Political Animal


February 05, 2013 3:37 PM Marriage Equality Advances in Europe

By Ed Kilgore

While the American chattering classes have been mainly absorbed with the spectacle of the GOP’s creaky and self-exculpatory “reinvention” efforts, there were major breakthroughs in the legalization of same-sex marriage in both France and in the UK.

The key vote in the British House of Commons was held today, with a marriage equality measure supported by the leaders of all three major parties passing by a 400-175 vote. But if there were a British version of the Hastert Rule requiring majority support from within the governing party, there could have been trouble, since David Cameron’s Tories split 139-132 against their prime minister’s initiative.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.


  • Nancy Cadet on February 05, 2013 4:45 PM:

    In France, the "marriage for all" bill passed with an overwhelming Socialist majority; this was one of their campaign pledges . It involves adding just a few words to the already existing legal definition of marriage :"or between two persons of the same sex." the right wingers tried to add hundreds of amendments such as an opt-out for mayors who objected to performing the civil ceremony, but the Socialist and allied majority just rolled over them. The next related bill, concerning gay adoption and medically assisted reproduction (which is tightly controlled in France) was postponed; this is a much thornier issue due to longstanding French "natality" policies.

    When I asked a French friend why Hollande was pushing through the marriage equality bill when Rance has so much trouble with unemployment and a slow economy , he said "it costs nothing and it was a campaign promise with a due date." Holande is also a prime spokesperson for the anti-austerity forces in Europe.

  • boatboy_srq on February 05, 2013 5:01 PM:

    The only thing that dims my joy at this announcement is the knowledge that there's now one more policy item the Reichwing can bleat about as "godless soshulism" or [gasp] "French."