Lord Mawhinney has tabled a new amendment to the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill, urging for heterosexual marriages to be lawfully described as “traditional marriage”.

Earlier this month, the former Conservative Party chairman indicated that he had been labelled as a loon because of his opposition to equal marriage.

“For 40 years my life has been driven by my Christian and Conservative convictions,” Lord Mawhinney said.

“And now I am led to believe that because I have continued to hold those values and principles I’m a swivel-eyed loon.

“Well, I want to raise a flag for swivel-eyed loons because at the very heart of the country and our party is a commitment to values and principles that our time-tested.”

His amendment states: “It shall be lawful to refer to marriage between two people of the opposite sex as ‘traditional marriage’ and it shall be lawful to refer to marriage between two people of the same sex as ‘same-sex marriage.’”

The amendment is similar to that of Lord Dear’s, which aims to protect 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.

It will now go on to committee in the Lords, where it will be scrutinised line-by-line on the floor of the Upper House from Monday 17 June.

Labour peer Lord Alli believes Lord Dear is still intent on trying to derail the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill – although Lord Dear denies the claims.

Meanwhile, crossbench peer Lord Armstrong has tabled a new amendment governing “Matrimonial marriages”.
It states:-

“(1) Lawful marriage between a man and a woman is matrimony.

(2) Lawful marriages between a man and a woman are matrimonial marriages.

(3) All legislation regulating or relating to marriage having effect before the passage of this Act continues in effect in relation to matrimonial marriages save as varied or modified by any provision of this Act.

(4) The Secretary of State or the Lord Chancellor may by order vary, modify or repeal legislation regulating or relating to matrimonial marriages if it appears that such variation, modification or repeal is required as a consequence of the passage of this Act.”