Gay marriage bill introduced in British Parliament

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The British Parliament will debate gay marriage on Feb. 5.

The British Parliament soon will debate a bill introduced in the House of Commons on Jan. 24 that would legalize civil same-sex marriage in England and Wales.

MPs will debate the Marriage (Same-Sex Couples) Bill on Feb. 5.

The measure, which allows religious institutions to opt in or out of officiating at gay weddings or sanctioning same-sex marriages, has the support of the Labour Party and Liberal Democrats but, according to the BBC, the Conservative Party is divided. MPs, however, will get a free vote on the bill.

The Scottish government also is considering legalizing gay marriage.