UK: House of Lords backs same-sex marriage bill

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UK: House of Lords backs same-sex marriage bill

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The British House of Lords has approved government plans to legalise same-sex marriages in England and Wales.

An amendment, tabled by cross-bench peer Lord Dear, had been put forward to thwart the passage of the bill through Britain’s upper house of parliament – but it was rejected, bringing same-sex marriage a step closer to becoming legal.

The bill had already been backed in the House of Commons by a large majority.

Same-sex civil partnerships have been legal in England and Wales since 2005.

If the new bill becomes law, religious organisations will be able to ‘opt in’ to offering same-sex weddings – although the Church of England and Church of Wales are banned from doing so.