In a landmark vote, the British House of Commons elected to legalize same-sex marriage on a vote of 400-175, a better than two to one margin, and a major victory for one of the key civil rights movements of our time. Conservatives were split, with 136 voting against gay marriage, 127 voting for it, and 35 abstaining.
British Prime Minister David Cameron has described legalizing same-sex marriage as "an important step forward" that strengthens society.
Nick Clegg, Deputy Prime Minister and leader of the Liberal Democrats, was thrilled with the vote:
"Tonight's vote shows Parliament is very strongly in favour of equal marriage.
"No matter who you are and who you love, we are all equal. Marriage is about love and commitment, and it should no longer be denied to people just because they are gay.
"The Liberal Democrats have long fought for equal marriage. It is party policy and I am proud that the Liberal Democrats are part of the coalition government that are making it happen."
Legal gay marriage has not yet completed its journey to the law books. The vote showed that the House of Commons supports the legislation on principle and will give it closer scrutiny. One would have to think that the resounding support for gay marriage--the vote was not close--shows that same-sex marriage will soon be passed by the House of Commons. It will still have to make it through the House of Lords, where Conservative leader David Burrowes predicted it would face stronger opposition:
"We do respect the equal value of men and women, but surely that doesn't avoid us looking and celebrating difference, and marriage is a great way of celebrating the difference between a man and a woman."
If the House of Commons vote and David Cameron's support are any indication, gay marriage will soon be legal in Britain.