Figures such as Gordon Brown, David Blunkett, Alistair Darling, Hazel Blears, Margaret Hodge and Margaret Beckett (a member of the National Executive Committee) have still either said nothing, or else, in Blunkett's case, expressed studied ambiguity. Among the officially uncommitted and their constituencies, count the Catholic and Muslim areas, and count the Islamic and Irish names. Again, I always told you so.
The line seems to be, at least for now, that there are 12 avowed Labour opponents: Stephen Timms, Gavin Shuker, Jim Dobbin, Joe Benton, Mary Glindon, Brian Donohoe, Sir Paul Murphy, Stephen Pound, Roger Godsiff, Paul Goggins, Austin Mitchell, and A N Other who joined Timms and Shuker in threatening to resign his or her front bench position if the Whip were imposed.
But free votes are not granted on major pieces of legislation, and that at the Leader's insistence despite fierce opposition from his Deputy and from other Shadow Cabinet members, merely because 12 out of 257 MPs have threatened to rebel if whipped, and three of those have threatened to resign junior front bench positions in order to do so. The true figures are in each case anything up to 10 times greater. You read it here first. Months ago.
It is also notable that Dobbin, Benton, Glindon (a 2010 entrant, like the 31-year-old Shuker and like many of the undeclared), Murphy, Godsiff and Mitchell are all signatories to EDM 1334, the objection to the wider media's discrimination against the Morning Star. Dobbin chairs the All-Party Parliamentary Pro-Life Group, Benton is its Secretary, Glindon is a practising Catholic, Murphy is a Papal Knight and significantly sceptical of Welsh devolution, and Godsiff and Mitchell embody the Keynesian and pro-Commonwealth Euroscepticism of the Old Labour Right.
In other words, when pro-life activists, solid Catholics generally, staunch Welsh Unionists, and the heirs of Gaitskell, are also supporters of the Morning Star because of its trade union links and because of its different perspective on the news, then we are talking about that half-forgotten phenomenon, the Labour Movement. Out of that Movement comes a parliamentary opposition to same-sex "marriage" proportionately comparable to that which comes out of half-forgotten Toryism.
And what of the Lib Dems? We are told that only Gordon Birtwistle is opposed, although he is very strongly so. Well, he does have to defend Burnley. But there are plenty of silent voices from the Old Liberal heartlands of the West Country, the North of Scotland, and Mid Wales. Again, many of those seats are marginal, some of the Scottish ones extremely so. The SNP is likely to abstain, as it does at Westminster on matters devolved to Scotland. This Bill, which is a dog's breakfast even in its own terms, is now in very serious trouble indeed. But then, it always was. Any Bill redefining marriage in this way was always going to be.
The Civil Partnerships Act was a hard-won compromise within the Labour Party. There was never the slightest suggestion that it was a temporary measure on the way to same-sex "marriage". Quite the reverse, in fact. It was the settlement, the deal, the last word. No fewer than 80, and possibly 100, Labour MPs, including figures of the utmost seniority, were always going to continue to take that view in the Division Lobby, partly out of principle, and partly because they had not yet acquired suicidal tendencies in relation to their reselection or re-election.
There was never any serious suggestion that their doing so was going to result in their slightest loss of standing within their party. There is no longer any excuse even for any such unserious suggestion.