UK Parliament Votes Approval Of Gay Marriage

BRITAIN-ELECTION/Today, England’s House of Commons voted by 400 to 175 in favor of allowing same-sex marriage, a cause embraced by Conservative Party Prime Minister David Cameron.

“The depth of feeling, love and commitment between same-sex couples is no different from that depth of feeling between opposite-sex couples,” said Equalities Minister Maria Miller in introducing the measure. “The Bill enables society to recognize that commitment in the same way, too, through marriage. Parliament should value people equally in the law, and enabling same-sex couples to marry removes the current differentiation and distinction.”

But even as Cameron touted his support for same-sex marriage as being in line with his conservative  values, some of his fellow Tories aren’t fans of the effort. “[The campaign for equal marriage] has caused deep and needless divisions within the Conservative Party,” said former Defense Minister Sir Gerald Howarth. “There is no mandate for it.”

MP Edward Leigh, meanwhile acknowledged equality is important, “but not at the expense of every other consideration. Not at the expense of tradition.”

Those Conservative Party members who backed the measure were joined by the bulk of Labour MPs, including David Lammy who dismissed the theory that civil unions were adequate for gays and lesbians:

Separate but equal are the words that justified sending black children to different schools than their white peers. It is the same statement, the same ideas and the same delusion that we borrowed in this country to say that women could vote but only if they were married and only when they were over 30.

Separate is not equal, so let us be rid of it. As long as there is one rule for us and another for them we allow the barriers of acceptance to go unchallenged. As long as our statute book suggests love between two men or two women is unworthy of being recongized through marriage we allow the rot of homophobia to fester.

The next step is for the bill to examined in detail by the House of Commons and the House of Lords.

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  • Katbox


  • kayakriver

    “Not at the expense of tradition.” some people are just stuck on repeat, **ck tradition.

  • Sohobod

    I hope that some of the British posters of a left-wing persuasion will be able to bring themselves to acknowledge that it was a brave thing for a Conservative prime minister to go out on a limb to push for a change in the law that he was passionate about – at the risk of alienating a sizable proportion of his MPs.

  • 2eo

    Like clockwork this has come as me and my father have had an enormous fall out over this issue. Unfortunately for him, and I do love him but he isn’t upto par with reasoning and resorts to appealing to authority and throwing a tantrum.

    I’m as nonplussed as it is possible to be.

    @Sohobod: I know you mean me, and I think it’s an excellent card for Cameron, it gives genuine progression and alienates and exposes the worthless fringes of the coalition government and so the systematic weeding can begin in time for the next General Election.

    I’ll always give props where they are due.

  • alexoloughlin

    David Cameron has earned the respect by many of us who aren’t conservatives. I am writing a letter of thanks and to several other MPs. This is an extraordinary historic day in Parliament with an overwhelming majority in favourof equal marriage. Truly amazing to think two more EU countries four days apart have approved equal marriage, two permanent members of the UN, two of the most powerful EU countries. It sends a very powerful message to the rest of the world. Well done, England and Wales.

  • Sohobod

    Yes I did mean you. And you are gracious to give him some credit.
    I watched the debate on BBC Parliament, and I was struck by how those member (from all parties) who supported the bill were so obviously representing the future of our country. It’s easy to demonize those that have opposing political views, but the vast majority of people from both the Right and the Left are pretty decent. Although I don’t agree with Tony Ben about very much at all, I know in my bones that he is sincere.
    Since the advent of Youtube etc I have taken more of an interest in American politics, and I have to say that, as a British Conservative, I would find it inconceivable that I would ever vote Republican. They live on the very extremes.

  • Chad Hunt

    I think it so sad for those of us living in what is supposed to be the “Freest” country in the world seeing such small countries as the UK, Canada, and even third world countries overshadow us with victories for civil rights of the citizenry.

    I’m looking toward the day when my country moves “FORWARD” instead of what republicans are oft to say, “Taking My Country Back.”

  • 2eo

    @Chad Hunt: We owned you and if our actual army wasn’t tied up in India and you got help from the French we still would.

    *glares* never forget it.

  • Sohobod

    @Chad Hunt
    Who are you calling a ‘small country’? What language are you writing in?

  • Chad Hunt

    @2eo: LOLOLOL

  • Chad Hunt

    @Sohobod: LOLOLOLOL …. small as in land mass and population never in the convictions of your hearts. LOLOL

  • jwrappaport

    To my classier cousins from across the pond:

    Thank you – my anglophilia has been vindicated once again, and I’m reminded why I wanted to come here in the first place. This is the land of Bond, Gilbert and Sullivan, and soon to be marriage equality: I think I’m sold.


    Gracious Yankee Expat

  • johnnybcn


    Well we have our moments. Every time I find myself getting pissed off about the US (normally it’s to do with one of your more demented religionists) I remind myself that when it comes to progressive politics, be it black civil rights, feminism, gay rights the US has always been an innovator. What you started we took and ran with.

    Enjoy the UK

    (Slightly cross-eyed from celebrating Brit Expat (in Spain where we had all this bollocks sorted out a long time ago)

  • John Doe

    I feel like I’m amongst a bunch of children here. “My country is better than yours… ha ha ha ”

    Maybe we can just be thankful that equality is gradually coming to many countries. Or, is this not divisive and negative enough for some people to handle?

  • Cagnazzo82


    “Durr UK is better than America, haha”…

    Meanwhile, people in Massachusetts have been getting married for the better part of almost a decade.

    Welcome to the club UK. Better late than never.

  • Joetx

    The headline for this article is wrong. The House of Commons voted for it. The House of Lords still needs to take action. Since Parliament is composed of both houses, Parliament has not voted approval of same-sex marriage.

    It would be like the Senate passing a same-sex marriage bill, but no action had been taken by the House of Representatives.

    Queerty really needs to upgrade its staff.

  • Cagnazzo82

    @Joetx: Not just Queerty.

    It’s been like this all over the net with people jumping up and down for joy that the UK passed Gay Marriage, when in fact it hasn’t even been passed the House of Lords yet.

    And also this bill doesn’t even apply to Scotland, so it’s not the entire UK.

  • MickeyP.

    Are you listening YET,United States?

  • Craig

    @joetx Actually it isn’t just like the House passing it and not the Senate.

    The Lords is not needed to pass a bill into law, it goes to them but if they disagree then the government can overrule them.

    The most they can do is delay a bill into the next session.

  • Daniel-Reader

    February is LGBT History Month in the UK, so it is indeed fitting for the House of Commons to make history protecting the human rights of LGBT family members this month.

  • 2eo

    @Cagnazzo82: @Craig:

    I think we should be glad it’s reported at all. Beyonce had a sandwich for lunch yesterday too so the boards were ringing with praise as to how this sandwich is the final cure for AIDS.

  • alexoloughlin

    @Cagnazzo82: The legislation is approved by an overwhelming majority which was a lot more than expected. That alone will make it that much harder for the Lords to delay it and in any case, the Parliament Act can be used to override it something the culture and equalities secretary Maria Miller hasn’t ruled out. It’s been used quite a few times over the past dozen years with success. It’s passing with or without the upper chamber’s vote, sooner or later as the case may be.

  • alexoloughlin

    @Joetx: To be precise, the legislation, the equal marriage bill was voted on and passed by an overwhelming majority.

  • alexoloughlin

    @Cagnazzo82: Better late than never, but in reality, it’s never too late. This piece of legislation that I’ve read in its entirety is thoroughly conceived and layed out with air-tight safeguards and protections for those who oppose equal marriage. At least British gay couples will have all of the rights of marriage, will be able to marry and move to any part of England and Wales and soon Scotland once it passes there in the spring. Their American counterparts still don’t have full marriage equality or any portability outside of the nine states where it is legal until the Federal Government recognizes their unions as well as the eleven hundred rights they are currently denied. British gay couples have also enjoyed bringing in their foreign born partners for the past decade or more. It’s far ahead of the U.S. in that regard. It was well worth the wait. The British government got it right.

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