The vote proportion is quite similar to NZ. We had the first reading pass by a 2:1 majority and National split almost 50/50 with 30 in favour and 29 against.
In a lengthy Commons debate, which saw impassioned speeches for and against the bill, Margot James warned her parliamentary colleagues of the dangers of standing on the wrong side of history.
The MP for Stourbridge, who is gay, told the Commons: “I believe my party should never flinch from the requirement that we must continue this progression, otherwise we may end up like the Republican party who lost an election last year that they could have won were it not for their socially conservative agenda.”
James was a successful entrepreneur before she entered Parliament.
Sir Roger Gale, the MP for North Thanet, accused the prime minister of an “Orwellian” attempt to redefine marriage. “It is not possible to redefine marriage,” he said.
“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 rewrite the political lexicon.
Historically interracial marriage was banned also. Historically it was illegal to be gay, so of course there is no tradition of gay marriage.
Nick Herbert, the former police minister who is in a civil partnership, mocked opponents of the bill. “Are the marriages of millions of straight people about to be threatened because a few thousand gay people are permitted to join? What will they say: ‘Darling our marriage is over, Sir Elton John has just got engaged to David Furnish’.”
The vote details are sill sketchy, but it looks like the breakdown is:
- Conservatives – 126 for, 134 against, 5 abstain
- Labour – 217 for
- Lib Dems – 44 for, 4 against, 7 no vote
- Plaid Cymru – 3 for
- Greens – 1 for
- Democratic Unionists – 8 against