In the end, Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron probably didn't need to go hat-in-hand to Ed Miliband, but the dead-enders in his own party forced him to. Regardless, marriage equality has passed the House of Commons tonight 375-70, will probably pass the House of Lords easily:
But the prime minister, who attempted to reach out to his party by emailing a "personal note" to all members saying that he would never work with anyone who "sneered" at them, suffered the humiliation of having to plead with the Labour party for support. He also saw more than 100 Tory MPs, including the cabinet ministers Iain Duncan Smith and Owen Paterson, vote against him on the first amendment of the day.
The prime minister will understand the dangers of relying on opposition support for a flagship measure after he personally ensured that Tony Blair's schools reforms survived with Tory support in 2006 three months after he became leader. Within months, supporters of Gordon Brown forced Blair to name the date of his departure the following year.
But who could become Tory leader next? William Hague? And how likely would that make an election before 2015?
I'm glad the U.S. isn't the only English-speaking country with swivel-eyed loonies, but still, can you imagine the U.S. House passing marriage equality by the same margin? (366 to 68, for those keeping score at home.) Hell, marriage equality has overwhelming support in Illinois but somehow it can't get to the house floor in Springfield. It's disappointing that the U.K. could have marriage equality before Illinois—but that's fine. The U.K. can teach the U.S. something about conservative values in the meantime.