5 February 2013

Same Sex Marriage Bill storms through House of Commons

‘Truly historic step forward’ passed by 400 to 175 votes

MPs have voted by a majority of 225 in favour of the new Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill. The Bill will extend the legal form of marriage to lesbian and gay people and permit religious denominations to celebrate such marriages should they wish.

Stonewall Chief Executive Ben Summerskill said: ‘As the last piece of the legislative jigsaw providing equality for gay people in Britain, this is a truly historic step forward. We’re absolutely delighted that MPs have shown so overwhelmingly that they’re in touch with 21st century Britain.

‘We anticipate, as always, a tough battle in the House of Lords. Happily, the size of the Commons majority seen tonight – much larger than for most normal Government business – will make it very difficult for peers to suggest that the Bill should be rejected.

‘Most people in Britain support equal marriage and will be delighted that we’re now a step closer to it. We’re grateful to the thousands of Stonewall supporters, many of them straight, who played a big part by contacting their MPs in support.'

The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill will now go into Commons Committee Stage and is likely to progress to the House of Lords after the Queen’s Speech, expected in early May.

YouGov polling for Stonewall shows that 71% of people in Britain support equal marriage. This figure rises to 82% of those under the age of 50. To find out more about Stonewall's campaign for equal marriage, visit www.stonewall.org.uk/marriage.


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