What does Equal Marriage mean?

Today, Tuesday 5 February 2013, in a landmark and media splashed vote, the House of Commons voted to pass the Government's Equal Marriage Bill. I am excited and although already civilly partnered I am excited that I could ask my wife again to "Marry Me" and have that mean something, and a change in the status of our relationship. It would be a political decision to "upgrade" our CP but one which I think is worth making.

I have a lot of difficulty understanding that my right to see my love validated in law equally to a heterosexual couples' should be a political decision and not one left to the choice of the couples concerned. That it came to this media frenzied vote, that although victorious included 175 MPs across all parties (mostly Conservatives) voting against the Bill, and even high profile MPs such as Gordon Brown absteining from voting at all.

Much has been made of the debate, as people who would never normally consider tuning into the Parliament Channel did so today. Many debate comments were being reposted over social media, some of my favourites (good and bad) include:

  • 'I am voting against gay marriage because I am a conservative'
  • introducing same sex marriages in other countries has led to a decline in heterosexual marriages
  • It's about language, gay people want to be able to say they are married 
  • Allowing same-sex couples to marry won't weaken marriage. It will strengthen it.
  • There will be no adultery in same-sex marriages (sic) 

However, now it is well on the way to the lawmakers deciding I could get married rather than "civilly partnered", although there are still a few more steps in the process and there still may be a battle for the Act to pass through the House of Lords.

Read about the updates of the debate as it progressed today in the Guardian's live politics blog.

The full detail of the Act & its timescales for Ascension

You can read the full detail of the second debate here