Saturday, July 20, 2013

With Royal Assent, gay marriage passes into law

From The Church Times-

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 ( News, 7 December). It would require a change in both primary law and canon law before the Churches could opt in to conducting same-sex marriages.

A number of amendments proposed by members of the Bishops' bench during the Bill's passage through the Lords were not adopted. These included an amendment tabled by the Bishop of Leicester, the Rt Revd Timothy Stevens, during the Bill's Report Stage, which referred to the right of faith schools to teach traditional beliefs about marriage, which was withdrawn before a vote.

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