British Parliament Endorses Legislation Giving Gay Couples the Right to Marry

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

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The British Parliament joined the nations of the world granting gay couples the right to marry.

From the UK Independent:

Members of Parliament tonight overwhelming endorsed historic legislation that will give gay couples the equal right to marry.

Almost half a century after homosexuality was legalised in Britain the House of Commons voted by a majority of 400 to 175 to redefine marriage and make it available to all.

But the Tory rebellion was larger than expected with initial indications suggesting that more Conservative MPs voted against equal marriage than in favour. There were 75 abstentions.

Nick Clegg hailed the vote as a “landmark for equality in Britain” which showed “no matter who you are and who you love, we are all equal” while Ed Miliband said it was “an important step forward in the fight for equality in Britain”.

But seven hours of intense and often heartfelt debate revealed deep divisions on both sides of the House over the proposals.

Dozens of Conservatives, including a cabinet minister, defied the appeals of David Cameron to vote against changing the law claiming it would impinge upon religious freedoms.

A number of Labour and Liberal Democrats also chose to vote against the Bill that now faces a bruising passage through committee and the House of Lords before almost certainly becoming law later this year.

To the dismay of gay marriage supporters neither David Cameron nor the string of senior Conservative ministers who have recently come out to back the change sat in the Commons as the Culture Secretary Maria Miller outlined the Government’s plans.

In recent days Mr Cameron has also declined to reiterate his public support for the Bill with Downing Street insisting it was a genuinely free vote.

However an hour before the vote he recorded a last minute television interview saying the move would make society stronger.

“Marriage helps people commit to each other and I think it is right that gay people should be able to get married too,“ he said.

The following European Union nations allow same-sex marriage: Belgium, Denmark, Iceland, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain and Sweden.

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14 Responses to British Parliament Endorses Legislation Giving Gay Couples the Right to Marry

  1. DMason says:

    I hope this historic vote sends a powerful message to the U.S. Supreme Court when they convene to decide the Prop 8 and DOMA cases this spring.

  2. Harry says:

    ^5^! to the Brits!

  3. Rachel says:

    This news made me giddy! I am so pleased to England. Look at those numbers. 400 for marriage equality and 175 against. Clearly, there is change in the air and equality for gay people is occurring everywhere. Even in merry old England!

  4. Marcus Ybanez says:

    Gay couples can legally marry in both Canada and Mexico.

    Canada and Mexico and now Britain have left the United States in the dust vis a vis LGBT equality. I am ashamed of the U.S. and the bigots who get away with treating gay people like third class citizens.

  5. Brigadoon says:

    I guess TX Gov. Rick Perry won’t be traveling to England anytime soon.

  6. Abbey Peripatetic says:

    I am very proud of the British Parliament. Well done!

  7. Nigel Karsten says:

    Today is a momentous day for we Brits. We are on the precipice of joining such evolved nations as Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, as well as, Canada, South Africa and Argentina. The vote also exposed how much David Cameron is similar to your John Boehner. A silly coward, a sheep and a git.

  8. Rendaculous says:

    I don’t understand something. Aren’t signatories to the European Union constitution require to adhere to the tenets and bylaws of the constitution? How can one country legalize same-sex marriage while another country passes draconian laws to restrict the rights of gay citizens? This makes the EU no different from the USA. A crazy quilt of laws that change state-by-state, even city-by-city.

  9. feminazi says:

    How wonderful for British gay couples. I hope marriage for them means they receive all the rights that straight couples automatically receive when they marry. Separate but equal, the status of gay married couples in the U.S. is not acceptable. My guess is, the Brits will get things right.

  10. The Real Adam says:

    Rendaculous – I think the European Constitution gives member nations wide control over how they administer laws.

    Poland, for example, passed a law banning marriage equality. Poland is a Catholic nation populated by bigots who suckle at Pope Rat’s teat. Britain, is far more evolved.

  11. ChiTOM says:

    Now the legislation goes to the Zombies in the House of Lords where it will face stiff opposition. But the UK media says the bill should pass. Now, I can travel again to London without guilt. As for Poland, well why would anyone want to go there to begin with?

  12. Randy Arroyo says:

    I hope the nutcases on the U.S. Supreme Court consider the UK Parliament’s ruling when they take up Prop 8 and DOMA in the spring. I know Scalia hates “teh gays” but the 10th Amendment is more important than Scalia’s homophobia.

  13. Fran says:

    yes, cheerio to the Brits…. but damn, it IS the 21st century, can’t believe this discrimination still exists. I dream of a day when “Marriage” is just marriage, no such thing as gay marriage & straight marriage.

  14. I’m so proud that the world is becoming beautiful.

    No gay marriage yet here in the Philippines, it might take ages, but at least my gay and pansexual friends know where to go when they want to seal their love.

    A straight woman who believes that love knows no gender,
    Vivien Marie
    The Saliva at Spit Or Swallow

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