The Daily Mail this morning reports on the 118 Conservative MPs who have written to constituents indicating their opposition to gay marriage proposals. The Mail says "Their opposition has been expressed in letters and emails sent to constituents who have contacted them with their own concerns", and points out that if these MPs voted against proposals, it would constitute the biggest Tory rebellion in modern times. However, Equalities Minister (and Secretary of State for Culture) Maria Miller pointed out on Twitter that since any vote on the issue would be a free vote, it would not technically be counted as a rebellion.
Can someone start a live-blogging thread? The debate is just getting started...
It would be good to a positively-angled thread title, since gay marriage will become legal in the UK today by all polls, rather than this negative framing that links to dinosaur Tories.
Yes I agree, R2.
R1 BBC Parliament are streaming it and the Guardian have a live blog.
[quote]gay marriage will become legal in the UK today by all polls
If it passes, I'm assuming it won't be by much.
It won't truly pass today. This is just one stage.
There are 303 Tory MPs OP. There are 257 Labour MPs only around 15 of which will oppose the bill and there are 57 Lib Dem Mps I believe with at least 50 plus in favour of the bill. It will pass easily to a next reading today.
• David Cameron has been accused of adopting "Orwellian" tactics as traditionalist Tory MPs have lambasted the government for bringing forward legislation for equal marriage without a proper mandate. MPs have been debating the bill for more than four hours now and the debate has confirmed that the Conservative party is deeply split on the gay marriage bill. Cameron was not present for the opening of the debate, which has seen Conservative MPs criticise the bill on the grounds that it was not included in the Conservative manifesto, that there is little public demand for it, that it will alter the traditional definition of marriage and that it creates a theoretical risk of churches being forced to conduct gay weddings against their will. But Maria Miller, the culture secretary, said gay people had a right to get married.
That's really good if only 118 oppose gay marriage.