House of Commons passes 2nd reading of marriage equality bill

UPDATE: The entire 4 hour debate is here

Update: the House of Commons passed the legislation 400-175.

BBC is live streaming the marriage equality debate today.:

The bill will legalise gay marriage and enables same-sex couples to get married in both civil and religious ceremonies, where a religious institution had formally consented, in England and Wales.

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

Conservative and Labour MPs have been given a free vote on the bill but the debate around same-sex marriage has opened up significant differences within the Conservative party – up to 150 Tory MPs are expected to defy the prime minister and vote against the bill.

But a group of 50 senior Conservative activists have warned that opposing gay marriage could “risk alienating the voters we will need in 2015”.

Watch it here

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