CANTERBURY, England (RNS) England and Wales became the 16th and 17th countries in the world to recognize gay marriage after Queen Elizabeth II gave “royal assent” to a same-sex marriage bill.

Queen Elizabeth II greets employees on her walk from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center mission control to a reception in the center’s main auditorium in Greenbelt, Maryland where she was presented with a framed Hubble image by Congressman Steny Hoyer and Senator Barbara Mikulski on May 8, 2007.

Queen Elizabeth II greets employees on her walk from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center mission control to a reception in the center’s main auditorium in Greenbelt, Maryland where she was presented with a framed Hubble image by Congressman Steny Hoyer and Senator Barbara Mikulski on May 8, 2007. RNS photo courtesy NASA/Bill Ingalls via Wikimedia Commons


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Under the new law, gay men and women will be able to join together in civil ceremonies or in church services — although no religious denomination will be forced to carry out such services.

Cheers, laughter and clapping broke out in the House of Commons when Speaker John Bercow announced the bill had been approved.

“The fact that the bill passed through both Houses (Commons and Lords) undefeated is a huge accomplishment for the government,” said Equalities Minister Maria Miller. “This is an historic moment that will resonate in many people’s lives. I am proud that we have made it happen and I look forward to the first same sex wedding by next summer. The title of this bill might be ‘marriage’ but its fabric is about freedom and respect.”

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg told supporters the new law would ensure lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people felt “recognized and valued and no longer excluded.”

The bill’s passage saw many angry exchanges. It had the full support of Prime Minister David Cameron, despite the consternation of many in his own Conservative Party. The leaders of two other main parties, the Liberal Democrats and New Labour, also backed it. But some political commentators predict Cameron’s gay-friendly attitudes will cost him at the next election in 2015.

The Roman Catholic Church fought the bill and the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales swiftly issued a statement of its displeasure:

“With this new legislation, marriage has now become an institution in which openness to children, and with it the responsibility on fathers and mothers to remain together to care for children born into their family unit, are no longer central. That is why we were opposed to this legislation on principle.”

The Church of England does not allow same-sex marriages.

But to the delight — and relief — of most people in the United Kingdom, the bill was passed by landslide votes in both houses of Parliament.

Separate legislation has been presented to the Scottish government to make same-sex marriage legal. Debates are expected to begin in Edinburgh, the Scottish capital, in October or November.

Prior to the new law, England and Wales allowed civil unions for gays but human rights activists said that wasn’t good enough because it created the image that gays were somehow inferior to heterosexuals.

13 Comments

  1. David Thompson

    It’s very humorous that the Catholic church should even be able to lift its head from shame to make pronouncement on anybody else’s morality.

    • Ryan, fastidious attention to numbers and enrollment is already a problem for churches who forget that they have an audience of just One, He who began that institution.
      Politicians or preachers, professors or pundits, wetting one’s finger and surveying public opinion is the surest way to ensure irrelevance in the days ahead. History on both continents is replete with examples: just check your headlines at the politicians who “voted for it before they voted against it.”
      God spoke with clarity when He assured us and issued the Law of Harvest per rebellion against his moral law: “Whatever a man sows, this also shall he reap.”

  2. Great thinker

    To be a good thinker and great thinker, is a gift from God Almighty. So the problem here is our leaders they lack the capacity of thinking. You can note allow the same marriage while you know that, the creator had a reason of why He created Men and Women.

    Let us be a thinker so that we can able to reason.

  3. Elizabeth (Australia)

    Greece, Rome, Britain – each saw a marked influence of homosexuality as their demise approached. God will not be mocked.
    Matthew 7: 26-27.

    My Pastor said, “If I were forced to perform same sex marriages, I would hand back my Celebrant’s Licence”.
    It can’t get much worse when the Queen approves same sex marriages. Watch for terrible times for they will surely come.

  4. Why do some people insist on blaming the Church and Christians for being against same sex marriage. One day soon they will realize the hard way that it is not us, but GOD. He made the law and HE will NOT be mocked !
    Watch for very troublesome times and many more disasters !

  5. Just shows that the Queen does not uphold the faith as was her oath on coronation. Christians are in the last days of persecution. There is a clear worldwide agenda to have this go through, there is a falling away from truth. We ought to lift up our heads for our redemption draws nigh.

  6. Marriage is not a sacrament for saints but a state of life for souls under cultivation for Heaven.
    The Churches should stop condemning and griping and do what Jesus did…share, comfort, bless, and point people to a life of service, self control, and unselfishness in Faith. That covers it.
    It isn’t the criminal element of homosexuals that want to marry. The predators and violent people are the threat to children.

    • Deanna, if your advice “covers it” then Christ’s death was unnecessary – cf. Galatians 2:21; Romans 3:20; 8:3-4.
      I am not dealing here with condemning attitudes of the Church toward homosexuals; that’s another topic for another day. What is important,however, is the fact that, while man may please man with his good works merely, God is pleased with the work of only One Person, He who uttered ion the cross, “It is finished!”, John 19:30 -an economic term applied to bills of debt having been fully paid.

  7. Though my heritage has Royal overtones both earthly and spiritually. I am disturbed by this news of gay marriges been givin royal assent, but then does’nt surprise me for the family nas gone away from their roots and have done a disserves to the church; of whom myself and others including the people of this fine establishment. “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God”
    Please when you publish this comment please use my Initals T.P.G.B

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