In 1708, Queen Anne refused to give Royal Assent to the An Act for settling the Militia of that Part of Great Britain called Scotland on advise of her ministers. The fear was that the militia the law created could end up being disloyal to the crown.
The equal marriage bill had support from the three major parties, though it has largely split the Conservative Party, which is a large part of the ruling Coalition government. Prime Minister David Cameron could be facing a vote of no-confidence over the law and some of his policies.
The debate lasted a whole two hours before the final vote. All that is left is for Queen Elizabeth to give her Royal Assent.
Culture Secretary Maria Miller noted that traditionalists should not feel that their concept of marriage was being destroyed, and said that “The title of this bill might be ‘Marriage’, but its fabric is about freedom and respect. Freedom to marry regardless of sexuality or gender, but also freedom to believe that marriage should be of one man and one woman, and not be marginalised.”
Same-sex couples will still be able to obtain civil partnerships up until the bill becomes law in a year. The bill includes a number of different provisions calling for studies into extending civil partnerships to opposite-sex couples among other groups.
Queen Elizabeth is expecting a great-grandchild within the next week, roughly.