British lawmakers vote in favor of gay marriage billBy SYLVIA HUI
THE Associated Press | February 06,2013LONDON — British lawmakers on Tuesday voted overwhelmingly in favor of a bill to legalize same-sex marriage championed by Prime Minister David Cameron, despite stronger-than-expected opposition from within his Conservative Party.
In a first House of Commons vote, lawmakers voted 400 to 175 in support of the legislation. There was strong support from the left-leaning Labour Party and Liberal Democrats party, but many Conservatives rejected the proposals.
The bill will have to go through more detailed parliamentary debates and a vote in the House of Lords, where a vote in favor is likely given the strong support Tuesday. If it becomes law, the proposed bill would enable same-sex couples to get married in both civil and religious ceremonies, provided that the religious institution consents.
Earlier, Cameron — who did not attend the debate — said passing the bill is “an important step forward” for Britain.
“I am a strong believer in marriage. It helps people commit to each other and I think it is right that gay people should be able to get married too,” he said. “This is, yes, about equality. But it is also about making our society stronger.”
Officials have stressed that all religious organizations can decide for themselves if they want to “opt in” to holding gay weddings. However, the Church of England, the country’s official faith, is barred from performing such ceremonies unless it changes its laws.
The bill would also allow couples who had previously entered into civil partnerships to convert their relationship into a marriage.
Critics say the proposals would change long-standing views about the meaning of marriage. Some Conservatives also fear the proposals would cost the party a significant number of votes in the next election.
“Marriage is the union between a man and a woman, has been historically, remains so. It is Alice in Wonderland territory, Orwellian almost, for any government of any political persuasion to seek to come along and try to re-write the lexicon,” Conservative lawmaker Roger Gale said.
If passed, the bill’s provisions would come into effect in 2015, ahead of the next British general election.MORE IN Wire NewsJAKARTA, Indonesia — The rival candidates in Indonesia’s presidential election each claimed... Full StoryUNITED NATIONS — Arab nations called Tuesday for an emergency meeting of the U.N. Full StoryBERLIN — German authorities are investigating a second spy case reportedly involving the United... Full Story
- Most Popular
- Most Emailed
- TODAY'S WEATHER MINUTE: Researchers find new species of hominid, the Denisovans, and follow genetic evidence that place them across a wide swath of the globe before extinction 40,000 years ago.
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: Proctor estate sale hits serious legal speed bump, Rutland Town wraps up solar project regulations, Patty Minichiello interviews visiting sculptor in West Rutland and Castleton Crackers honored with national award.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: Tamerlane, in 1401 on this day, lays waste to Baghdad; 'Rock Around The Clock' hits No. 1 on Billboard chart in 1955, stays there for eight weeks.
- TODAY'S WEATHER MINUTE: Rutland Herald content editor Rich Alcott shares local weather information and easily digestible news tidbits: Texas towns, shaken by earthquakes linked to fracking for gas and oil, are fed up and scared, want to ban the practice,
- TODAY'S WEATHER MINUTE: Rutland Herald content editor Rich Alcott shares local weather information and easily digestible news tidbits: Fracking linked to 100-fold increase in Oklahoma earthquakes.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: Roswell: Weather balloon, invasion from outer space or primitive spy op? You decide. Francis Gary Powers faces the music on this day and it's Russian pop hits, Elisabeth Kubler-Ross born this day and the Mahatma eschews violence.