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Britain legalizes gay marriage

world Updated: Jul 17, 2013 19:31 IST
gay marriage

Britain has legalized gay marriage after Queen Elizabeth II gave her royal stamp of approval on Wednesday.

House of Commons speaker John Bercow told lawmakers that the royal assent had been given on Wednesday - the day after the bill to legalize same-sex marriage in England and Wales cleared Parliament.

The queen's approval, he adds, was a formality. It clears the way for the first gay marriages next summer.

The bill enables gay couples to get married in both civil and religious ceremonies in England and Wales. It will also allow couples who had previously entered into a civil partnership to convert their relationship to a marriage.

Earlier, on Monday, Britain's gay marriage had cleared its last major hurdle, passing through the House of Lords.