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MPs back gay marriage, but it’s not the Tory result Cameron was hoping for

5 February 2013

More Tory MPs have voted against gay marriage than have voted for it, with initial estimates from the vote (which was won 400 votes to 175) suggest 139 Tories voted against the legislation and 132 voted in favour. This was not the result that David Cameron was hoping for when his government introduced gay marriage legislation.

Of course, tonight’s division was a free vote. Many of those Tories who voted no are fierce Cameron loyalists—think of Michael Fallon. But everyone knew which way the Tory leadership wanted its MPs to vote: tellingly, there was a Tory party press officer in the gallery for the vote.


Tonight’s news is a blow to David Cameron as it shows that a plurality of his MPs do not share his views on gay marriage. This will be written up, with some justification, as a blow to Cameron’s modernisation project. I suspect that a lot of Lords will also point to this division in the largest governing party to justify slowing down passage of the bill.

Those close to the Tory leadership argue that the electorate will pay little attention to tonight’s voting split in 2015. Instead, they argue, that voters will just know that gay marriage has been advanced on Cameron’s watch. But the danger for the Tories is that continued wrangling over this issue makes the country see them as a divided party.

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  • Madjack

    I am astonished to see such smallmindedness here. What is interesting though is how you hide it behind the omnipresent excuse that there are other more important issues to resolve first. You wouldn’t be saying that if your human rights were circumscribed and no doubt homosexuality would still be illegal if it was left up to you as it would never have been a priority. Why you feel so threatened by two people wanting to publicly show commitment to one another is beyond me. It will not cause the fall of civilisation but it will allow young gay people to have good stereotypes to look up to as they grow up and enable them to avoid the pitfalls of earlier generations who needed to ghettoise themselves for protection and support in a very hostile world.

  • andagain

    I have always thought that the last thing a party should do is allow its footsoldiers to have an opinion, much less give anyone a chance to listen to it.

  • Phil Thompson

    This is just another diversion by the Tories. Grave things will pass unnoticed while all argue about a subject which has ALREADY been RESOLVED. Did Mr or Ms Elton John marry a Mr or Ms David Furnish. To any TROLLS, I am one of Elton Johns greatest FANS.

  • chris_xxxx

    Last quarter growth was -0.3%. In January 29 million Romanians and Bulgarians will be able to work and live in the UK. Hundreds of thousands of East Europeans are already working here and average 100,000 a year. There are 400,000 failed asylum seekers in the UK and at least the same of illegals. Judges still use the Human Rights Act to rpevent deporting illegals and criminals.

    And what is on Dave’s mind? Gay marriage.

    I hope that this will cost him the 2015 election. In my limited view, I think he will go next year when they see the polls.

    But then Dave was never a Conservative. He has cosy drinks with Blair in his Number 10 flat and Helena Bonham-Carter has said he’s not very conservative.

  • Adrian Drummond

    Cameron’s just lost the Conservatives the next election.

  • Vulture

    This will be one of the shortest Acts in history. By 2050 a Muslim Govt will have repealed it ( just before abolishing Parliament altogether).

    Enjoy the sunshine while it last guys.

    AS for Dave – the only question left is who is pulling the flabby faced fool’s strings? Sam Cam or the EU or both?

    And as for the Tories: stick a fork in their fat bellies and turn them over. They’re done.

  • Smithersjones2013

    Instead, they argue, that voters will just know that gay marriage has been advanced on Cameron’s watch.

    Hmmmm interesting a Gay Marriage bill which completely avoids gay sexuality is an advance?

  • 2trueblue

    What a waste of valuable time and energy when the country is in dire circumstances. Cameron has lost the plot.

  • alexsandr

    why did the stupid man push this stupid policy? He has managed to divide his party on Europe and now this. what a tw@t!

    • the viceroy’s gin

      This will only makes sense if you accept that LibLabCon is a monolith. They are not rivals, they are joined together, in opposition to those opposing the monolith, on the EU, on gay marriage and so much more.

    • George_Arseborne

      Cameron would have voted against if he was not the PM. He pretends a lot.

  • Londonistar

    Glad Ive moved my vote to UKIP.

  • CraigStrachan

    The will of the Commons is very clear. The Lords will take note.

    • Smithersjones2013

      And then as usual stick two fingers up and punish Cameron’s unnecessary expedience

    • Colonel Mustard

      But it isn’t really. The ‘against’ votes show the level of dissent – over 30%. And of the ‘yes’ votes one wonders how many MPs shrank from the abyss, fearing the label of bigot, of other forms of intimidation, or withdrawal of party advantage, etc.

  • jazz6o6

    I think that the day when small ‘c’ conservatives have had enough is fast approaching.

    • the viceroy’s gin

      I think it’s already here. That fool Dave just opened up an artery, and he’s too stupid to realize it.

      • CraigStrachan

        Well, it shows the Tory Party is half way there on the road to modernity.

        • DrCrackles

          Modernity being the annilhilation of tradtional Britain then the annihilation of the British people.

        • Smithersjones2013

          50 years ago highrise tenements were the height of modernity. Thirty years later they were eyesores that had become the most soulless living accomoddation there was. Then they started blowing them up.

          Modernity is the propaganda of the shallow superficial

          • CraigStrachan

            Ah, yes, but at the same time said highrise tenements were going up, the mid-century moderne style was all the rage in Palm Springs and L.A.

            Somehow I sense that gay marriage is more mid-century moderne than highrise tenement.

            • Smithersjones2013

              Oh dear you really are a victim. The very fact you are talking about ‘gay marriage’ and not just ‘marriage’ shows how modern you are (and what a sham the current legislation proposal is).

              • CraigStrachan

                True enough – in a few years, we’ll all be talking about just ‘marriage’ in relation to marriages gay and straight, and wondering what all the fuss was about.

                • Smithersjones2013

                  Not on this legislation we won’t because this bill proposes heterosexual marriage and gay marriage

                • CraigStrachan

                  That’s okay, I’m fine with heterosexual marriage too.

                • Smithersjones2013

                  Well as long as you are that’s all right then. I’m not sure everyone will be on either side of the debate when the potential opportunities in the legislation are explored.

                • CraigStrachan

                  Yes, the way some of the ” antis” carry on you’d think gay marriage was going to be made compulsory. All this talk about how it will affect heterosexual marriages. Not at all, no way no how. It’s just going to be another option for gay people who choose it. No heterosexual will be forced out of his or her existing marriage and in to a gay one under this legislation. As far as I can tell.

          • Andy

            Modernity is usually the refuge of tyrants.

          • Joegen_M

            High Rise is still popular, just for the rich. A least in central London

            • Smithersjones2013

              You really haven’t a clue what I’m talking about have you?

      • jazz6o6

        The DT this morning published a list of MPs who voted against the measure. I tried to have a small wager with my wife that our useless jobsworth MP John Howell wouldn’t be on it but she wasn’t having any. Quite right too, true to form he wasn’t.
        Henley is a dyed in the wool Tory constituency, but it is also very small ‘c’ conservative and it will be interesting at the next election how much he’s pissed them off.

    • dalai guevara

      We are either ‘progressive’ or we’re not. This vote will not harm anyone in the big religions, as none of them will follow it through. In fact, it is mere Boris Johnsonesk posing. A nice little ad for Britain, just read the response in the international press.

      • Andy

        You reckon. Well lets see how long it takes (once the Bill has Royal Assent) before some ‘same-sex couple’ start moaning and then launch legal action because they can’t be ‘married’ in the Parish Church with bells, bridesmaids and confetti.

      • Colonel Mustard

        Not really. We are either those who seek to narrowly define what is ‘progressive’ and what is not (and those who are not) or those who don’t. ‘Progressive’ is a word adopted and manipulated to pursue ideological imperatives. Was the abolition of grammar schools ‘progressive’? Has the creation of a benefits dependent sub class been ‘progressive’. The NSDAP would no doubt have considered themselves ‘progressive’. Pol Pot undoubtedly thought his policies ‘progressive’ – as did Mao. ‘Progressive’ tends to be what those in the prevailing regime and/or with the loudest voices declare it to be.

        Quite an impostor that old word ‘progressive’, but so useful in an era of impostors.

        • dalai guevara

          Yes, I agree with you on your examples – and I linked the word ‘progressive’ with the phrase ‘Boris Johnsonesque’. That should give you a clue as to what I believe of this particular political media stunt, which will have zero effect on practising Christians, Muslims, Jews and anyone else out there.
          But what we also need to realise is that there is a clear majority in Parliament -as there is in society- for this change. Why else are there so few objections, apart from a certain set of hardline Conservatives who must have seen their world fall apart right in front of their eyes in recent years?

          • Colonel Mustard

            There was a majority but I’m not sure it was ‘clear’. Simply because, as I commented below, we cannot know how many acquiesced because of the level of approbation directed at those labelled ‘bigots’ by the gay lobby. The same goes for polls. I expect there are many who secretly disapprove but dare not say so. That is the nature of the society being developed here – one of coercion, intimidation and conformity.

            • dalai guevara

              Making the point that somehow this case in particular would expose coercion and intimidation is beyond me. And I fear you have also confused conformity with being inclusive.
              No one is asking you or me to be gay, no one is making various groups of religious persuasion administer this sacrement. In fact, I understand the CoE is explicitly excluded from having that option. THAT would be my point of criticism: how and why is the state interfering in religious matters? It ought to underpin what is the moral code of society, and that’s it.

            • dalai guevara

              I note my recent response has been ‘moderated’ out completely. I wonder why?

              1- I was making the point that none of this is in any way more a coercion or intimidation than on any other issue

              2- my second point, the more important one, was that this is not an issue of conformity, but hypocrisy: we find that it is socially acceptable -both by a clear majority in Parliament and in society- to now allow ‘gay marriage’, but the church that underpins the backbone of this society is not given a choice on whether it accepts or rejects such a change. Do we no longer trust Canterbury to make the right call?
              The entire affair must be seen for the blatant state interference in religious matters which it is. This is the real shambles of this ill-conceived media stunt.

      • jazz6o6

        Ah yes ‘progressive’ another word that’s lost it’s meaning.

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