UK & World News
Gay Marriage: MPs Back Bill In Commons Vote
David Cameron has succeeded in pushing through plans for gay marriage but his party has been torn in two by the controversial move.
The Prime Minister hailed the vote, which was won by a big margin of 400 to 175 - a majority of 225, as a "step forward for our country".
But he is facing deep divisions after 136 Tories including two Cabinet ministers - more than half the party - took advantage of the free vote to vote against.
Conservative Stewart Jackson wrote on Twitter: "David Cameron has split the Conservative Party in half on gay marriage and failed to win a majority of Tory MPs. Labour win."
Just 127 Conservatives endorsed the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill at its second reading, with 40 more either formally abstaining or not voting.
Environment Secretary Owen Paterson and Welsh Secretary David Jones voted against, while Defence Secretary Philip Hammond and Attorney General Dominic Grieve stayed away.
There was one boost for Downing Street because no Government members quit to join a rebellion over a whipped vote on the timetable for the bill.
But more than 50 Tories did vote against the timetable, arguing that the proposals should be scrutinised by the House rather than a committee of MPs.
Mr Cameron, writing on Twitter after the vote, said: "Strong views exist on both sides but I believe MPs voting for gay people being able to marry too, is a step forward for our country."
Labour leader Ed Miliband - who saw 22 of his own MPs vote against the new law - said it was a "proud day".
"The overwhelming majority of Labour MPs supported this change to make sure marriage reflects the value we place on long-term, loving relationships whoever you love," he said.
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg - who saw four of his 56 MPs vote against, including ex-minister Sarah Teather - said it was a "landmark for equality".
"Marriage is about love and commitment and it should no longer be denied to people just because they are gay," he said.
The bill still faces hurdles as it moves into the committee stage and onto the House of Lords, where opponents are expected to mount tough resistance.
Former minister Tim Loughton told Sky News: "This is only the start of it, this has got may months to go through Parliament, but for the moment clearly they have got problems."
The result came after more than six hours of stormy debate. Mr Cameron sparked irritation by turning up for the vote but not speaking in the Commons.
Damage to his leadership was limited by his decision to offer Tories a free vote but the decision to force through the plans could fester.
Mr Jackson said: "The only comparable rebellion is the Iraq war vote in 2003 which undermined Blair's premiership. This vote will do the same for Cameron."
The legislation will allow same-sex couples to wed in both civil and religious ceremonies, provided that the religious institution consents.
Officials have stressed that religious organisations can decide for themselves if they want to "opt in" to holding gay weddings.
However, the Church of England is barred from performing such ceremonies unless it changes its laws.
The bill will also allow couples who had previously entered into civil partnerships to convert their relationship into a marriage.
what do you think?
i wonder how many of the clergy will perform these marriages. im very disappointed at result.
Apparently the Church of England/in Wales will be forbidden in law from doing so... a decision NOT taken by the Church, but by the politicians drafting this legislation..
If he'd followed the same principle on Europe and allowed a free vote then too, a referendum would by now have taken place and we'd be a free country again. That now falls to UKIP as we can't trust DC.
Exactly LibLabCon are all following orders, UKIP are the only party who deserve our support and vote for at every opportunity.
im finished with this lot after this, im not.homophobic, know some g.a.y.s and get on great with them,.but im against marriage in church, have we nothing left.
It's a 2009 EU gender directive, why do you think there have been demonstrations in France recently. Westminster MPs are all Brussel's poodles. Good or bad, whatever your democratic views - no-one except an unelected elite in Brussels make our laws, control this country and the House of Commons is retained to give the illusion of democracy.
Probably the best decision MP's have made in the past 15 years. Nothing wrong in not agreeing with g*y marriage, but I object strongly against those religious homophobic bigots who say it is wrong.
So it's Ok to think it;'s wrong just so long as it's not due to religious conviciton?? Sounds rather bigoted to me sunshine..
Right Gengis. I'll be out on the doorsteps campaigning for UKIP.
cameron is finished
Just shows how strong the Gxx Lobby is another unlawful bill passed and shoved down our throats .
They gagging for it Mike!! LOL
And we're not allowed to voice our opinions. Some are more equal than others!
Why not. If u believe in God get married in church. I dont so wouldn't. Jus bcus u g*y shudnt mean u dont believe & shudnt b allowed
But only if that particular church and its parishioners wholeheartedly agree.
This isn't just about the Church - it's about what the word marriage means.
I wonder how long it will be before the first registrar loses their job for refusing to conduct a g8ay marriage. If legislation goes through it should be optional with no consequencies for those who do not wish to preside over a same sex marriage,and those who do support it must not discriminate against those who don't.
Can't figure out how two g.ay people you dont even know would weaken your marriage. says a lot about this country in the 21st century that this is being debated.
The problem is it'sNOT being seriously debated - we're being told what to think.
Course you're not Mark. You have every right to disagree. If you dont think two people should be allowed to marry based solely on who they love then that's your perogative.
Mark you are still allowed to believe whatever you want. If you think it's wrong then you think it's wrong. But things are a bit equal now and another bit of discrimination has been chipped away
Good to see we are taking the economy seriously, who really cares about this. Live and let live.
If only they would listen to the objections against HS2 that are being voiced around the UK.
I will NEVER vote for any of them again. I total disagreed with this,they have let us down. Time to vote for the others party.
Why would it bother you
agree with you totally david, thats it im never voting for this lot ever again.
I really dont see a big deal. If you love someone & believe in God why not. Love is love
I disagree, marriage is about a man and woman who love each other and have kids and bring them up in good family morals, not between a man and a man or a woman and a woman. I don't care if anyone calls me homophobic or a bigot,i just think it is just wrong.
Unfortunately Rupert you are not allowed to say what you think not just on here but in this country let's face it you can't even put the word G a y on here in its true form that's how controlled we are in this green and unpleasant land
it is a big deal, i just go by what rubert says. bet lots of clergy wont perform them, not in wales anyway.
Rupert...it's not enough to say you think it's wrong. Explain why. Because 'the bible' says so? Things change, feelings, ideals. We should stop spending so much time criticising others, and get on with our own lives. Is anyone forcing you into a same sex marriage? No? Pipe down then.
What we need now is for the heterosexual marriage lobby to campaign for " normal marriage" and leave "marriage" just for for g*y people. Thereby making a distinction between the two different forms of marriage.
I really dont know what the big deal is. i am a g@y man and couldnt care less if i cant get married in a church. But for those of you saying it is against God let me ask....how many of you abstained from sex before marriage?
I honestly couldnt care less. I am more concerned with keeping my head above water and paying my mortgage. What consenting adults get up to in the bedroom is no skin off my nose and i have much better things to do than fret about it.
Since when did government rule the word of God? Interesting whether you are a believer or not....
If you are an aetheist then everything rules the word of "god"...
Briliant move forward and shame on the tory mps who tried to block this progress
There were also some Labour and Lib Dem MP's that voted against it Louisa,plus it was actually a free vote for once so at least MP's were voting for what they actually believed instead of what the Whip was telling them to. Whether you agree with how they vote or not, i have much more respect for any free vote,every vote should be that way to be honest.
dreadful, thats it. im with ukip.
As a white, heterosexual Englishman who has been daft enough to work for a living, and pay my taxes and National Insurance for 40 years, I am used to feeling like only a third class citizen in this country. I am now deeply distressed that there appears to be no political party, with the possible exception of UKIP, that is even faintly interested in my values or views. I am sick and tired of this millionaire elite in Notting Hill, who have never had a proper job in their lives, dictating to me the way that I am supposed to think. This whole debate, which of course was not mentioned in any partys' manifesto, is just another way of pandering to another minority in the hope of collecting their votes. When is someone going to stand up for those of us in the majority?
couldn't agree more.
Well put David,the only thing I question is about UKIP,are they realy interested in your values or views or is that only until they manage to get a foot in parliament,lets face it they have all done that con.
Hmmn where is the Bible?