The Herald of Everett, Washington
HeraldNet on Facebook HeraldNet on Twitter HeraldNet RSS feeds HeraldNet Pinterest HeraldNet Google Plus HeraldNet Youtube
HeraldNet Newsletters  Newsletters: Sign up | Manage  Green editions icon Green editions

Calendar


HeraldNet Headlines
HeraldNet Newsletter Delivered to your inbox each week.
Published: Wednesday, July 17, 2013, 8:06 a.m.

With queen's OK, Britain legalizes gay marriage

LONDON -- Britain on Wednesday legalized gay marriage after Queen Elizabeth II gave her royal stamp of approval, clearing the way for the first same-sex weddings next summer.
Lawmakers cheered as House of Commons Speaker John Bercow said royal assent had been given -- one day after the bill to legalize same-sex marriage in England and Wales cleared Parliament.
The queen's approval was a formality and is the last step necessary for a bill to become law.
The law enables gay couples to get married in both civil and religious ceremonies in England and Wales, provided that the religious institution consents. The Church of England, the country's official faith, is barred from performing such ceremonies.
It also will allow couples who had previously entered into civil partnerships -- which were introduced in 2005 and carry similar rights and responsibilities to marriage -- to convert their relationships to marriage.
The British government introduced the bill in January.
Prime Minister David Cameron had backed it, but it divided his Conservative Party and touched off strident debates in the House of Commons and House of Lords.
Numerous attempts to derail the legislation failed as it wound its way through Parliament, with traditionalists arguing it would undermine the sanctity of marriage.
On Tuesday, Conservative lawmaker Gerald Howarth accused the government of having "bulldozed" the legislation through Parliament, "offending large swatches" of his party.
But in the same debate, shadow women and equalities minister Yvette Cooper said it was the "time to celebrate and not discriminate."

Share your comments: Log in using your HeraldNet account or your Facebook, Twitter or Disqus profile. Comments that violate the rules are subject to removal. Please see our terms of use. Please note that you must verify your email address for your comments to appear.

You are logged in using your HeraldNet ID. Click here to update your profile. | Log out.

Our new comment system is not supported in IE 7. Please upgrade your browser here.

comments powered by Disqus
digital subscription promo

Subscribe now

Unlimited digital access starting at 99 cents, or included with any print subscription.

HeraldNet highlights

The cleanup crew
The cleanup crew: Win or lose, Mount Vernon football team picks up the mess
How about them apples?
How about them apples?: Recipes bring out some of fall's best flavors
History repeats itself with Harvin
History repeats itself with Harvin: Seattle's bad moves: Wide receivers, left fielders and 7-footers
The quiet food of fall
The quiet food of fall: Squash just as pleasing as pumpkins this time of year
SnoCoSocial