The UK’s gay marriage bill is finally back on the table, with debate planned in the House of Commons on May 20 and 21st. Pink News reports:
The bill’s remaining stages will be debated on 20 and 21 May, Leader of the Commons Andrew Lansley told MPs on Thursday. If the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill is approved on 21 May, it will then pass to the Lords for further scrutiny. A group of MPs has been taking detailed evidence on the proposals in a public committee since February. The House of Commons Public Bill Committee received testimony from both advocates and critics of the bill.
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg is hopeful that gays and lesbians will be able to marry by this summer in the UK.
In recent weeks, Prime Minister David Cameron has once again been on the receiving end of criticism for pushing for marriage equality. Another such attack came yesterday from MP Dr. William McCrea, who sided the absence of the bill in the “Queen’s Speech” as an indication that the government was no longer pushing the marriage quality but so hard. Pink News reports:
In February, Conservative Equalities Minister Helen Grant dismissed this claim, saying: “It was in the Contract for Equalities that was published at the same time as the Conservative General Election manifesto. It was quite clear what our intentions may well be.” Downing Street said yesterday there was no need for the bill to be in the speech because it was a “carry-over” measure introduced midway through the last session.
McCrea went on to add:
“The prime minister should reflect on whether parliamentary time should be devoted to pushing through the redefinition of marriage. No party has a mandate for that change, and many Conservative activists who have deserted to UKIP have cited the government’s pushing that legislation through this Parliament as showing that they are out of touch with the day-to-day concerns of ordinary voters.”
And yet, marriage equality is a day to day concern for many ordinary gay and lesbian voters. And their families. And their close friends. Perhaps Dr. McCrea doesn’t count LGBT folks as constituents?