UK’s House of Lords passed a marriage equality bill in its third reading, the toughest obstacle it’s faced yet. As expected, equality supporters celebrated outside of the Parliament with pink carnations.
The next and final step is for lawmakers from the House of Commons to review the bill. The House of Commons will most likely approve the legislation as they voted 390 to 148 earlier in the process.
“This vote is a defeat for discrimination and a victory for love and marriage. After a 21-year-long campaign, we are now on the cusp of same-sex marriage but not quite marriage equality,” said civil rights advocate Peter Tatchell, reported by PinkNews.
“Ending discrimination against same-sex couples in marriage law will overturn the last major legal discrimination against LGBT people in Britain. It is of huge symbolic importance; signaling that same-sex love has social recognition, acceptance and parity. Our campaign isn’t over yet. This legislation includes six discriminatory aspects, which we will seek to overturn in a subsequent bill.”
If passed, the bill will allow gay couples to officially marry in England and Wales, and most civil and religious institutions have opened their doors to same-sex weddings, except for The Church of England, who will not comply.
“The Church of England holds very firmly, and continues to hold the view, that marriage is a lifelong union of one man to one woman,” Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby told BBC News in March. “At the same time, at the heart of our understanding of what it is to be human, is the essential dignity of the human being. And so we have to be very clear about homophobia.”