The British House of Commons on Tuesday
gave its final approval to a bill which seeks to make Britain the
15th nation to legalize gay marriage.
MPs gave their approval to a number of
minor amendments introduced in the parliament's upper chamber, the
House of Lords.
Officials said that they expect the
bill to receive royal assent from Queen Elizabeth II on Wednesday or
However, the first wedding bells will
not ring until next summer.
“[T]here are various issues to sort
out, such as its impact on pensions,” a spokesman for the culture
ministry, which is overseeing the new law, told the AFP.
Jubilant supporters said passage would
provide momentum for similar proposals in Scotland and Northern
Ireland, the United Kingdom's other two nations.
The Coalition for Marriage, the
nation's most vociferous opponent, vowed to use the issue in the
upcoming general election, saying that passage of the bill would
“come back to bite” Prime Minister David Cameron in 2015.
According to a YouGov poll for the
Sunday Times, 54 percent of Britons favor marriage equality.
Fourteen nations, including 9 European
countries, allow gay couples to marry, the latest being France. Gay
couples can also marry in some regions of the United States, Mexico
and Brazil. A
judge in Colombia has paved the way for that nation's first same-sex