An amendment to the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill which would have “protected” teachers from being forced to “endorse” equal marriage, has been defeated in a vote in the House of Lords.

Amendment 46 was defeated in a vote at Report stage of the House of Lords by 163 to 32, as the debate around amendments went on into the night.

The amendment had aimed to ensure that the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill would not “Affect the right of teachers to express their personal views about marriage in an appropriate way, or mean that any teacher will be under any obligation to endorse a particular view of marriage.”

Several peers noted the similarity of the wording of Lord Dear’s teachers amendment to Section 28, which also specified rules around the “promotion” of equal marriage in schools.

Lord Dear tabled amendments during Committee stage, in an attempt to wreck the bill last month.

During Committee stage, Lord Alli said “Teachers in all contexts need to teach the legal position”, rather than personal opinion. 

The previous ‘fatal’ amendment to deny the bill its second reading was tabled last month, but was defeated, with the Lords voting 390 votes to 148 in favour of the bill.