The majority of members of parliament in the UK House of Commons have voted for same-sex marriage in England and Wales today (5 February).
Despite a large rebellion from backbench MPs, the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) bill has passed the important vote needed to take it to the committee stage.
400 MPs voted in favor of same-sex marriage, and 175 voted against.
It will still have to pass other hurdles in both the House of Commons and House of Lords before it can finally pass to Queen Elizabeth II to sign the bill into law.
Just two hours before the debate, Prime Minister David Cameron said: ‘Today is an important day. I am a strong believer in marriage. It helps people commit to each other and I think it is right that gay people should be able to get married too.
‘This is, yes, about equality. But it is also about making our society stronger.
‘I know there are strong views on both side of the argument – I accept that. But I think this is an important step forward for our country.’
While GSN has not confirmed this, sources suggest over half of Conservative MPs failed to support the Prime Minister on same-sex marriage, either voting against or abstaining.
Ed Miliband, leader of the opposition party Labour, meanwhile said it was a ‘proud day and an important step forward in the fight for equality in Britain.’
And Cameron’s coalition partner Nick Clegg, leader of the Liberal Democrats, who said ‘we will look back on today as a landmark for equality in Britain.’
At a gay rights rally earlier today, veteran campaigner Peter Tatchell said: ‘For all of us here, same-sex marriage is about love.
‘In a democratic society, everyone should be equal before the law, and that includes the right to marry. Regardless what people think about gay people or homosexuality, this issue is fundamental. Everyone is entitled to equal treatment.’