The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill has passed into law in England and Wales after being granted royal assent.
The Act will:
- Allow same sex couples to marry in civil ceremonies
- Allow same sex couples to marry in religious ceremonies (where the religious organisation has "opted in"' to conduct such ceremonies and the minister of religion agrees)
- Protect those religious organisations and their representatives who don't wish to conduct marriages of same sex couples from successful legal challenge
- Enable civil partners to convert their partnership to a marriage if they wish
- Enable married individuals to change their legal gender without having to end their marriage