UK Marriage Equality Vote Has A High Political Cost For Prime Minister

The UK House of Commons has voted in favor of marriage equality, but the vote may prove to have severe political ramifications for the measure’s main supporter, Prime Minister David Cameron.

The measure, which would make the UK the tenth European nation to approve marriage equality, easily passed the House 366-161. The problem for Cameron is that 53% of his own Conservative party voted against the measure, including some of his Cabinet ministers. The result led to widespread speculation that Cameron is losing control of the Tories and seeing his leadership undermined.

“It’s a perfect political storm. It couldn’t have come at a worse time for Cameron,” Iain Dale, a prominent gay radio presenter and conservative blogger, told Reuters.

Cameron is attempting to moderate his party’s intolerant image, but as the marriage equality vote shows, a lot of his party is perfectly happy to be intolerant. The party’s right wingers are furious at reports that one of Cameron’s aides described them as “mad, swivel-eyed loons,” which proves once again that no one beats the British at political invective.

Anyone who wants to know how hard it will be for Republicans to shed their intolerant image need only look across the pond. Cameron’s right wing isn’t nearly as, well, swivel-eyed as the GOP’s.

Next stop for the marriage measure is the House of Lords, which is expected to pick up the bill for debate sometime in July.