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Analysis: What next for the same-sex marriage bill?

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  1. Ian Bower 6 Feb 2013, 5:18pm

    Civil Partnerships should be available to all.
    Pension rights for survivor of couple (when one dies) should be same for C.P. as marriage.

    1. Tim Chapman 6 Feb 2013, 6:55pm

      Quite right Ian. I’m sick of reading that CP pension rights are equal to marriage (eg Channel 4 News website yesterday). They’re not. They’re inferior.

    2. To be honest I’m not really seeing the point of CP’s once same-sex marriage is legalised. Rather than make CP’s available to heterosexual couples why not just get shot of them? It really just amounts to having two systems in place that are identical in all but name. Obviously you can’t just cancel everyone’s civil partnerships, but they could just set a deadline after which no new civil partnerships would be permitted. That will allow people who’ve got them (or made short term plans to get them) to keep them as long as they want, while ensuring that eventually we only have one system that can accommodate everyone.

      1. I completely agree that civil partnerships should be abolished. In fact, I would go once step further and say they should automatically be converted to marriages.

        The issue is that the continuing existence of CPs is a reflection of a govt sanctioned view that homosexual relationships are somehow different than heterosexual relationships and therefore require a ‘separate but equal’ institution. It’s strange and makes no sense

  2. Still more concerned about the Lords throwing a capricious time-wasting spanner in the works. But that would be because I remember them blocking the age of consent equalising law and requiring the Parliament Act to come into play.

    It’s not a done deal by any stretch of the imagination. Although I would hope the 3rd reading at the Commons is little more than a formality at this point.

    1. In reality, while we are all avoiding counting our chickens, yesterday’s vote sounded the death knell for the anti-brigade.

      There will be amendments, there will be some drama and the 3rd Reading vote is by no means guaranteed to result in the same whopping majority that we saw last night.

      Yes, their lordships will throw tantrums, repeat the same nonsense we heard yesterday and add a wrecking motion or two. It might even fail in the Lords.

      But Maria Miller has already refused to rule out using the Parliament Act, and in doing so have effectively indicated that she will do so if the Lords chuck this Bill out.

      So, the overwhelming likelihood is that this Bill will be enacted, it’s just a question of when (this session if the Lords play ball, next session if the Parliament Acts has to be invoked) rather than if.

      The anti-SSM marriage lot’s claim that “there is all to play for” is bullshit. And they know it.

      1. Robert in S. Kensington 6 Feb 2013, 5:50pm

        I dare say they could delay it, but in reality, do they really want to postpone the inevitable knowing their blocking it is an exercise in futility anyway considering that the vote yesterday was a very signficant majority? Do they really want to have the Parliament Act invoked because that’s just what they’ll get? So they are damned either way.

        1. Yes. Robert, they probably *will* do exactly that, if they can. I’m sorry to say that the more rabidly deluded religious lords have very little understanding of reality

  3. Robert in S. Kensington 6 Feb 2013, 5:47pm

    I think at this point in time, very serious attention should be given to perhaps a letter writing campaign or petition to the Lords on behalf of the supporters of equal marriage to not reject the legislation. The opposition are already mobilised to bombard the upper chamber with more of the hateful letters they’re so renowned for. We must NOT become apathetic, complacent but become even more proactive than ever before and not let the opposition get the ‘massacre’ they claim they will see happen once it reaches the Lords. Now more than ever, we must be vigilant and and make our voices heard instead of drowned out. I’ve contacted Out4Marriage to get their input on perhaps a petition or some similar action. I posed the question several weeks ago to StonewallUK but have received no response, no surprise there. Anyone have any other thoughts, recommendations?

  4. Very good advice from Robert in South Ken. Perhaps it would be good if Stonewall took up his suggestions and get a writing to the Lords campaign with helpful lists of putative addressees and perhaps a model letter or two.

  5. What concerns me most is the possibility of a wrecking amendment being tabled to allow an opt-out fror Registrars on the grounds of religious conscience.

    1. This point was made in the debate yesterday and Maria Miller was absolutely adamant that no such provision would be made. Registrars are public servants and will be obliged to follow the law. And thanks to Ms Ladelle European Law has made that very clear as well. There may be scare stories by C4M etc but all the case law from this country and Europe is on our side.

      1. Yes John-but Lillian Ladele was refusing to preform Civil Partnerships- which are non-religious in nature.

        Surely she would have had a BETTER case in the event she was being asked to perform Civil MARRIAGES?

        1. No, she wouldn’t.

        2. Paul Brownsey 6 Feb 2013, 7:51pm

          Civil marriages are not religious marriages carried out under some sort of franchise arrangement with the churches.

          They are just that: civil marriages, entirely independent of what does or not go on in the tabernacles.

  6. Christopher Hobe Morrison 6 Feb 2013, 7:03pm

    I agree that civil partnerships should be available to all, and I read a quote from David Cameron that sounded like he was sympathetic to this.

    As for the Lords, yes the Parliament Act if necessary, and don’t forget that Lord’s reform is still unfinished. I remember most of the people on UK Open Politics were against Lord’s reform in the old days, but most of them were against putting BBC radio on the internet too.

  7. Can anyone tell me: what is the chance of the Parliament Act being invoked in this instance? My anxiety is that the Upper Chamber will try to wreck the bill in its final stages.

    1. As the PM has made this a matter of honour for him, I think you an be assured that he won’t allow the unelected house to override the Commons.

  8. I think C4EM should start a support page for the lords in the same way as they did for the MPs. It’s the only way of getting some indication of what the lords are thinking.

    Otherwise it’s all speculation and comres and c4m will inevitably bring out polls from the HoL saying they are mostly against it. We really need to know who is supporting it and not wait for these polls to start skewing and influening people.

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 6 Feb 2013, 8:52pm

      I contacted C4EM and StonewallUK about that, awaiting a response. However, C4M if you recall last year indicated that there was vast opposition among the British public and in Parliament. Both turned out not to be the case even though 175 Tories voted no. C4M’s m.o. is spin, in fact anything in this debate is just about that as far as they’re concerned. It really wasn’t a success for them yesterday no matter how they try to skew it. 400-175 is huge, an overwhelming majority of 2256, extremely significant C4M doesn’t even concede that they lost the argument. The House of Lords would be foolish to reject it. Knowing that Lords reform might be coming their way should give them pause for thought. I suspect the majority of them wouldn’t want an elected upper chamber because it could well mean the end of Anglican bishops sitting there. I can’t for the life of me imagine the majority of the British public voting for a bishop, let alone an aristocrat in this day and age.

      1. Robert in S. Kensington 6 Feb 2013, 8:54pm

        ..oops, an overwhelming majority of 225 I meant to have indicated.

      2. The 175 weren’t all Tories, well, not by party affiliation anyway.

  9. Stephen Timms didn’t vote for equal marriage anyway and he has been on the C4em and christian concern list of MPs who has always been against SSM. I wrote him off a very long time ago!

  10. Mike Homfray 6 Feb 2013, 11:26pm

    Lord Fowler pointed out today that the Lords simply couldn’t be seen to block anything which passed with such a huge Commons majority

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