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MPs to resume debate of same-sex marriage bill this month

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  1. So after 22 May it will be passed to the unelected House of ‘Lords’ for further scrutiny.

    The HofL has no democratic mandate, so it had better not cause any obstacles.

    It’s time to replace it with an elected upper house.

    If the ‘Lords’ cause trouble here then they are speeding up their own removal.

    1. Lords would dig their own graves to so brazenly defy 400 MPs.

    2. I wrote to several Lords and did not get any response. I don’t know what to make of that.

      1. Hmmm. Thanks for reminding, David. I wrote to my local “Lord” two weeks ago and have heard NOTHING either. A caring, compassionate, and supportive “Lord” ought to have dropped me an assuring line, no matter how brief.

        Has anyone here received an assuring word or two back from a Lord? (Serious question.)

    3. SteveC, I would like to see the abolition of the House of Lords, and our government using the unicameral model, as used in New Zealand, where everything is decided in the one house.

      The trouble is that if the Lords do indeed cause trouble to this Bill then because of the extraordinary swelling of homophobia that we have witnessed in this country as a result of this Bill, they will be doing the opposite of speeding up their own removal. Unfortunately, the vast number of homophobes which this Bill has driven out of the woodwork will think the Lords have done a fine thing and proven their worth.

  2. It will be interesting to see if any of the bigot MP’s in the Commons who voted against equality (predominantly Tories of course) will change their minds.

    As well as idiots like Sarah Teather – if that bigot continues to oppose equality then it’s quite possible to make sure she does not get re-elected at the next election seeing as she is in a marginal seat.

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 9 May 2013, 1:23pm

      Perhaps, Michael Fallon will. He said after the 5th February vote that he regretted not voting yes. Don’t know of any others who may have evolved since then, probably none. They’re dyed-in-the-wool religion arse-kissing bigots.

  3. Colin (London) 9 May 2013, 12:42pm

    To me the HOL is the one to fear. Older generation who remember when it was illegal. Also there are bishops appointed in HOL (Much to my disgust)

    I’m banking on the ones who waqnt to leave this world better than they found it and realise that religion is holding the world back now.

    I hope the ones who live in the church past just abstain as somewhere in the minds of these movers and shakers they know SSM is about equality and not taking away from any faction that is relevant today.

  4. That There Other David 9 May 2013, 12:50pm

    I’m not as worried about the House of Lords as I was back in 2004. The removal of hereditary peers has led in the years since to political parties stuffing the chamber with hundreds more Lords than there used to be, so it is a more left-leaning chamber than it was 10 years ago. I honestly think the Bill could be passed by today’s HoL, even with the Bishops and the likes of Tebbit being in there.

  5. France took hardly any time to pass this, and there were many more protesters? Why is this all taking so long? Some of us want to get married here! Come on, shape up!

    1. welcome to the rather silly unnecessarily longwinded legislative process of the UK heh

    2. Well, it’s not actually finished the process in France, yet. It still needs to go through one more committee and be signed into law by the president.

      Our legislative process is not really that slow, and our legislation is usually very well drafted.

  6. The Christian websites are posting the following for the debate/vote on the 20/21st May so the battle hasn’t been quite won in the Commons yet so we should’t be complacent and assume it’s just going to roll smothly into the lords!

    “MPs will soon vote on amendments to David Cameron’s same-sex marriage Bill. We oppose the Bill as a whole, and the House of Lords will have a chance to derail the Bill in due course.

    But at this stage, the best way of showing our opposition to the Government’s plans is to support amendments which show just how damaging and undemocratic this proposal is. Some excellent amendments have already been tabled.

    Please email your MP today and ask him or her to please “co-sign” this amendment:

    New Clause 9

    This amendment calls for a referendum on the redefinition of marriage.

    1. bobbleobble 9 May 2013, 1:21pm

      They certainly haven’t given up hope of stopping the bill yet. The Lords is probably their best chance but I suspect they hope to ensure that the majority for the third reading is less than for the second reading to give the Lords some cover should they try to derail the bill.

      The vexatious amendments will all be kicked to the curb and the bill will head to the Lords on 22 May. Who knows what happens then!

    2. Robert in S. Kensington 9 May 2013, 1:33pm

      Well then, perhaps a campaign should take root to call for a referendum to disestablish the CoE. It’s shill in Parliament, Bigot Burrowes would be the first to cry foul. Even if a referendum were supported and equal marriage passed into law, Burrowes et al still would not be satisfied. Radical homophobic bigots like him would lead the charge to repeal it.

  7. Robert in S. Kensington 9 May 2013, 1:28pm

    Even if the Lords derail it, there’s nothing to stop Maria Miller using the Parliament Act which she said in December 2012 hadn’t been ruled out which would mean it would be delayed for a year I believe from 5th February 2013 retroactively then passed into law. I see no point in the Lords rejecting it in light of that. If anything, it would make Lords reform that much more urgent. An unelected chamber having a say in legislation runs counter to true democracy.

  8. Aryugaetu 9 May 2013, 1:29pm

    New Zealand’s Maurice Williamson – none better…
    http://youtu.be/pCDEiaoEP2U

    Results: On 17 APR 2013, “Legislators voted 77 to 44 in favor of the bill, and the nation’s governor-general is expected to give it assent, considered a formality. It will take effect within four months.”

    Life would be so much better if those bands of believers in fictional deities wouldn’t get in the way.

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 9 May 2013, 1:35pm

      NZ has a far better more streamlined unbureaucratic Parliament than ours and doesn’t have an unnecessary unelected, undemocratic upper chamber, in fact, no upper chamber at all. That’s why things move there a lot faster than most other countries.

      1. Hmmm not entirely true, I like unicameral parliaments but there are issues.

        Scotland has an identical system and our bill hasn’t even been introduced yet, and when it does it will take 8 months to emerge with Royal Assent, and that’s not including the implementation date. And we actually proposed our bill before England. And despite a huge range of consultations that have been held prior to lodging we still have to re-cover old ground with hearings and such.

        The consequence of no second chamber is that you often have to wait longer for the entire process of legislating to be completed. New Zealand actually took a while, it was in committee for 6 months. It’s all about checks and balances.

  9. The way the Tory leadership have attempted to move the party on by trying to bring in this legislation, only for this debate to unleash the bile of right wing homophobia, has been sickening.

    If that was not bad enough, they are being propped up by the unprincipled and unscrupulous Liberal Dems.

  10. BBC seems more in tune with UKIP on the marriage issue. For example the snide comment by Andrew Neil earlier today when he referred to Stephen Williams speaking in the Commons: “Now do politicians speak the language of ordinary people? Well if you listened to that, I think it’s just answered itself, that question.”

    1. Andrew Neil is a foreignor i.e. Scottish and should keep his Gaelic nose out of English affairs.

    2. After having a friend show me how superbly the BBC’s news website flows on a little smartphone, it occurred to me that the BBC’s seeming lack of support for gay rights issues in recent months could be due to a policy of preparing a diet of news generally digestible by the whole world, including all those nations which would turn to other news sites if they perceived “too much” pro-gay news coverage on the BBC.

  11. Jock S. Trap 9 May 2013, 2:56pm

    Yep, lets get this through already… we’ve waited long enough!

  12. Given the dramatic results of last week’s local elections, is the Tory Party now at all likely to want to be seen using the Parliament Act to force through a Bill that the backward ones of Middle (and Lower) England clearly do not want?

    Have the Local Elections not made it very clear to the Tories that any further “willfulness” or “progressiveness” on their part will result in losing more of their supporters to UKIP?

    I believe that the Tories would probably welcome a rejection of the Bill in the House of Lords: it would give them “reason” and “justification” to put the Same Sex Couples Bill permanently to one side.

    We would then have to wait for Labour to get back into power for Marriage Equality to be made a reality.

    So don’t put any down-payments on your preferred wedding venue yet!

    1. That There Other David 9 May 2013, 5:39pm

      No, because if you look at the elections they were only in English rural areas anyway. The towns, cities, and other UK nations vote for our councils next year. Therefore UKIP gaining 25% of a 30% turnout in areas that historically lean towards UKIP politics anyway really isn’t much to shout about. Their impact in urban areas will be negligible.

      One unitary authority voted this month. Bristol. How many UKIP candidates won there? Did UKIP even bother campaigning in the city?

      1. I wish that your theory was true, David. But has there not been a monumental shift by the Tories in the past two days, with regard to immigration, as a result of those elections?

        If the Tories felt that they did not need to take any note of the UKIP surge, because, as you say, it “only” occurred in “English rural areas”, then they wouldn’t have been so shaken up and have immediately taken action.

        So it follows that the Tories may well respond to the UKIP surge in other areas besides immigration. Remember too, they are the Tories. Progressiveness in any department is not their “bag” – despite all of Call-Me-Dave’s hopes to modernise and transform his party.

        1. That There Other David 9 May 2013, 10:05pm

          The Tories certainly have the most to lose if UKIP’s support does scale once turnouts go up, but the way I see it they can’t afford not to continue with the bill now. It’s become an issue they cannot possibly u-turn on without looking weak and haemorrhaging credibility. In the meantime Labour, the Lib Dems and the SNP are all waiting to pounce should the Tories blink. The only strategy the Tories can follow is to push the bill through as quickly as possible, so they can show the electorate how the sky didn’t fall before the campaigns for 2015 begin.

  13. Surely the House of Lords can’t derail it too much? The worst the House of Lords can do for a bill such as this is veto it for a year.
    I may be being a bit naive, but surely they can’t cause too much trouble?

    1. That’s the great thing about the Parliamentary Act (1911) and (1949), section 2 states that the Commons can bypass the Lords if the same bill (not money bills) has been passed by the Commons 2 or more times in two successive sessions then the bill can be presented to the crown for Royal Assent (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parliament_Acts_1911_and_1949#Section_2_-_Restriction_of_the_powers_of_the_House_of_Lords_as_to_Bills_other_than_Money_Bills)

      If the Lords reject the bill, the Commons only need wait a short while and re-pass the bill (I am aware this second passing may be more difficult) to secure Royal Assent

      1. Well that’s good! Let’s hope that the Lords don’t reject it, and if they do, then it won’t affect the Commons vote in the next session.

  14. Dennis Velco 9 May 2013, 8:50pm

    Always love reading the comments on this site.

    Thanks for this article and your reporting. What you do is appreciated.

    I posted it to my LGBT Group on LinkedIn with over 19,500+ global members to spur members to read your article and to make comment. I also scooped it at Scoop.It on my LGBT Times news mashup.

    Link to group >> http://www.linkedin.com/groups?home=&gid=63687

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  15. barriejohn 9 May 2013, 9:24pm

    It’s quite obvious that our “devout” monarch couldn’t bring herself to mouth those words at the State Opening of Parliament. Not only are the Lords an anachronism, but for how long can she and her dysfunctional family be allowed to represent the people of this country?

    1. The Queen’s Speech is actually written by the Prime Minister and the Cabinet of the party in power at the time and sets out the government’s plans for managing the country in the coming session. It will propose laws and policies the government wishes to present to Parliament for debate and approval.

      The Queen’s role in this context is as Head of State and as such she is not there to express her personal opinion. Don’t assume that what a Head of State says in a speech is a reflection of their own views. Private conversation and open exchange of views is another matter.

      1. The wishes of “The Palace” are always made known. I know very well that the Queen doesn’t write the bloody speech, but why on earth do you think that this particular piece of legislation was not mentioned? She NEVER says anything about gay rights!

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