Same-Sex Marriage Bills Approved In UK, France


Britain's Parliament voted 400-175 to extend the freedom to marry to same-sex couples in the United Kingdom Feb. 5, with the measure on track for another positive vote in the House of Commons before final approval by the House of Lords. The legislation has the support of Conservative Party Prime Minister David Cameron. The historic vote in the British Parliament followed a weekend vote by the French National Assembly, 249-97, for similar freedom to marry legislation. A final Assembly vote is scheduled for Feb. 12 before the bill is sent to the Senate and then President Francois Hollande, who campaigned on his support for the freedom to marry and is ready to sign the legislation.

"With France and Britain poised to become the next countries to embrace the freedom to marry, it's clear that the momentum we see here in the United States for ending marriage discrimination is, in fact, a global movement toward greater freedom and equality for all - and the U.S. should be leading, not lagging. America cannot afford to fall behind its closest allies and trade partners in this global economy, and needs to do right by its families, as a right-of-center British prime minister and left-of-center French president have called on their parliaments to do, with resounding success," said Evan Wolfson, founder and president of Freedom to Marry.

Belgium, the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain are among the European countries that allow same-sex couples to marry. Scottish lawmakers in the coming months are also expected to consider a similar measure.

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