The first same-sex weddings in England and Wales are set to take place next summer after the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill received Royal Assent on Wednesday.
The Bill passed its Third Reading in the House of Lords on Monday night without a formal vote, after a short debate during which supportive peers brandished pink carnations. The Bill then moved back to the House of Commons on Tuesday, where MPs decided not to oppose some minor amendments made by peers, including granting survivors of same-sex marriages the same pension benefits as those in heterosexual marriages.
The Bill specifies that it is illegal for any Church of England or Church in Wales minister to marry a same-sex couple…. It would require a change in both primary law and canon law before the Churches could opt in to conducting same-sex marriages.