Just when we thought the big news out of the U.K. this week would be the birth of Kate Middleton and Prince William's little Prince or Princess, the Queen Elizabeth II had to go and upstage the royal baby watch by making her own history! Her Royal Highness signed a bill making gay marriage legal throughout England and Wales. Whoohoo!
The signing was a formality, after the bill cleared its final hurdle in the lower house of the country's parliament yesterday. Scotland and Ireland still aren't all caught up -- Scotland may make gay marriage legal by 2015, but Protestant parties defeated a marriage equality law in Northern Ireland earlier this year -- but still, what an awesome, BOLD move for England and Wales! So bold that the Telegraph calls it "one of the most radical pieces of social legislation of her reign."
Radical, perhaps, but also so progressive and so about-damn-time!
England and Wales clearly have a lot to celebrate today, but this is also a lesson for those of us on this side of the pond. That despite our recent victories -- doing away with DOMA and legalizing same-sex marriage in various states -- we should be a little bit ashamed of ourselves that we can't get a sweeping measure passed at the federal level.
If sweeping measures like DOMA and Don't Ask, Don't Tell that stood in the way of equality could be passed 20 years ago, we can figure out a way to pass legislation that does the opposite today. After all, we pride ourselves on being pretty forward-thinking, cutting-edge, right? But today, looking at what the British government has done, we're not nearly as progressive as we fancy ourselves.
What do you think of the legalization of same-sex marriage in England? What do you think it will take to accomplish the same here?
Image via Wikimedia