Queen Elizabeth II signed a bill into law on Wednesday that legalizes gay marriage in Great Britain.
The same-sex marriage law first had to be passed by the House of Lords and House of Commons, but was expected to be signed by the queen.
Ironically, it was Prime Minister David Cameron, of the Conservative Party, who proposed the legislation. In the U.S., that would be like a Republican president proposing a same-sex marriage law.
The law, which legalizes same-sex marriages in England and Wales, was backed by all three political parties in the UK: Conservative, Liberal and Labor, noted the Associated Press.
“This is a historic moment that will resonate in many people’s lives,” Equalities Minister Maria Miller said in a statement. “I am proud that we have made it happen and I look forward to the first same sex wedding by next summer.”
Steven Fielding, a political scientist at the University of Nottingham, added: “The opposition seemed restricted to a very small number of people very vigorous in their views. It was restricted to the back benchers of the Conservative Party. It wasn’t shared across the political spectrum. It was an issue whose time had come. To oppose it seemed slightly strange.”
Under the new law, the Church of England does not have to perform same-sex marriages.
Source: Associated Press