An important vote has taken place in the House of Commons on the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill. At second reading, MPs voted in favour of the Bill by 400 to 175, with 136 Conservative MPs opposing it. The Bill will now be considered further, and if it does eventually become law it will enable same-sex couples to get married in both civil and religious ceremonies, although religious ceremonies will only take place with the consent of religious institutions.
The BBC reports on the vote and describes David Cameron as commenting on the move as “an important step forward” that strengthens society.
Supporters of the Bill cite a number of reasons for wanting same sex marriage, stating that civil partnerships perpetuate the notion that same sex relationships are not as valid as heterosexual ones and that legal rights conferred by a Civil Partnership are still not exactly the same as those conferred by marriage. There are currently no plans for similar legislation in Northern Ireland, but the SNP government in Scotland intends to introduce legislation called the Marriage and Civil Partnership Bill shortly.
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