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British Parliament Gives Final Approval To Gay Marriage Bill, Heads To Queen

Gay Pride Parade in London

After just a two-hour discussion, the House of Commons passed England's equal-marriage bill, which cleared the House of Lords yesterday. That means with the signature of Queen Elizabeth (really just a formality) same-sex marriage will be the law of the land in the UK.

"The title of this bill might be 'Marriage', but its fabric is about freedom and respect," said Culture Secretary Maria Miller. "Freedom to marry regardless of sexuality or gender, but also freedom to believe that marriage should be of one man and one woman, and not be marginalised." Both Labour and the Liberal Democrat parties supported the bill from the get-go, but Prime Minister David Cameron's cost him support in his own Conservative Party.

The bill will allow gay couples in England and Wales to to get married in either a civil or religious ceremonies. In addition, couples in civil partnerships can "upgrade" to full marriage.

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