House of Lords equal marriage debate begins

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Peers have begun debating the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill in the House of Lords as part of its second reading.

More than 90 peers have requested to speak in the debate, which will continue on Tuesday.

A final vote by peers is expected at 6pm tomorrow.

Later this afternoon, a rally in support of the bill will take place at Westminster.

Earlier, human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell said to “It is uncertain how the House of Lords will vote. We don’t know the extent of the opposition. It would be a big mistake to assume that equal marriage is a done deal.”

The former Chief Constable of West Midlands Police, Lord Dear, has tabled a ‘fatal’ amendment to deny the bill its second reading.

In an exclusive interview with, Shadow Home Secretary and Shadow Minister for Equalities, Yvette Cooper, predicted there would be “strong support for the bill in the Lords”.

“Yes there will be some people who oppose it just as they have opposed previous legislation”, she said.

Writing for, Baroness Thornton, Labour’s Shadow Equalities Minister in the Lords says she expects the bill will survive attempts to defeat it by opponents in the Upper House.

“Yes, some opposition speeches will be vociferous, and yes some will be a little bizarre. But we also know the votes to support this bill are there, in good numbers.”