Main | Tuesday, February 05, 2013

LIVE VIDEO: Britain's House Of Commons Debates Marriage Equality Bill
UPDATE: Vote Coming Any Minute

It's happening right now and you can watch live. A vote on this second reading is expected sometime around 2PM New York City time. (Or maybe earlier!) The Guardian is running a live blog.

UPDATE: Governmental processes are usually such a dreary drudge to witness, but there is nothing more entertaining than the back-and-forth acidic sniping in the House of Commons.

UPDATE II: Here's what should happen today.
At second reading the House debates the whole principle of the bill. It usually takes place no sooner than two weekends after first reading.  The Member in charge or the Minister moves the motion ‘that the bill be now read a second time’. MPs then debate the bill. At the end of the debate the Speaker determines whether there are any objections to the motion being debated and asks for the Ayes and Noes.

Members voice their opinion, and if no objections are made, the bill passes second reading without a vote. If the Speaker believes Members have voiced disagreement a division is called and a vote taken. If the Bill passes second reading and the programme motion is agreed, the Bill will go to a Public Bill Committee for consideration. At a Public Bill Committee, each clause (part) and any amendments (proposals for change) to the Bill may be debated. MPs table amendments they wish to be considered.
UPDATE III: I've pushed this post back to the top because it appears that the vote may come any minute now.  Over 70 MPs (from both sides of the issue) have spoken so far, but the original schedule called for a free vote by 7PM London time.
UPDATE IV: After the chair ruled that the House is in DIVISION (he shouted that, actually), an individual vote is now taking place.

UPDATE V: The initial vote is 400 to 175 in FAVOR of marriage equality. More procedural stuff now taking place. Stand by.

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