Equal marriage critic Lord Dear is proposing a new amendment to the Marriage (Same Sex Couples Bill), protecting those who believe marriage is “the union of one man and one woman for life to the exclusion of all others.”

The former Chief Constable of West Midlands Police had tabled a ‘fatal’ amendment to deny the bill its second reading, but this was defeated last Tuesday with the Lords voting 390 votes to 148 in favour of the bill.

His new amendment states:-

“Protecting belief in traditional marriage

Any person, in exercising functions under or in consequence of this Act shall have regard to the following —

(a)   that prior to the coming into force of this Act, marriage was the union of one man and one woman for life to the exclusion of all others (“traditional marriage”);

(b)   that belief in traditional marriage is a belief worthy of respect in a democratic society;

(c)   that no person should suffer any detriment because of their belief in traditional marriage.”

The bill comes back in committee the week commencing 17 June. It will have its report stage on 8 July and third reading on 15 July.

Writing exclusively for PinkNews.co.uk, Conservative peer and former health secretary, Lord Jenkin of Roding, said it was “unlikely” that opponents would seek to derail the bill in the wake of last Tuesday’s overwhelming Lords majority “with endless repetitive speeches”.

However, gay Labour peer Lord Alli struck a more cautious tone and urged for people to continue to lobby peers in support of marriage equality.

Writing exclusively for PinkNews.co.uk he stressed: “Please write to those who voted for the bill to thank them. Say how much this legislation means to you. And urge them to be there for the crucial votes that are still to come.”