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
— John Prescott (@johnprescott) February 5, 2013
Meanwhile, Staggers editor George Eaton notes:
— George Eaton (@georgeeaton) February 5, 2013