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Same-sex marriage becomes law in England, Wales

July 17, 2013 at 2:25 PM

LONDON, July 17 (UPI) -- Same-sex marriage was legalized in England and Wales Wednesday, with the required Royal Assent from Queen Elizabeth.

The legislation, backed by Conservative, Labor and Liberal Democrats leaderships, was approved by peers and parliament members earlier in the week.

With the assent of the queen, a ceremonial but required formality, the proposal became law. Same-sex marriages are expected to take place by summer of next year, the BBC said.

The law does not compel religious organizations to perform same-sex marriages but churches can "opt in" if they choose.

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Topics: Elizabeth II