The House of Lords has completed its “Third Reading” final stage of the same-sex marriage bill for England and Wales this afternoon.
Support for the bill at every stage has been so overwhelming even in the Lords – the House which has in recent years most often acted as a brake on LGBT equality measures – that after the debate came to a close, it was passed without Peers taking the time to conduct a full vote. Opponents of the bill knew they would lose by such a large margin that they chose to be spared the embarrassment.
The bill returns to the Commons for a final consideration which is likely to be a “quick nod through” of the final bill, and so should go from a Bill to being an Act of Parliament by the end of this week.
It is not yet clear when the legislation will come into effect and the first same-sex marriages will be able to take place in Wales and England, with some – perhaps pessimistic – commentators estimating that it may be up to a year.