The world welcomes more equal rights as England and Wales will be celebrating their first same-sex marriage ceremonies at midnight on Friday, March 28th. The British Parliament passed the marriage equality law in July 2013.
England and Wales will be the 10th European nation to have marriage equality. Out of the 28 European Union (E.U.) members, England will be the 7th nation to approve marriage equality. About half of the members of the E.U. have civil unions and the E.U. mandates non-discriminatory practices in the work place.
Scotland, part of Great Britain, passed their own marriage equality bill in February 2014 and it is expected to go into effect this fall.
Same-sex couples who legally wed outside the country were able to make it official in England earlier this month. Couples who had previous civil unions in the country will be able to convert them to marriages by the end of the year.
What does the Queen think of all this? Queen Elizabeth II gave her royal stamp of approval to the bill, giving her formal support. The Queen has not publicly been in support of LGBT rights in the past, but this is seen to be a great stride for the Royal Family.
While the monarch might approve of the Marriage Act, the Church of England showed great opposition. The Church will not allow same-sex marriages to be performed, as they believe that the institution of marriage should not be changed.
There is no doubt that England will be celebrating this monumental day. Celebrations will include a televised same-sex marriage, as well as many other events around England. The British Embassy in D.C. will be ringing in marriage equality Friday night to coincide with midnight in London.