UK's House of Lords backs gay marriage bill - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

UK's House of Lords backs gay marriage bill

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LONDON (AP) -

Britain's House of Lords has voted by a majority to defeat a motion that blocks a same-sex marriage bill, moving the initiative a step closer to becoming law.

   The upper house of Parliament on Tuesday voted 390 to 148 to back the bill, which will enable gay couples to get married in both civil and religious ceremonies in England and Wales if approved.

   Religious organizations will be able to "opt in" if they consent to offering gay weddings.

   Such a law also would allow couples who had previously entered into a civil partnership to convert their relationship to a marriage.

   The bill will have to go through further readings in Parliament and be approved by Queen Elizabeth II.

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