Gay Marriage | News | United Kingdom

UK House of Commons Approves Marriage Equality 400-175 in Key Vote


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.

UK gay rights group Stonewall:

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.

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  1. all i have to say on the matter is WOOOOOHOOOOOOO

    Posted by: danswon | Feb 5, 2013 2:24:34 PM

  2. The vote your refer to (400-175) concerns the decision to read the bill a second time. The final vote has not been done though is expected soon and is likely to have a similar outcome. They are currently voting on whether to debate the bill further (a delaying tactic to prolong the inevitable).

    Posted by: beats | Feb 5, 2013 2:29:59 PM

  3. OK France, UK, Spain, etc.....come on Land of the Free....its really about time...your turn next !!!

    Posted by: Paul | Feb 5, 2013 2:30:19 PM

  4. Once again the Brits are out front, influencing if not changing the world. And, oh yes, mostly for the better. Count up all the bad moves and it's still for the better.

    Posted by: UFFDA | Feb 5, 2013 2:36:27 PM

  5. God save the Queen or in this case the Queens. Well done Tammy Baldwin lookalike Kate Green MP for Labour as well as Ken doll minister Sir Hugh Robertson. Cheers.

    Posted by: CD In DC | Feb 5, 2013 2:37:41 PM

  6. Ooops, my bad. The process is hard to follow. It has gone through. Huzzah!!!!

    Posted by: beats | Feb 5, 2013 2:38:14 PM

  7. Woo hoo! 400 to 175? About 70% in favor? That's a landslide!

    Posted by: Kevin_BGFH | Feb 5, 2013 2:40:38 PM

  8. And on my birthday, too! Appropriate for this gay Anglophile. :-)

    Posted by: Kevin_BGFH | Feb 5, 2013 2:41:03 PM

  9. @ BEATS :
    It has yet to go through the House of Lords.

    But that House can be over ruled by the Commons, by use of the guillotine motion !!! And all future votes will be "whipped" the members will be obliged to vote along with the party, and not have a free vote.

    I love all these differences between the systems and procedures of democracy.
    But in the end that arc of Martin Luther King is bending towards justice.

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Feb 5, 2013 2:47:52 PM

  10. Belgium, Denmark, Iceland, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and now my country, the UK and soon France. I LOVE Europe!!!

    Posted by: Paul | Feb 5, 2013 2:52:45 PM

  11. Fantastic news and huge. Two permanent members of the UN with marriage equality on the horizon. Sends a powerful message to the rest of the world.

    The fact that it was a large majority will make it that much harder now for the Lords to reject (delay) it. Well done, UK, I'm so proud of you, my homeland.

    Posted by: alexoloughlin | Feb 5, 2013 2:59:50 PM

  12. Hail Britania!

    Posted by: Zlick | Feb 5, 2013 3:03:26 PM

  13. Paul, don't forget Canada. We've had marriage equality here for so long now (since 2005) that people forget we were among the first few countries to adopt it.

    Posted by: Marlena | Feb 5, 2013 3:05:40 PM

  14. ...and Meantime the Land of "Supposed" Liberty & Justice for ALL...Becomes a further Laughing stock of Hypocracy!!!!

    Posted by: disgusted american | Feb 5, 2013 3:45:56 PM

  15. What's with the number 175 and the negativity that surrounds it, in terms of LGBT (in)equality?

    Germany had §175 (the law criminalizing homosexuality), 175 members voted against what's right today in Britain. Intriguing!

    Beware of the number 175, people! ;)

    And, go EQUALITY! Spread across this planet, fast and furious and beautifully so!

    Posted by: El | Feb 5, 2013 3:46:26 PM

  16. The Ontario Supreme Court case in 2003 that ruled the old Canadian marriage laws unconstitutional actually validated same-sex marriages held in Ontario as far back as January 2001. So, even though we didn't have a Federal marriage law until 2005, Canada has the earliest valid same-sex marriages in the world. Just to remind y'all...

    Posted by: Jeremy | Feb 5, 2013 3:46:32 PM

  17. @Marlena,

    We in Massachusetts [New England] have had it since June,2004. Canada started June, 2005. We beat you by 1 year, and beat the UK by 8 years and 5 months.

    5 of the 6 New England states now have gay marriage, Rhode Island will very shortly, it's house has passed it already.



    You love Europe? Than do your best to see it doesn't destroy itself with out of control P.C. B.S. and uncontrolled immigration. Western Europe,UK, and North America are doing their best to destroy themselves economically,culturally,and politically.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Feb 5, 2013 3:48:16 PM

  18. Hallelujah and God bless marriage. Britain would become the largest country (currently South Africa is) with full equality if this passes (and the second G7 country after Canada).

    Posted by: DB | Feb 5, 2013 3:49:27 PM

  19. And BTW: New England is heavily Catholic and white so-called ethnic[Irish ,Italian ,Polish, Portuguese, French Canadian, etc.]... horrors! The rural parts are heavily poor whites, and the demographics over-all are heavily white. Horrors!

    Posted by: ratbastard | Feb 5, 2013 3:52:47 PM

  20. So does this mean Prince Edward will divorce his beard and finally come out? Better yet, will Prince Harry come out and marry me?

    Posted by: graphicjack | Feb 5, 2013 4:25:32 PM

  21. No way GRAPHIC, he's going to marry ME. If he wants to be happy that is.

    Oh, and gotta give it to Canada, she led the way for the Brits whom I have earlier credited with leadership in marriage equality. Still, the Brits have the weight of a long and incomparable history behind them and only the Americans can equal them in global influence, if only they will. And we will.

    Posted by: UFFDA | Feb 5, 2013 5:28:50 PM

  22. Let no one be misled.
    The majority of Tories ( Conservative Party) voted against the marriage equality Bill tonight.

    It passed because of Labour Party votes.
    The Tory party is the same bigoted gang it has always been; it introduced Clause 28 , against gays, telling teachers they could not explain anything about homosexuality.
    So many gay kids grew up knowing that they should be ashamed of who they were.
    That Tory Party is still alive and well and in the majority tonight.
    Let's not forget who these Tories are.
    In our rejoicing let's not forget the angry old white men.......

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Feb 5, 2013 5:53:47 PM

  23. @Jackfkntwist You're correct of course, but the Tory vote was very close, almost evenly divided, and of course without David Cameron's support the bill probably wouldn't have even come as far as it has. We can also look to handfuls of Republicans in the US that are starting to see the light of strange places like Wyoming. While conservatives have held back equality, they are starting to come around, and we should appreciate those of them who have.

    Posted by: Bruno | Feb 5, 2013 6:22:41 PM

  24. I can't wait for the expression on the Queen's face when she announces her govt will vote for gay marriage! She might barf a little at the prospect.

    Posted by: anon | Feb 5, 2013 6:49:09 PM

  25. @ratbastard,

    Sometimes you can actually make a relevant point, but other times this race obsession of yours makes you mentally unstable. Why, in a post about a UK gay marriage law, do you feel it necessary to give an ethnic breakdown of New England? It's completely irrelevant and I don't even know what point you think you're trying to make. I guess you're saying it's very ethnic and poor, (when in fact it's just white and the wealthiest part of the country) but despite its ethnics and poors it still has gay marriage? And yet you caution Paul to be on the lookout against immigrants in Europe in the same disjointed post. You need to take your meds....

    Posted by: Brian | Feb 5, 2013 7:28:54 PM

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