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  #1    
Old February 7th, 2013, 05:29 AM
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MPs have approved same-sex marriage in England and Wales in a key Commons vote, despite the opposition of almost half the Conservative MPs.

The Commons voted in favour of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill, by 400 to 175, a majority of 225, at the end of a full day's debate on the bill.

Prime Minister David Cameron has described the move as "an important step forward" that strengthens society.

Voting lists show that 136 Conservatives opposed the bill.

This figure includes 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.

Junior justice minister Helen Grant said: "As Tories we do differ at times. We have squabbles - we're like any other family."

But she described the legislation as "a major step forward for equality and justice".

'We are all equal'

Deputy Prime Minister and Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg said: "I genuinely believe that we will look back on today as a landmark for equality in Britain.

"Tonight's vote shows Parliament is very strongly in favour of equal marriage.

"No matter who you are and who you love, we are all equal. Marriage is about love and commitment, and it should no longer be denied to people just because they are gay.

"The Liberal Democrats have long fought for equal marriage. It is party policy and I am proud that the Liberal Democrats are part of the coalition government that are making it happen."

MPs were given a free vote on the bill, meaning they were not ordered to vote a particular way by party whips.

Their decision to back the bill at second reading signifies that they approve of it in principle. The legislation will now receive more detailed parliamentary scrutiny.

'Divided nation'

Opposition 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."

But Conservative MP David Burrowes said: "We do respect the equal value of men and women, but surely that doesn't avoid us looking and celebrating difference, and marriage is a great way of celebrating the difference between a man and a woman."

He predicted that the legislation would receive substantial opposition when it arrived in the House of Lords.

He said the vote result had shown that the party was in touch with the country: "The nation is divided, we have shown ourselves as a party to be divided."

He added: "We have been the ones showing ourselves to have a grown-up, free-vote, conscience issue debate, and we shouldn't hide behind the fact that we're going to be divided on this issue."
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As one of my friends said, "So, the UK is legalizing gay marriage. I find it ironic that the US is always preaching about our equality and freedoms, yet the empire we separated ourselves from FOR freedom is leaps and bounds ahead of us on that matter. Our country's economy is just barely back on its feet, but we're still so concerned with who marries whom. To sum up my feelings? How embarrassing."
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Old February 7th, 2013, 06:03 AM
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I'm super glad. Having lived with an everyone is equal mentality for most of my pubescent years, I found it weird that people are against it. I understand fully that change is hard to swallow, and that such a thing is seen as filth by most, even my parents, but still, they're people. They deserve to enjoy being together as much as straight couples do, and so what if they're holding hands or kissing on the street? They want to show affection for each other as much as straight couples do, and you don't see them being disgusted at the sight of a guy and a woman kissing do you? No! Hopefully Europe's forward thinking will start to put the US in a position were they're looking a bit behind, and things change for the better on a global scale instead of a country scale.
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Old February 7th, 2013, 07:52 AM
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Just for reference, it hasn't been legalized yet, and still actually has a fair bit to go.

The bill has only been passed by the House of Commons and still needs to be passed by the House of Lords (i.e. the equivalent of a Senate in most other countries). Indeed, because of the heavily Conservative party majority in that house, it will probably have a tougher ride getting through that House. The bill passing in the Commons is certainly an optimistic sign (although, given opinion polls broadly expressing favour in the UK for gay marriage, it would have been a massive shock had it been defeated), and that's something to be proud of, but it's not out of the woods yet.
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Old February 7th, 2013, 07:53 AM
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So we're behind yet another developed, Western country in terms of basic human rights. And it looks like the U.K. has the same problem with Consevatives as the states do, haha.
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Old February 7th, 2013, 07:58 AM
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I still want to see how the debate is going to go at The Other Place. It's going to be so. damn. fun. to watch, all those Spiritual Peers being outraged out of their minds. I hope I can grab a stream.

The good news is, chances are it will be fully legalized by 2014, when the Lords cannot veto it any longer, if they do. Take into account that a single Commons vote is not enough to immediately pass a law (although is a damned good signal, as a second identical vote would be enough to override it if it came down to that).

I'm glad more countries are realizing that there's nothing wrong with giving more rights to people; in fact, the wrong thing IS denying rights for no justifiable reason anymore.
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Old February 7th, 2013, 08:25 AM
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Glad to see that there are other countries thinking forward. US, you gonna get out of the 1800's any time soon?
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  #7    
Old February 7th, 2013, 08:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Livewire View Post
So we're behind yet another developed, Western country in terms of basic human rights. And it looks like the U.K. has the same problem with Consevatives as the states do, haha.
Not really. The Republicans are a breed onto themselves.

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.

My guess is that those who did not vote or abstained were actually for it and did not want to break party lines or face angry voters come election time. They had a good piece on The Daily Show the other day showing some of the "arguments" some of the Tories put forth and how they were nothing like what the Republicans act or believe.
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Old February 7th, 2013, 09:12 AM
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I should see that Daily Show piece. Sometimes I have this sick impulse to hear raving lunatics spew nonsense about things and I'd love to hear why (some) British conservatives are against gay marriage.
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  #9    
Old February 7th, 2013, 09:17 AM
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I should see that Daily Show piece. Sometimes I have this sick impulse to hear raving lunatics spew nonsense about things and I'd love to hear why (some) British conservatives are against gay marriage.
They're weren't Republican responses, if that's what you're looking for.

One was like "I think we have bigger issues right now" (although I don't know how that stops acting on little issues when you're already debating it. Not going to take more time than that O_o) and another was "I recognize that the majority of population would likely support gay marriage, but I will be voting against it [to keep inline with the party". It kinda had a feeling like "We don't really care that much, but we're Conservative and we're support to vote this way and if we don't our voters will be mad at us and this will likely pass anyway, so who cares?" lol

Whereas the Republican argument would be God and fire and brimstone and protecting marriage and what not
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Old February 7th, 2013, 09:31 AM
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Originally Posted by TRIFORCE89 View Post
They're weren't Republican responses, if that's what you're looking for.

One was like "I think we have bigger issues right now" (although I don't know how that stops acting on little issues when you're already debating it. Not going to take more time than that O_o) and another was "I recognize that the majority of population would likely support gay marriage, but I will be voting against it [to keep inline with the party". It kinda had a feeling like "We don't really care that much, but we're Conservative and we're support to vote this way and if we don't our voters will be mad at us and this will likely pass anyway, so who cares?" lol

Whereas the Republican argument would be God and fire and brimstone and protecting marriage and what not
That's kind of disappointing, to be quite honest. I was hoping to see something more fiery.
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  #11    
Old February 7th, 2013, 10:19 AM
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It's good to see that finally somewhere is actually looking quite close to allowing gay marriage. That being said I have seen this numerous times in my own country. The bill makes it through the lower house but then gets thrown out by the higher one (it probably doesn't help that our prime minister is opposed to gay marriage but really she's in the lower house anyway). I hope this isn't going to be the case for the UK.

Am I the only one who thinks Europe seems to be way ahead of the world on a lot of "issues"? The rest of us really need to catch up... I mean there really is no reason to not allow it when even the majority of straight people either support gay marriage or at least don't care either way.
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Old February 7th, 2013, 11:08 AM
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Originally Posted by gimmepie View Post
Am I the only one who thinks Europe seems to be way ahead of the world on a lot of "issues"? The rest of us really need to catch up... I mean there really is no reason to not allow it when even the majority of straight people either support gay marriage or at least don't care either way.
On the more so-called "social" issues, yes. Germany and France - should be the model of healthcare for the rest of the world. All across Europe is some terrific public transit. And trains. And tunnels. Sweden or Switzerland (I'm sorry, I mix them up a lot) has a great public-private educational model.

But, economically. I think it would be pretty accurate to say they're in the hole right now. And some EU aspects aren't so hot
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Old February 7th, 2013, 12:27 PM
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Originally Posted by TRIFORCE89 View Post
On the more so-called "social" issues, yes. Germany and France - should be the model of healthcare for the rest of the world. All across Europe is so terrific public transit. And trains. And tunnels. Sweden or Switzerland (I'm sorry, I mix them up a lot) has a great public-private educational model.

But, economically. I think it would be pretty accurate to say they're in the hole right now. And some EU aspects aren't so hot
Economically, if they hadn't gone with all those austerity measures they probably wouldn't be so bad off, but that is beside the point.

From what I've read there are surprising differences between how Europe (really, western Europe) and North America (a.k.a. the US) look at the issue of gay marriage. Europe seems more than happy to have completely equal (from what I understand at least) civil unions or whatever term they use even if they're not up for gay marriage. We don't really have anything like that in America. You've either got the pro- same-sex marriage side or the anti- same-sex marriage side.
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Old February 7th, 2013, 12:32 PM
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As one of my friends said, "So, the UK is legalizing gay marriage. I find it ironic that the US is always preaching about our equality and freedoms, yet the empire we separated ourselves from FOR freedom is leaps and bounds ahead of us on that matter. Our country's economy is just barely back on its feet, but we're still so concerned with who marries whom. To sum up my feelings? How embarrassing."
U.S. and U.K. marriage laws are very different. In our system of divided powers between the federal and state governments, marriage is a state issues, and many states have have legalized same-sex marriage.
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Old February 7th, 2013, 06:31 PM
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Glad to see that there are other countries thinking forward. US, you gonna get out of the 1800's any time soon?
Not so, says the olden-days-of-yore people we have in the government.

I honestly think that every body who can veto or can have any sort of real and present power over social issues is mostly white and conservative, while the ones that can't do anything really are all progressive and open-minded.

Who knows, maybe we need to wait. The US is a land of tradition - if we live in a land in which people still can't get over the fact that we don't have to have exactly 50 states, I'm sure not much can convince those people. Kind of an OCD country.
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Old February 7th, 2013, 10:50 PM
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If this passes, I really hope it puts some pressure on America. But the fact that America hasn't even hinted at mirroring other superior European aspects gives me little faith.



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Who knows, maybe we need to wait. The US is a land of tradition -.
"The US is a land of tradition."

Beginning with its tradition of kicking people out of their land so we could colonize, and then using slaves to build said colony!
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Old February 8th, 2013, 12:12 PM
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This is most definitely good news for the LGBT community in Britain. Too bad the Westboro Church is banned from England, so we can't laugh at them about this. They're an entertaining little cult.
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Old March 12th, 2013, 11:03 PM
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Originally Posted by FreakyLocz14 View Post
U.S. and U.K. marriage laws are very different. In our system of divided powers between the federal and state governments, marriage is a state issues, and many states have have legalized same-sex marriage.
For a full legalization only 9 have - I don't know what definition of 'many' that you are using, but 9 our of 50 is not 'many'. Ok, fine - Many have legalized gay marriage. But many many more have forbidden it.

Anyway, it's no suprise really. For all the effort we put into making our country seem nice to all we are really one of the more hateful ones. The UK moving for full legalization sooner then the US isn't that much of a suprise - They also moved a hell of a lot faster to get rid of slavery, while the US decided to start killing each other over it.

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This is most definitely good news for the LGBT community in Britain. Too bad the Westboro Church is banned from England, so we can't laugh at them about this. They're an entertaining little cult.
With all the **** WBC has pulled, do you really think that they are going to let a little ban, put in place by those they see as puppets of Satan, stop them?
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Old March 19th, 2013, 04:48 AM
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in the end i think it's not really a law to say no to it, it's more of a religious thing.
not the whoal but about what it says in the bible and various random passages, the the wildly helped belief taht marrage is a sacred vowel between a man and a woman, yes the laws say it's legal, but what people really want is to go to a lets say for example, church and have there marriage done like other Catholics or Anglicans, etc. Long winded-ness aside it's definitely good news for the LGBT community over all.
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Old March 20th, 2013, 10:48 AM
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Originally Posted by FreakyLocz14 View Post
U.S. and U.K. marriage laws are very different. In our system of divided powers between the federal and state governments, marriage is a state issues, and many states have have legalized same-sex marriage.
Ha, less than 1/5 of the states allow same sex couples to get married. That's hardly what I'd call "many." It's more like just a few.

And to put this into a different perspective, as a neighbour of yours to the north, Canada has been ahead of the US is virtually every civil rights issue, including slavery and women's rights. And the way this country separates the powers between province and country is a whole lot closer to how the U.S. government works compared to how the U.K. government works.

It's not the system of government that makes the difference. It's the attitudes of the people that does. And the U.S., in my experience (yes I've visited on several occasions), is not a very friendly place for people who are gay. I am more free here, as a Canadian, than I would be had I been born American.

The U.S.A. - Land of the free, unless you're gay.
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Old April 3rd, 2013, 01:00 AM
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I am interested to hear the say of Her Majesty the Queen on this issue. She is the monarch of the U.K. and, at the same time, the 'Supreme Governor' of the English Church.
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Old April 3rd, 2013, 01:34 AM
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I am interested to hear the say of Her Majesty the Queen on this issue. She is the monarch of the U.K. and, at the same time, the 'Supreme Governor' of the English Church.
The Queen does virtually nothing around here, haha. I can't remember, in my 15 years of having lived in this country, her doing anything of major importance other than bringing in a ton of tourism money. I guess it'd be interesting to hear what she has to say but her opinion probably won't come into this too much.

Anyway - I'd like to bring focus back to what Mr Cat Dog posted earlier;
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Originally Posted by Mr Cat Dog
Just for reference, it hasn't been legalized yet, and still actually has a fair bit to go.

The bill has only been passed by the House of Commons and still needs to be passed by the House of Lords (i.e. the equivalent of a Senate in most other countries). Indeed, because of the heavily Conservative party majority in that house, it will probably have a tougher ride getting through that House. The bill passing in the Commons is certainly an optimistic sign (although, given opinion polls broadly expressing favour in the UK for gay marriage, it would have been a massive shock had it been defeated), and that's something to be proud of, but it's not out of the woods yet.
Anyone know where we stand now?
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Old April 3rd, 2013, 08:47 AM
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The Queen has no real power of her own- she has de-facto stepped aside from politics and religion alike. The Prime Minister is the leader of the Government and the Archbishop of Canterbury is the leader of the Church, and the "Royal Consent" means that the Queen will just sit and nod at everything they decide in her name. So if the Parliament passes a law legalizing same-sex marriage, she'll just say "okay". I doubt she'll even give a personal opinion as it could be understood as "putting pressure on Parliament". And the House of Commons will not allow any Monarch to even enter the building, much less to allow her opinions to interfere.

Quote:
Anyone know where we stand now?
It has passed the Comitee stage, it will move into the Report stage for last-time amendments and then for a third reading in the Commons. If the law passes again (which, seeing how the second reading went, it's a given), it will go into The Other Place for the same procedure (two readings, comitee, report, last reading), and then back to the Commons for a review of the Lords' proposed amendments. If they don't like them, an extra year will be needed to override them and pass the Commons' version.
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Old April 3rd, 2013, 09:25 AM
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It's also much more difficult for a UK Conservative MP to come out supporting the Bill because the party leader has a firmer control on their party as well as their member's careers. But the fact that party leader Cameron and his cabinet voting for the bill and half his party voting against is amazing. Because their careers are now at stake, and it'll be very easy for future party leaders to sideline them for not keeping up with modernizing the party.
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