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Britain Legalizes Gay Marriage

Members of the London Gay Men's Choir perform in front of the Houses of Parliament in central London on July 15, 2013. Their vigil and performances were timed to coincide with the Marriage Bill being read in the House of Lords.
Britain has legalized gay marriage after Queen Elizabeth gave her royal assent to a bill approved earlier by lawmakers.

Lawmakers in parliament's House of Commons cheered Wednesday as they were told the controversial bill had become law.

The first same-sex weddings are expected to take place in mid-2014.

The law allows gay couples to wed in civil and religious ceremonies, but the Church of England and the Church in Wales will be barred from offering same-sex weddings.

The bill was introduced earlier this year to strong objections from the Conservative Party of British Prime Minister David Cameron.