The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill has passed its final reading in the House of Lords without a vote.
Peers in favour of the bill wore pink carnations during a brief debate, Gay Star News reports.
The bill, originally published by the government in January, will now undergo a ‘clearing up’, in which a few final small amends are made the House of Commons, on Tuesday (July 16). It will then proceed to Queen Elizabeth II to be signed into law, possibly as soon as the end of this week. However, the bill is unlikely enter law before summer 2014.
Supporters gathered outside the House of Lords. DJ and TV presenter Paul Gambaccini told the site:
“This day fills me with joy because when the gay liberation movement began in the late 1960s we could not have dreamed it would have got as far as we have so quickly.”
Ben Summerskill, the chief executive of gay rights organisation Stonewall, described the bill’s passage as “historic”
“I am not sure I ever expected to see this in the next 20 years let alone by 2013.”
Campaigner Peter Tatchell added: “It is of huge symbolic importance; signaling that same-sex love has social recognition, acceptance and parity.”