James Forsyth

Gay marriage easily passes third reading vote in the Commons

Gay marriage easily passes third reading vote in the Commons
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After all the parliamentary back and forth yesterday, gay marriage passed third reading by the comfortable margin of 366 to 161. Tory sources are briefing that fewer of their MPs voted against at third reading than second reading, though we’ll have to wait for the division lists to confirm that.

We probably now have only a couple more Commons votes left on this; there’ll be on any amendments made to the bill by the House of Lords.

The atmosphere in the House as the result was read out did not seem particularly historic. There was some clapping from the Labour front bench, but the Treasury bench didn’t join in and it rather petered out. But, I suspect, that in years to come this will be remembered as one of the more significant things that David Cameron did in office. If it is followed by a series of other measures to strengthen marriage, it might end up being seen as a moment when the fundamental importance of marriage to our society was re-stated.