Politics 5 February 2013 Majority of Tory MPs fail to back gay marriage bill - but it passes The bill to allow equal marriage rights for gay couples moves a step closer to becoming law - but the majority of Tory MPs vote against it or abstain. Sign up for our weekly email * Print HTML After a lively day of debate in the Commons, the Marriage (Same-Sex Couples) Bill this evening passed its second reading. The majority was 225, after 400 MPs voted for and 175 against. That result was a blow for David Cameron, as it included an estimated 139 Tory MPs who voted against the bill - compared with 132 who voted for. It is thought there were about 20 Labour MPs who voted against, and four Lib Dems. Ed Miliband said: 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. The bill now passes on to a final Commons stage and the House of Lords, but its passage into law now seems assured. Andy Sawford MP sums up the mood: It was lovely to see the public clapping in the Strangers Gallery. A moment of joy #equalmarriage — Andy Sawford MP (@AndySawfordMP) February 5, 2013 Proud that Parliament voted in favour of equal marriage today. This is an important step forward in the fight for equality in Britain. — Ed Miliband (@Ed_Miliband) February 5, 2013 The Ayes: 400 The Noes: 175The second reading of the #equalmarriage bill is passed. Now to get it through the Lords #letsdothis — John Prescott (@johnprescott) February 5, 2013 Meanwhile, Staggers editor George Eaton notes: If 139 Tory MPs voted against #equalmarriage, that's the same as the number of Labour MPs who voted against Iraq. bit.ly/YAYQch — George Eaton (@georgeeaton) February 5, 2013 › Blow for Cameron as more Tory MPs vote against gay marriage than in favour The debate in Parliament. Helen Lewis is deputy editor of the New Statesman. She has presented BBC Radio 4’s Week in Westminster and is a regular panellist on BBC1’s Sunday Politics. Subscribe More Related articles The Nicholas Lezard guide to spending your book advance In her first interview of 2017, I pressed the Prime Minister for Brexit clarity Should we let our MPs resign to take better jobs?