Scottish gay community in general. Gay marriage in Hollyrood in October, November, December ? Or maybe even next year ? It must be a little depressing for gay people in Scotland like You.

      1. It’s frustrating rather than depressing that it’s taking a wee bit longer, especially since it was first launched in September 2011 with the first consultation, then they had to analyse the responses which took longer than expected because there were so many replies to the consultation, then they had to draft the Bill, then it was put to another consultation on the draft Bill, which had to be analysed again, which all explains why it took so long.

        So it’s taken 21 months for the consultation stages and drafting the Bill alone, before it was even introduced to the Scottish Parliament to begin the legislative process, but it’s on it’s way now, and now that it has begun the actual legislative process in Parliament, I’m not too disappointed that it has been so slow.

        The Equality Network gave me link on another thread which details the process and estimates the time it will take in Scotland:

      2. St Sebastian 18 Jul 2013, 2:33am

        Pavlos, such a killjoy. Progress comes from putting one foot ahead of the other. Wars (in the metaphorical sense) are won through by winning a series of battles. After each battle you celebrate, then gather your stocks and prepare for the next battle…. and so-on until the war is won.

        Another way to look at this would be the the English and Welsh will be an inspiration and motivation for the equality minded folks in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

        So join us all in celebration, be gracious to those defeated (even if they don’t deserve it), let bygones be bygones and rejoice our achievement thus far.

  21. Great great joy all-round.
    Thanks’ to all at PN for their heroic stand. Thanks to all the MPs who gave it support and all the Lords who worked on improving the bill.
    Joy Joy Joy.
    Let those places where gay people are treated badly take note.

  22. Best. Queen. Ever.

    From being illegal to getting married under one monarch.

    1. Michael 2912 17 Jul 2013, 3:35pm

      Gosh – that’s quite a thought!

  23. YAYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  24. Robert (Kettering) 17 Jul 2013, 3:20pm

    From one queen to another – thank you Your Majesty for signing this into law so swiftly.

  25. Sacre bleu 17 Jul 2013, 3:20pm

    17th July – this should become the National Public Holiday for all us Homos and Poofs.

    So excited. Thanks to Benjamin Cohen and especially to Robert in S Kensington (and some others) for keeping us updated, with added technical explanations, encouragement to use Lobby a Lord etc etc. It has been quite the ‘online village’ here on Pinknews, reading all your comments, stries etc with Robert in S Kensington as our Town Crier.

    Thank you one and all.

  26. Yes, yes, yes, yes, OMG i’m crying again, what’s happening to me? This is so gay, o yes, I’m gay. I’m so happy

  27. bravo bravo bravo

  28. Fantastic! Best get me a hat!!!!!

  29. Justice & Equality at Last Thank You Prime Minister

  30. Well done again your Majesty. Don’t forget all those who take the moral high ground are very disappointed today. That’ll be Lord Dear (who as Chief Constable of West Midlands found no blame in the West Yorks Police handling of Hillsborough), Baroness Butler Sloss (who gave the Bulger killers early release with new identities) and of course Sir Gerald Howarth who went into a rant last night in the Commons on aggressive homosexuals. (This from the man who is a consultant for one of those dreadful payday loans companies that charges hard up people 1700 pc interest per annum). Don’t think we need any lectures from any of them.

  31. GulliverUK 17 Jul 2013, 3:28pm

    * in Victor Meldrew voice *

    I doooooooon’t belieeeeeve it !!

    Jesus H C that was fast. Pinch me someone :)

    w00t! “Access Granted” :D

  32. Michael 2912 17 Jul 2013, 3:32pm

    WOW – we did it!

  33. Great news

    Perhaps now, Mrs Windsor will be able to bring herself to mention the word ‘gay’ for the 1st timw in her 60 year reign.

  34. Maxine and Christine Scrivener 17 Jul 2013, 3:34pm

    I was legally married to my wife in a same sex marriage in Ontario Canada on the 13th September 2003, now that the same sex marriage bill has finally been signed and sealed by the Queen, will I have to forward my marriage certificate to be changed for a British marriage one my wife moved to live in the UK with me in 2006 and has been granted leave to remain .. we are simply looking for answers now that this country has finally fallen on side with true equality.
    Maxine and Christine

    1. Hi Maxine,

      No, you don’t have to forward your marriage certificate to the GRO.

      Couples marrying or CP-ing abroad have the option of depositing a marriage or CP certificate with the GRO, but it’s totally optional, and is not required to exercise legal rights in the UK, whether relating to citizenship or anything else.

      Couples who married in the Commonwealth CANNOT deposit their certificate with the GRO (this is a money-saving arrangement the UK govt has with ex-colonies). Hence in your case you may not have the option.

      I say may, because the government has not yet clarified what the arrangements will be for foreign relationship recognition. Currently those in a Commonwealth same-sex marriage ARE permitted to deposit their certificate with the GRO as proof of a CP.

      The govt has not stated if those in a Commonwealth same-sex marriage will be given special permission to file with the GRO as a marriage. I would expect not.


    2. cont…

      Those who have already deposited a foreign marriage certificate with the GRO are in a more complex position. Anyone registering a foreign same-sex marriage has had it entered as a CP and not as a marriage. You don’t mention if this applies to you. (The govt has not yet updated its foreign marriage deposit forms to acknowledge same-sex marriage; couples are still being directed to the CP forms instead.)

      It may be that couples in this position will be able to update their GRO record through the CP conversion process which will be offered to couples with a UK CP, or perhaps they will be able to re-file their marriage certificate to be recognised as a marriage.

      The new law states marriage is no longer an “overseas relationship” in the Civil Partnership Act, meaning you and your wife (like my wife and I) are no longer in a de facto CP. Our marriages are now legally valid in Eng/Wales – but don’t expect the govt, GRO or anyone else to know that until weddings start in 2014!

  35. Whilst we celebrate equal marriage in the UK – remember thousands still face persecution – (the fight isn’t over yet)

  36. St Sebastian 17 Jul 2013, 3:38pm

    Time for celebration. Congratulations to one and all who have striven to get this moments leap forward for the LGBTI community. This is not a victory just for those that want to get married, but it is an even greater symbolic victory for equality – that our love (and even potential for love) is now confirmed as being equal.

    There are more battles ahead but this is the critical one, equivalent to the banishing of slavery for people of African heritage. As a minority we will always have to be vigilant, struggle to be accepted and treated equally under law, just like other minorities eg Africans and Jews (to name but a few).

  37. Takes a queen to sort it out….thank you mam…..

    1. DCBrighton 17 Jul 2013, 3:47pm

      That’s a bit disingenuous. The work was done by all the campaigners and politicians that actually did the work. The Royal Assent, ie, the Queen’s signature is nothing but a formality.

      1. its a joke….my god ….grow up….

        1. DCBrighton 17 Jul 2013, 6:18pm

          Joke? don’t get it….

          1. Well, growing up takes a while.

  38. Elaine Knight 17 Jul 2013, 3:42pm

    Its a shame that so many trans people who were happly married had to make a choice ,,stay married and not be able to get there recognised gender on a birth certificate or have to divorce and probley loose the partners they loved ,,Its just to late comming for alot of people ,we cant turn back time

    1. “Their” not “there”. Jeez!,,,

  39. DCBrighton 17 Jul 2013, 3:43pm

    Incredible news. An outstanding step forward in civil rights for LGBT people.

    An hour afterwards, the BBC News channel has still not reported, preferring to focus on a runway at Heathrow.

    1. Tucked away in the ‘Politics’ tab, with a paragraph heading ‘Bulldozed’. I think it’s obvious where the bias lies.

      1. Robert in S. Kensington 17 Jul 2013, 4:06pm

        Yes, Rehan, it’s quite evident. I think this now warrants serious attention given to why we pay tv licences to an organisation funded by the tax payers that is clearly homophobic and biased towards right wing religious loons.This is something StonewallUK needs to look into.

        1. I think I just saw John snow in a rainbow tie on the channel 4 news?!!?

          But yes I’m really disappointed in the BBC. In fact this whole issue has made me see them in a whole new light. Very sad.

      2. I don’t know why Pinknews hasn’t addressed this issue directly. The obvious bias from the publicly funded broadcaster during the whole bills progress through parliament was frankly appalling in the extreme. The effort they have gone to to shove it under the carpet is bordering on the ridiculous. The BBC needs to be held account for it’s blatant homophobia.

    2. im shocked that while daily mail online mentioned the news, the guardian still hasnt reported it

      1. Has it been covered on the bbc yet? I’ve had it on all day, granted I have been doing other things so might have missed it, but I don’t think I’ve seen a mention yet.

        1. Its been on their news web site all afternoon, but given the publicity they gave to the anti faction, not at all prominent, only in a line sidebar.
          Balance “over time” my arse.

  40. Haha. the daily mail (homophobic bastards) haven’t even mention aything about this. Can’t wait to see what they will write.
    I’m so happy

  41. A day of celebration for everyone who believes in love and marriage. Marriage for everyone. Much excitement for the future. Thank you to our lovely queen for signing the bill into law so quickly. Forever grateful to everyone who made this a possibility.

  42. God save the Queen!

    Thanks, Your Maj. I know it was a formality, but we still appreciate it.

  43. J.L. de Jonghe d'Ardoye 17 Jul 2013, 4:09pm

    A big God save the Queen and your Country !

  44. Fantastic news! I lobbied a few Lords and Ladies as I guess many of you did. Only received one response though and he was a Libdem! It reminds me of the legalising of homosexuality back in 1967. I was in Malaysia at the time and read in the Straits Times that ‘cheers rang out in the Houses of Parliament when the bill was passed.’ Lets hope the dinosaurs in David Cameron’s party and the religious Looney Tunes have a sweaty sleepless night. There, that’s bitchiness!

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 17 Jul 2013, 4:14pm

      Managed to get 413 lobbied and received quite a number of lovely replies, around 40, all positive even from some whose track record on LGBT issues was spotty.

      The C4M/CI lot are already saying they’re not giving up according to Dr. Sharon James.

      1. Beelzeebub 17 Jul 2013, 4:58pm

        They can carry on all they want.

        Now that it’s law, all they will be seen to be doing is forcibly divorcing people.

        That won’t go down well with the population at all apart from the major die hards.

  45. So has anyone checked what time the world is meant to end? I’ve been so busy I just didn’t have time to check with any of the tin foil hat people and I want to get a good view :P

    1. Beelzeebub 17 Jul 2013, 4:55pm

      The Tsunami is due at half past six I think.

  46. Hi Cel

    Yes I have noticed the ominous quietness from the Daily Mail too. Can’t find a mention on their website. They are storing up their bile. I cannot believe they are simply going to quietly accept this.

  47. Wooooo!!! Here’s to many more! And may the bigots continue to drift into the irrelevance they so dearly deserve! Cheers!!

  48. Johann Fourie 17 Jul 2013, 4:17pm

    So I read over on the BBC that Sir Gerald Howarth, one of the bill’s opponents, said that it was “astonishing that a bill for which there is absolutely no mandate, against which a majority of Conservatives voted, has been bulldozed through both Houses”.

    Well i have news for him. A majority of the British public wanted equal marriage rights, a large majority of the Coalition wanted the bill to go through, it was pass by a vast majority of the Commons and it sped through the Lords with an overwhelming majority backing it.

    Therefore, in a democratic country it is only just and right that the bill became law.

    So why is it “astonishing” then?

    What is certainly astonishing is the fact that more than half of the Conservative Party is still stuck in the Middle Ages and I for one cannot wait for the old lot to die off…

    1. bobbleobble 17 Jul 2013, 4:31pm

      I suspect any bill that Howarth doesn’t approve of has been bulldozed through. Just as anyone who disagrees with him and doesn’t behave how he thinks they should are aggressive.

      Unless bulldozed is a euphemism for ‘passed with stonking majorities on free votes’

      1. You should have seen the old git go for it last night in the Commons – I honestly thought at one point that he was scripted by Little Britain – he was almost projectile vomiting. He really does have some major issues. Most other members looked embarrassed apart from that smirky git David Burrows. Really sad the BBC chose to use that as their pitch on a joyous day for the LGBT community. Shame on them.

    2. Gerald Howarth is talking nonsense and clutching at straws. It’s not unusual for governments of all colours to introduce bills without a mandate, in fact, it’s often necessary. Lord Fowler scotched this argument in the HOL some weeks ago, in response to Lord Cormack, but why should that matter to Howarth and his ilk? They are simply using any old argument to undergird their prejudice and homophobia. It’s very clear, when an MP consistently and repeatedly votes against any legislation to make life better for a minority group and uses immoderate language and strident statements to mis-represent that group, they are guilty of blatant prejudice. Howarth’s record is amongst the worst you will find. I really hope this offends him – he deserves to be offended.

    3. Robert in S. Kensington 17 Jul 2013, 6:17pm

      He referred to the Bill as ‘wretched’. What a disgraceful admission and utterly disrespectful of the process. I wished John Bercow had censured him. Fortunately, Howarth got his comeuppance when the beautiful Nick Herbert stood up and went for his jugular which shut him up along with the rest of the loons. It was brilliant theater. Herbert is amazing to watch and listen to. I think he cold be rising star among the progressives in the Tory party.

    4. Sacre bleu 18 Jul 2013, 2:48am

      Sir Gerald Howarth and his ilk will eventually choke on their own hateful bile.

      Karma always visits, it is just the timing that varies.

  49. Wow! As they say in Norman French, la reine le veut!

    1. She’s the figurehead…

      1. I’m well aware of that. But under our quaint constitutional arrangements, the legislative lingo is still phrased as though the monarch not only reigns, but rules. So be our marriages enacted by the Queen’s most excellent majesty…

      2. I’m well aware of that. But our quaint constitutional arrangements mean that legislation is worded as though our monarchs still not only reign,but rule. So be our marriages enacted by the Queen’s Most Excellent Majesty….

        1. Sorry about the repeat. I thought the first message hadn’t ‘taken’.

  50. GOOD News, indeed!!! I expect Scotland will follow suit in due course; but Northern Ireland, alas, is likely to be another story altogether – the ‘pseudo-religious’ Taliban in the Democratic Unionist Party would much prefer their personal and Party bigotries, prejudices and hatreds than doing what is right for those they govern. It will probably end up being a battle in the Courts [a total waste of public money] and they will be forced, after God knows how many appeals, to bring the Law here in line with the rest of the UK. Sad … but true!

    1. They could always elope to England or Wales

      1. They would still have only a Civil Partnership when they returned to Northern Ireland.

    2. And then, of course, there’s the Isle of Man…

      1. Think I may just accidentally reported you Ron. Sorry I phone slip

  51. gay_from_poland 17 Jul 2013, 4:33pm

    God Save The Queen! Britain, please conquer us!

  52. Right, now I’ll start the planning. It’s gonna take me a year to get this jig sorted!

  53. Mihangel apYrs 17 Jul 2013, 4:44pm

    and still nothing on the BBC news channel, though they had time to interviewpeople about the weather”oo it’s too hot for me!!”

  54. Heartfelt and hearty congratulations, brothers and sisters, in the U.K. on your victory. It may very well take a couple of more years for that jubilation to spread across the nation, here, in the U.S., but it will be worth the wait. Having to deal with the Southern bigot politicians, we have to make sure that each “I” is dotted, and each “t”, crossed or they’ll pounce on the slightest error to defeat or delay any progress. And when it finally becomes the law of the land, we’ll be able to smile, and say, well done.

    Now as to those who have fought so hard to deny us our basic rights, we might just create a new La Brea Tar Pit, like the one in Los Angeles, into which we can retire these dinosaurs and make them do something of real value, for a change, like increasing the oil reserve. LOL

  55. Peter Cronin-Hill 17 Jul 2013, 5:08pm

    I’m so happy. Soon I will be justifiably able to say ‘Husband’ instead of just ‘partner.’

    1. As far as I’m concerned you were never unjustified

  56. Dimitris T 17 Jul 2013, 5:26pm

    I am sorry to interrupt your discussion here, but TODAY an MP of Golden Dawn has spoken in an insultive way, concerning his sexual orientation, about the German Minister of Foreign Affairs! This was a mistake and everebody should stand up and make them know this was a mistake. Is Mr Schauble coming here, in Greece, tomorrow and this will not be answered? Is Mr Westerwelle going to ask for confusal from the Greek minister? Is it difficult for Greek Government (actually co-operating with Golden Dawn in various levels) to state clearly that ALL citizens Greek and foreigners are respected no matter what their sexual orientation is?

  57. .....Paddyswurds 17 Jul 2013, 5:35pm

    Congratulations to the gay and lesbian people of England and Wales. You fought the good fight and won against formidable odds, but truth will always win out and that you have. Now we here in North of Ireland want your support and encouragement for our fight for Equality … Again Congratulations.

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 17 Jul 2013, 6:11pm

      You have our strong support Paddy. It will come to NI if we all band together and push for it. Thanks for the good wishes.

    2. GulliverUK 17 Jul 2013, 6:54pm

      Essential to have equal marriage there – otherwise why would any new business set up there? It may not be able to attract people from Scotland (when they get it) and England + Wales. If I was married in England+Wales and saw a job offer in Northern Ireland I’d just ignore it, and if I worked for a company that wanted people to re-locate to Northern Ireland, I’d just tell them no, because my marriage wouldn’t be recognised there. So there is a business argument that Northern Ireland will be disadvantaged and marginalised by refusing to acknowledge and extend the rights of gay couples to marry. If leaders in Northern Ireland claim to be in favor of equality how can they refuse what is clearly a measure to make marriage available to everyone.

      We’re 100% behind you — do you want me to come over and tackle Mr Shannon for you? :-p

    3. St Sebastian 18 Jul 2013, 4:02am

      Wishing you the very best in your endeavours to achieve equality in Northern Ireland. Hopefully there are many lessons from the England and Wales journey that can be used in Northern Ireland.

  58. Georg Friedrich 17 Jul 2013, 5:37pm

    Its very significant for me as German too, because we still are very far from marriage equality here in our semi-clerical Federal Republic. PS Interesting, that today is something like “birthday” of British royal family: it was exactly 17 July 1917, when King George V has officially decline for himself and his future heirs from his German family name, this of Sachsen-Coburg und Gotha, as well as from all German based titles (Kurfürst of Hannover, Duke of Saxony etc.). “House of Windsor” was born.

    1. Dimitris T 17 Jul 2013, 6:24pm

      Ηello Georg,
      here, in Greece, we are one step before hell.
      Read my post (second above).
      Nobody in EU and EU itself seems to care.

    2. Michael Furniss 17 Jul 2013, 6:44pm

      I thought it was Saxe-Coburg-Gotha?

  59. Yay!
    Happy days!

  60. I am so very happy for everyone! This is a great day. It feels wonderful to have more equality.

    I’m totally gobsmacked at how quickly Royal Assent has happened, not hanging about, are we?

    But why or why will it take so very long to become legal reality? Next summer is an awfully long time. Surely they can get the relevant paper work into registry office much quicker than next year?
    Still, the law is changed, that’s the main thing.

    Now onto trans equality and pension rights!

  61. Dimitris T 17 Jul 2013, 5:58pm

    Today a Proffessor in the University of Τhessaloniki (norhern Greece) accompanied a 16 yo Somalian Girl asking for Asylum and he was arrested (the Prof.)

  62. Well having signed the Partneship register, then held a Civil Partnership Ceremony two years later when teh law changed looks like we need to go for the hat trick and hold a wedding..

  63. Why are UK news channels (And even some websites) such as Sky News and BBC not reporting on this? If international news stations can then why not the uk?!

    1. UK News channels reported the final passage of the Bill through Parliament, to become an Act [the law] the Bill must receive Royal Assent, but this is largely a formality – Her Majesty doesn’t actually sign the Bill any more, an official appointed by the Crown simply gives his approval and the Granting of Royal Assent is formally announced in both Houses of Parliament and it is the Law.

  64. Janine Lutz-Lawson 17 Jul 2013, 6:22pm

    To my “family” members across the pond – MAZEL TOV!!!

    Janine Lutz-Lawson, San Diego, CA

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 17 Jul 2013, 6:36pm

      Much appreciated, Janine and thank you. Glad to see California get marriage back for good.

      1. Janine Lutz 18 Jul 2013, 12:36am

        Yes, it was a long and arduous trip back to being equal in California, but now that we are federally recognized as being equal, it’s an indescribable feeling! I always have been secure in my “Gayness”, assisted along the way by my gay brother who is 15 years older than me, though I lost him to AIDs before I came out. But I can say that it does feel different to be recognized by my country as being an equal citizen. I always knew deep down inside that I was just as good as everyone else, but it does feel different having it validated by my entire nation. I just hope that finally being equal will help the self esteem of those who have struggles with their Gayness. And we’ll keep up the good fight for the rest of our states here in the U.S.!

  65. I hope everyone remembered to congratulate Norman Tebbitt on his engagement

    1. Colin (London) 17 Jul 2013, 7:46pm

      Love it.

  66. Robert in S. Kensington 17 Jul 2013, 6:35pm

    Lo and behold, the BBC comments online

    1. GulliverUK 17 Jul 2013, 7:01pm

      The BBC is a waste of time and money. Published at 2:30 and nobody appeared to have commented on the story – it shows how poorly the BBC runs its operations that nobody actually cares very much about its online content. There is also the little matter of the wasted £200m+ on the digital archive project. So if they come back for a single penny more in the license fee I say we get 250,000 to protest outside Broadcasting House — they are a waste of space. And clearly even more corrupt at the top that even I knew about.

      When I’m dead and gone I have left one or two interesting things for publication from my time at the BBC.

      1. Robert in S. Kensington 17 Jul 2013, 7:46pm

        I think a serious movement should begin now to not only question the BBC’s obvious bias towards right wing religious bigots but why we are paying a licence fee as gay tax payers to an organization that clearly doesn’t much care for us or representing anything balanced when it comes to LGBT issues. It isn’t right and ought to be taken seriously and dealt with.

  67. Congratulations England n Wales. So disappointing with Scotland and Irelands snail like pace. Excuses, that’s all we here from that deplorable scottish labour and disbelieving snp party. Anyways, Once again our sincere congratulations to y’all on your jubilant victory. Onwards n upwards.

    1. Labour and the SNP are two different parties. The SNP are the party currently in government in Scotland, Labour are the largest of the opposition parties in the Scottish Parliament. Both promised a consultation on equal marriage during the 2011 Scottish Parliament election campaign. The SNP subsequently held one (after winning the election) and then after analysing the responses, decided to legislate for equal marriage. They drafted a Bill and held a second consultation on it, before introducing it to Parliament on 26 June. It’s currently in stage one of the legislative process.

      I’ve also been frustrated at the time it’s taken and the delays – it was launched in September 2011 and it’s taken until June 2013 to be introduced to the Scottish Parliament, but at least it’s begun the legislative process now, and all signs point to it being passed without any real problems, as long as all the MSPs who’ve pledged support actually vote for it and don’t abstain or change their minds.

  68. Fantastic news but I hope the govt really doesn’t intend to take as long as next summer to get all the paperwork ready. That’s mind blowiningly slow! I can’t think of why on earth it would take another year to sort it all out.

    Does the consverative party really want to drag it out that long? If I was them I’d want to get us married now rather than possibly get a whole load of same sex marriages less that a yr before the next election.

  69. It was a long fight and really showed us how truly vile our opponents were among the Tories and the church – but we won!

  70. David Reedman 17 Jul 2013, 7:10pm

    Great news and it is not surprising that a Conservative Prime Minister supported this proposal since the original proposal to decriminalise homosexuals came from a Conservative MP called Humphrey Barclay in the early 1960’s. It cost him his seat at the following election. (1964 I think).

    1. David Reedman 18 Jul 2013, 6:29pm

      I checked this out. The spelling is Humphry Barclay and his private members bill passed its second reading but was lost after a General election was called in 1966 when he lost his seat. Not to be confused with Humphrey Barclay.

      1. barriejohn 20 Jul 2013, 9:47am

        I remember all this. Humphry Barclay was a very colourful character who joined the Labour Party after losing his seat, and then joined the SDP and finally Labour again!

    2. It is absolutely AMAZING that a Conservative PM is responsible for this legislation. It was mainly Labour politicians who were responsible for the decriminalization of homosexuality in England and Wales: people like Leo Abse and Roy Jenkins, the greatest Home Secretary that this country has ever had (capital punishment and corporal punishment were also abolished, and abortion legalized with David Steel’s bill). Those were great days: “The permissive society is the civilized society”!

  71. it seems the uk media outlets are not as ecstatic as politicians, many of them haven’t mentioned the news, while those that did buried it somewhere in the subsection.

    but the worst offender is the biased bbc, tax payer funded entity, blatantly playing down the significance of this event. there should be inquiry held into bbc’s discriminatory conduct

  72. Let’s all give a massive Thank You to Lord Alli !

    Who would have thought that one of the most influential people in this debate would have been a gay Muslim?

    It can’t have been easy for him, but his perseverance has worked wonders, especially for helping to restore the reputation of the Lordships and Muslims, neither of which were noted as being especially gay friendly.

  73. Linda Giovanna Zambanini 17 Jul 2013, 7:45pm

    As an American, can someone explain to me why it is going to take so long to implement this law (August 2014)?! Who wrote that requirement into the bill and why? My concern, as an American activist, is that time is of the essence. Many people will die waiting for this law to come into effect. Such a long wait – any wait at all in fact – emotionally and bureaucratically impacts real people with real lives. In the US it usually takes a few months to 6 months to implement newly passed Marriage Equality laws.
    Here’s a good example of such real life effects:

    1. It seems that it takes a while to sort out the secondary legislation, but I am just as surprised why it has to take so long.

      Politically, I would have thought that the coalition would have wanted to expedite the process. I don’t believe that Equal Marriage is a vote loser, but it would be better to have the bigots make a fuss now rather at election time in May 2105. Once people see a few happy weddings and find that the sky doesn’t fall in, the controversy will no longer be topical and will fade from the headlines. Scare-mongering is so much harder when none of the predicted disasters has happened !

      In the UK, gay couples have the option to have a Civil Partnership in the meantime. It’s obviously still very much a second-class solution, but at least it would form a sensible insurance policy if either party were to die before real marriage becomes available: it sorts out many of the legal issues such as Inheritance Tax, so there should be less need for deathbed ceremonies.

      1. It’s the changing of systems and secondary legislation that takes time.
        The civil servants that have to deal with this are also dealing with the affects of all laws passed by parliament; not just this one.
        It also helps ensure that on the day things work work well.

  74. I honestly never dreamed it would happen this quickly. It isn’t that long ago when they were saying it would be 2015 at the earliest! I was cursing them for that! lol And now in a very short space of time it’s gone through the commons, the Lords and now the Queen has signed it into law!! All in the space of about a month!!

    I still can’t believe it!! lol It will sink in!!

    1. The final stages – passing the Lords, being sent back to the Commons, and then the Royal Assent – definitely did go by with breathless speed (this is not a complaint)!

      1. Same! I am definitely not complaining! lol

  75. so finaly the homophobic bbc started to report on gay marriage after watershed. such offending piece of news

  76. Neil M U Phelps 18 Jul 2013, 3:05am

    Congratulations! We’ve done it !!!!

  77. Congratulations to you all. A new way of life is now open to you, one that may profoundly increase your happiness and fulfillment. Parliament has given you the opportunity to marry, but it is up to you to seize that opportunity and make the most of it.

    Cherish this opportunity and cherish your partners as well. Show the whole world that gay people understand the meaning of love and commitment.

  78. Given that this bill was proposed by a coalition government I wonder who would want to go back to having a single party with a strong majority.

  79. Regenbogen 18 Jul 2013, 4:34pm

    Congratulations to the GLBT people of Britain! :D Now if only the United States would follow your example so that same-sex partners over on this side of the pond will be able to enjoy equality as well.

  80. Barry William Teske 18 Jul 2013, 5:28pm

    Thank you Mum!
    Hugs from a watcher across the pond in Canada!

  81. Happy! Thanks to everyone who supported it. That is all.

  82. barriejohn 20 Jul 2013, 9:28am

    This is great news, but I’m not sure what the Queen had to do with it. I wonder whether, as an ardent Christian, she is personally horrified by the new legislation. The BBC ignored this, and have been castigated for that: too busy feeding us information about the royal baby, I suppose!

  83. David Myers 20 Jul 2013, 11:15am

    Congratulations Britain! You deserve them for your progressive and courageous determination to do the right thing, especially in the face of organized religious bigotry of various types!

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