The British House of Commons has just voted 400 -175 to approve marriage equality on a second reading of the bill.
Related votes are continuing LIVE here (budget, etc)…
Labour Party leader Ed Milliband released a statement:
This is a proud day and an important step forward in the fight for equality in Britain. 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. Equal marriage builds on Labour’s successes in government which include the repeal of Section 28, equalising the age of consent, the introduction of civil partnerships and changes to the rules governing adoption.
Guardian live blog here.
MPs have voted by a majority of 225 in favour of the new Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill. The Bill will extend the legal form of marriage to lesbian, gay and bisexual people and permit religious denominations to celebrate such marriages should they wish.
Stonewall Chief Executive Ben Summerskill said: ‘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.
‘We anticipate, as always, a tough battle in the House of Lords. Happily, the size of the Commons majority seen tonight – much larger than for most normal Government business – will make it very difficult for peers to suggest that the Bill should be rejected.
‘Most people in Britain support equal marriage and will be delighted that we’re now a step closer to it. We’re grateful to the thousands of Stonewall supporters, many of them straight, who played a big part by contacting their MPs in support.'
The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill will now go into Commons Committee Stage and is likely to progress to the House of Lords after the Queen’s Speech, expected in early May.