Lord Waheed Alli (right), an openly-gay peer, worked tirelessly to improve the bill and move it forward.

Update (7/17):  Queen Elizabeth II gave her royal assent to the marriage bill today, signing it into law.

Update (7/16): The House of Commons has approved the final version of the bill, including the amendments made to it by the House of Lords.  The bill is likely to receive royal assent and become law later this week, the BBC reports.  Same-sex marriages are expected to begin in Spring of 2014.


Wearing pink carnation boutonnieres to show their support for equality, today the British House of Lords gave their final approval to the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill with an unopposed third reading voice vote.

Support for the bill in the House of Lords has been strong since its introduction there on June 4 when a killing amendment offered by Lord Geoffrey Dear was decisively defeated 390 to 148.

Baroness Elizabeth Barker came out last month in the House of Lords when said she said she had to “declare an interest” in the marriage bill.

The bill, which would legalize marriage for same-sex couples in England and Wales, was passed overwhelmingly by the House of Commons on a second reading vote of 400 to 175 and a third reading vote of 366 to 161.

The bill now goes back to the House of Commons for consideration of the friendly amendments attached to it by the House of Lords.  If the Commons approves the changes, the bill must then receive Royal Assent before becoming law.  Bill progress can be monitored here.