Andrew Cowie / AFP - Getty Images
Gay rights campaigners drive a bus past Britain's Houses of Parliament on Monday.
LONDON -- Britain has legalized gay marriage after Queen Elizabeth II gave her royal stamp of approval on Wednesday.
House of Commons Speaker John Bercow told lawmakers that the royal assent had been given — the day after the bill to legalize same-sex marriage in England and Wales cleared Parliament.
The queen's approval was a formality. It clears the way for the first gay marriages next summer.
The bill enables gay couples to get married in both civil and religious ceremonies in England and Wales. It also will allow couples who had previously entered into a civil partnership to convert their relationship to a marriage.
The Associated Press
First published July 17 2013, 7:09 AM