By Sunnivie Brydum
Originally published on Advocate.com June 17 2013 12:42 PM ET
A parliamentary committee in the U.K. House of Lords began the first of three days debating a marriage equality bill that would extend the freedom to marry to LGBT citizens in England and Wales.
The legislation passed its second reading in the full House of Lords on June 4, by a vote of 390-148. If the bill passes out of this committee, it will be sent to the report stage, then return to the House of Lords for a full, final vote on its third reading. If the House of Lords passes the legislation, it will be sent to the queen for her signature, a process known as Royal Assent.
Parliament's other chamber, the House of Commons, gave final approval to the marriage equality bill in May. Prime Minister David Cameron supports the bill and would like to see same-sex marriages begin by next summer. The U.K. currently offers civil partnerships to same-sex couples.
Watch the debate live via Britain's parliamentary TV below, and follow a live blog of the debate on U.K. LGBT site PinkNews.