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England: House of Lords passes gay-marriage bill

Could be law by the end of the week

England's House of Lords passes gay-marriage bill. Credit:

The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill, a law allowing same-sex marriage in England and Wales, passed its final reading in the House of Lords July 15. 

The bill had already cleared the House of Commons in May and may be signed into law by Queen Elizabeth II by the end of the week.

“You have given me equality where there was sometimes prejudice,” said openly gay Lord Alli, according to Gay Star News. “My life will be better today than yesterday.”

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport says gay couples may not be able to actually marry in England and Wales until the summer of 2014. 

The United Kingdom has permitted civil partnerships for gay couples — with identical legal rights to marriage — since 2005.