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Exclusive: MPs to vote on same-sex marriage bill before Valentine’s Day

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  1. That There Other David 14 Jan 2013, 5:50pm

    Good. Enough talk. Time for this to actually happen.

    1. I know . . .

      Yet ANOTHER piece of legislation that needed to be rectified after the previous Labour government failure . . .

      Thank goodness for all the work that Lynne Featherstone MP has done on this piece of work . . .

      1. The last Labour government:
        achieved an equal age of consent;
        ended the ban on LGBT people serving in our armed forces;
        ended discrimination against Lesbian & Gay partners for immigration purposes;
        given LGBT individuals and couples the right to adopt children;
        scrapped the homophobic Section 28 (Clause 2a in Scotland);
        become a signatory of the Treaty of Amsterdam, which gave the EU powers to end discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation;
        banned discrimination in the workplace and in vocational training with the introduction of the Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations;
        created the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) which gives LGBT people statutory body protection;
        included homophobia in the definition of hate crimes;
        increased sentencing for homophobic hate crimes;
        removed outdated offences such as gross indecency and buggery;

      2. (continued)
        produced and implemented the Gender Recognition Act, allowing Trans people to have their true gender recognised in law;
        created the Civil Partnerships, allowing LGB people to have their loving relationships recognised by law and have the same benefits as married couples;
        outlawed discrimination in good and services (with no exceptions);
        launched a campaign in the UN for the Decriminalisation of Homosexuality focusing on the nine countries where it is still punishable by death;
        awarded statutory rights for fertility treatment for Lesbians on the NHS.
        introduced the Equality Act

        Same-sex marriage is just the icing on the cake. Don’t pretend the last government failed on LGBT issues. It’s one of the few things they were good on.

        1. Their only mistake was Civil Partnerships:

          They haven’t made sure that occupational pensions pay out to same-sex couples for service before December 2005 (this mainly affects older gay couples almost retiring and spent their whole working life at a company only to be told they are not getting the full entitlement of their employment).

          It created suffering for the Trans community because it was poorly crafted meaning that a trans person would have to get divorced and then civil partnership if they wanted to stay in their relationship and lose all their previous couples rights they had accrued.

          So yea they got ‘Equality’ if only you don’t look at it economically and all the niggly exceptions and technicalities BUT im not sure it would have been possible to even be anywhere near equal marriage unless the CPA was brought in.

          1. Don Harrison 14 Jan 2013, 8:48pm

            Thanks you James you are right. This is another reason why EM is important as there in no CP for mixed sex partnership.

  2. Fabulous

    1. Having gone through all this some 7 years ago .It amazes me that Britain is only dealing with this issue in the House now. But that doesn`t surprise me as some Europeans are not always as enlightened as their counterparts on the other side of the pond. We in Canada entrenched Same sex marriage into our constitution 7 years ago on July 20 2005 against all the same bigotry and delusional reasoning spread by religious and conservative views. Here is the reason why.

      1. jamestoronto 15 Jan 2013, 3:57am

        Bruce, I think you mean it was entrenched in the civil law of Canada. You’ll probably find a lot of legal types arguing that it entrenched in the Constitution. Marriage as a federal responsibility is but not the definition of marriage which is done by legislation (the Civil Marriage Act 2005). The only link to the Constitution is the citing of the Charter of Rights as one of the reasons the Act is needed.

        1. jamestoronto 15 Jan 2013, 3:59am

          “it is not entrenched” that is

  3. Great news, although I worry about the length of time it will get caught up in HoC Committee stage, HoL first reading & HoL Committee stage.

    The Scottish Bill should be be done all of its (lengthy!) consultations and introduced at the beginning of April, with very little to be done to it in Committee and it facing a single vote in a single chamber.

    It will be interesting to see where in the pipeline the England & Wales Bill will be by the time both legislatures adjourn for summer. My guess would be that it will have cleared first reading in HoL, and in Scotland a vote will be lined up for the first week back.

    1. remember Scotland does not have an upper house so they compensated by this by opening it to public consultation at every possible stage. Im not sure how they decide which suggested ammendments to bring in or ignore though at least the debate in the House of Lords is televised and you can follow it.

      1. Equality Network 14 Jan 2013, 10:45pm

        Similarly, you can watch all Scottish Parliament Committee and chamber debates live on their website, and also watch them later.

      2. james, not every Bill does get put to a public consultation at every possible stage in Scotland, ehich is why I find it a little frustrating that the equal marriage has done just that. However, I don’t think there’s any cause for concern as it is very likely to be passed in Scotland no problem.

        1. As far as I’m aware, the Comnittee stages of scrutinising a Bill in the Scottish Parliament are roughly equivalent to the role the Lords plays at Westminster. So a public consultation of a Bill in Scotland is not supposed to take the role of the Lords.

          1. Nice one, bennie…

    2. Equality Network 14 Jan 2013, 10:42pm

      That’s a little optimistic, Max, about the Scottish timetable.
      The current Scottish bill is a draft, and the final one should be introduced in the Parliament by June. It then needs some time for evidence taking by a Parliamentary Committee, a chamber vote on the general principles, back to the Committee for detailed debate on amendments, then one last day in the chamber for more amendments and a vote on passing it. That process can take up to six months of sitting time.

  4. Cardinal Fang 14 Jan 2013, 6:16pm

    Better sooner than later. We could still beat the French to it!

    Let’s get it through and move on, beyond all the homophobia that opponents are generating.

    And let the government stop treating political action by so-called “religious groups” with kid gloves, but treat them as intolerant political opponents like any other.

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 14 Jan 2013, 6:45pm

      I think it’s January 27 for France.

  5. Don Harrison 14 Jan 2013, 6:17pm

    Looking at all those in Parliament who say the are for it and against those who oppose it, I think the vote will definately get throgh.

  6. This is wonderful news. The sooner we can get this legislation passed, the sooner we can be that much closer to a more fair and equal society. I can’t wait to see the looks on all those bigots faces when this legislation passes! :D

  7. The sooner this is done the better. Excellent news.

    Equality is coming whether opponents like it or not, they will look extremely foolish once it becomes clear that all their ranting and raving was over nothing.

  8. Pavlos Prince of Greece 14 Jan 2013, 6:38pm

    It means – at the same time as in France too. Its very nice and symbolic for me, because English parliamentarian democracy was for long time example ans inspiration for they, who wish have something similar in France too (from Enzyklopedians to Victor Hugo). And France was example for young Italian democracy after World War II. Lets see, how this way of gay rights in Western Europe will continue in the near future …

  9. I am scared, what if they refuse it and once again we are refused equality? :(

    1. the House of Lords cannot stop it indefinately thats why the Parliament Act exists to force it through and stop any outright vetoing – we are unfortunately likely to see more compromises being created though depending on who is on the committee.

  10. It’s France vs England and Wales!

    1. and Scotland too lest ye forget!

  11. I’m not so sure the Lords will kill off the gay marriage bill. Remember that during the 13 years Labour were in power, they appointed a significant number of Lords and the upper chamber has a significant liberal leaning majority. Look at the numbers:

    The House of Lords membership currently comprises:
    224 Labour peers
    90 Liberal Democrat peers
    176 Cross-bench peers
    212 Conservative peers

    Even if every single Tory peer votes against the bill (which they wont – there are bound to be Tory peers who support the measure) it could still pass. Sure, not all of the Labour and Lib-dem peers will vote for it, and it is almost certain that the bigoted old has-beens on the Bishops bench will vote against it. I think the vote will be close, but don’t write it off in the Lords just yet.

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 14 Jan 2013, 6:52pm

      Russ, thanks for that. I believe there are a couple of Anglican bishops who will vote yes if I’m not mistaken. Either way, I think you’re right, will be a close call but I think it will get through. Once France does it I think it will give some pause for thought and just go with the flow, being so close to home.

      1. That There Other David 15 Jan 2013, 10:37am

        Agree about France being the keystone to this. That would mean that that every country that surrounds the UK except Ireland will already have marriage equality, and even they’re likely to bring it in shortly. It gets harder and harder for those opposed to paint this as something Cameron and Clegg have idly dreamed up when all of our neighbours plus potentially one nation within the UK have considered, passed and implemented the law already.

  12. Don Harrison 14 Jan 2013, 6:59pm

    Now is the time to write to your MP and ask for support and how they intend to vote?

  13. Say what you like about Cameron on other issues but he has really impressed me on LGBT equality and I can honestly trust him to protect and stand up for people like me (LGBT people). Thank you Cameron, if you get this through you will be a hero of the LGBT community! (esp the shit you have had to put up wity from the Church and some of your vile backbenchers, you deserve better!) I can not wait to get married in the future. (haven’t got a boyfriend yet but the fact that I will be able to get married makes me very excited!).

  14. I’m equal parts excited and scared. It feels so close.

  15. Jason Feather 14 Jan 2013, 8:36pm

    Brace yourselves for more bigoted vitriolic insults comparing us to pedophiles and people who have sex with animals from the oh so caring and loving church

  16. Anyone not lobbied their MP yet? Better do it now!

  17. Craig Nelson 14 Jan 2013, 10:40pm

    2nd reading is a crucial moment. Now is the time for talking to come to an end and for legislating to begin.

    A lot of difficulties hav been caused (e.g. so called 4th lock) because there is no actual Bill and people aren’t thinking about how to amend – I think it exaggerates opposition to some extent.

    Having an actual Bill means ‘put up or shut up’ time.

  18. Alas it seems that there will be married trans folk who will not be getting a GRC, whilst married, if the Bill is passed. If the GRC holder is in certain occupational pension schemes (e.g. has or will have a public pension), the survivor’s pension could be dramatically reduced. Fair??

  19. Jock S. Trap 15 Jan 2013, 10:25am

    Excellent. David Cameron seems determined to see this through into law and I look forward to cheers on legislation soon!!

    Here’s hoping!

  20. Gay Activist Paul Mitchell 15 Jan 2013, 12:45pm

    I bet the bill will be named as the

    “Civil Marriage Equality, Enhancing Religious Freedoms, Civil Partnerships Abolition, Family Law Amendments, Matrimonial Causes (Adultery and Consummation) And Other Pieces of UK Legislation Bill 2013”.

    I know this bill title is a bit long!

    This law is LONG overdue to be introduced to the UK Parliament House of Commons!

    It has the votes to pass the House of Commons very easily (the same as the Scotland bill there has the votes to pass their easily too)!

    I bet the House of Lords do not pass it and the Pailament Act 1911 forces the bill to the Queen for Royal Assent!

    Just like they did 13 years ago with the age of consent legislation for gay men to equalise to 16!

    If the Queen approves of course????

    Has the Queen of the UK ever vetoed a bill in the UK I wonder!?

    I have been trying to find information on United Kingdom Queens vetoes!

    1. That There Other David 15 Jan 2013, 5:50pm

      The UK has changed quite a bit over the past 13 years, as has the makeup of the House of Lords. Interesting about the Queen though. I sometimes wonder whether the only reason we still have an Established Church, Lords Spiritual, and even this 4th lock against the Church of England is down to opinions she has expressed to David Cameron at their weekly meetings.

      There’s no chance of her vetoing a Bill though. It’s a nominal power in reality. The first time she actually uses it will be the last time she possesses it. Same for any monarch who succeeds.

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