By Trudy Ring
Originally published on Advocate.com January 25 2013 7:49 PM ET
The bill that would establish marriage equality in the U.K. was introduced in Parliament today, with a vote expected early in February.
Debate on the bill and a vote are scheduled for February 5, the Associated Press reports. Although some religious conservatives oppose the measure, it is likely to pass, as it has the backing of Prime Minister David Cameron and other national leaders.
“We feel that marriage is a good thing and we should be supporting more couples to marry, and that is exactly what the proposals being brought forward today do,” Equalities Minister Maria Miller told BBC radio.
Gay couples in the U.K. have had access to civil partnerships since 2005. Those confer similar rights but not the designation of marriage.