Peers who spoke on first day of equal marriage debate almost equally divided
Peers who spoke on Monday during the equal marriage debate were almost equally divided on whether they argued in favour or against the bill, with a few leaning towards abstaining.
Of 63 peers who spoke, 30 seemed to be in favour of passing the bill while 28 were backing a wrecking amendment tabled by Lord Dear.
Boundaries were indistinct as some seemed to be leaning towards abstaining. Lord Quentin Davies said he may have been the only peer who would not commit to a decision until all the arguments had been heard.
The Earl of Shrewsbury said he would abstain, despite personally feeling opposed to the bill, because of support from young people.
He said: “In opposing this Bill, I believe that I should be legislating for the lives of those of a younger generation who will have to live with the consequences of my actions”. He added that he wanted to legalise opposite-sex civil partnerships for full equality.
Baroness Elizabeth Berridge said she wanted to vote against the bill as she feels it would damage religious freedom, but would vote to pass it.
She said: “If this vote defeats the Bill, it will probably return next year, and we risk the Commons using the Parliament Act. In those circumstances this flawed Bill, as it stands now, would become law. Do I want to vote against this Bill? Yes. Should I? No.”
A list of how peers have indicated they will vote:-
In favour: Baroness Stowell, Baroness Royall, Baroness Barker, Lord Fowler, Baroness Kennedy, Baroness Brinton, Lord Pannick, Lord Jenkin, Lord Harries, Viscount Astor, Lord Brooke, Lord Black, Lord Campbell-Savours, Lord Smith, Lord Blair, Lord Young, Baroness Neuberger, Lord Garel-Jones, Baroness Richardson, Lord Berkeley, Lord Dobbs, Baroness Morgan, Lord Browne of Madingley, Lord Deben, Baroness Lister, Lord Kerr, Baroness Mallalieu, Baroness Berridge, the Earl of Courtown, Baroness Gould
Against: Lord Dear, Archbishop Welby, Lord Waddington, the Bishop of Leicester, Lord Anderson, Baroness Cumberledge, Lord Browne, Baroness Knight, Lord Craig, Lord Cormack, the Bishop of Chester, Lord Naseby, Lord Singh, Marquess Lothian, Lord Dannatt, Lord Mawhinley, Lord Quirk, Lord Stoddart, Lord Tebbit, Lord Framlingham, Lord Carey, Lord Hylton, Lord James, Lord Cobbold, the Bishop of Exeter, Lady Saltoun, Lord Elton, Lord Flight
Abstaining: Lord McAvoy, Lord Alderdice, the Earl of Shrewsbury, Lord Pillips
Undecided: Lord Davies
As debate heated up yesterday, many peers spoke passionately both for and against the bill, from Baroness Knight, who compared being gay to being blind, to gay Tory peer Lord Black, who said he had been with his partner for a quarter of a century, and wanted to get married, as he believed in family values, and from Lord Hylton, one of the few remaining hereditary peers left in the House of Lords,who said gay people had stolen the word ‘gay’ from its original meaning, to Baroness Barker, who stood to make a speech in which she spoke of her love for another woman – revealing publicly for the first time that she, herself, is in a same-sex relationship.
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