|Demonstrators led by longtime gay-rights campaigner Peter Tatchell (center) rallied outside Parliament last night as the historic vote was taken on same-sex marriage.|
Last night, the bill to legalize same-sex marriage in Britain passed its second reading in the House of Commons by a vote of 400-175, making it a near certainty that the bill - after being fine-tuned by a Commons committee and passing review by the House of Lords before returning to the lower house for a final vote - will become law before the end of this year. The Telegraph reports:
Channel 4 News gives a brief history of changing attitudes in Britain since the 1950's:
And last Saturday, the lower house of the French Parliament likewise passed the key section of an equal-marriage bill by 249-97; further debate will take place this week before the bill is sent on to the Senate.
As in Britain, political observers expect that France will also have legalized same-sex marriage before year's end. Kudos to Prime Minister Cameron and to President Hollande, who have both taken a bold stand for equality in the face of the usual bigoted opposition and vituperation from the reactionary elements in their respective countries.
Meanwhile, Matt Baume of the American Foundation for Equal Rights gives an update on progress in this country: