Marriage equality becomes law in England and Wales

Way to go, England and Wales! BBC reports:

The government’s controversial legislation on the issue received Royal Assent on Wednesday.

The Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat leaderships all backed the proposals, which were finally approved by MPs and peers earlier this week.

It is expected that the first gay and lesbian wedding ceremonies will take place by summer next year.

Under the terms of the the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill, religious organisations will have to “opt in” to offering weddings, with the Church of England and Church in Wales being banned in law from doing so.

Commons Speaker John Bercow announced the bill had received Royal Assent – the formal approval of the sovereign required for all legislation. The news was greeted with cheers in the Commons chamber.

This is a huge deal, and I hope it will be heartily celebrated as the landmark move forward that it is. That said, it only throws into sharper relief the fact that other “modern,” “developed” countries – I’m looking at you, land of the free and home of the brave – have yet to make this happen. Get it together, America. You too, Australia.

New York, NY

Chloe Angyal is a journalist and scholar of popular culture from Sydney, Australia. She joined the Feministing team in 2009. Her writing about politics and popular culture has been published in The Atlantic, The Guardian, New York magazine, Reuters, The LA Times and many other outlets in the US, Australia, UK, and France. She makes regular appearances on radio and television in the US and Australia. She has an AB in Sociology from Princeton University and a PhD in Arts and Media from the University of New South Wales. Her academic work focuses on Hollywood romantic comedies; her doctoral thesis was about how the genre depicts gender, sex, and power, and grew out of a series she wrote for Feministing, the Feministing Rom Com Review. Chloe is a Senior Facilitator at The OpEd Project and a Senior Advisor to The Harry Potter Alliance. You can read more of her writing at chloesangyal.com

Chloe Angyal is a journalist and scholar of popular culture from Sydney, Australia.

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  • http://feministing.com/members/bmalee/ Benjamin M. A’Lee

    Please don’t forget, though, that it’s a step backwards for trans* rights.

  • http://feministing.com/members/andejoh/ John

    A victory for equality is always something to celebrate, but this quote is somewhat disturbing and probably needs to be highlighted.

    “religious organisations will have to “opt in” to offering weddings, with the Church of England and Church in Wales being banned in law from doing so.”

    But there is nothing wrong with taking a breather to celebrate. It helps.