Tuesday 5 February 2013

Equal Civil Marriage Vote

At the start of  the 2012 Reading Pride march

I hope Equal Civil Marriage is supported today in the House of Commons as I believe anybody wishing to pledge to spend the rest of their life in a loving relationship should be able to marry their partner.

Society's view is ever evolving and it is time gay couples received the same dignity and respect for their long-term relationships as straight couples.  I have come to this view as I hope others not yet there will do so soon.

Update:  The vote was carried with 400 in favour and 175 against.  Here in Reading Rob Wilson MP abstained (read his statement) and Alok Sharma MP voted in favour. 

I watched much of the debate and was particularly moved by Mike Freer MP's speech.  He has had a partnership for the last 21 years and 6 years ago entered into his civil partnership. 

He said "My civil partnership was our way of saying to my friends and my family, this is who I love, this is who I am, this is who I wish to spend the rest of my life with...  I'm not asking for special treatment, I'm simply asking for equal treatment..."

"But sometimes leadership is doing what is right not what is popular and I congratulate the Prime Minster on leading on this."

Margot James MP and Nick Herbert MP also spoke particularly well and I agreed with what I heard of David Lammy MP's speech too.

It was right that MPs were given a free vote and across the board each MP chose to support, abstain or vote against.