Lord Dear introduces ‘belief in traditional marriage’ amendment to same-sex marriage bill

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Lord Dear has introduced a new amendment to the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill which could prove fatal to the equal marriage bill for England and Wales by creating a separation between straight and gay marriages.

The amendment, almost the same as one put forward by Lord Dear at Committee stage, will be considered during the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill, as it goes into its Report stage in the House of Lords on 8 July.

The first of two amendments tabled by Lord Dear, aims to protect the “belief in traditional marriage”, and separates straight couples’ marriages from those of gay couples.

“For the avoidance of doubt, nothing in this Act shall contradict the principle that the belief that marriage is the voluntary union of one man and one woman for life to the exclusion of all others is a belief worthy of respect in a democratic society,” reads the amendment.

The second amendment would meant the bill would: “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.”

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.