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Church wedding bells to ring for all by summer 2014

After many years of both expectation and anticipation The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill made its final journey through Parliament, receiving Royal Assent on 17 July 2013. The Royal Assent places the final seal on a modern law and has progressed significantly from the Civil Partnership Act almost 10 years ago.

The legislation will introduce the right for same sex couples to enter into civil marriage and enable religious organisations to opt in to conduct same sex marriages should they so wish. However, the Act goes much further in that it will allow for existing civil partners to convert their partnership into a marriage and enable married individuals to change their legal gender without having to end their marriage.

This historic moment reflects the modern society’s attitude and respect to enable all individuals to enter into a marriage regardless of their sexuality. Women and Equalities Minister, Maria Miller refers to the institution of marriage as being the “bedrock of society” and the recent change in the law only goes further to demonstrate the importance we all attach to being able to live freely.

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The contents of this article are for the purposes of general awareness only. They do not purport to constitute legal or professional advice. The law may have changed since this article was published. Readers should not act on the basis of the information included and should take appropriate professional advice upon their own particular circumstances.