I'm following the updates on the Guardian.
[quote] Stewart Jackson, a Conservative, asks about how gay marriage will be consumated.
[quote] Miller says that in the bill there is no legal requirement for consumation.
The left side of the chamber is looking a little thin. Where are the Labour MPs?
So are they deciding today or what? What are the predictions?
Thanks, OP (I was the requester from the other thread...)
I think what Miller said was okayish (even though personally I believe that churches should not have to "opt in", as there are many churches/faiths (Quakers, Reform Jews, etc.) which WANT to marry same-sex couples. Looking forward now to Yvette...
I am pretty confident that this will pass. I vote Green party usually (unless there is a chance of a Tory getting in, and then I vote Labour strategically).
Oh yeah, the Unitarians shouldn't have to "opt in", either... The way in which the law is being set up PRESUMES anti-gay bigotry in Christianity/Judaism/Islam/Hinduism/Sikhism etc., which it should be assuming, because it is positing pro-same-sex marriages belief AGAINST faith, which is ridiculous and homophobic at heart.
God... frigging bigot Ian Paisley. So nice to see that his bigotry goes in so many directions. My parents named their cocker spaniel after him, as they thought the original Paisley was a dog, too.
Opt in/Opt out, it's just politics. The Opting In clause is there to exclude the religious interests from the debate all together. It's smart politiics, telling these religions that society is moving forward without them.
It has nothing to do with homophobia.
How do you prove that a straight marriage is consumated unless there is a pregnancy?
[quote] This bill in no way makes a requirement of faithfulness from same-sex couples. In fact, it does the opposite. In a heterosexual marriage a couple can divorce for adultery, and adultery is if you have sex with a member of the opposite sex. In a heterosexual marriage a couple vow to forsake all others ... A gay couple have no obligation to make that vow [to faithfulness] because they do not have to forsake all others because they cannot divorce for adultery. There is no requirement of faithfulness. And if there is no requirement of faithfulness, what is a marriage?
What the fuck kind of argument is this? That it is the NON-bonds of marriage that are holding gay and lesbian relationships together? I don't even understand the flawed logic here.
r10, I was thinking the same thing. So, following her logic, if the man in a het marriage had sex with another man, that would *not* constitute adultery... Good to know.
I thought Brits were better than this wow.
These are the Tories speaking, R12. And they are not even the mainstream of the Conservative Party. It's the equivalent of an extreme branch of the Republicans speaking - oh, I dunno, like Aiken and his rape comments. This will hurt the Tories, mark my words. Cameron et al are trying to distant themselves.
The vote isn't until 7 this evening. Most MPs will just arrive for the vote. Ed Miliband is expecting a big turn out from his party and I suspect whist not using the whip for this vote they will be strongly encouraged to be there for it.
I am not sure why Ian Paisley junior (a fool and a bigot of massive proportions) is even being allowed to comment. Northern Ireland will not be affected by this bill and whilst they generally follow England and Wales by passing act over here it is not happening this time.
Nadine Dorries is a complete crackpot R10 and had the party whip was withdrawn just before Christmas. They really seem to have all the nutters in the house right now
Oh God, another DUP man. How many do we have to listen to?
[quote]I thought Brits were better than this wow.
Nadine Dorries is also a divorcee and an adultery, on her second marriage, at least.
She's a hyper-hypocrite.
These people are just the circus. I don't know why this is getting such close attention on DL. I guess the Anti-Brit Troll is enjoying starting so many threads about it.
Hows it going?
It's going. David Lammy MP has won the speech competition so far.
The DUP are an embarrassment to Northern Ireland.
How proud I am today that David Lammy is my MP. The guy gave a GREAT speech.
Mine is one of the horrid little DUP turds.
Watching it live... I am looking forward to a lot of "re-weddings" for my friends! :) (for one lesbian couple, it will be the third time they have been wed to each other. They had a commitment ceremony, and a civil partnership. They will have been together 21 years this year.)
Okay...! "Lock the doors!"
It's interesting - I think I can tell from body language who is going to vote yes (the happy ones) and no - the group of men with arms folded over chests sitting at the back of the gallery.
I don't like the term EPIC FAIL, but this quote from the DUP bigot David Simpson says it all:
[quote] This is not the jurisdiction of this government, of any European government or any government in the world. This is an ordained constitution of God. In the Garden of Eden it was Adam and Steve. It was Adam and Eve. It wasn’t Adam and Steve.
My sympathies, r24.
Thank you R28 I go to the Shinners if I need anything done as does virtually everyone over here.
400 to 175
English people - when I was in England (London), I thought the country seemed pretty atheist, and the population, it seemed, did not think about religion or have religious lobbies like the US with the Fundamentalists - why was/is there such an opposition to Gay Marriage, with all of these Conservatives voting against it?
! @ R29
I think it is important to point out that some of those voting no are not actually against the idea of the bill but feel it is not legislatively safe. hopefully committee stage will reassure them.
Decent enough turn out. There were about 100 or so unknowns before the vote so it would be interesting to see where their votes went.
You've lost me R33
Great news - does anyone know when the Lords' reading is?
Woot, congrats UKGays! That's 70%/30%, which we would never see in the US.
I was amused, R35. But adverse to typing "LOL"!
Is this something the Lords have to vote on as well, or will they just rubber stamp it?
They've voted for 2 extra days to discuss the bill. I'm not sure what it means.
Aye, 'tis a strange old over here!
why were people voting against it?
So what's next?
My local Tory MP, Simon Kirby voted for marriage equality. Possibly the only positive thing he's done since he was voted in. Even with this I don't expect people in Brighton will return him next time round.
Well, the bill has passed the House of Commons - there's no more "discussion" on that front!
If it's a lesbian couple, the marriage is consummated when the U-Haul is unloaded.
1988 called and wants its lesbian joke back.
Northern Ireland pretty much can't ignore this now. It's mainly the predominantly Protestant parties blocking it, yet they're the parties wanting to define themselves as British. Can't have it both ways really.
Now that the vote has passed 400 to 175, can the anti-Brit assholes on DL, who've been acting like the bigoted, hard right wing Conservatives represent some kind of majority view in Britain, please STFU. The bigoted right wing in the U.S. has FAR more influence in your country than that segment of the population does here.
[quote]English people - when I was in England (London), I thought the country seemed pretty atheist, and the population, it seemed, did not think about religion or have religious lobbies like the US with the Fundamentalists - why was/is there such an opposition to Gay Marriage, with all of these Conservatives voting against it?
R32, the vast majority of the country IS basically atheist/agnostic, and doesn't give a shit about religion. The small minority that is bigoted, reactionary and conservative just made a huge noise about their opposition to gay marriage. You'll be familiar with that kind of thing in the U.S. from the way the minority Tea Party got so much press for their very much minority views.
R40 I think there were several MPs who wanted to raise more points about the detail or who hadn't had input but you can't hold the committee stage in the house. Committee is where all the legal, religious stuff etc will be discussed with unelected people so the extra two days in the house will be to discuss issues which MPs wish to raise and ask to be brought to committee.
City on fire! City on fire!
ok, thanks for answering, R49
R49, much anti-British sentiment on DL is derived from American resentment of how gay rights in Britain have progressed so much faster than they have in America. So don't expect today's events to change that.
Looking on twitter so many people seem to be for it. Not to be a complete racist, but black people from the poor parts of London seem to be the people most homophobic in their comments.
The ridiculous thing is despite making such a fuss about it now, in a few years it will be totally accepted by most of those Tory MPs. Just like equalising the age of consent, civil partnerships and repealing Section 28. All caused a fuss at the time but you couldn't find more than a few MPs who would oppose them now.
It's always the people who hate themselves that are against it.
[quote] Not to be a complete racist, but black people from the poor parts of London seem to be the people most homophobic
My MP David Lammy, who gave the most moving and stirring speech of the day, is a black person from a poor part of London. So much for your generalisations.
The next countries will be Uruguay and New Zealand, probably in that order. They will have a debate in the parliament in Uruguay in May.
R58, France is also almost guaranteed to vote for marriage equality in the next couple of weeks.
I'm aware of that R57. Hence why I said "most" and not "all". In fact, here is David Lammy's speech.
[quote]Looking on twitter so many people seem to be for it. Not to be a complete racist, but black people from the poor parts of London seem to be the people most homophobic in their comments.
That's found in the US too. It's get a lot of play for two reasons: they're a minority, they've been oppressed, and they don't support another minority trying to gain what is rightfully owed to them. I know, I know, there's tons of white people who hate gays, but you forget, you have to break down white, and then go by community. The black 'community' is heavily anti-gay. Some of it has to do with religion, some of it has to do with black men not taking responsibility for their families (homosexuality can make black men stray from their wives), and just flat out ignorance. Many black men have to be on the downlow because of it.
President Obama has been, and will go down as a hero to the gay community until the end of time. He's black, yes, now remind me now that he's half white. Regardless, Obama was majorly involved in the black community growing up, and he's extremely pro-gay, and put his entire career on the line for us.
Remember you can be the most educated person in the world, and people still can be uncomfortable with homosexuality. It's an emotional thing.
The whole UK debate is going to interesting in terms of the fallout that's going to occur within the Tory party. I don't believe Cameron will survive.
I don't think British politics has made an impact on American, as in if this passes, suddenly America will jump on the gay marriage bandwagon. Ironically, the gay marriage passages in states and cities in America led to what we're now seeing in the UK. Britain is just two points above the US in support of gay marriage, and they're both over the 50% line.
America has state rights and not a parliamentary system. That's why it's much more difficult to pass gay equality. However, the Supreme Court is going to have the final say in the end. America will get there, but it's set-up makes things much more difficult.
Just thank your lucky stars, Americans, that Obama was reelected!!
It is truly shameful when parts of Europe and South America are more progressive on this issue than the United States is. The US will need to wait until the Supreme Court renders its decision in June and possibly much later than that. So much for that shining beacon on the hill nonsense.
For numerous examples of the black people I'm talking about, check out the retweets here
Many, of course, are black Muslim.
Also seeing a lot of silly white Christian girls who still think churches will be forced to conduct ceremonies. So stupidity is all around. As usual.
Actually, it is a good question.
If lack of consummation is a recognized legal ground for dissolution of a marriage.
Then there should be an answer to how a gay marriage is consummated in order to identify the lack of which can be grounds for dissolution.
And then it starts to get complicated.
Should lack of consummation continue to be a recognized legal ground for the dissolution of any marriage as it is a vestige of an out of date understanding of what it means to be married even for straight people (should people have to be sexually intimate in order to be married? should people have to fuck in order to be married? what about people who express their sexuality in their marriage in ways other than penetrative intercourse?)
If not, then would it be fair to absent lack of consummation as a ground for dissolution of a same sex marriage and keep it as such a ground for the dissolution of a straight marriage?
And if it would be unlawful to distinguish lack of consummation between opp. sex and same sex marriages, then, in fact, what is consummation of a same sex marriage?
And does it mean that in order to be consummately married, gay spouses would have to engage in anal intercourse?
And is that fair to gay couples who don't engage in anal intercourse?
"And if there is no requirement of faithfulness, what is a marriage?"
A commitment to each other which permits sex on the side, aka an "open marriage"
But she knew that!
[quote] Should lack of consummation continue to be a recognized legal ground for the dissolution of any marriage as it is a vestige of an out of date understanding of what it means to be married even for straight people (should people have to be sexually intimate in order to be married? should people have to fuck in order to be married? what about people who express their sexuality in their marriage in ways other than penetrative intercourse?)
Good point. It does seem an outdated concept. There are so many other grounds for divorce. Perhaps it could be something a couple could decide to opt out of on an individual basis - e.g. asexual couples?? Besides, how would anyone know? It can't really be policed.
Well, all sorts of things are ignored re the reality of straight marriages. Why are they getting so picky, so ready to get out the mircroscope for gay marriage? It's just bullshit.
Don't the house of Lords have to pass it?
R60 Thanks for the link. I was discussing David Lammy with one of my friends in North London. He missed the debate unfortunately so will post the link to him.
Mike Freer was quite moving as well.
It has to go through the Lords, but with such an overwhelming majority in the Commons it'll be easy to just use the Parliament Act to pass it without approval of the House of Lords.
It should be done by the end of the year. The Commons voted that if it isn't passed by the time of the Queen's speech in Spring it can still be carried over without starting all over again.
The Independent says it might be done and dusted by late May.
On Tuesday a huge majority of MPs lent their support to gay marriage. However those campaigning against the Bill admit only that they lost that battle, not the war.
Following the 400 to 175 Commons vote, several overseas news organisations including CNN and Al Jazeera were quick to report that Britain had made it legal for gay people to marry. But the Bill is still a bill. And is not yet law.
The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill will next be examined line by line by a committee of MPs. Opponents, including the Coalition for Marriage (C4M) campaign group, hope to regroup after the second reading retreat and substantially change the legislation at this stage with a view to eventually killing it.
"Tuesday was Dunkirk," a C4M spokesman told the Huffington Post UK. "There will be lots of amendments given the strength of the rebellion."
The cross-party committee, which includes many pro-gay marriage MPs such as Labour’s Chris Bryant and shadow equalities minister Kate Green, also includes leading anti-gay marriage Conservatives David Burrowes and Tim Loughton.
Green expects MPs to offer amendments designed to ensure the European Court can not force a religious body to conduct a same-sex marriage and to allow teachers to refuse to teach gay marriage if it conflicts with their religious beliefs. But she is also wary of anti-gay marriage MPs attempting to blow the Bill up in committee.
"There is real danger of people looking for an opportunity wreck it," she told HuffPost UK.
And Lib Dem Julian Huppert, who is supporting an amendment to expand civil partnerships to include mixed-sex couples, says he expects many "dinosaur" Tories to try and wreck the Bill.
Civil partnerships for heterosexual couples is also being pushed by some anti-gay marriage MPs. But this is seen as an attempt by them to restrict marriage to religious ceremonies while the state just conducts civil partnerships.
"What we want is equality, marriage should be open to people regardless of their gender," Huppert said. "Some old school Tories are mostly trying to cause trouble and wanttot do things from stop marriages from happening."
Opponents of the Bill are also hopeful it will get bogged down in the House of Lords if it gets out of the Commons.
However as Paul Waugh at Politics Home and Isabel Hardman at the Spectator have pointed out, the arithmetic and experience of past votes appear to scupper the notion that the red benches are stuffed with anti-gay peers.
The 221 Labour peers and 90 Lib Dems combined easily outnumber the 213 Conservatives, even if all the Tories decided to vote against the Bill. Labour expects the dissent on its benches in the Lords to be small, similar to that in the Commons, where 22 Labour MPs voted against the Bill. Throw in the majority of the 178 cross bench peers and there appears to be a progressive majority in the upper House.
But C4M questions how well the Labour and Lib Dem leaderships know the minds of their own peers – expecting their Lordships to take issue with the quality of the legislation as well as the principle of gay marriage. "It is rushed legislation that is full of holes," a spokesperson said.
If last Tuesday was Dunkirk, anti-gay marriage MPs, peers and campaign groups see next Tuesday, the first day of committee stage, as D-Day.
House of Commons @HouseofCommons 1m
MPs vote by 366 to 161 to approve the third reading of #Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill. The Bill will now progress to the House of Lords.
House of Commons @HouseofCommons 1m
MPs vote by 366 to 161 to approve the third reading of #Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill. The Bill will now progress to the House of Lords.
I'm delirious with happiness. Lords, we're here, we're queer, get used to it.
So, what are the chances the Lords will block it? And if so, will Cameron use the Parliament Act to ram it through?
joncraigSKY @joncraig 11m
Early indication 136 Tory MPs voted against & 113 for gay marriage bill 3rd reading. Rebellion similar to 2nd reading, but fewer in favour.
How many fucking more levels does it have to pass through?
Wow, it really does seem to go through endless review, debate, and votes to pass a bill in the UK. It is exhausting just to watch it. And people thought New Zealand's five month process was too long.
If it passes in the Lords tomorrow than that's it. if the Lords throw it out then its back to the commons and is either amended and returned to the Lords, completely dispensed with or DC uses the Parliament Act and pushes it through without the Lords.
The problem is many of the Lords are elderly old bigots who shouldn't be having a say.
Cameron will use the Parliament Act if needed. It passed the Commons with a good majority including support from all main parties and public opinion is for it. There won't be much in the way of complaints if he does use it except by the swivel eyed loons.
The only real thing against using the Act is the Tory owned press complaining about it and they already hate Cameron. I am not worried about the Lords. Might be some stupid amendments but I think the Tories just want this done now and don't want to give in to their right wing.
The Lords is less useless old duffers than it used to be since they got rid of most of the hereditary peers. I know the bishops etc. are getting press but a lot and maybe even a majority of the Lords will vote for this.
R81 I too think it will probably pass through the Lords but am feeling twitchy about it which I wasn't when it came to the Commons votes. We'll know by tomorrow. Just need to move the battle on to Stormount then.
I hope they don't amend it, but I imagine they will be tempted to do so.
[quote]Wow, it really does seem to go through endless review, debate, and votes to pass a bill in the UK. It is exhausting just to watch it.
Thank you. I can't even keep up anymore with the way it keeps going back and forth and round and round.
I don't understand what the problem is. Just let gays be able to get married too. Nobody gives a fuck about churches or any other place of worship. Let them have their exemptions. Gays don't want to get married in a place where they're not wanted anyway.
By Associated Press, Updated: Tuesday, May 21, 4:37 PM
LONDON — Britain’s House of Commons has passed a bill to legalize same-sex marriage in England and Wales.
The legislation, backed by Prime Minister David Cameron, passed by a vote of 366 to 161 on Tuesday.
The bill will now move to the House of Lords, whose approval is also required. Members there are expected to hold their first debate in July.
If approved, the law is expected to take effect in 2015, and enable same-sex couples to get married in both civil and religious ceremonies, provided the religious institution they choose consents.
Such a law also would allow couples who had previously entered into a civil partnership to convert their relationship to a marriage.
While it is unable to prevent Bills passing into law, except in certain limited circumstances, it can delay Bills and force the Commons to reconsider its decisions. In this capacity, the Lords acts as a constitutional safeguard that is independent from the electoral process. In other countries this role would often be performed by a Constitutional or Supreme Court, but the UK system's emphasis on parliamentary sovereignty—rather than judicial review—means that this function cannot be properly accomplished by the British court system as all judicial rulings can be overruled by parliament.
It's a perfectly simple process R84 and one that it followed by all UK legislation.
Because of the position of the Established Church it isn't something we can do as easily as other countries anyway - well not without disestablishing the Church of England, which I'd vote for at the drop of a hat.
[quote]It's a perfectly simple process [R84] and one that it followed by all UK legislation.
Yeah, so simple they've been dragging this through the mud for years.
I am hearing conflicting reports. Some sources say the Lords will vote tomorrow. Others say they will not vote until July or the end of the year.
So this process is really going to take 2 years to complete? God forbid if England needs a new law urgently.
Cameron says he wants it be law by summer 2014. My gosh, can't they make something law quicker than that?
It goes through the same stages as it did in the commons:
1) First reading (this is a formality and is not debated or voted on)
2) Second reading - general debate on the bill's principles, followed by a vote.
3) Committee - line by line examination of the bill, including proposed amendments. (in the HoL this usually takes place in the Committee of the Whole House).
4) Report stage - the House "considers" the report of the committee, and may propose / vote on further amendments.
5) Third reading - the final yes/no vote.
If the Lords don't amend it it then goes straight to Lizzie for Royal Assent (which has not been denied since 1706, so is essentially a formality). If amendments are passed in the HoL the amended text goes back to the commons for a further round of voting, and it can then theoretically "ping-pong" between them indefinitely until both sides are happy.
[quote]So this process is really going to take 2 years to complete? God forbid if England needs a new law urgently.
My thoughts exactly.
They really need to modernize their outdated procedures.
Tell me they have a faster process to make laws than this. This is a glacial pace.
I disagree with the overall view of this article, but the writer has a point about the lack of mass street activism in the UK in favor of marriage equality. In the States, it has been a much more street activism movement.
This is how social progress used to happen
I know the only thing you’re allowed to say about gay marriage is “Yay!” and that if you say anything else you’re a weirdo hateful bigot. But permit to make just one non-yay-based observation about it. Which is this: gay marriage has utterly transformed, for the worse, the meaning of social progress.
Throughout modern history, big, democratic, civil rightsy leaps forward have had two things in common. First, they were demanded by very large and often very angry sections of the public; and second, it took ages and ages for the political classes to concede to them. And when they did eventually cave in and legislate for the new liberty or opportunity being demanded by the hordes, they tended to do so begrudgingly, often while wearing a sneer.
Born from mass, passionate demands from below and later instituted very reluctantly by those up above – that is the history of socially progressive developments. From the mass gatherings of hundreds of thousands of working men demanding the right to vote in the 1800s, to the long marches and harebrained stunts of the Suffragette movement in the early 20th century, to the painful and violent slog for equality by black civil rights activists in 1950s America, social progress was for generations understood as something demanded by the little people in the face of stubborn, fearful, unenlightened elites.
The gay marriage campaign absolutely eviscerates that view of social progress. It turns it completely on its head. It redefines social progress to mean the polar opposite of what it meant for most of the modern period: no longer the struggle of the man in the street against illiberal officialdom, but rather the struggle of right-on officials against the prejudices and idiocy of the man in the street.
It is remarkable how lacking in mass action the gay marriage campaign has been. There have been no public demonstrations at all: no gatherings in Hyde Park, no marches on parliament, no handcuffing to railings. The push for gay marriage has taken place entirely at the level of respectable society, being spearheaded by tiny handfuls of sharp-suited gay lobbyists, lawyers, celebrities, commentators and the Notting Hill/Hampstead sections of the political class.
And what have these brave warriors for justice spent their time and spilled their macchiatos raging against? Primarily, public ignorance, old-fashioned attitudes, the bigotry, as they see it, of the more unenlightened, possibly even religious (eurgh) sections of society. Indeed, backers of gay marriage explicitly counsel the upper echelons of society not to be swayed by the uninformed views of the masses. They say it is the mark of true statesmanship to ignore “majoritarian opinion” and forge ahead with “civilising measures” like gay marriage, because they are “the right thing to do”.
Gay marriage campaigners frequently fret about the allegedly tyrannical views of the populace. John D’Emilio, a former director of America’s National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, has written about gay marriage campaigners’ obsession with protecting themselves and their rights against what they look upon as “the tyranny of the majority”. Convinced that the public consists of lots of boneheaded bigots, gay marriage activists have become convinced that “[the law] is the way to change the world”, says D’Emilio, even though such a belief “would have been considered unusual for much of American history”, when it was mass action, not lawyerly diktat, that truly transformed society.
Campaigners’ fears of the public explain why they’re so averse to holding referendums on gay marriage. In the words of one activist, referendums allow “the majority [to become] the arbitrator for what is just”, when “that is the court’s role”. In short, it’s the job of the allegedly enlightened sections of society – judges, politicians, commentators – to decide what is right and to force it through in the face of possible public backwardness.
In essence, gay marriage has redefined “social progress” to mean imposing an elite block on tyrannical public passions, to mean having the right-minded rulers of society keep in check the wrongheadedness of society’s inhabitants. This echoes the social engineering disguised as social progress that was promoted by Fabian types in the early 20th century far more than it does the true social progress pursued by the Suffragettes or Rosa Parks. It is not social progress at all, really – it is social demarcation, a way for the great and the good to distinguish themselves from the thick and the old.
Doubtless the bloviating blogger at R95 also considers the abolition of capital punishment, and the decriminalisation of homosexuality, to be "not social progress at all, really..."
He/She at least knows that such apparent non-progress couldn't be envisaged by "the thick."
While I agree that the British equal marriage campaign has been rather too laid back and not activist enough, the columnist needs to be countered with his assertion that marriage equality is just a cause of the elite minority. Someone should tell him that a majority of British support marriage equality, and the opponents are the minority.
R96 I agree. Just get to the point.
I can't get over how silly the British are. They spent years bragging about how liberal their country are. hhahahaha!!!
I actually feel sorry for Cameron. Here he is the first PM to push gay marriage (and a conservative of all people) and the lazy UK gays expect him to do all the work. Well guess what? He can't do it all on his own. Why aren't the UK gays helping out by marching and making their voices heard instead of being so lazy? Wake the fuck up!
R101 hasn't a FUCKING clue how politics work in the UK...
Thanks to Camoron, the gays in the UK have other things to worry about...
I don't even see the famous gay UK people speaking out. What a mess that country is lol.
Process in the Lords as follows. First reading today. Second reading and debate 3rd June. It then goes to committee and report stage which is then followed by a third reading and all being well the passing of the bill through the Lords. I don't know where the date in July has come from for the first debate. Every single piece of Uk legislation follows this pattern.
I hear UK gays say that they just don't do activism the same way in the UK as in other places. But the antigay side sure seems to do street activism the same way other countries do. They have bombarded the media and politics with their rhetoric, and held rallies in the streets. The antigay UK side sure does believe in street activism.
R105 I think it is just a case that most people believe it's going to happen so don't see the point in shouting about it. Even with all the noise the bill still passed 70% to 30%. Even if the Lords throw it out DC will pass it anyway. All recent surveys show that the 70 - 30 statistic is representative of public opinion and it is way higher than that among the under 40s. What is the point in screaming when you already have what you want?
Things in N. Ireland is a different matter and there is still a fight to bring about full equality there. I imagine the courts may force it through there though so again street activism is unlikely to help.
That cunt at R101 has been making the same noise all week - even posted the same thing word for word on another thread.
Dear, why don't you worry about your own house given your Democratic senators just sold the U.S. gays up the river again in the immigration bill? Why weren't you out marching, putting on your own little parade of support, dear? Did you man a phone bank all day placing phone calls to your lawmakers? Yeah, didn't think so.
Shut the fuck up, already. You're just an ignorant little no-nothing troll. With a smelly cunt.
"The antigay UK side sure does believe in street activism"
And everyone looks at them and thinks "Who the fuck are these cunts?"
The battle for public opinion has already been won. Lots of marches etc. would just play into opposition plans.
The other issue is that this is not actually genuinely controversial with the average person in the UK. It's just the media is mostly owned by rich, right wing interests (who are unhappy with the Cameron government for not being right wing enough). That is why there is so much in the press giving an impression that this is causing massive interest and debate.
The vast majority of the population is either strongly for equal marriage or for/against it but in reality not that bothered that much either way. It's a Westminster storm in a tea cup.
R100/R103 - that's a bit of a...disorder...you have going on there.
Anti-British without knowing a damn thing about the place, and the embarrassing desire to laugh at your own comments.
Many years ago, my Australian relatives used to talk about something called "the cultural cringe" - it referred to the fact that many Australians would automatically defer to the British way of doing things as "superior"
In response, some Australians took the extreme anti-British position.
Now Australia is a rich, dynamic, confident, multicultural nation (unfortunately with BIG, HUGE spiders), the whole idea seems completely absurd...
YOU, on the other hand, are apparently the ONLY living embodiment of the heretofore unknown "American Cultural Cringe"...
R102 & R107 If you put as much enthusiasm into trying to get marriage equality in the UK as you do bitching about people speaking the TRUTH, you might actually have a chance of your shitty country passing gay marriage. But the British gays are so fucking lazy.
r111 - I never did mind about the little things...
And you are a VERY little thing indeed...
R111, have you failed to notice that the bill has passed the House of Commons on Monday? That was the only genuine hurdle left. First gay marriages will be next summer no matter what the Lords do.
Demonstrating is a waste of time for this issue at this time (this is not the 70s, we have no need to get attention). I could write to my MP but my MP is openly gay and exceptionally pro-equal marriage so it kind of feels like a waste of space to do that. The most I can do is to contribute to the mocking of the crazy Tories (marginalising their views). I've been doing plenty of that. It's been fantastic fun. Aggressive homosexuals, lesbian queens, I can't be homophobic because I box with gays. Joy.
I guess we Americans love to demonstrate and have rallies for our causes. British progressives seem to be rather laid back, although the Telegraph lambasted them for being non-activist.
By Robert Wats9:11PM BST 25 May 20132 Comments
Peers expect the Upper’s House debate over same sex weddings will go through the night or even into a second day, with a key vote that could scupper the policy regarded as “too close to call”.
The former head of the British army Lord Dannatt and Lord Lothian, a former Conservative Party chairman better known as Michael Ancram, are amongst those set to criticise the draft legislation in next Monday’s session.
Other opponents will include Lord Waddington, a former Home Secretary, Lord Luce, who served as a minister in Baroness Thatcher’s government, and Lord Singh of Wimbledon, a respected figure in the Sikh community.
The Sunday Telegraph has also established that the senior Tory Baroness Warsi, a practising Muslim, refused to lead the bill through the House of Lords when asked to do so by David Cameron, the Prime Minister.
Some peers believe dozens Lords who rarely attend Parliament will flock to Westminster to make their position on homosexual marriage clear.
Labour saves Cameron's gay marriage Bill 21 May 2013
Gay marriage debate: ten most colourful contributions 21 May 2013
Gay marriage set to be approved after Cameron deal with Labour 21 May 2013
Cameron to Tories: No more divisive issues like gay marriage 22 May 2013
Gay marriage could stop Christians becoming teachers or doctors - church leaders 19 May 2013
Labour offers Cameron a lifeline on gay marriage 20 May 2013
Seventy-five members of the Lords have already asked to speak in the debate, suggesting that dawn could rise on the Tuesday morning before all the peers have their say.
Government whips are fighting calls to allow the Lords to hold a second day of debate on what has become the one of the most emotive issue in parliament for many years.
Some critics of same sex marriage legislation believe the policy undermines the institution of marriage while others simply regard it as a “distraction” from the country’s economic problems.
Mr Cameron has championed homosexual weddings and Tory strategists hope it will entice new voters to the party at the next general election.
However, gay marriage so far appears only to have played havoc with the Conservative party’s grassroots, sparking resignations of members and fierce criticism of the Prime Minister.
Lord Luce said: “You can’t suddenly pounce on the 2,000 year-old institution of marriage after such little consultation and with such little thought.
“This is all part of the Prime Minister’s 'modernisation’ of our party, whatever that word is supposed to mean. This is all being handled in a very slap happy, careless manner.”
This weekend there is speculation in Westminster that the Most Rev Justin Welby, the recently appointed Archbishop of Canterbury, will also voice his concerns about the policy in next week’s debate. One of his predecessors, Lord Carey of Clifton, has already put his name down to speak.
Lord Dear, the retired chief constable of West Midlands Police and crossbench peer leading opposition to the Bill, said that critics of the policy were not “anti-homosexual”.
“This is ill-thought through legislation that is being rushed through,” the peer said. “There are some 8,000 further amendments that will be necessary to existing legislation because of this single policy.
“Of those who said they would speak about half seem to be opposed. I really think the vote will be too close to call.”
If the Government loses the Bill, ministers could use the Parliament Act to drive the policy through. However, Lord Dear thinks this is unlikely.
He added: “The Parliament Act has been used only three times before. Opposition in the Commons in the Commons was strong and there is not strong appetite amongst the public for this.”
Lord Stoddart, an independent Labour peer, described the whole concept of gay marriage as “bogus”. He said he was baffled as to how gay people and lesbians would “consummate” their marriage.
“Without consummation the marriage could be annulled at any point,” the peer said. “No one has been able to explain to me how homosexuals or lesbians would be able to actually consummate their marriage.
“People who voice concerns about this policy are told that we are bigots. I honestly think the bigots are on the other side of the argument. Many homosexual people do not want this.”
Those peers who will vote with the Government include Lord Browne, the former BP chief executive and friend of Lord Mandelson, and Lord Deben, the former Conservative minister better known as John Gummer.
Lord Hodgson, a Conservative peer who expects to back the bill, said that the policy was “clearly a very divisive issue”.
He said: “I have children in their twenties who wonder what all the fuss is about and friends in their sixties who think this is the end of the world.
“The number of people who have put down to speak is quite staggering. We could go through the night on this… it looks very close.”
Nick Herbert, the Conservative MP who has campaigned for same sex marriage, said: “The Lords always has an important scrutiny role but they can’t ignore the fact that this BIll passed the elected House with a two to one cross-party majority.
“The Bill was debated for hours in Commons committee and every independent poll shows majority public support for the measure.
“Equal marriage is being introduced across the western world and I don’t believe peers will want to be out of step with changing attitudes.”
Is Cameron will to use Parliament Act to force it through if Lords say no way. Cameron seems weary from the marriage equality firestorm.
The Government could be plunged into a “constitutional crisis” if members of the House of Lords reject plans for gay marriage this week, a senior peer has warned.
Opponents of the Same Sex Couples Bill will force peers to vote on Tuesday on a “fatal motion” to kill off the Bill before it is even considered in detail by the Lords. Should the attempt succeed, David Cameron will be placed in the contentious position of forcing through the Bill with a rare use of the Parliament Act or abandoning the current legislation altogether.
In an interview with The Independent, the Labour peer Lord Alli, a staunch supporter of the Bill, warned that tomorrow’s vote was “too close to call” and that it could trigger a crisis for the Government should the Bill fail.
“If they win the vote then the Bill doesn’t come to us and the Commons can’t do anything about it,” he said. “The Government could use the Parliament Act but the argument against it is that the issue was not a manifesto commitment. In my view they could legitimately do it because it was a free vote – but it’s a constitutional crisis,” he added.
Lord Alli also revealed that the new Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, had been keen to allow a contrary view to be heard from within the Church, despite his hardline public stance in opposition to gay marriage. He is understood personally to have sanctioned a public letter to Lord Alli, written by the Bishop of Salisbury, which argued that gay marriage “now needs recognition in law”.
Lord Alli told The Independent: “I said [to Archbishop Welby] that I knew there were people in the Church like the Bishop of Salisbury who are supportive of gay marriage.
“I asked him: ‘If I went to see him and asked him to do a piece, would he have your blessing?’
“He said, ‘Absolutely. And that goes for any bishop.’”
All 26 bishops who sit in the House of Lords will be given a free vote on the issue in Tuesday's vote with the vast majority expected to oppose the Bill. However, three could vote in favour or abstain.
Archbishop Welby is also expected to press the Government to accept amendments that would ensure teachers would not have to promote equal marriage in the classroom.
Lord Dear, who is leading the opposition to a change in the law, said he also expected the vote to be tight and predicted that even more Lords would oppose it at a third reading.
However he said Mr Cameron would have no justification in using the Parliament Act should it be defeated on a second reading.
“This Bill was not in the Conservative manifesto, has not been subject to a Royal Commission, Green Paper or White Paper or any of the normal procedures and safeguards you would expect for legislation of this significance.
“We are saying that the Government should go away and consider far more carefully than it has done the unforeseen consequences of such far-reaching social legislation.”
The former Tory cabinet minister Lord Mawhinney said the advice the Prime Minister was getting was not “politically astute”.
“At a time when the Government should be focusing all its attention on the economy, which is what will decide the next election, we have this distraction following Lords reform distraction, following Alternative Vote distraction.
“This is not a high priority for the people of the country.”
Last resort: the parliament act
The 1949 Parliament Act has only been used four times since it was amended more than 60 years ago. It allows a law to be passed without the approval of the House of Lords and is sometimes billed as Parliament’s “nuclear deterrent”, a term that highlights the magnitude of using the contentious legislation.
The amended Act of 1949 reduces the time peers can delay a Bill from two years over three parliamentary sessions to one year over two sessions.
It was last used in 2004 by Tony Blair’s Labour government to push through its fox-hunting ban, which faced fierce opposition in the Lords – and had prompted demonstrations by people opposed to the ban. The legality of its use was unsuccessfully challenged by pro-hunting groups who took the case to the Administrative Court and Court of Appeal in 2005.
In 2000, after months of debate, the Parliament Act allowed the same government to lower the age of consent for homosexual sex from 18 to 16. The use of the Act was described as a “draconian device” intended to derail public opinion by Christian campaign groups.
It was used on two previous occasions: in 1999 to change the way Members of the European Parliament were elected from the first-past-the-post system to a form of proportional representation; and in 1991 for the War Crimes Act which gave UK courts the right to try suspected Nazi war criminals.
By John Bingham, Religious Affairs Editor
10:00PM BST 02 Jun 2013
Despite vocal opposition from the Church to the Government’s plans to allow same-sex couples to marry, it is understood that senior officials have personally urged bishops to stay away from this week’s vote.
They fear that a large bloc of clerics turning up to vote down the bill could rebound on the Church, reopening questions over the right of bishops to sit in the Lords and even raise the prospect of disestablishment.
They have also told bishops privately that they are convinced the bill, which includes legal “locks” to prevent clergy being forced to carry out same-sex weddings against their beliefs, is the “best” they could hope to achieve.
It comes amid warnings of a “dangerous” constitutional stand-off between the Commons and the Lords if peers vote to reject the bill, which has already received strong backing from MPs.
Peers will begin two days of debates on the bill today with a vote on Tuesday.
Gay marriage betrays family values, Tories warn David Cameron
01 Jun 2013
Gay marriage opponents like supporters of apartheid, says senior bishop
30 May 2013
Lords revolt threatens gay marriage Bill
31 May 2013
Lords revolt threatens gay marriage Bill
25 May 2013
Writing in The Daily Telegraph Viscount Astor, the stepfather of David Cameron’s wife Samantha, argues that blocking the bill in the upper chamber could threaten the future position of the House of Lords itself.
Meanwhile an alliance of independent church leaders has issued a strongly worded call to the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev Justin Welby, not only to vote against the bill himself but to press other bishops to do so.
In a letter to be handed in to Lambeth Palace this morning, 30 leaders of independent churches, including a string of so-called “black majority” churches, warn that the church of England faces a “defining point” over the issue of same-sex marriage.
It is understood that the Archbishop intends both to speak and vote against the bill. But officials are anxious not to be seen to be taking on the Government over the issue. Last night Lambeth Palace confirmed that Archbishop Welby would attend but declined to comment on how he would vote.
A recent Church of England briefing note to MPs warmly praised the Government for introducing legal protections for clerics.
A total of 26 bishops are entitled to sit in the Lords - although the bishops’ bench is currently reduced with the Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, recovering from a cancer operation, and the see of Durham left vacant by Archbishop Welby’s promotion to Canterbury.
But under current convention they take turns to sit in the Lords, with usually only two bishops in attendance for most debates.
Officials in Church House are said to have urged bishops to limit their numbers to around six at the most for the controversial debate. It is thought that up to 10 of them could defy the advice and vote against the bill.
The officials are said to be afraid that were the bill to be defeated by a handful of votes, the bishops would be singled out for blame.
One senior source said that officials in the Church had begun to “call the shots more and more” during the last 10 years, under the tenure of the previous Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Williams.
“What they are scared of is that this goes down by a few votes and then the bishops are seen as having swung the vote,” said one.
But non-Anglican church leaders stepped up pressure on the Church of England to use its unique position on behalf of other churches.
In a letter seen by The Daily Telegraph, 30 evangelical and Pentecostal church leaders urged Archbishop Welby to resist the “temptation to be swept along by the latest current of cultural thinking”.
“For the sake of society, we provide an alternative perspective to society,” they wrote.
“We therefore implore you to seize this opportunity to speak boldly and clearly at a critical juncture in the life of our nation, to vote against this bill and to urge all other Anglican Bishops in the House of Lords to do the same.
“We recognise that this represents a defining point in the future direction of the established Church and you can of course be assured of our prayers as you act courageously.”
A spokesman for the Church of England said: "The bishops in the House of Lords do not have a party whip, they do not vote according to a party line.
"Each will vote according to their own conscience."
Earlier the former Bishop of Rochester, the Rt Rev Michael Nazir-Ali, led an informal prayer service at the gates of Buckingham Palace to mark the anniversary of the coronation and oppose the bill.
ishop Michael Nazir-Ali, who was Bishop of Rochester for 15 years, said that the Queen took an oath to "uphold God's laws" when she was crowned.
But the Bishop claimed that signing into law a Bill that would allow same-sex couples to marry would force her to break that promise she made upon her Coronation.
Peers will today begin two days of debates on the Government's plans to allow same-sex weddings, with a vote tomorrow.
Bishop Nazir-Ali told the Daily Mail: "The idea of a constitutional monarchy comes from the Bible. Christians are told in the Bible to obey their rulers, unless the ruler tells us to do something God forbids.
"Happily in this country we have a monarchy that has taken an oath of upholding God's laws, and the present Queen has for years been faithful to that. We are praying that she continues to be faithful. But while she is faithful to the vows she has taken, in this country she has to act on the advice of her ministers. That puts the onus on the Prime Minister not to put the Queen into a position where she may have to go against the sovereign promises she has made. We hope that she is not put in that position."
Bishop Nazir-Aliwas speaking in a service outside Buckingham Palace on the 60th anniversary of the Coronation.
The warning comes after both Labour peer Lord Alli and Viscount Astor, the stepfather of David Cameron's wife Samantha, said that the gay marriage Bill could result in a constitutional stand-off between the Commons and the Lords.
Lord Alli, a staunch supporter of the Bill, said the Government could force through legislation using the Parliament Act even if peers in the Lords vote to reject the bill.
However, the Act is rarely used and could force a "constitutional crisis", Lord Alli warned.
Viscount Astory also argued that blocking the Bill in the upper chamber could threaten the future position of the House of Lords
Live: House of Lords debate gay marriage bill
Watch live as the House of Lords debate the controversial Same Sex Marriage Bill
In the Lords, a "wrecking amendment" has been tabled by ex-chief constable Lord Dear to refuse the bill a second reading. A vote is expected on Tuesday.
Archbishop of Canterbury says that homophobia is ‘wrong and sickening’
Archbishop of Canterbury said he opposes Lord Dear’s amendment to kick out Marriage (same sex couple) bill at the second reading.
The Archbishop of Canterbury is speaking now and has said that most faith groups are opposed to equal marriage
Baroness Barker tells peers about employers like Nike and Microsoft that help LGBT staff fight inequality in the US because it is good for business
Baroness Barker who wrote for PinkNews recently is speaking now. Read her article here
Baroness Royall says that the terms of reference for a civil partnerships review will be published during the committee stage of the bill
Speaking for the Labour party, Baroness Royall said that the bill has the Labour Party’s firm support. After wishing the anti-gay marriage Archbishop of York a speedy recovery, she also said she is glad that the Church of England now supports civil partnerships.
Baroness Royall said that she wishes there to be changes to pension arrangements for same-sex couples and to resolve issues relating to Humanist marriages.
Baroness Stowell of Beeston introduced the bill for the Government. She is a Conservative whip.
Lord Dear, a former police chief argued that the bill should not pass its second reading in the House of Lords. He quoted from Alice in Wonderland and claimed that equal marriage will cause more not less homophobia. He also argued that gay couples are now being given more rights that families. He also criticised the decision by the Government to announce review of civil partnerships.
Lord Fowler has just called on the House to uphold equality, Baroness Helena Kennedy is currently speaking.
A Former Tory education secretary today attacked a “ludicrous” bid in the Lords to block gay marriage.
Baroness Shephard said even if peers blocked the planned legislation, a way would be found to push it through.Another Conservative peer, Lord Deben, today branded opponents of gay marriage, such as former Archbishop of Canterbury George Carey, as “desperate”.
It comes as peers begin a debate on the issue which will include a vote on a “wrecking amendment”.
Baroness Shephard, who served in John Major’s Cabinet, said: “It’s ludicrous to try and cut it off in the Lords. It’s the will of the Commons. In the end the Lords always knuckles down to it and it will again this time.”
The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill, championed by David Cameron, was passed in the Commons despite opposition from 133 Tory MPs.
Religious organisations would have to “opt in” to offer weddings but the Church would be banned in law from doing so.
Bishop Leicester says that he will abstain if there is a vote on the second reading on Marriage (Same-sex couples) Bill
Bishop Leicester says that the bill has been introduced too quickly to consider the implications of equality
Lord Pannick is almost point by point tearing down Lord Dear’s argument
Lord Waddington ending by saying this Bill is a “big mistake” earlier (sorry we had a technical issue earlier)
Lord Pannick is pointing out how the laws on marriage and divorce have been changed throughout history
Lord Waddington is now speaking in favour of Lord Dear’s wrecking amendment to protect the “essential nature” of marriage. It’s “no disrespect to anyone, just common sense” to have different unions for same-sex and opposite-sex couples, he says.
Baroness Brinton quotes from religious organisations that support equality in marriage
Baroness Brinton: I have found it hard to find Jesus speaking against same-sex marriage in the New Testament
Baroness Brinton: The cheers in the Lords on the first reading of the Alan Turing pardon bill shows that society is moving on about LGBT rights
Baroness Kennedy says that marriage has been changed a lot in the past
Baroness Kennedy: It is people aged over 60 who express the greatest concern in changing the law, the same age as average age in the House of Lords
Lord Fowler: It was we the British who first made homosexuality a criminal offence in other countries like Uganda. Equal marriage will show how much how society has changed and show support for the persecuted minorities in our country. It will show gay people the right to expect ‘nothing more, but nothing less’
Lord Fowler: I’ve seen equality fiercely denied in a country like Ukraine and in Uganda.
Lord Fowler: There are many religious gay couples who wish to get married in churches
Lord Fowler: It is a wonder to me that civil partnerships are now so popular among people who opposed it before!
Lord Fowler said the Lords can not and should not block a free vote bill in the House of Commons
Archbishop of Canterbury says he “cannot support the bill as it stands”
Labour peer Lord Anderson of Swansea: Stonewall has only recently come to support same-sex marriage
Conservative peer Lord Jenkin of Roding: It will be a positive good for marriage in general
Lord Jenkin of Roding: It is pure fantasy that this bill will redefine marriages that already exist
By James Kirkup9:30AM BST 03 Jun 2013
Conservative Grassroots, a party pressure group, will warn Lord Feldman that the Government must abandon plans to legalise same-sex marriage to prove that the Conservative leadership is in touch with its membership.
If the Prime Minister pushes ahead, so many Conservatives will quit that he will become “a general without an army,” the group has said.
The House of Lords will this week debate Mr Cameron’s plans to allow gay marriage. Mr Cameron says the change will strengthen society and end discrimination, but his plans have split his party and angered many traditional Tories.
Lord Feldman, a close friend of the Prime Minister, last month denied having called Conservative activists “mad, swivel-eyed loons”.
His denial came, after the Telegraph revealed that a senior Conservative figure had used that phrase to describe party activists seeking a harder line on issues like Europe and gay marriage.
Gay marriage opponents like supporters of apartheid, says senior bishop 30 May 2013
The “swivel-eyed loons” row forced Mr Cameron to write to all Conservative members, assuring them of his respect and support.
Robert Woollard, the chairman of Conservative Grassroots, has told Lord Feldman that it was time for him and the Prime Minister to offer proof of their sympathy with party activists by abandoning the gay marriage law.
The group will today deliver a personal letter to Lord Feldman at Conservative headquarters in London, warning that the gay marriage plan is costing the party voters.
“As our experience on the doorstep and the polling evidence shows us, it is driving away traditional supporters and failing to bring in new ones,” the letter said.
Lord Feldman has a responsibility to persuade Mr Cameron to change his mind, Mr Woollard said.
“As Party co-chairman, a member of the House of Lords and a personal adviser to the Prime Minister, you are ideally placed to ensure a change of direction with respect to this Bill before it is too late.
“We have all read the Prime Minister’s email to Party members but what we now need to see is concrete demonstration that he is listening to, respecting and prepared to work with the grassroots toward a common goal. If not, then he risks becoming a general without an army.”
Baroness Cumberlege's comments against equal marriage show exactly what is wrong with 'queer radicals' insisting we develop our own institutions with our own words, symbols and rituals, rather than 'attaching to' heterosexual ones. She claims these 'alternate' rituals will be equally respected. Bullshit. It becomes yet another way to discriminate.
Also, can you imagine trying to pass legislation for this entirely new and equal but different set of rituals? The accusations of 'flaunting it' and 'special treatment' would be hurled around more than they are now.
Cumberledge's comments were very shrewd, posited with a veneer with respect and admiration for gays as creative and capable of coming up with their own institutions and traditions, yet boldly asserting that their relationships are definitely not equal to heterosexual.
"Of course homosexuals are lovely people - very artistic"
Ladies and Gentlemen, Anita Bryant with a British accent.
Lord Carey: The consultative process has been a sham. He also claims that the Conservatives would not have been to be able to form a Government if it had included same-sex marriage in its main manifesto.
Former Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Carey, is speaking in the House of Commons right now
Lord Framlingham says voting against equal marriage will allow the House of Lords to show its relevance
Conservative peer Lord Framlingham says equal marriage is a symbol of how far Britain has ‘lost its moral compass’
Lord Browne says that marriage is a social not a religious construct
Former BP CEO Lord Browne of Madingley is now speaking in the debate in favour of same-sex marriage
Lord Tebbit is giving the House of Lords his usual arguments, you can read a recent article here with most of them.
Lord Tebbit gives his usual argument that gay men can get married, just only to a woman
Conservative peer Lord Edmiston says that 3 people should be allowed to get married if marriage is defined as ‘people in love’
Methodist minister Baroness Richardson of Calow said that she will support same-sex marriage
Lord Garel-Jones has said that he is delighted that same-sex marriage is supported by all three party leaders
Senior Reform Rabbi Baroness Neuberger is now speaking in favour of same-sex marriage
Lord Blair of Boughton: I hope that the Anglican church will unlock the ‘quadruple lock’
Former police chief Lord Blair of Boughton: “The tide of history is only running in one direction”. He called equal marriage a “great and noble cause”
Lord Cormack: Equal marriage is the most “profound piece of social engineering that has been put before Parliament”
Lord Smith is now speaking about the differences between civil partnerships and marriages
Labour peer Lord Campbell-Savours cites Alan Duncan and Chris Bryant’s comments during civil partnerships where they said that same-sex marriage would not be the consequence of civil partnerships
Lord Black of Brentwood says that he supports same-sex marriage because he is a Conservative and is gay
Conservative peer Baroness Knight of Collingtree has equated being gay to being blind. She added that same-sex marriage was the same as women having sperm and a man giving birth.
DUP peer Lord Browne of Belmont said that the issue of same-sex marriage should be returned to at the 2015 election
Conservative peer Viscount Astor has said that he supports equal marriage
The House of Lords has resumed its debate on equal marriage
The Lords are now taking a break from equal marriage for a statement on the EU and Woolwich
Former Bishop of Oxford, Lord Harries of Pentregarth says that all couples should be able to enter into marriages
The debate on gay marriage fell through the looking glass on Monday, as the peer leading opposition to same-sex weddings enlisted Alice in Wonderland and Humpty Dumpty to his cause.
Lord Dear told the House of Lords on Monday that the word 'marriage' could not simply be changed on the whim of governments or politicians. He said by any stretch of the imagination gay mariage was a contentious Bill - before stretching peers' imagination.
Quoting from Lewis Caroll's 1872 novel he read: "I don’t know what you mean by ‘glory’, Alice said. Humpty Dumpty smiled contemptuously. Of course you don’t—till I tell you. I meant ‘there’s a nice knock-down argument for you!’ But ‘glory’ doesn't mean ‘a nice knock-down argument’, Alice objected. When I use a word, Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less”.
Lord Dear explained: "I would suggest that if we substitute the word 'marriage' for 'glory' we get somewhere very close to the essence of today’s debate. As Humpty Dumpty might have said: 'There’s a nice knock-down argument for you. Marriage means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less'."
The crossbencher, who was speaking at the start of two days of debate on David Cameron's Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill, also said he believed gay marriage would set back rather than advance gay rights.
"I fear that the Bill, should it become law, could well create such opposition to homosexuals in general that the climate of tolerance and acceptance in this country that we have all championed, supported and seen flourish over the years could well be set back by decades—certainly for a long time," he said.
Citing widespread protests in France against gay marriage, Lord Dear said "tolerance can be overstretched". He added: "The majority view should prevail, especially when the minority is tiny and the overwhelming majority is affronted."
During the debate several peers opposed to the Bill also warned of the "unintended consequences" of the Bill - including the possibility it would open the door to polygamy and incestuous marriages.
The House of Lords usually automatically gives government bills their second readings. However peers opposed to the Bill will force a vote on Tuesday evening - despite the convention that peers do not throw out legislation passed by the elected Commons. The vote is expected to be close.
Gay marriage is backed by the leadership of all three main political parties, but it has split the Conservative Party down the middle and the majority of Tory MPs voted against the plans.
However Lord Fowler, a former chairman of the Tory Party who supports the Bill, told peers today gay people had the right "to expect what we all expect; nothing more, but certainly nothing less."
"Parliament should value people equally in the law and enabling same-sex marriage removes a current inequity," he said. "For some of us, that is a fundamental moral issue."
Research of Tory Associations by ITV News shows that 73% have lost members - half of which (51%) said it was because of gay marriage.
Three out of four Tory Associations we contacted said members had left the party. Out of them, over half said gay marriage was the reason they left.
For more on this story watch ITV News at 6.30pm.
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Late on Monday night, Lord Phillips of Sudbury stood up in the House of Lords and declared himself “immensely impressed” by the quality of the debate about gay marriage. He was, he added, sure that everyone else felt the same. So that you can make your own mind up, here are a few extracts. Start with Lord Campbell-Savours, who explained with an implicit sheepish shrug that he “cannot get his head round” the idea of gay marriage. Or consider Lord Edmiston, who wondered aloud, as if no one had ever thought of this canard before, whether the move wouldn’t eventually lead to incestuous marriage as well.
Nor are those two alone. There is Lord Waddington, who predicted that to profess disagreement with gay marriage would end up designated as a “hate crime”. (It won’t.) There is Lord Hylton, who expressed his regret that “the fine old English and French word ‘gay’ has, in my lifetime, been appropriated by a small but vocal minority” with the result that “it can no longer be used in its original and rather delightful meaning”. That observation made me nostalgic for the days before a small but vocal minority of the hereditary peerage ensured that I couldn’t use the fine old English word “Lord” without anyone assuming that I meant “reactionary bigot with little regard for logic or reason”.
Most striking of the lot, perhaps, is Baroness Knight, who talks of gay people in the sort of glowing terms one might use to describe a beloved but unfortunately backward child. “Homosexuals,” she explained, “are delightful people, very artistic, and they are very loving people, too.” How kind of the Baroness to grant them these qualities, if not the same rights as everyone else! It is, of course, a bit of a jump from 1986, when as a Conservative MP she introduced Section 28 with dire warnings about the “iniquitous corruption” that would expose young people to such a “perversion” as homosexuality, but it’s nice that she’s grown. Soon she’ll be granting that some of them have a good memory for the words to Liza Minelli songs.
There were, of course, a number of fine speeches in the debate as well. But the damage that those Lords who would vote to kill the gay marriage Bill have done to their beloved institution is this: in reading the Hansard report, the words that stick in the mind are those of the reactionary minority. And so I am not inclined to take them seriously, or to believe Lord Dear’s contention that these are the views of a group who “have all championed and supported” a “climate of tolerance”.
Their argument, after all, can be boiled down to a question asked by Lord James: if we give you gay people this equal right, he asked, “what are you going to ask for next?”
Labour peer Lord Ray Collins of Highbury has paid tribute to Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron “for being prepared to stand up and be counted” when it comes to supporting equal marriage in an article for Labour Lords.
Since 1997, the situation for lesbian, gay and bisexual people in Britain has changed significantly. And with the exception of civil marriage we have full legal equality.
Much of that progress was made, I am proud to say, under the last Labour government. But I am also proud that across all political parties there is now a consensus that respects the right of lesbian and gay people to celebrate their relationships. Britain can rightly now claim to be a beacon to the world of equality for gay people. On this final step I am immensely proud of David Cameron for being prepared to stand up and be counted. His personal commitment to equality in marriage is something I celebrate.
My husband Rafael and I have taken every opportunity given to us to celebrate our 16-year relationship on an equal footing in civic society. When parliamentary opposition delayed progress on civil partnerships we went ahead with a ceremony in London City Hall. After that bill was finally passed, we legally tied the knot in Islington Town Hall. It was a very moving moment for us, our family and friends to be part of a ceremony that finally gave legal recognition to the inherent worth of a loving relationship between two people of the same sex.
I am glad that some who opposed the civil partnership legislation appear since to have had a change of heart. Hopefully it is because they are persuaded by seeing how the law has helped transform the lives of lesbian and gay people in our country rather than attempt to frustrate this move to full equality.
In a recent letter to Lord Waheed Alli, the Bishop of Salisbury wrote that public support has increased in civil partnerships those very qualities for which marriage itself is so highly regarded, increasing commitment to working on the relationship itself, contributing to the wellbeing of both families of origin, and acting as responsible and open members of society. He went on to say that the ‘quadruple locks’ contained in the bill provide extraordinarily robust protection for those religious bodies unwilling to conduct same-sex marriage without accusation of being homophobic.
It is of course a matter of religious freedom that those religions and churches that do want to conduct same-sex marriages should be able to do so.
With so much to be proud of, why do we need this legislation?
For Rafael and I, it’s that our relationship be equal in the eyes of the law. It would also help tackle the prejudice that remains. Like many, I believed the introduction of civil partnerships would bring about a change in attitudes and real reductions in the prejudice that lesbian and gay people face. Sadly this is not the case.
Recent polling for Stonewall has shown 20,000 homophobic crimes annually, 800,000 people in 5 years witnessing homophobic bullying at work, 96% young LGBT people in secondary schools routinely hear homophobic language, and three in five gay pupils who experience homophobic bullying say teachers who witness it never intervene.
Unfortunately recent letters and emails to me also provide evidence of continued prejudice towards the LGBT community. Being defined as immoral and evil is just for starters. Statements made by many public figures have compared same-sex relationships with child abuse, slavery and bestiality. Comments like this fuel aggression and homophobic bullying and cause huge damage to the self-esteem of young people in particular.
Sadly all this suggests that those changes Labour made have not been enough to diminish the remaining prejudice. By passing this bill, Parliament will send a very clear message – that LGBT people are equal and deserve the same rights and respect as every other citizen in our country.
Lord Ray Collins of Highbury is a Labour peer, and a member of the Shadow DfID and Health teams
This article was first published by Labour Lords
[quote]The Archbishop of Canterbury is speaking now and has said that most faith groups are opposed to equal marriage
why does he say that?
The lords have voted in favour. It will now move to committee and report before its final reading. Good news.
390 to 148. Majority of 242. Excellent news.
• Peers have voted by a majority of 242 to allow the gay marriage bill to continue its passage through the Lords. Although victory for the pro-bill lobby was never seriously in doubt, the size of their win took some peers by surprise. The Lords voted by 390 votes to 148 to reject an attempt by Lord Dear, a crossbencher, to defeat the bill at second reading. 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. But the size of the majority means the bill must now be certain to become law. However, it is still likely that attempts will be made to amend it in the Lords, in particular to strengthen the protection available to churches who do not want to conduct gay weddings. Lady Stowell, a government whip, told peers in her wind-up speech that the government would not necessarily object to amendments of this kind.
Woo hoo! Wonderful...!!!
Well Stonewall only came on board to support equality after Summerskill was caught red-handed OPPOSING marriage equality at the LibDem Party Conference.
Stonewall deserves absolutely no credit for marriage equality when it is introduced – although it will claim credit of course
R141 either you have recently posted on Pink News or you've nicked someone's post. I do agree. I have supported the campaign through out4marriage up until now and shall continue to until it is passed.
Plans to legalise gay marriage cleared their crucial hurdle in the House of Lords tonight when peers rejected a move to “kill the Bill” which will implement the move.
The first gay weddings are expected in July of next year after the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill survived an attempt to wreck it following a heated two-day debate in the Lords. A wrecking amendment was defeated by 390 votes to 148 and the measure was then given a second reading.
Opponents of the move will table amendments during the Bill's committee stage in the Lords, in the hope of winning further safeguards for churches and public servants such as teachers and registrars who oppose same-sex marriage. But tonight's big majority will reduce the prospects of them succeeding and jubilant supporters hope the Bill will now survive largely intact.
Lord Alli of Norbury, a gay Labour peer, welcomed “a stunning victory for equality”. He said: “There can be no doubt that the public, the House of Commons and now the House of Lords are in favour of marriage equality. Those opposed to this Bill should listen to the overwhelming voice of the majority, not just in both Houses of Parliament, but across the country.”
Ben Summerskill, chief executive of the gay equality pressure group Stonewall, said: “We're absolutely delighted. We always expected a tough challenge in the House of Lords.” He said the rarely-used “fatal motion” tabled by opponents showed the lengths to which a minority of peers were still prepared to go to deny full equality to lesbian, gay and bisexual people. He added: “In the last 24 hours alone, opponents of equality in the Lords have compared loving, committed relationships to incest and polygamy. Britain's 3.7m gay people don't deserve to be second class citizens in their own country.”
But critics warned that their fight is not over. Bob Woollard, chairman of the Conservative Grassroots group, said: “We recognise that others, whilst having reservations about the Bill, were reluctant to take the unusual step of voting it down at this stage. We urge the House of Lords to fulfil its constitutional role to give full and proper scrutiny to this Bill,” he said. “There is still time for the Government to reconsider this un-Conservative proposal and we look forward to continuing to make the leadership aware of the deep reservations amongst the grassroots about the political and practical implications of this Bill.”
Tonight's decisive vote was a boost for David Cameron, who was praised by some Labour peers for his “courage” in pressing ahead with gay marriage. The Prime Minister hopes that, now the Bill has received big majorities in both Houses of Parliament, the heat will go out of the debate. He believes that gay marriage will be accepted once it has been introduced, just as opposition to civil partnerships faded quickly after they were allowed.
Although peers do not normally vote against a Bill on its second reading, Lord Dear, a crossbench peer and former Chief Constable of the West Midlands, tried to stop the measure in its tracks with his wrecking amendment. He told peers the proposal could “completely alter the concept of marriage as we know it”,saying the Bill was “ill thought through” and had no democratic legitimacy. It was so “fatally flawed” that it was incapable of sensible amendment and should be sent back to “the drawing board”, he argued.
Lord Vinson, a Tory peer, warned that same-sex marriage could create a “moral mess” by fundamentally altering the “most important social structure ever known to mankind”. He added: “Fifty years ago those who criticised Christ were persecuted; today those who promote Christ are prosecuted.... We need the sort of legal protection that was given to conscientious objectors in the last war - a war that was fought to allow the very freedoms of expressions and thought that are under attack today.”
Baroness Stowell of Beeston, a government whip and equalities spokeswoman who won praise for her speeches in the debate, said the legislation was a “force for good” which would strengthen the institution of marriage. She said that, if further changes to the Bill were necessary to make protections for religious organisations clearer, the Government would consider doing so.