The news will “bring joy to tens of thousands of gay couples and their friends and families,” according to Stonewall boss Ben Summerskill.
According to Baroness Thornton the news was met with a “huge ‘hear, hear’ when the Lord Speaker announced royal assent..lots of smiles and cheerfulness.”
Lawmakers passed the bill legalising same-sex marriage yesterday, leaving the final step of getting an official seal of approval from the Queen.
“Marriage is the bedrock of our society and now irrespective of sexuality everyone in British society can make that commitment,” said Women and Equalities Minister Maria Miller.
“It is a wonderful achievement and whilst this legislation may be about marriage, its impact is so much wider. Making marriage available to all couples demonstrates our society’s respect for all individuals regardless of their sexuality.”
“It demonstrates the importance we attach to being able to live freely. It says so much about the society that we are and the society that we want to live in.”
Under the new laws, some religious organisations will have the option to opt in to hold weddings and will not be obligated to do so. However, the Church of England and the Church in Wales are banned from doing so.
Not everyone welcomed the news. Tory MP Sir Gerald Howarth said it was “astonishing that a bill for which there is absolutely no mandate, against which a majority of Conservatives voted, has been bulldozed through both Houses,” suggesting that “large swathes of the Conservative Party” would be offended.
— Stonewall (@stonewalluk) July 17, 2013
— Stonewall (@stonewalluk) July 15, 2013