The queen, who heads the Church of England, gave her assent Wednesday – the day after the bill to legalize same-sex marriage in England and Wales cleared Parliament. It clears the way for same-sex marriages to begin next summer in both civil and religious ceremonies.
But the law was written in a way that allowed the Church of England – which is opposed – to sidestep the controversy since it is explicitly barred from conducting same-sex marriages.
On Tuesday, Conservative lawmaker Gerald Howarth accused the government of having "bulldozed" the legislation through Parliament, "offending large swatches" of his party.
“This is a very sad moment for our nation, and cause for lament. It marks a very clear departure from God’s good pattern for human flourishing. Prime Minister David Cameron, by pushing this bill, has put [Her Majesty] the Queen in a compromising position [where she may have to go against her oath]. In the Coronation Oath, Her Majesty promised to ‘maintain the Laws of God and the true profession of the Gospel.’”
Christian Concern (London)
“The new Act breaks the existing legal links between the institution of marriage and sexual complementarity. With this new legislation, marriage has now become an institution in which openness to children, and with it the responsibility on fathers and mothers to remain together to care for children born into their family unit, are no longer central.”
Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales