House of Lords to resume debate of equal marriage bill

PinkNews logo on pink background with rainbow corners.

The House of Lords will resume debate of the same-sex marriage bill this afternoon at 3pm.

Following this month’s successful second reading vote in the Upper Chamber, the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill is now being put through its committee stage.

Once again, several opponents of the bill have tabled a series of amendments threatening the bill’s passage.

The hereditary peer Lord Hylton’s amendment, which calls for the bill to leave out the word “marriage” and replace it instead with “union”, will be debated first this afternoon.

Former Conservative Party chairman Lord Mawhinney has tabled an amendment urging for heterosexual marriages to be lawfully described as “traditional marriage”.

The amendment is similar to that of Lord Dear’s, which aims to protect those who believe marriage is “the union of one man and one woman for life to the exclusion of all others.”

Meanwhile, crossbench peer Lord Armstrong has tabled an amendment governing “Matrimonial marriages”.

It states: “Lawful marriage between a man and a woman is matrimony; Lawful marriages between a man and a woman are matrimonial marriages.”

On Monday it was revealed the government will propose that the Public Order Act be amended to protect critics of same-sex marriage.

It would add a clause to the Public Order Act which states that “any discussion or criticism of marriage which concerns the sex of the parties to marriage shall not be taken of itself to be threatening or intended to stir up hatred.”

The government amendment is one of several expected to be confirmed by the Lords whip, Baroness Stowell, later today.

Three days have now been allocated for the committee stage of the bill, Monday 17 June, Wednesday 19 June, and Monday 24 June.

Ministers are hoping that the bill will have Royal Assent before summer recess, at the end of July.