Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Welcome England & Wales

PinkNews, Europe's largest gay news service, today reports:
"The equal marriage bill for England and Wales was today given Royal Assent, and is now officially law.
The Queen’s Royal Assent was granted to the bill on Wednesday at 15:06, turning it into the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act, after clearing the final stage in Parliament yesterday, following two hours of debate, and the introduction of government amendments.
The bill officially became law once its Royal Assent was announced in both the House of Commons and the House of Lords.
Conservative MP David Burrowes had tabled an amendment and was yesterday again accused of trying to delay implementation of the bill. Pro-equal marriage MPs padded out their speeches so that Mr Burrowes could not propose his amendment.
The equal marriage bill was passed in the House of Commons, and as all amendments added in the House of Lords were accepted, it will not be required to go back to the Lords.
The first same-sex marriages in England and Wales will take place in summer 2014."

It was especially pleasing to note that Queen Elizabeth II didn't waste any time in giving her assent to this legislation. As a commenter at JoeMyGod says, "As a Queen she knows, queens don't like to be kept waiting."

As I understand it the reason for the long delay before same-sex marriages can begin in England and Wales is the impact the new law has on many other laws which now also need to be amended  to be consistent. For a Swede this may seem strange, as we always take the necessary changes into consideration and amend them at the same time as we adopt a new law.  Every country has its own traditions and as long as they get it right in the end all ways are acceptable.

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