Wednesday 6 February 2013

400 to 175

The first hurdle for the same-sex marriage bill has been passed. I'm not entirely sure, but I think 400 votes in favour is the largest show of support there's been for any LGBT equality measure to date. Yes, 175 against...

I tried to juggle lots of things at once during the debate in the Commons including live-tweeting what was being said on @BiCommunityNews - some contributions good and bad will have been missed while I was on the phone to people, talking to people face-to-face, or moving from here to there, but I'll paste a little timeline below.

Watching the debate you'd've thought there was going to be a much tighter result. One after another MPs stood up to grump about the bill: the trouble for most of them being, they'd decided what they thought of it when they got to the idea "it's about the gays", but now had to concoct some bold excuse as to why they were going to vote no that sounded a bit more high principled than "gays have got cooties and if they can marry we might catch it off a registrar".

As ever, indeed from the moment I got the tip-off that this bill was going to be announced, I am a little bit like a rabbit in headlights: I grew up on 80s tabloid hatred and the coming together of Tories and Labour to foist Section 28 on us all. Somehow just two decades later I wound up living on a different planet from all that stuff, even if it is a world with a lot of confused aliens from 80s-world.

There's still a good long way to go before we can marry, though...