Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

AFRICA NEWS

Search of Air Algerie crash site continues

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Sarkozy, Hollande and the scooter wars

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Confusion online over Air Algérie flight

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - July 25th, 2014 (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - July 25th, 2014

Read more

REPORTERS

Halal tourism on the rise

Read more

ENCORE!

Tunisia's Carthage International Festival turns 50

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

WWI Centenary: the battle for Verdun

Read more

THE BUSINESS INTERVIEW

When big companies want to do good

Read more

  • In pictures: Debris and devastation at Air Algérie Flight AH5017 crash scene

    Read more

  • Kerry heads to Paris for new round of Gaza peace talks

    Read more

  • ‘No survivors’ from Algerian plane crash, says Hollande

    Read more

  • Paris bans new Gaza protest scheduled for Saturday

    Read more

  • Tour de France fans bring the ambience to the Pyrenees

    Read more

  • French families grieve for Algerian plane crash victims

    Read more

  • Protest against Gaza offensive turns deadly in West Bank

    Read more

  • Halal tourism on the rise

    Read more

  • LA Times wipes France off the map in air crash infographic

    Read more

  • Lithuania’s Navardauskas wins 19th stage of Tour de France

    Read more

  • French lawyer files complaint against Israel at ICC

    Read more

  • Ukraine names acting PM after Yatseniuk's shock resignation

    Read more

  • BNP to pay $80 million for defrauding Dept of Agriculture

    Read more

  • Deadly strike on UN shelter in Gaza Strip

    Read more

  • Pope meets Christian woman sentenced to death in Sudan

    Read more

Europe

British MPs back same-sex marriage legislation

© AFP

Video by Bénédicte PAVIOT

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2013-02-05

British MPs on Tuesday voted overwhelmingly in favour of a bill to legalise same-sex marriages in England and Wales, despite the opposition of dozens of conservative MPs.

British lawmakers on Tuesday voted overwhelmingly in favor of a bill to legalize same-sex marriage championed by Prime Minister David Cameron, despite stronger-than-expected opposition from within his Conservative Party.

In a first House of Commons vote, lawmakers voted 400 to 175 in support of the legislation. There was strong support from the left-leaning Labour Party and Liberal Democrats party, but many Conservatives rejected the proposals.

The bill will have to go through more detailed parliamentary debates and a vote in the House of Lords, where a vote in favor is likely given the strong support Tuesday. If it becomes law, the proposed bill would enable same-sex couples to get married in both civil and religious ceremonies, provided that the religious institution consents.

The debate on gay marriage rages on both sides of the Channel

Earlier, Cameron - who did not attend the debate - said passing the bill is “an important step forward” for Britain.

“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,” he said. “This is, yes, about equality. But it is also about making our society stronger.”

Officials have stressed that all religious organizations can decide for themselves if they want to “opt in” to holding gay weddings. However, the Church of England, the country’s official faith, is barred from performing such ceremonies unless it changes its laws.

The bill would also allow couples who had previously entered into civil partnerships to convert their relationship into a marriage.

Critics say the proposals would change long-standing views about the meaning of marriage. Some Conservatives also fear the proposals would cost the party a significant number of votes in the next election.

“Marriage is the union between a man and a woman, has been historically, remains so. It is Alice in Wonderland territory, Orwellian almost, for any government of any political persuasion to seek to come along and try to re-write the lexicon,” Conservative lawmaker Roger Gale said.

If passed, the bill’s provisions would come into effect in 2015, ahead of the next British general election.

(AP)

Date created : 2013-02-05

  • FRANCE

    French parliament debates gay marriage bill

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    Thousands gather in Paris for pro-gay marriage rally

    Read more

  • USA

    US Supreme Court to take on gay marriage

    Read more

COMMENT(S)