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MPs tonight overwhelmingly backed David Cameron's controversial plan to legalise gay marriage. After more than six hours of bitter debate, the Commons voted in favour of same-sex weddings by 400 votes to 175, a majority of 225. The Prime Minister risked the embarrassment of having to rely on Labour and Lib Dem MPs to secure victory, with more than 100 Tories predicted to vote against the measure.
But tonight he took to Twitter to defend the policy in the face of the biggest Tory rebellion in history.
MPs are set to get their first chance to vote on plans to allow same-sex marriages in England and Wales. The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill will be debated in Parliament on Tuesday 5 February, the leader of the Commons Andrew Lansley has announced.
The bill will allow same-sex marriage and let religious organisations which want to, to offer them, the culture department says. The plans have divided the Conservative Party - its MPs will get a free vote.
Numerous gay couples across Maryland will be celebrating the New Year with a bumper toast as they share the occasion with their marriages, the first to be conducted following a referendum to legislate for marriage equality.
The US state of Maryland voted in favour of civil equal marriage in November with 52.4% of voters backing equality.
In the run up to the vote, Hollywood actor Brad Pitt agreed to donate $100,000 (£62,000) to help the Human Rights Campaign raise money for its efforts to support equal marriage initiatives in several US states, including Maryland.
More than three in five voters support David Cameron's wish to introduce gay marriage, according to a poll conducted for the Guardian. The strong backing for a change in the law comes after the archbishop of Westminster queried the democratic legitimacy of the coalition plans.
The Chief Executive of Barnardo’s, Anne Marie Carrie, has welcomed the government’s decision to allow gay couples to marry from 2013. Writing for PinkNews.co.uk, she says it will be of enormous benefit to gay parents and their children. Amid the debate around equal marriage rights for gay couples, very little has been said about the importance of this move for children and young people.
Is America growing more liberal? It depends. On the subject of gay marriage the answer is yes. Legalizing marijuana? Yes. But the Washington Post’s Aaron Blake reports that the nation is trending more conservative when it comes abortion and gun control.
118 Conservative MPs could potentially vote against government plans to legalise marriage rights for gay couples the Daily Mail has reported. The story was carried large on Saturday’s front page and has been written by the paper’s columnist Andrew Pierce
Mr Pierce has previously voiced his opposition to equal marriage despite claiming to be a supporter of gay rights. According to the Mail, 118 out of 303 Conservative MPs have reportedly written to their constituents about their unease over the policy.