15:43 06 February 2013
MPs voted in favour of PM David Cameron’s bill over legalising same-sex marriages on Tuesday night, with a majority vote of 225. Those in favour of the gay marriage bill for England and Wales was 400 to 175 votes.
Following the results of vote, which took place in the House of Commons, the PM remarked that it was a "step forward for our country". The outcome of the evening was undoubtedly pleasing for supporters of gay rights.
Although, there has been a mixed reaction to the news, in particular with regards to the political world. Around 50per cent of Mr. Cameron’s ministers (from his party) did not support the plan.
And with ministers having a free vote, many MPs did not vote for or against the same-sex marriage bill.
The PM said on social network Twitter: "Strong views exist on both sides but I believe MPs voting for gay people being able to marry too, is a step forward for our country."
And Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg remarked on the news by saying that it was a "landmark for equality in Britain".
Leader of the Labour Party Ed Miliband was also pleased with the outcome of the vote, calling it a “proud day”.
However, there were those not in favour of the bill, such as Conservative Party member Owen Paterson, the Secretary of State for Environment, as well as Welsh Secretary David Jones who voted against the bill.
Tory man Dominic Grieve was one MP who chose not to vote for or against the same-sex marriage bill on Tuesday evening.
It is understood the gay marriage bill may still face opposition as it goes forwards to the House of Lords. Tory MP David Burrowes related to this by saying: “I think as we go through the passage of the bill we will see increasing numbers voting (in) opposition”.
The bill, if it is passed and becomes law, would mean that individuals of the same gender would be able to marry each other in religious ceremonies as well as in civil partnerships - which is the case at present. A religious establishment would have to agree to the ceremony though.
Homosexuality first became legal in the UK around 50 years ago, and the ban on having homosexuals in the army was removed over 13 years ago.
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