Caroline Lucas, the MP for Brighton Pavilion and former leader of the Green Party, has described today’s debate and pending vote on the Marriage (Same Sex Couples Bill) as a historic occasion.

While the Conservative catfight over today’s vote will fade into insignificance, the momentous occasion on which MPs were given the chance to stand up for equality in marriage will be remembered for many years to come.

The majority of the public sees no reason why people of the same sex who love each other and want to marry should not be able to do so – and despite claims to the contrary, this legislation will not force any faith groups to conduct gay marriages.

Like many of the constituents who have written to me on this issue, I support the aims of the government’s proposed legislation and will therefore vote ‘yes’ to same sex marriage in Parliament.

However, while I’ll be voting for equal marriage, I’ll also be calling for more far reaching reform to allow everyone – same sex and opposite sex couples – to enjoy a civil partnership or marriage, as they choose.

This is a question of equal love. It’s not about asking for special treatment for gay couples or straight couples, it’s about everyone enjoying the same rights regardless of their sexuality.”