Splits expected as MPs prepare to debate gay marriage

Splits expected as MPs prepare to debate gay marriage;

Plans to legalise same-sex marriage in England and Wales return to the Commons later, amid continuing opposition from some Conservative activists and MPs.

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The Marriage Bill was approved by a 225-vote majority when it was last debated by MPs in February, but nearly half of all Tories voted against it and many party activists remain deeply opposed to it in principle. Some critics have tabled an amendment saying heterosexual couples should be able to have civil partnerships.

But ministers call this a “complicated distraction” which may delay the bill.

David Cameron has said the bill would help build a stronger and fairer society, and the bill also has the backing of the Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and Labour Leader Ed Miliband.

Far from being a wrecking measure, some of the strongest support for my amendment to extend civil partnerships comes from the biggest supporters of same-sex marriage in the Labour and Lib Dem parties” – Tim Loughton MP

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