House of Commons passes 2nd reading of marriage equality bill

UPDATE: The entire 4 hour debate is here

Update: the House of Commons passed the legislation 400-175.

BBC is live streaming the marriage equality debate today.:

The bill will legalise gay marriage and enables same-sex couples to get married in both civil and religious ceremonies, where a religious institution had formally consented, in England and Wales.

The bill will also allow couples who had previously entered into civil partnerships to convert their relationship into a marriage.

Conservative and Labour MPs have been given a free vote on the bill but the debate around same-sex marriage has opened up significant differences within the Conservative party - up to 150 Tory MPs are expected to defy the prime minister and vote against the bill.

But a group of 50 senior Conservative activists have warned that opposing gay marriage could "risk alienating the voters we will need in 2015".

Watch it here

Comments (4)

To be clear, the bill has only passed it's second reading. It now goes to committee for further work before returning to the main body for a final vote. I'm not sure why the BBC reporting is fuzzy on this point.

So for those of us unaware of exactly how these kinds of things work in England, what does this mean? What is the next step, and does it seem like this is a foregone conclusion at this point?

Doug Spurlin

Here is one excellent speech.

Here is what will happen next according to Chris Ambidge of Integrity of Canada:
Passage in the Commons is not seriously in doubt (especially after a 400-175 vote). Third reading is still to come. After that it goes to the House of Lords, and *that* (as my Aunt Isobel would say) is where you wave yer bonnet. Passage there is much less certain, as the Noble Lords tend to be much more small-c conservative. This is also the chamber where 27 Church of England bishops sit, and there is a sizeable number of them who rilly rilly don’t want homos getting married in *their* nice clean churches.

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