British lawmakers approve same-sex marriage legislation with majority vote

Last Updated: Wed, Feb 06, 2013 05:20 hrs

MPs in Britain have approved same-sex marriage in England and Wales in a key Commons vote, despite the opposition of almost half the Conservative MPs.

The Commons voted in favour of the Same Sex Couples Bill, by 400 to 175, a majority of 225, at the end of an entire day's debate on the bill.

Prime Minister David Cameron has described the move as 'an important step forward' that strengthens society, the BBC reports.

According to the report, voting lists show that 136 Conservatives opposed the bill.

This figure included two cabinet ministers, Environment Secretary Owen Paterson and Welsh Secretary David Jones, eight junior ministers, and eight whips.

Of the remaining Conservative MPs, 127 were in favour, 35 did not vote, and five registered an abstention by voting both in favour and against.

MPs were given a free vote on the bill, meaning they were not ordered to vote a particular way by party whips, the report said.

Their decision to back the bill at second reading signifies that they approve of it in principle. The legislation will now receive more detailed parliamentary scrutiny, it added. (ANI)

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