UK: House of Lords Advances Marriage Equality Bill By Huge Margin – What’s Next?

Written by scott on June 4th, 2013

Westminster PalaceJust yesterday, the marriage equality bill was expected to barely squeak through the House of Lords, if at all. But how things can change in a day. Gay USA reports:

The United Kingdom’s House of Lords approved a bill that would legalize same-sex marriage in a voice vote, the British newspaper the Guardian reports. “The Lords voted by 390 votes to 148 to reject an attempt by Lord Dear, a crossbencher, to defeat the bill at second reading,” the newspaper writes. “It is very unusual for the Lords to block a bill at second reading and some peers may have been voting against Dear because they were opposed to the idea of the Lords trying to obstruct legislation in this way, not because they were great supporters of the bill.”

Baroness Jenkins, a conservative member, said her sons would have been ashamed of her if she had voted against it. Pink News reports:

As others have said, the polls all show younger people to be overwhelmingly in favour of the Bill. My own sons have said that they are proud of me, their father, and indeed their grandfather, for supporting the Bill, and would have been ashamed had we voted against it. We need to recognise that for conservatism to work, we have to accept that the world changes. If we do not, we become an anachronism.

Another supporter, Lord Carlile, thinks allowing gays and lesbians into the club will reinvigorate marriage. Pink News reports:

I suggest that this is far from the end of marriage as we know it. Indeed, it may be the reinvigoration of marriage in a way that we do not yet know. The Bill offers the prospect of strong new examples of marriage, such as my daughters, and an increase in family stability, which these additional marriages would bring.

Lord Dear, who had sponsored the “wrecking amendment” that could have derailed the bill, didn’t go down without a fight. Dot429 reports:

Lord Dear had planned to derail the marriage equality plans for several months. In April he told 429Magazine the proposal was “cataclysmic and knee-jerk” and that instituting equal marriage would in fact “put gay rights back several decades.” “To pretend the word [marriage] is exactly the same for something with fundamental biological or physiological differences is muddling up sameness and equality,” said Lord Dear. “I do not believe there has been proper consideration of the unforeseen consequences, including major damage to the position of homosexual couples by focusing on an issue which isn’t supported.”

Not quite sure how giving gays equal marriage rights would have “put gay rights back several decades”, but whatever. Our opponents, always looking out for us.

Supporters outside were jubilant, as Gay Star News reports:

The news of the vote was greeted with cheers, blowing whistles and even the start of a conga-line dance by pro-gay marriage campaigners outside the House of the Lords, reports GSN’s reporter on the scene, Rakshita Patel, who sent us this photo. She reports anti-gay marriage protesters also present appeared very disheartened by the result.

So what happens next? France 24 reports:

Today’s vote sends the pending legislation to a committee, after which it will be sent through the report stage, then returned to the House of Lords for third reading and final vote. If the bill passes each of those hurdles, it will be sent to the queen for her signature into law, also known as Royal Assent.

SDGLN has more details:

The bill now goes to committee in the House of Lords, where every line of the bill will be scrutinized. The overwhelming support today makes it all but certain that marriage equality will come to England and Wales within the next year.

I hope it’s not gonna be a whole ‘nuther year!

From Joe.My.God – here’s the process these bills go through in the UK.

UK Bills

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in the United Kingdom.


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