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First clause of equal marriage bill passes Committee stage in UK Parliament

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  1. Marriage is what it is; a unity of love and affection determined no longer by the size of our wallets, our hereditary titles, our sole religion and now, by our gender. If any two people of any sex decides to get married, let’s finally see it happen because soon we are not to be defined by sexuality, binary labels; we are to be defined by our humanity and what it means to be human. Goodbye dark ages. Hello life.
    Equality, unity, commitment. We are humans, not just ‘the gays’.

    1. You sir, have made the most eloquently written post I’ve ever read. Definitely quotable material there, and couldn’t agree more.

      1. Many thanks to you! That is very kind of you to say so, currently an English and Creative Writing (Yes, I will say the taboo word) student who wishes to make a difference. I do believe that these changes are indeed small and controversial to others, but to our community it is life changing. I do not wish to totally rid our community, but integrate it to form a unitary social normality created from diversity. Idealistic much? Potentially, however dreams always need to start somewhere.

  2. Robert in S. Kensington 26 Feb 2013, 6:37pm

    Good news, but why so bloody long winded? 17 more clauses to go and voted on? I appreciate that the government want this to be air-tight but this really is bureaucratically over the top and unnecessary.

    I wonder who the four were who voted against? Loughton definintely one of them, Burrowes and who else, assuming they voted?

    1. I think the others were Jim Shannon (the DUP guy) and Kwasi Kwarteng (who voted against the bill, but doesn’t seem to feel as strongly about it as the other three).

      The reason it took so long today (though I only watched bits of the meetings, so my impression might be innacurate) is because Burrowes, Loughton and Shannon tabled a long list of amendments, many of them either immaterial (minor changes to wording) or completely absurd (two of them offer competing “definitions” of marriage, one listing “sexual union”, “procreation”, etc., and the other one listing “not sexual union”, “not procreation”, etc.). The morning meeting began with Burrowes making a long, meandering speech about nothing in particular – I turned it off after I got fed up of him, but apparently it went on for a long time. I don’t know what he gains by stalling apart from annoying his political enemies – there is no possibility of the bill being talked out in the Commons.

      1. Robert in S. Kensington 26 Feb 2013, 8:33pm

        James, amazing isn’t it that the word ‘procreation’ is raised in a same-sex marriage bill affecting only the lives of gay people. Was there a moderator or referee? If so, I blame him or her for allowing their rants to go on ad nauseum. During the committee hearing, those giving evidence were limited to a certain amount of time and often reminded of it.

      2. Where can you listen to the proceedings?

        1. Peter & Michael 27 Feb 2013, 11:23am

          Parliament Channel on Free Sat or Freeview. Look in the Listings on the menu.

  3. I thought Congress was bad! This process is asinine!

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 26 Feb 2013, 6:54pm

      In spite of that and as wrestless as I am over the process, we in the UK can take comfort that it will pass a lot sooner than it will in 40 states were there is no equal marriage legislation approved. It will be years before DOMA is wiped from the face of the earth assuming the Supreme Court doesn’t do it which I doubt. Too radical for the five catholic justices.

      1. David Waite 26 Feb 2013, 8:41pm

        The current SCOTUS (Supreme Court Of The United States) has six –not five– RCC justices. The other three are Jewish.

        SCOTUS justices, appointed for life, are far less likely to be ‘controlled’ by religious authorities than UK MPs, who must stand for re-election, and praise FSM that this is so. My projected SCOTUS ‘whip’ count is six to three for equality on the two cases, with the six expanding the Ninth Circuit’s narrow ruling striking down Prop 8.

        Justice Sotomayor (RCC) is very likely to join Justices Kagan, Breyer and Ginsberg (the 3 Jewish justices) in voting against both DOMA and Prop 8. If Justice Kennedy (RCC) joins these 4 ‘liberals’ then (pro-business) Chief Justice Roberts is likely to side with the five-justice majority, in order to project a “strong” SCOTUS issue on an issue which he already knows will otherwise return to his court.

        1. Robert in S. Kensington 27 Feb 2013, 1:27pm

          I’m aware there are six catholic justices but merely indicating that 5 would probably vote against overturning with Kennedy perhaps not. Thanks for clarifying. I’d be surprised if they overturn DOMA.

      2. It will not take years before DOMA is vaporized believe me. It’s simple the Supreme Court does not play politics as many may think. 18 times the Supreme Court has heard cases on marriage since’s Americas beginning. From biracial marriage to divorce and many other marriage issues each time they voted for equality. DOMA is unconstitutional based on one important thing “Declaration of Independence” it states “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”. This single sentences will forever will be ingrain in every American and is why the Supreme Court will vote against DOMA and in favor of Equal Marriage.

        1. Robert in S. Kensington 27 Feb 2013, 1:29pm

          I hope you’re right, but my gut feeling is they’ll leave DOMA alone but overturn Prop. 8.

    2. Bills have to go through committees in the US system too, don’t they?

      1. Robert in S. Kensington 26 Feb 2013, 7:44pm

        I think they have something similar James.

  4. I watched the morning version of the committee meeting and couldn’t believe how Burrowes and Shannon were allowed to ramble on about nothing in particular. The list of amendments raised by Shannon, Burrowes and Loughton were absurd. Surely there must have been a way to throw them out more quickly than they did.

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 26 Feb 2013, 8:19pm

      Interesting but not surprising, john. I don’t understand why people like Burrowes are part of the committee. They contribute absolutely nothing positive and have absolutely no intention of supporting the amendments since they voted against the bill. Even if the nonsense they want included in the bill were granted, it would still elicit a negative vote from them. It makes absolutely no sense why these idiots are participating in what for them is a futile exercise in trying to stall passage. It’s not going to work for them, try as they might. They’re delusional to think they can succeed. After all, they’re overwhelmingly outnumbered.

      1. David Waite 26 Feb 2013, 8:53pm

        Robert, have you considered that their futile obstructionism will serve them very well with those constituents who elected them? I feel sure that is all these MPs wish to succeed at. It certainly is all that matters to conservative members of Congress in the US.

        1. Robert in S. Kensington 27 Feb 2013, 12:36pm

          They’re only doing it because they happen to be in safe constituencies. It hasn’t worked too well for them in America after their massive defeat in November 2012. It won’t work too well for MPs who voted no either in the long run. They keep bleating about equal marriage costing them the election in 2015. Well, voting no is only going to make that a reality. They don’t see the larger picture. What is striking is that they don’t seem to care. They should have resigned in protest if they really felt so strongly about not introducing equal marriage, but none have, just a very small handful of local councillors who have one foot in the grave who have no real power of influence.

  5. That’s good news. It’s another step closer!

  6. As there is no prospect of marriage equality in Northern Ireland, would it be possible for a couple living in N.I. to get married in G.B. or is residency in a local council area required? Does anyone know?

    1. James,
      Yes someone from NI could get married in England and wales once this bill has passed, you will have to have residency for a short time, but it is not long – we are one of the shortest waiting times in Europe.

      1. Nivag – thanks for replying. Do you know how long the waiting time would be?

  7. Peter & Michael 27 Feb 2013, 11:21am

    Let’s just hope that this Bill is not watered down to the level of a Civil Partnership, which as we know was never Equal to a Marriage.

  8. Jock S. Trap 27 Feb 2013, 11:35am

    That should be it. No way should we have 18 clauses to go through… we really shouldn’t have 1, it should be a matter of fact, a matter of law.

    Get this through already!

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 27 Feb 2013, 1:23pm

      I don’t think any bill has gone through such scrutiny in recent years, not since the CP law was introduced. Something needs to be done about legislative reform. It shouldn’t take this long to get a bill through and with a super majority of 400-175, why should the commons be allowed to override a vote of such magnitude in the Commons?

      1. Jock S. Trap 27 Feb 2013, 2:40pm

        Indeed. I think this more about bigots trying to delay the inevitable, according to their discriminating beliefs, than listening to the fact this was democratically voted on by the majority.

        They just can’t stand the fact they are a minority but rather than see how minorities are treated they continue to show such vile bigotry.

        Their own beliefs will be a minority in time and I do hope they remember how they treated others before they carry on complaining.

        1. Robert in S. Kensington 27 Feb 2013, 3:29pm

          Totally concur, Jock. The Tory party will never be able to completely dispel the ‘nasty’ label with a majority of them in opposition to equal marriage. Let’s hope more of them lose their seats in 2015. The likes of Burrowes et al, won’t change their opinions ten years from now, not on this one issue. Hopefully, he’ll be one of the first to go at the next election.

  9. it violates the Christian gay and lesbians right to the Anglican Faith and to be married in an Anglican Church

    1. My understanding is that the problem there is that the Church of England’s canons ban same-sex marriage. The long-standing procedure for modifying these is that the General Synod agrees on an amendment then sends it to Parliament who have to approve it. Clearly the Synod are not going to approve same-sex marriage any time soon, so allowing individual C of E priests to perform them would mean a significant change to the relationship between the C of E and Parliament. Personally, I am in favour of complete disestablishment, but this bill clearly isn’t the appropriate place to do that.

  10. Is this process for the marriage bill longer than for other bills? Or is this out of the routine?

    1. The process varies very little from one bill to another. I think the government is pushing it through Parliament relatively quickly.

  11. Robert in S. Kensington 27 Feb 2013, 1:20pm

    That scrawny harridan, Sharon James is now saying the Lords won’t be pushed around when the final vote comes, considering only one third of the Commons support them if the February 5th vote is anything to go by.

    It’s obvious C4M are on the attack to bombard the Lords into submission to their will. We need to be extra vigilant and make sure it doesn’t happen. What are StonewallUK and Out4Marriage doing about this? We should mount a similar campaign to counter the lies and hate.

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