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Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013

United Kingdom legislation

The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013 (c. 30) is a law passed by the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It legalises same-sex marriage in England and Wales.[1]

After the 2010 General Election, in September 2011, Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Equalities, Lynne Featherstone, announced they would try to make same-sex marriage legal from March 2012.[2] The session closed in June 2012 and, in December 2012, the new Minister for Women and Equalities, Maria Miller, announced that the Government would be introducing a law before the next election. She also said that they were trying to get this done within parliament's current session.[3]

The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill was introduced into Parliament on 24 January 2013. The leaders of the three main political parties in the United Kingdom gave their MPs a free vote. This means they would not be made to vote in favour or against it; they could vote however they wanted.[4]


  1. "Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill". House of Commons. 25 January 2013. Retrieved 28 January 2013.
  2. "Lynne Featherstone MP announces government consultation on equal marriage". 21 September 2011. Retrieved 28 January 2013.
  3. "Equal marriage: The Government's response". HM Government. Retrieved 28 January 2013.
  4. "Lib Dem MP Gordon Birtwistle: 'Gay marriage is just not on'". 17 December 2010. Retrieved 28 January 2013.