Gay Marriage debate Live!
Gay Marriage debate Live!

David Cameron has won his parliamentary fight to legalise gay marriage in the UK.

MPs voted by 400 to 175 to allow couples of the same sex to tie the knot in the same way as heterosexual partners.

The free vote came at the end of an all-day parliamentary debate at which some 70 MPs, pro and anti, spoke.

The prime minister set out to face down critics on his own party benches by pushing ahead with the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill. Up to 180 Tories were expected to vote against.

Labour and Liberal Democrats had pledged to support the plan, meaning the bill was expected to pass. One Tory MP who opposed the plan, Enfield Southgate member David Burrowes, claimed that he and his children had received death threats over his stance.

The debate has generated passionate opinions on both sides of the debate.

IBTimes UK details the arguments in full here.

Cameron did not open the debate on the bill because of a diplomatic meeting. Equalities minister Maria Miller commended it from the dispatch box.

She said: "What marriage offers us all is a lifelong partner to share our journey, a loving stable relationship to strengthen us and a mutual support throughout our lives.

"I believe this is something that should be embraced by more couples.

"The depth of feeling, love and commitment is no different between same-sex couples than opposite-sex couples."

Labour MP Toby Perkins, a married Christian, revealed  his mother came out as gay when he was growing up in Sheffield. He called the revelation a challenge.

Conservative MP Sir Roger Gale labelled the proposed legislation "Orwellian." He said: "People of faith will find their faith trampled on. Marriage is the union between man and women. It is Orwellian for a government to rewrite the lexicon."

Liberal Democrat Steve Gilbert, who is gay, compared the bill to another piece of equalities legislation - equalising the age of consent. He said that that had "changed my life".

A rare voice of opposition on the Labour benches came from Jim Dobbin MP who opposed the bill on the grounds that it "highlighted divisons" with clauses such as "a civil partnership is only available to same-sex couples".

 He said he could not support the bill because it contained "so many pitfalls".

"It is hasty and destructive,"  he said.