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The state of play on the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill in the House of Lords committee stage

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  1. I agree with the old wrinkly Baroness. They should stop ‘faffing around with gay marriage’. Only they should pass it already, instead of ditching it.

    I’ve never known a bill to take so long!

    1. Appreciate the frustrations and eagerness to see this bill reach the statute book but it is following the normal democratic parliamentary process and at least the objectors cannot possibly say that same-sex marriage was ‘rushed through’.

      1. I’m so so sorry for the Baroness Butler-Sloss, who said that “penetration only takes us half way there”. In my experience, and I’m sure in that of many others, both heterosexual and homosexual, penetration takes me all the way!

        1. Robert in S. Kensington 20 Jun 2013, 12:01pm

          Oh, I had a good laugh at that one, Eddy! It made my day!

          1. I loved the withdrawing bit that followed:
            “penetration only takes us half way there”, before ‘withdrawing’ her amendments.

            Perhaps she was thinking of ‘coitus interruptus’, that famous but fallible form of heterosexual contraception.

    2. That’s what the upper house exists for – to iron out holes and pitfalls in the legislation. It’s frustrating but entirely necessary./

  2. it did go on a bit went to bed at around what is exactly in the bill and will become law??

  3. This all shows how wrong Lord Dear was to say that the Bill should not be read a second time because there had been insufficient consultation and scrutiny.
    Nearly all of the concerns and criticisms raised by the Lords are identical to those in the Commons and all have been rebuffed with identical arguments.
    It really is time to stop faffing around.

  4. Yawn!
    Same sex marriage equality just hasn’t been debated fully enough has it, they are just rushing this bill through (lol)

    One good thing about this epic “debate” is that everyone is becoming so bored of it all, the sheer boredom will eventually knock out all opposition because it’s hard to maintain a scaremonger for more than a short time when under scrutiny.

    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.

  6. St Sebastian 20 Jun 2013, 7:43am

    Perhaps Baroness Butler-Sloss could contribute by encouraging her fellow nay-sayers to stop stalling and pass the bill, forthwith!

    I am no fan of Baroness Butler-Sloss’ stance (against equal marriage) but I was impressed by her comments that whilst she was a High Court judge
    (Family Division) that she never had any question that gay parents were any less loving or capable than heterosexual parents. Credit where credit is due.

    1. Paula Thomas 20 Jun 2013, 9:05am

      Of all the opponents of equal marriage I find Baroness Buttler-Sloss’s opposition the most supprising and most dissappointing. She was without doubt one of the most humane familly court judges. Supported equal parenting. I just don’t understand her opposition here. So very, very sad.

      1. Metsän poika 20 Jun 2013, 4:19pm

        Yes Paula, so very, very sad, but that is what religion does to so many..

  7. Slightly misleading reporting, from PN. Some of these amendments were withdrawn whilst retaining the right to reintroduce them at Report Stage, if the proposers choose.

    As for comments here that it’s taking too long, the Bill is actually progressing at a perfectly normal pace though the Lords. They tend to have 2-week gaps betweens stages (tho it will be only a few days between Report and 3rd reading) which can give the appearance of sluggishness, I guess.

    1. Yes there is a very high chance that a lot of the more objectionable amendments will re-surface next month. We’re not out of the woods yet

      1. Robert in S. Kensington 20 Jun 2013, 12:19pm

        They’ll probably all be shot down just as they were in the Commons. No, we’re not out of the woods yet until the third reading and vote, although its probably going to pass with a smaller majority but a comfortable one we can be happy and proud of. I’ve no doubt the magnificent Baronesses Stowell, Thornton and Noakes, Lords Alli, Carlile and Lester will do yet another stellar job in seeing it pass into law.

        1. Lord Alli is such a champ.

        2. Don’t forget Lord Jenkin – he had some very thoughtful comments!

  8. Tim Chapman 20 Jun 2013, 8:04am

    Glad the amendment about a compulsory 2nd ceremony for civil partners was withdrawn. I’ve been there, done that (and paid for it) and shouldn’t have to do so again. Converting a CP to a marriage should be doable online or by post, free of charge.

    1. I take your point, Tim, but my issue with CPs, over and above the equality angle is that a cp is signed, to me, it seems more of a business arrangement than a marriage which is about vows made. As long as I have the opportunity to properly make those vows, I’ll be happy.

  9. I don’t understand whether intersex people will or will not be covered by this bill. I thought they would be able to get married. Is that not the case?

    1. Yep, they will be able to get married to anyone.

  10. Once again we have senile unelected relics of the 1950s sitting in our legislature and debating graphically the mechanics of anal sex. The whole blowsy undemocratic Victorian freakshow should be abolished and replaced by a small, modern senate reflecting the UK in the 21st century.

    1. Do we need a bicameral system at all? Seems unnecessary to me.

      1. Robert in S. Kensington 20 Jun 2013, 12:24pm

        I agree. New Zealand doesn’t have one and look how easy it was to get their Marriage Bill passed last April and the first marriages will begin as of 1st August 2013, while we have to wait a full year. I just hope during the long waiting period it doesn’t cause Tory opponents and supporters to get up to some mischief with repeal. It’s better to allow marriages to begin much sooner rather than delay.

        1. I disagree, I like the idea of the house of review. The problem with Westminster two party systems is the lack of the moderating affect of European parliaments where goverments are routinely formed by co-alitions between a number of parties. If a majority is held by a single party in a unicameral system, some extreme laws are likely to get through. An examples of this is the state government of Queensland in Australia – they overturned the recently introduced Civil Partnership Act. The last conservative Howard government of the Commonwealth of Australia had a majority in both houses which enabled them to push through some extreme industrial relations laws, which even many of the conservatives acknowledged was a step too far (but only after having lost the election).

  11. Jock S. Trap 20 Jun 2013, 9:15am

    I’m glad they seem to be pushing ahead. It’s a shame though that the language being used is worse than it was in the House of Common.

    It seems to be in the Lords they think no-one can hear them. I mean it’s bad enough for all of us to hear some of their really hateful bigotry but how does it sit with the vulnerable and young. They are hardly showing tolerance.

    I accept difference of opinion but for some it seems to be a reason to be as nasty and discriminating as possible because they know they can get away with in being in Parliament which protects them.

    Age is no excuse and I am glad we do seem to have plenty who are seeing sense and speaking from the heart.

    It does seem to be going a some pace. I guess for some who think this is taking too long, we have to understand this is normal procedure and it’s because of Our interest we are conscientious of how long these things take.

    1. I’ve been watching the live feed only because I’m keen to see and hear what’s being said – I am surprised by the language as well but equally the lack of interest in each other and the small number of people who seem to be in the chamber anytime I watch.
      I do think your comment that they think no one hears them is spot on – do they even remember the ‘show’ is being televised. It’s hard to see how a drooling half asleep out of touch old bigot would be considered relevant anywhere else and I think the young and vulnerable would see the ‘show’ for what it is – poorly written and spliced together episodes of Downton Abbey meets The League of Gentlemen.
      Will I watch it once the SSM Bill is approved – nay.

  12. Someone really should tell them that there’s more to gay sex than anal penetration. Some gay couples aren’t at all into anal. Does that mean that their marriage could be anulled? Why does a marriage require consummation anyway?

    1. Who knows what they’ll start discussing when it comes to lesbian consummation!

    2. Robert in S. Kensington 20 Jun 2013, 12:13pm

      It’s all tied up in religion. Notice that those who raise the issue are almost all religious loons? It doesn’t occur to them that anal sex is not just confined to gay people not that it’s the norm when it comes to gay sex, but is also practiced by heterosexuals. It does make one wonder though why the opposition have a fixation on it doesn’t it, especially those addicted to religion?

      1. St Sebastian 20 Jun 2013, 3:59pm

        You are absolutely right, it does seem to be tied up with religion. I am neither a believer nor a disbeliever, how would I nor anyone know whether there is or isn’t a god. If none of us could know one way or the other why do so many waste so much time ruminating on books that clearly contain falsehoods and contradictions. I do however recognise that some genuinely believe and I respect that, but what I do not understand why they have to impose their beliefs on others and why they feel the necessity to intrude on matters between consenting adults performed in private, where there are no victims and which will have no impact on their lives. The thought of having heterosexual sex is truly horrifying to me, but i don’t think of the heterosexual act every time I meet a heterosexual couple. I just don’t let it enter my imagination, I get on with my own life & am frankly happy for heterosexuals that they get enjoyment from their private heterosexual sex acts. People of faith, just let us be!

    3. “Bugger the lot of them!” (Sorry I’m American and that’s what we think British people say.)

      Yes, it seems bizarre that an ancient concept such as ‘consummation’ would matter much less lead the House of Lords to a discussion of the ins and outs of anal sex — so to speak. Marriage may have been about procreative intercourse at one time, but it is long since the case that is HAS BEEN redefined by heterosexuals already. Marriage is about many things, and while children are an inescapably important part of marriage per se, they are not an inescapable part of every marriage, nor have they ever been.

      When an 85 year old grandfather marries his 91 year old ‘lady friend’, do people even WANT to think about consummation? Let’s hear it from the bishops, are they not married should there be, so to speak, an anti-climax?

      Get serious. Marriage is not a booty-call, it’s not about sex…until it is, of course! :)

  13. James Swinburne 20 Jun 2013, 9:57am

    I have to say, I’m impressed with the momentum and pace that the lords rattle through the amendments and how reasonably the ridiculous ones are withdrawn without an OTT fight.

    1. I agree, James. For every rambling twit like Tebbitt, there are at least 3 sane, calm, well-reasoned peers firmly pushing the Bill through towards becoming an Act.

      The Lords as a house has gone up in my estimation: and that the Bill is being led through the House mainly by strong women pleases me hugely!

      1. bobbleobble 20 Jun 2013, 11:33am

        I agree Sasha, Baronesses Stowell and Thornton have been magnificent. Can you imagine the mess that would have ensued had Warsi actually tried to take the bill through. I shudder at the though.

        1. I agree too. Its a good to see that the lords operates in a sensible way. It goes to show that the more outrageous of them are given all the publicity. I guess thats just the way that news works.Shame really as it makes them all look like loons

          1. Sandgroper 20 Jun 2013, 4:13pm

            I have been watching the debate live too and like yu am pleasantly surprised how pragmatic and respectful so many appear to be. There are of course duds, but there are ‘just a few’ elected duds in that “other place’ aka The House of Commons.

            I wish there was as much courtesy and respect in that ‘other place’ and in the House of Representatives and The Senate of my country, Australia.

  14. The Kitty Channel 20 Jun 2013, 11:44am

    With regard to Lord Singh, this man spoke out of turn since the primary documents of Sikhism are silent on homosexuality and the core values of Sikhism explicitly assert the unique and equal worth of each individual human being.

  15. Robert in S. Kensington 20 Jun 2013, 12:08pm

    I’ve no doubt Lord Dear will persist with his absurd amendments in a last ditch attempt at Report Stage, but I doubt he’ll get any further than he already has. What a buffoon!

    1. Yes, but we have immensely capable Lord Alli, who is more than a match for Lord (oh) Dear. Lets just hope he can force him back into Pandora’s box, lock it and throw away they key!

  16. The number of amendments tabled in the past couple of weeks is a bit mental – I kind of feel like I’m watching an episode of wacky races, it just kinda.. looks like Dick Dastardly running about like a headless chicken trying to stop Penelope Pitstop from winning…

  17. “Among peers arguing against the amendment was Lord Alli, who said “Teachers in all contexts need to teach the legal position”, rather than personal opinion. Lord Dear then withdrew his amendment, and Clause 8 of the bill was approved.”
    This man was allowed to run the biggest police force outside the Met???? He wanted to withhold the facts about the law from schoolchildren!!!

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