British MPs Vote In Favor Of Gay Marriage

British MPs Vote In Favor Of Gay MarriageMPs have approved same-sex marriage in England and Wales in a key Commons vote, despite the opposition of almost half the Conservative MPs. The Commons voted in favour of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill, by 400 to 175, a majority of 225, at the end of a full day’s debate on the bill.

‘Equality and justice’

Prime Minister David Cameron has described the move as “an important step forward” that strengthens society. Voting lists show that 136 Conservatives opposed the bill. This figure includes two cabinet ministers – Environment Secretary Owen Paterson and Welsh Secretary David Jones – eight junior ministers, and eight whips. Of the remaining Conservative MPs, 127 were in favour, 35 did not vote, and five registered an abstention by voting both in favour and against.

Junior justice minister Helen Grant said: “As Tories we do differ at times. We have squabbles – we’re like any other family.” But she described the legislation as “a major step forward for equality and justice”.


‘Landmark for equality’

Deputy Prime Minister and Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg said: “I genuinely believe that we will look back on today as a landmark for equality in Britain… Tonight’s vote shows Parliament is very strongly in favour of equal marriage… No matter who you are and who you love, we are all equal. Marriage is about love and commitment, and it should no longer be denied to people just because they are gay.”

MPs were given a free vote on the bill, meaning they were not ordered to vote a particular way by party whips. Their decision to back the bill at second reading signifies that they approve of it in principle. The legislation will now receive more detailed parliamentary scrutiny.

How about you — are you for or against gay marriage? Feel free to share your thoughts and opinions regarding this issue!

Source: BBC News

Image: London Evening Standard

‘Omnishambles’ Declared UK’s Word Of The Year

'Omnishambles' Declared UK's Word Of The Year“Omnishambles” has been named word of the year by the Oxford English Dictionary. The word – meaning a situation which is shambolic from every possible angle – was coined in 2009 by the writers of BBC political satire The Thick of It.

‘A word everyone liked’

Other words included “Eurogeddon” – the threatened financial collapse in the eurozone – and “mummy porn” – a genre inspired by the 50 Shades books. The London Olympics threw up several contenders including the verb “to medal”. New words from the world of technology included “second screening” – watching TV while simultaneously using a computer, phone or tablet – and social media popularised the acronym “Yolo”, you only live once.

Fiona McPherson, one of the lexicographers on the judging panel, said: “It was a word everyone liked, which seemed to sum up so many of the events over the last 366 days in a beautiful way.”

Labour leader Ed Miliband, whose phrase “squeezed middle” – referring to those hit hardest by falling living standards – was word of the year in 2011, made the first recorded use of omnishambles in the House of Commons in April.


“Over the last month we have seen the charity tax shambles, the churches tax shambles, the caravan tax shambles and the pasty tax shambles,” said the Labour leader at Prime Minister’s Questions. ”We are all keen to hear the prime minister’s view as to why, four weeks on from the Budget, even people within Downing Street are calling it an omnishambles Budget.”

‘Romneyshambles’

The word swiftly took off as a favourite term of abuse for opposition politicians attacking the government. But it also mutated on social media into humorous new variants such as “Romneyshambles” – used to describe gaffes by US presidential candidate Mitt Romney during his visit to the UK – and omnivoreshambles, referring to the row about a planned badger cull in England and Wales. But there is no guarantee omnishambles, or any of the other shortlisted words, will make it on to the pages of the Oxford English Dictionary.

Do you approve of “omnishambles” as the word of the year? Should it be included in the dictionary?

Source: BBC News

Image: Irish Examiner