The Alberta government will bring in legislation this session to recognize the validity of same-sex marriages.

"I think it's an important step forward," said Sandra Jansen, associate minister for family and community safety, who is introducing the amendments. "It's a simple housekeeping process. It moves us to where we need to be, aligned with the federal government.

"It's a good day for us."

The legislation will change the preamble to the Marriage Act that currently defines marriage as an institution between a man and a woman.

The changes were approved by the Progressive Conservative caucus.

Alberta's Marriage Act preamble, passed in 2000, has never been updated even though the federal government made same-sex marriages legal in 2005.

The decision comes days after some Progressive Conservatives and the Wildrose party were criticized for joining forces to defeat a non-binding motion to urge schools to bring in gay-straight alliances.

The changes will be introduced in the spring session, interim premier Dave Hancock said.

All opposition parties are indicating they will vote for the amendments.

With files from The Canadian Press