UK: Updates on the Marriage Equality Bill

Written by scott on June 7th, 2013

LondonA few new things coming out of the UK on the pending marriage equality bill.

First off, a former MP is trashing Prime Minister Cameron over the bill. Pink News reports:

Former Conservative MP Ann Widdecombe says she wouldn’t have enjoyed being in the current Coalition Government because of its support for equal marriage. Speaking to the Guardian newspaper, Ms Widdecombe said: “I wouldn’t have enjoyed coalition. I certainly would not have been at one with him [Cameron] over gay marriage, and I don’t like this thing of image, image, image.” … “Marriage isn’t about two people; it is the basis for the family. That’s why it’s unique, and therefore I think society can say we’re keeping marriage for a man and a woman.”

Pink News also reports that Labour Lord Alli is advising caution, even though the House of Lords passed the bill on its second reading:

We won the vote, but there is still a long way to go. The further stages of the bill will see opponents deploy every tactic and wheeze to try and scupper the legislation. I am grateful to all of you who have put so much effort into supporting marriage equality, lobbying peers and delivering that fantastic 390 – 148 we saw on Tuesday. But we can’t stop now. The bill comes back in committee the week commencing 17th June, it will have its report stage 8th July and third reading on the 15th July. We need all our supporters with us every step of the way. Please write to those who voted for the bill to thank them. Say how much this legislation means to you. And urge them to be there for the crucial votes that are still to come.

The infamous Lord Dear may also try to “wreck” the bill again. Pink News reports:

In an email to Labour peers, seen by City A.M., Lord Alli states that Lord Dear “has asked for his supporters to be ready” on 17 June to vote for the removal of clause one from the bill. This clause includes the crucial statement that “marriage of same-sex couples is lawful”. A separate email sent to Labour peers says: “We are aware that Lord Dear is intending to put down an amendment to oppose Clause 1 of the bill. This is likely to come fairly early on Monday 17th.”

And finally, also from Pink News, a new poll shows that voters are unlikely to vote for a different party over the marriage equality vote:

A total of 2,060 adults were interviewed online, and 1,007 by telephone, between 31 May and 2 June for the survey. 12% said they were in favour of the government legalising equal marriage and would be more likely to vote for a party that changed the law to allow same-sex marriage. 33% said they were in favour of the idea but that the issue would not make any difference to how they would vote in an election. 23% have no opinion either way and 18% are opposed to the idea but it would not make any difference to them at the ballot box. Only 15% would be less likely to vote for a party that changed the law to allow same-sex marriage.

One more: The Catholic Church says they are not done fighting the bill, unlike the Church of England. Pink News reports:

The Catholic Church says it plans to continue actively opposing the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill on the grounds of religious “protections” following this week’s vote in the House of Lords. A spokesman for the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales said: “The Church’s principled objection to the legal re-definition of marriage is consistently and clearly set out. “Following the bill’s second reading in the House of Lords, the Church’s aim is to ensure the bill, as it goes to committee stage, is amended so that it effectively delivers the protections that the government promised to provide for schools, religious organisations and individuals.”

No dates yet for the next stages of the bill in the UK. We’re waiting…

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


1 Comments so far ↓

  1. Robin says:

    You can follow the bill’s progress on

    Next is Committee stage starting 17 June.

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