During the debate, one of the Baronesses came out. Pink News reports:
In yesterday’s House of Lords debate on the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill, Baroness Liz Barker stood to make a speech in which she spoke of her love for another woman – revealing publicly for the first time that she, herself, is in a same-sex relationship. The Liberal Democrat peer, who was among the first to speak, said she had to “declare an interest”. “Many years ago, I had the great good fortune to meet someone,” she said. “She and I have loved each other ever since.”
On the flip side, Lord Hylton, a marriage equality opponent, objected to the use of the word “gay”. Pink News reports:
I regret very much that the fine old English and French word “gay” has, in my lifetime, been appropriated by a small but vocal minority of the population. The result is that it can no longer be used in its original and rather delightful meaning. Now, under the pretext of securing equality, Her Majesty’s Government are proposing to change the meaning of marriage.
Another opponent, Lord Tebbit, revisited the tired old theme that the gays already have equality – they can marry the opposite sex just like everyone else. Pink News reports:
My Lords, this bill is promoted as a measure to end a discrimination against homosexuals, but the present law of marriage does not discriminate against homosexuals. The rights of a homosexual man are identical to mine. Subject to the laws on incest and bigamy, we are each free to marry a woman. Neither he nor I may marry another man. Our positions are identical. If it were to be held that the wish of a homosexual man to marry another man being thwarted by law was proof of discrimination, then the law forbidding polygamy would equally be proof of discrimination.
They say these things as if they think they are being so clever, when really they’re just tired old retreads of arguments that make no sense and have long been discredited.
Gay Web Source has photos of the vigil outside Parliament:
As Peers debated The Marriage (same-sex) Bill in the House of Lords yesterday, scores of gay rights supporters turned up to listen to the London Gay Men’s Chorus (LGMC) sing, wave their banners and bask in the glorious evening sun.
And finally, the Archbishop of Canterbury put in his two cents. Pink News reports:
Despite saying he supported equality, and condemning the use of homophobic language as “shocking”, Justin Welby then went on to say that he would not support the bill, because, he said the bill “weakens what exists, and replaces it with a less good option that is neither equal nor effective.” He continued that marriage would be “abolished, redefined and recreated, being different and unequal for different categories”, describing “the new marriage of the bill”, as an “awkward shape”, as it would contain same-sex and opposite sex couples.
Towleroad.com has a live feed – the vote will likely be at around 10 AM Eastern in the US.