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UK Passes Gay Marriage

By Charlotte Robinson, February 05, 2013
Just in from London that the British House of Commons have backed legalizing gay marriage in the first of several votes on the issue. The vote was 400 votes to 175 votes. A few years ago we talked to UK gay activist Tris Reid-Smith about civil partnerships that were passed in 2005 & provide 99% of the same rights & protections as heterosexual marriages. The one percent is use of the word “marriage” which is now being voted on. The vote in the House of Commons was "free" meaning MPs from across the political spectrum were able to vote according to their conscience rather than under party orders. Interesting way of doing things we must say. The legislation is a few stages away from becoming law but debate on the issue has already split Prime Minister David Cameron's ruling Conservative party in two. Cameron, the finance minister, the foreign secretary & the interior minister have written a joint letter to a national newspaper today urging fellow Conservatives to vote in favor. The new law proposes legalizing gay marriage in England & Wales in 2014. Now the bill goes to committee & at some later date comes back hopefully amended to the House of Commons for a third & final reading. In 2006 the High Court rejected a legal action by a British lesbian couple who had married in Canada to have their union recognized as a marriage in the UK & not as a civil partnership. In this country the Illinois Senate Executive Committee approves marriage equality bill for 2nd time in a month, advancing bill to the Senate for full vote!
Updates to Come…:)

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