The UK House of Commons burst into cheers July 17 as Speaker John Bercow announced that Queen Elizabeth II had signed a bill legalizing gay marriage in England and Wales, Gay Star News reports.
The law was passed through the House of Lords on July 15, cleared final amendments in the House of Commons, and arrived at the Queen’s desk ahead of schedule.
Gay Britons will not be able to marry, however, until the summer of 2014.
Legislation was also introduced in the Scottish parliament to legalize gay marriage in June but has not yet been debated.
“We’re delighted that equal marriage has now received Royal Assent in England and Wales but thousands of gay Scots, their friends and their families will no doubt be frustrated that while the first marriages will likely happen in England and Wales by early next year, they are still waiting for the Scottish Bill to even be debated in the Scottish Parliament,” Colin McFarlane, the director of Stonewall Scotland, told Gay Star News.