Great Britain Legalizes Gay Marriage With The Approval Of Queen Elizabeth II

  on
RTX11NFP
Members of the London Gay Men's Choir perform in front of the Houses of Parliament in central London July 15, 2013.

Great Britain made gay marriage legal on Wednesday when Queen Elizabeth II provided the necessary royal approval. 

With the passing of the bill, same-sex couples in England and Wales will now be able to get married starting next summer, reports The Hollywood Reporter. 

Culture Secretary Maria Miller said the bill was simply about "freedom and respect."

"It provides clear affirmation that as a nation, respect for each and every person is paramount, regardless of age, religion, gender, ethnicity or sexuality," she said. 

The law allows gay couples to wed in both civil and religious ceremonies, but the Church of England is not allowed to conduct any of the same sex ceremonies, reports USA Today. Couples that are currently in civil partnerships will also be able to convert the status of their relationships to married. 

The bill was passed in Parliament on Tuesday, and British lawmakers applauded when the House of Commons Speaker John Bercow informed them that queen had given her royal approval. 

Though it divided much of the Conservative Party, Prime Minister David Cameron went against his party and backed the bill. The government first presented the bill in January. 

Join the Discussion