The introduction of gay marriage moved another step closer to becoming law after legislation cleared a major hurdle in the House of Lords.
France's first same-sex marriage is a major test for a country that has seen violent protests over the new legislation in recent days.
In an article for ITV News, Conservative councillor Mary Douglas talks gay marriage and urges David Cameron to return to 'core values'.
Plans to allow same-sex marriage survived a Conservative backlash after a fraught debate in the House of Commons.
An amendment which supporters warned could derail the legislation altogether was easily defeated after the Government reached an agreement with Labour.
The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill now looks set to be approved by MPs tomorrow - but is likely to meet stiff resistance in the House of Lords.
A bid by a Tory opponent of gay marriage to extend civil partnerships to heterosexual couples attracted 70 supporters in a free vote - far fewer than the 100-plus anticipated by some critics.
Ex-minister Tim Loughton insisted it was not a "wrecking amendment" and was a move backed by the public and many advocates of same-sex marriage.But the change - which Culture Secretary Maria Miller said would impose significant delays and costs - was defeated by a majority of 305.
Divisions over plans to legalise gay marriage were exposed tonight as 70 MPs voted for a "wrecking" amendment designed to scupper the Government's controversial Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill by allowing straight couples to take up civil partnerships.
- An amendment to allow registrars to opt out of conducting same-sex marriages received the support of 150 MPs in a Commons vote tonight
- The MPs - many expected to be Tory backbenchers - had signed an amendment which if passed would have allowed registrars to opt out of carrying out gay marriages
- The 150 MPs represents a significant opposition to the Government's plans. But they were defeated in the House of Commons by 340 MPs, Government majority 190
MPs are debating the Coaliton's controversial plans for gay marriage in the Commons this evening. Knowing he'd lost support for the plans from his own side to lose, the Prime Minister has cut a deal with Labour to get it though.
The temporary pact should see this historic measure through the Commons.
Political Correspondent Libby Weiner reports:
The Prime Minister's spokesman has hinted the Government will accept a Labour amendment tonight on extending civil partnerships - a move that should ensure the Same Sex Marriages Bill becomes law.
The Culture Secretary Maria Miller had argued for a lengthy consultation over five years about whether civil partnerships should be extended to included heterosexual couples. Labour today put forward a Manuscript Note - a form of amendment - demanding an immediate consultation.
– David Cameron's spokesman
The Manuscript Note is entirely consistent with the Secretary of State's amendment, which is that there should be a full consultation within five years.
The implication is that the Government and Labour can reach agreement, to ensure the Same Sex Marriage bill goes through.
Tory MP Tim Loughton has denied accusations he is trying to "wreck" the passage of the Government's gay marriage bill with an amendment on civil partnerships.
The divisions over same-sex marriage, though, only add more storm clouds over Westminster for David Cameron at a difficult time for the Conservative Party, as ITV News' Political Correspondent Libby Wiener reports:
Labour's tabling of an amendment will see a free vote for the party's MPs.
The amendment calls for a consultation on civil partnerships for same-sex couples to happen immediately, rather than in five years' time as the Government has pledged.
Labour does not want it to jeopardise the passage of the gay marriage bill.
So if the amendment is accepted, the Labour front bench will not back Tory MP Tim Loughton's amendment, which has been condemned by some as a "wrecking" measure.
Yvette Cooper and Ed Miliband will not discuss yet, though, what will happen if the party's proposed alteration to the gay marriage bill is not accepted.
Labour has launched a bid to save a Government bill to legalise gay marriage, amid fears that a "wrecking amendment" extending civil partnerships to heterosexual couples could stall the legislation.
The party has put forward its own amendment, which would spark an immediate consultation on straight civil partnerships.
Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper urged the Coalition to make a "sensible" response to the proposal to prevent the bill being "sucked into the vortex of Tory infighting", adding:
– Yvette Cooper, speaking to BBC Radio 4's World at One
Labour votes have got this bill through so far and Labour votes will get this through the next couple of days, when the Government is deeply divided and fighting itself.
We are trying to find a sensible way through which allows us to make that progress and make sure this bill is not derailed either by the Government or by Tory backbenchers.