The UK's Conservative government has passed a marriage equality bill by 400 to 175:
[UK Prime Minister David] Cameron, who described gay marriage as “an important step forward for our country”, smiled broadly as the result was revealed. [Deputy PM] Nick Clegg called the vote “a landmark for equality in Britain”. [Opposition leader] Ed Miliband said it was “a proud day”.
However, the details of the vote quickly showed that Mr Cameron’s decision to push through the legislation has left him in a minority within his own party over the issue.
The result followed a debate in which several gay MPs made impassioned arguments for the change in the law. Mike Freer, the Conservative MP for Finchley and Golders Green, appealed directly to his party colleagues over the vote, declaring: “I am not asking for special treatment. I am simply asking for equal treatment.”
The United Kingdom has a state church and a right-leaning government. The U.S. has a constitutional prohibition against a state church and has a left-leaning government. Yet the UK passed marriage equality before most legislatures in the U.S.
I remember fondly when the U.S. was a beacon of freedom and tolerance in the world. Maybe it will be again, someday.