The House of Commons has passed a bill that would legalize gay marriage in the UK. The bill passed by a vote of 400 to 175.
If the bill becomes law, then religious organizations will be able to legally perform gay marriages in the country. According to Newser, civil partnerships would be converted to marriages, and transsexual marriages would be legally recognized by the government.
Although the bill has passed through the House of Commons, it still has a little ways to go before it becomes law. Before gay marriage becomes legal, a few other sections of the government will have to weigh in on the matter.
According to CNN, Prime Minister David Cameron’s Conservative Party has not been overwhelmingly supportive of the bill in the past. However, Chancellor George Osborne, Foreign Secretary William Hague, and Home Secretary Theresa May recently sent a letter to MPs in order to gain more support for the bill.
The letter read:
“We believe that opening it up to same-sex couples will strengthen, not weaken, the institution. As David Cameron has said, we should support gay marriage not in spite of being Conservatives, but because we are Conservatives.”
The letter also stated “attitudes towards gay people have changed” and passing the bill was the “right thing to do” at this point in time.
Bloomberg reports that many are concerned the recent vote will divide the Conservative Party.
Conservative lawmaker Edward Leigh explained:
“We are alienating people who’ve voted for us for all of their lives, leaving them with no one to vote for. I will be voting tonight to proclaim my support for the future of our children and the essence of traditional marriage.”
The bill still has to pass through a number of hands including the House of Lords. Given the support it received during the recent House of Commons vote, the gay marriage bill is expected to be enacted into law by Prime Minister David Cameron at some point this summer.
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