From Wired this morning:
Britain is poised to do what the United States remains unable to do: extend the right to marry to gay couples. Although the government says it’s not officially a “marriage,” all couples will have the same rights and obligations under British law, the London Observer reports. The Civil Partnerships Bill, which goes into effect on Wednesday, is backed by both major political parties. Couples can choose to wed in an official ceremony, or not. And when things go sour, they’ll head to the same divorce courts as their heterosexual counterparts do.