After a day of confusion that threatened to disrupt the passage of the introduction of same-sex marriage, MPs have voted to hold an immediate review on the future of civil partnerships.
391 MPs voted in favour of Maria Miller’s amendment to 57 against, first revealed on PinkNews, to hold a review of the future of civil partnerships. Labour’s amendment to make the reveal a speedy one was passed without a division.
Later, 70 MPs voted in favour of opposite sex civil partnerships without a review, while 375 voted against the amendment.
David Cameron was seen among those MPs voting in favour of a review.
61% people who responded to the Government’s consultation said that they, unlike the Government, were in favour of opposite sex civil partnerships. Ministers and advisors have privately indicated to PinkNews.co.uk that there were strong arguments to ‘grandfather’ civil partnerships after same-sex marriage is introduced.
After Labour MPs threatened to support a different amendment to introduce opposite sex civil partnership immediately, Mrs Miller and her Labour opposite number agreed to support a manuscript amendment proposed by Labour party. This commits the Government to immediately begin a process of consultation for the future of civil partnerships rather than a commitment to consider their future in five years time, as Mrs Miller had originally proposed.
Mrs Miller confirmed what PinkNews.co.uk had been told by a senior Government source earlier today saying: “I was, I have to say, delighted to see the Labour Party deciding to commit their support to this approach this afternoon and the Government’s original amendment which does allow for an immediate review could stand altered and I’m more than happy to accept the Opposition’s amendment to clarify the point if this provides them with further comfort, I’m very happy to do that.”