Ed Miliband celebrates equal marriage vote and says ‘this is a proud day for Britain’

February 6, 2013
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Labour leader Ed Miliband has spoken of his delight at last night’s decision of MPs to back same-sex marriage in England and Wales.

MPs voted in favour of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill by 400 to 175, a majority of 225.

However, voting lists show that 136 Conservatives – almost half of the party’s MPs – 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.

22 Labour MPs voted against the bill, with sixteen abstaining, including former Labour leader and prime minister Gordon Brown.

Current Labour leader Ed Miliband said: “This is a proud day and an important step forward in the fight for equality in Britain.

“The overwhelming majority of Labour MPs supported this change to make sure marriage reflects the value we place on long-term, loving relationships whoever you love.

“Equal marriage builds on Labour’s successes in government which include the repeal of Section 28, equalising the age of consent, the introduction of civil partnerships and changes to the rules governing adoption.”

Prime Minister David Cameron said Tuesday’s vote had been “an important step forward”.

Meanwhile, Liberal Democrat leader and Deputy PM Nick Clegg said it was a “landmark moment for equality” in Britain.

Four of the 56 Liberal Democrat MPs opposed the legislation.

They included former children’s minister Sarah Teather who, in a statement, expressed concern that the definition of marriage was being changed, which could make family life more unstable.

Last September, Ed Miliband recorded a video for the Out4Marriage campaign. He said: “equal marriage is a very, very important part of ensuring equality before the law”.

Related topics: conservative mps, David Jones, Ed Miliband, England, equal marriage, gay marriage, gay weddings, Gordon Brown, Labour, Labour party, Liberal Democrats, marriage, Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill, marriage equality, MPs, Nick Clegg, Out4Marriage, owen paterson, same sex marriage, same sex weddings, Sarah Teather, tory mps, UK Marriage Bill

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