A proposal to legalize gay marriage in
England and Wales will face its first vote in Parliament next month.
The measure was introduced Thursday by
MP Maria Miller in the lower chamber, the House of Commons, where it
was given its first reading, a simple formality without debate.
Debate on the bill in the Commons will
take place during a second reading on February 5, the BBC reported.
The Commons consists of 650 members
known as Members of Parliament (MP). According to research by the
Coalition for Equal Marriage, a majority of MPs (330) have publicly
declared their support for the marriage reform. A December poll
conducted for the Guardian showed a majority (62%) of Britons
favor legalizing marriage equality.
Prime Minister David Cameron has
strongly backed the marriage reform.
Cameron on gay marriage: Gay people should participate in “great
The Church of England and Church in
Wales will be exempt from the legislation's provision allowing all
religious organizations to marry gay and lesbian couples. Miller
told the BBC that the exclusion was to avoid a clash between Canon
Law and UK civil law. Several religious groups support the
legislation, including Quakers, Unitarians and Liberal Judaism.
The measure will face a third reading
in the Commons before heading to the House of Lords.