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Comment: We must continue to lobby the Lords on equal marriage as the bill still faces hurdles

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  1. Yes, agree with all that…I suspect we’ll also get that referendum amendment put forward in the HoL …

    There’s an awful lot of peers to have to email or send letters to though, wouldn’t it be more tactical to not bother emailing all the those hard liner peers and to concentrate on those who voted down Lord Dear’s amendment or didn’t vote at all. Also I was emailing a Lord who had recently died and I suspect other people had been doing the same. Doesn’t anybody know whether some of these lords are just too old or don’t bother to attend? It would be nice to target peers a bit better.

    I also found lobbyalord a bit cumbersome and finding out the peers email is a bit timeconsuming, you have to do so many clicks on links with writetolord or the lobbylord site. Couldn’t the site just list the email addresses?

  2. Enrique Esteban 6 Jun 2013, 12:01pm

    Pls, sign to support equal marriage in Romania:
    Help to sign: prenume=first name; nume=family name; oras=city; tara=country.
    You’ll receive a mail and have to click on 2nd link to confirm.

  3. Does LGBTory want to see the unelected HocK democratized?

    Does LGBTory think that theToeres deserve our support seeing as a majorify of Tory MP’s are homopjobic extremists

    _How does LGBTory propose punishing those Tory MP’s who voted against equalitu?

  4. Robert in S. Kensington 6 Jun 2013, 12:05pm

    I’ve been urging exactly what Matthew says. We MUST continue contacting the Peers right up until the third reading. The opponents have been doing it many months before http://www.LobbyALord appeared. Complacency and apathy are very dangerous so I again, please keep up the pressure, don’t let the opposition win. The most important piece of legislation since decriminalisation must not be defeated. Write to them.

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 6 Jun 2013, 1:22pm

      ooops, should be

  5. On the other hand 6 Jun 2013, 12:06pm

    On the other hand, the vote showed the relatively small size of the hardcore opposition to the bill, and the size of their defeat was crushing.

    Obviously we must continue to lobby the Lords in the coming months as zealots continue efforts to sabotage the Bill in the detail, but let’s not forget that this was a crushing defeat for the opponents and a big win for equality.

    1. As Matthew Septon pointed out, we don’t know how much support the Bill has in the Lords.

      The Dear amendment was an attempt to curtail usual Parliamentary procedure. Many Lords voted against the Dear amendment (i.e. voted for the usual procedure to continue) because they considered it an irregular and reprehensible attempt to prevent further debate.

      BUT those peers could still vote against the Bill itself at the usual point in the process, and several have indicated that they might.

      There will also be Lords who are reluctant to defeat the Bill outright as it has wide Commons support, but who support amendments that would be unacceptable to most LGBT people, e.g. allowing registrars to opt out of conducting ceremonies, suspending the Equality Act in faith schools, etc.etc.

  6. GulliverUK 6 Jun 2013, 12:09pm

    I’m glad you said that;

    “In other words, it is possible that some of those peers who voted against the amendment could actually oppose the bill itself.”

    If I’d pointed that out, especially on the day it happened, I would have been crucified ! People don’t want anyone pissing on their celebrations, but we must now get more technical as well, with proven points about why registrars must not be allowed to opt out, and why teachers must teach facts, and can then go on to state what their religion believes, but must be very sensitive to the extraordinary damage they can do if they demonise young people who are gay, or who have gay parents. We must not let them destroy the Equality Act. They have all the protections they need already.

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 6 Jun 2013, 1:21pm

      They do indeed have all the protections they need, GulliverUK as so eloquently pointed out on Tuesday by Baroness Stowell regarding churches, teachers and individuals. I don’t know how much clearer and succinctly detailed she could have made it. Somehow, these loons have a problem reading and listening.

    2. Robert in S. Kensington 6 Jun 2013, 1:27pm

      Here’s what Colin Hart of C4M said on Tuesday:

      Colin Hart, campaign director for the Coalition forMarriage, warned the government that peers would be prepared to vote down the bill at its third reading in the Lords unless further safeguards are introduced. Hart said: “The government may have won the vote today,but what was clear from the debate was the huge opposition to almost every part of the bill. We will continue to campaign to save traditional marriage and today’s vote and the concerns expressed by many peers mean we will be able to introduce safeguards that will protect teachers, registrars, chaplains and anyone who works in the public sector. And if the government refuse to accept these changes, they risk losing the legislation at third reading.”

      Of course they said the same after the third reading in the Commons, but we can’t be complacent about these threats.

      1. GulliverUK 6 Jun 2013, 1:57pm

        Colin Hart is all guff. Nobody is going to be giving registrars an opt-out, and teachers have to teach facts, and are paid to do that. If they feel they have to give their own opinion, as long as they do it sensitively and without bigotry or in a way which makes people, gay and straight, feel uncomfortable, then fine. If they are giving their views as part of religious belief they should state that, so that people understand that their views can be seen in the light of myth and superstition. But teaching hateful views in a discriminatory way should never be tolerated, whatever the issue or subject. Every school should have a Gay/Straight Alliance if students want it.

        This is why it is critical we point out the recent legal rulings on registrars and Civil Partnerships, because the same would be true for Civil marriage, and that was a ruling at the ECHR.

        1. Robert in S. Kensington 6 Jun 2013, 3:23pm

          Totally concur with that. Baroness Stowell’s speech made it crystal clear regarding the protections already in place and in this Bill for teachers, registrars and individuals. Either they can’t read or listen properly or just making one last desperate attempt, delusional at best to try and thwart any more progress.

          Welby or whoever represents him in Committee will probably try to get it implemented but I don’t think he’ll be successful provided opponents don’t outnumber supporters . In my view, since the Commons vote and Lords vote revealed a stunning majority in favour, the Committee should be comprised of more in favour to reflect the will of Parliament in the name of the electorate.

    3. Jacob Dugan-Brause 6 Jun 2013, 1:32pm

      Agreed to your quote usage. As I watched the debate on Tuesday, I noted two lords who made this point, exactly. I would think there are professionals in our ranks (somewhere) who have the intelligence on the voting, speeches and links to know how to do the really close lobbying that must happen at the wonk level.

      My job, I know, is to respond to the targeted peers we are directed to write. I don’t see that happening in this appeal and I find it interesting. It’s going to committee. That’s a huge opportunity for technical specialists and FTF meetings. Our emails seem a bit out of place right now unless we it’s just background noise we’re trying to generate.

      Being on the outside of this is a bit weird for me. Oh, well.

  7. On the other hand 6 Jun 2013, 12:28pm

    Some of the Lords pointed out the large volume of identical letters/emails they had received from opponents of equality, and contrasted this with the fewer, but more individual and genuine emails they had received from our supporters.

    Maybe we need to expose more the astroturfing efforts of opponents, who are obviously trying to exaggerate their support.

    1. GulliverUK 6 Jun 2013, 12:37pm

      What do you mean? Like an independent audit of the validity of those 600,000 names and addresses on the C4M / Christian Institute web site – actually only 232,800 online
      (I change ipp=1000 to 1, gives a more precise page count).
      I found duplicates of unusual named, I found them adding 2000-5000 extras per day – which they claim are written signatures). Has anyone any idea how much A4 paper that is? And, we should trace the money – who has paid for this? The Catholic Church is my view – just like the Mormons who provided most of the funds for Prop 8 — just watch 8 – The Mormon Proposition. Remember that that the Catholic church said they’d spend how ever many millions it took, and sent out hundreds of thousands of postcards, and C4M have been out in force in many towns and cities stirring it up? Isn’t this against their Charitable rules?

      In the meanwhile we should write individual emails and letters to members of the Lords.

  8. Godric Godricson 6 Jun 2013, 12:36pm

    I’ll be writing individually to Peers with an email address until the final vote because i agree that the fight isn’t over. Is there anyone coordinating a letter writing campaign? It feels like we need a direction to this fight that we aren’t getting from Stonewall or another source.

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 6 Jun 2013, 1:24pm

      You won’t get anything from Stonewall. I contacted them months ago about that but they ignored my request, not even an acknowledgement I suppose because I’m not a donor. They haven’t exactly been that vocal since the Commons vote, let alone pro-active.

  9. PeterinSydney 6 Jun 2013, 1:23pm

    Very Good advice. And the advice should be heeded in Illinois as well.

  10. Matthew Sephton, thank you for your article. Could you please give us a bit of help here? I’m new to all this, I don’t know how Parliament works and have never lobbied a lord before this campaign.
    So as I understand it (yes I’m a bit thick) we need to keep lobbying – got that bit. Now, what are we actually asking them to do at this stage?
    Any hel at this stage would be appreciated. Thanks.

    1. It would also be helpful to know which Lords to target. For example, there is little point exhausting our efforts lobbying Baroness King, Lord Alli or Lord Fowler who have clearly demonstrated support for this Bill. Nor should we waste effort on the likes of Baroness Knight who’s intolerance of LGBT people knows no bounds. Can we have some guidance on where to concentrate our efforts?

      1. Matthew Sephton 7 Jun 2013, 7:09pm

        Please email and I’ll be pleased to help in any way I can.

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