United Kingdom House of Lords moves marriage forward in overwhelming vote

Just as it's been a big year for the freedom to marry in the United States, there's also been significant movement toward marriage internationally in 2013. Today, the movement to win marriage abroad took another step closer when the United Kingdom's House of Lords overwhelmingly - by a vote of 390-148 - voted in favor of the marriage bill in its second reading. They also rejected a proposed 'fatal motion,' which would have effectively removed the bill from consideration. 

The bill would extend the freedom to marry to same-sex couples in England and Wales. 

The vote today comes two weeks after the United Kingdom's House of Commons took its final vote on the marriage legislation. On May 21, 366 members of the House of Commons voted in favor, with just 161 opposed. 

Now, the bill will face the committee stage of the legislation process before reaching a third reading and final vote. If the vote is a victory, it will be signed by the Queen in the period called Royal Assent. Learn more HERE.

The Chief Executive of Stonewall, an organization working to pass the freedom to marry in the UK, Ben Summerskill, applauded the news. He said:

We're absolutely delighted. We always expected a tough challenge in the House of Lords, and Lord Dear's "fatal motion" - very rarely used - demonstrates the lengths to which a minority of peers are, sadly, still prepared to go to deny full equality to lesbian, gay and bisexual people.

In the last 24 hours alone, opponents of equality in the House of Lords have compared loving, committed relationships to incest and polygamy. Britain's 3.7 million gay people don't deserve to be second class citizens in their own country. A tough fight lies ahead and we'll continue to work tirelessly every single day to get equal marriage through the Lords.

The news today is the latest step forward for the freedom to marry internationally. This year, the legislatures in Uruguay, France, and New Zealand have taken definitive votes to pass the freedom to marry for same-sex couples nationwide - and last month the high court in Brazil all but assured same-sex couples of the freedom to marry. After marriage legislation takes effect in Uruguay, New Zealand, and Brazil, 15 countries will have the freedom to marry for same-sex couples nationwide. England and Wales could become the sixteenth and seventeenth countries where same-sex couples can share in the freedom to marry. 

Read more about the freedom to marry internationally HERE.