Equal marriage bill expected to pass Third Reading without a vote
The equal marriage bill for England and Wales is to undergo its Third Reading in the House of Lords today, and as the majority of its most vocal opponents have backed down in the face of its strong support, it may pass through without a vote.
The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill is reaching the final stages of its legislative journey with its Third Reading today, as it passed Report Stage last week, and has already been through the House of Commons.
PinkNews has been sent correspondence between readers and several peers who have been vocally opposed to equal marriage throughout the process, including Lord Hylton and Baroness Butler-Sloss, who have said they will no longer be opposing the bill.
The Lords will resume at 15:00, and if there is no opposition to the bill, it may be nodded through without a vote. The bill is expected to pass through quickly, and some peers have predicted it will go through before 16:00.
Culture Secretary Maria Miller will speak at the House of Commons at 7pm on Tuesday, to introduce amendments added to the bill. The amendments include a provisions to hold reviews of equal pension survivor rights, humanist weddings and civil partnerships for opposite-sex couples.
If the bill is approved by the House of Commons unaltered, it will go on to receive Royal Assent, as the Queen is available to sign it.
If any changes are made in the Commons, the bill will go back to the Lords to have the changes approved, and can go back and forward until a final version of the bill is approved in both Houses. This is called Parliamentary ping-pong, but the bill is expected to pass without many changes at this stage.
At Report Stage in the Lords, the bill was subject to scrutiny, and many Government amendments were added, in order to tidy it up.
It avoided amendments such as one from Lord Singh, which called for a referendum on equal marriage in October, and another which had been accused of attempting to allow faith schools to opt-out of teaching about same-sex marriage.
More: Civil partnerships, equal marriage, gay marriage, gay wedding, lesbian marriage, lesbian wedding, marriage, Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill, marriage equality, same sex marriage, Same-sex wedding, UK Marriage Bill, wedding