02/04/2014 03:11 pm ET Updated Feb 02, 2016

Scotland Passes Bill Legalizing Gay Marriage

Scotland legalized gay marriage on Tuesday, becoming the 17th country to do so.

The Scottish Parliament passed The Marriage and Civil Partnership Bill by a whopping 105-18 margin, according to multiple sources. Scotland's first same-sex marriages could happen this year.

“We’re doing a remarkable thing today, we are saying on behalf of Scotland to the world, loud and clear that we believe in [recognizing] love between same sex couples as we do between opposite sex couples,” Scotland's Health Secretary Alex Neil said, according to the Daily Record.

The bill contains protections so that religious groups can't be forced to officiate same-sex weddings. Neither the Scottish Catholic Church nor the Church of Scotland support the bill, the BBC notes.