UK Equal marriage bill approved by 400 votes to 175

Credit: Luke MacGregor/Reuters

Credit: Luke MacGregor/Reuters

The Gay Marriage debate is all over bar the shouting.

Although they do some quaint ceremonial shouting during a vote  

I really don’t see the discussion about Marriage Equality in New Zealand reach any sort of genuine controversy. It’s over before it has begun.

Oh, don’t get me wrong, the usual media outlets will try and whip it up into a paper-selling frenzy, and the usual players will play their parts, but in essence, here too, the Marriage Equality bill will pass.

The Guardian’s Andrew Sparrow summarises:

Britain is on course to adopt gay marriage after the House of Commons voted to give the marriage (same sex couples) bill a second reading by a majority of 225. The bill will still have to receive line-by-line scrutiny in the Commons, and then it will have to get through the Lords, but the size of the majority, and the fact that the leaders of all three main parties are in favour, suggests that it is now inevitable that gay marriage will become law. The legal differences between civil partnerships and marriage are slight (see section one of this briefing document for more detail), but gay and lesbian campaigners have demanded full equality and now they are on course to get it. Church leaders and traditionalists have expressed concerns about a centuries-old institution being redefined, but those in favour of reform claim their fears are unfounded. Ben Summerskill, the chief executive of Stonewall, has said this is a historic step foward.

As the last piece of the legislative jigsaw providing equality for gay people in Britain, this is a truly historic step forward. We’re absolutely delighted that MPs have demonstrated so overwhelmingly that they’re in touch with the twenty-first century.

• David Cameron has failed to persuade more than half of his MPs to support gay marriage. Only 127 Tory MPs supported it. Another 136 opposed it, and 40 MPs either voted both ways (actively abstaining) or did not vote. The five-hour long debate was generally conducted in a civil manner (perhaps Tory MPs have realised quite how damaging all the recent stories about splits have been), but the row has clearly generated a bitter row within the party and the repercussions are likely to be felt for some time, not least because the “rebels” intend to try to wreck the bill as it continues its passage through the Commons.

Captursde

• Ministers now face the tricky, but not impossible, task of getting the bill through the House of Lords once it finishes its passage through the Commons. In the past there has been strong opposition in the Lords to measures promoting gay equality. But the size of the majority in the Commons should make peers reluctant to defy the elected House. And, as Paul Waugh points out on a blog, the Lords is much more progressive now than it has been in the past.


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

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