British House of Commons overwhelmingly approves the freedom to marry
May 21, 2013
Marriage is moving forward in the United Kingdom! Today, the British House of Commons gave its approval to the Marriage (Same-Sex Couples) Bill on a 366-161 vote during the bill's third reading -- the final hurdle towards passage in the lower chamber of Parliament.
Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron is a strong supporter of the freedom to marry and has made passage of the bill a high priority. Labour leadership has also backed the bill and over the last two days, they led the charge to kill proposed unwelcomed amendments, including an amendment that would have extended civil partnerships to both same-sex and opposite-sex couples. MP's defeated the amendment, 70-375, arguing that it was merely intended to stall the passage and implimentation of the freedom to marry for gay and lesbian couples.
Ben Summerskill, chief executive of Stonewall, the largest British LGBT advocacy group, celebrated today's historic vote:
‘This evening’s vote shows MPs are on the public’s side, as poll after poll shows a clear majority of people in Britain support equal marriage. Now that the bill has cleared the Commons without any of the wrecking amendments tabled by opponents, we hope peers will show the same respect to public attitudes.”
The marriage bill now moves to the House of Lords, where it is expected to be considered as soon as next month.