UK parliament backs gay marriage

Reuters
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After six hours of debate in the lower house of commons on Tuesday British parliamentarians vote in favor of legalizing gay marriage.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) SPEAKER, JOHN BERCOW, ANNOUNCING RESULT:

"The Ayes to the right - 400. The Nos to the left - 175. So the Ayes have it, the Ayes have it. Unlock."

Despite the overwhelming support-there was some opposition.

Conservative lawmakers were split on the issue with some saying the government had no mandate to push through laws that amount to quote "massive social and cultural change."

Right before the vote, Prime Minsiter David Cameron voiced his support for the measure.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) BRITISH PRIME MINISTER, DAVID CAMERON, SAYING:

"I am a big believer in marriage. It helps people commit to each other and I think gay people should be able to to get married too. And in the end, that's what it is about, saying this is a great institution. Don't stop gay people getting married. Allow them to do that and society will be stronger as a result."

The legislation is still several stages away from becoming law.

Right now, gay and lesbians are allowed to enter into civil partnerships in the UK, but ceremonies are only allowed at civil registry offices with no religious content.

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