The Methodist Church has become the largest religious denomination in Britain to permit same-sex marriages.
A vote to change the definition of marriage at the Methodist Conference on Wednesday overwhelmingly passed by 254 in favour with 46 against.
Freedom of conscience clauses mean ministers will not be forced to conduct such weddings if they oppose the move.
Same-sex marriage is not allowed in the Church of England or the Roman Catholic Church.
However it is welcomed in the Scottish Episcopal Church, the United Reformed Church and the Quakers in Britain.
The Methodist Church is Britain’s fourth largest Christian denomination with about 164,000 members across more than 4,000 churches.