Luxembourg’s parliament has overwhelmingly passed a same-sex marriage bill, by a vote of 56-4.

The bill introduces equal marriage, in addition to granting adoption rights to same-sex couples.

Luxembourg’s parliament has only one chamber, and so the vote by the Chamber of Deputies has secured the passage of the bill as a whole.

According to the Chamber of Deputies, the law is expected to be in force by early 2015.

Green MP Viviane Loschetter said: “Gay people should have the same rights as heterosexuals.

“With this law, we do not throw overboard all the values ​​of our society.

“All we have done is give equal rights to gay people. We formally recognize a form of relationship that has always existed.”

The only MPs to vote against the bill were Gaston Gibéryen, Fernand Kartheiser and Roy Reding, all of the right-wing Alternative Democratic Reform Party, and Aly Kaes, rebelling against the Christian Social People’s Party.

Reding said: “The most important institution of our society, marriage, is ruined.”

A group had previously attempted to stall the marriage bill by triggering a referendum, but they failed to gather enough signatures.

Last year, Luxembourg made history as the first country to have an openly gay Prime Minister and an openly gay Deputy Prime Minister at the same time.

Ty Cobb of the Human Rights Campaign said: “We commend the leaders of Luxembourg for granting the nation’s LGBT citizens the rights they deserve, and we congratulate the LGBT activists and advocates who made this historic day possible.”

Luxembourg will be the 9th EU country to introduce same-sex marriage, following the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Sweden, Portugal, Denmark, France and England and Wales in the UK.