Same-Sex Marriage Closer to Happening in England, Wales

b_250_0_16777215_00_images_obgrabber_2013-07_d61e536a5c.jpgJupiterimages/Thinkstock(LONDON) -- Barring a political tsunami, the British Parliament is all but assured of passing its first law legalizing same-sex marriage, a measure that would take effect in England and Wales next year. On Monday, the House of Lords approved the legislation, which goes back to the House of Commons for final debates.

  There is little chance of the bill being scuttled there since the lower chamber had already passed an earlier version by an overwhelming margin.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said the new law means that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people will be "recognized and valued, not excluded."

Following the vote in the House of Lords, Queen Elizabeth II is expected to give her official assent later this week.

Although Prime Minister David Cameron supports same-sex marriage, those opposed to it, including the Coalition for Marriage, have promised that he will suffer at the polls.

Due to the complexity of the law, which includes how it affects pensions, gay and lesbian couples will have to wait until 2014 to head to the altar instead of this year.

Gay rights activists are looking to pass similar laws in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

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