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Gay marriage: MPs set to vote on proposals for the first tim

24 January 2013
www.bbc.co.uk

MPs are set to get their first chance to vote on plans to allow same-sex marriages in England and Wales.

The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill will be debated in Parliament on Tuesday 5 February, the leader of the Commons Andrew Lansley has announced.

The bill will allow same-sex marriage and let religious organisations which want to, to offer them, the culture department says.

The plans have divided the Conservative Party - its MPs will get a free vote.

Labour and the Lib Dems back the proposals to legalise same-sex marriage, but Labour said the exemption for the established Church was "disappointing".

The Church of England and Roman Catholics, among other denominations, have voiced opposition to the plans and are expected to oppose the bill, even with its caveats.

But some religious groups, including Quakers, Unitarians and Liberal Judaism, are in favour.  Read more