Parliament has cleared the way for same-sex unions to begin in half of the United Kingdom.

The bill is expected to have the queen’s assent later in the week, after passage in the Houses of Lords and Commons on Monday and Tuesday.

Same-sex marriage remains illegal in Scotland and Northern Ireland, and the Church in Wales and Church of England are prohibited from performing such weddings.

The leadership of the UK’s three major parties, the Conservatives, Liberal Democrats and the opposition Labour, all backed the bill, although the BBC reports that some Tories were quite down in the mouth about the whole thing.

According to the Beeb and other news outlets, gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender marriages won’t take place until next summer.

— Posted by Peter Z. Scheer

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