England, Scotland and Wales are all sprinting along towards full marriage equality, and it’s all happening with the Queen’s approval.
This week she signed a “royal assent” — basically a fancy way of saying that she passed a bill — that would legalize marriage equality in Scotland. Details aren’t final yet, but it looks like couples there could start marrying before the end of the year. The bill enjoys overwhelming support, with 72 percent of respondents supporting equality in a consultation last year.
Weirdly, the bill assumes that religious organizations will want to oppose the marriages, and requires that they “opt in” to be able to perform them.
Meanwhile, equality’s pretty much a done deal in England and Wales. Marriage is slated to start on March 29, though couples must sign up two weeks in advance if they want to marry on the first day.
And starting today, England will recognize marriages performed internationally.
Scotland could use a little nudge in the marriage department. New figures show that the total number of weddings fell by 3,000 over the last year. But once LGBTs are able to tie the knot, that number is likely to surge.