British MPs were expected on May 21 to pass a bill to legalise same-sex marriage.
But its approval only comes through an agreement between Conservative prime minister David Cameron and the opposition Labour Party, since some 150 traditionalist right-wing MPs - nearly half of those representing the ruling party - were expected to vote against it.
Although the bill has widespread public support, it further divides the Conservatives, who are already split over the question of membership in the European Union.
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