Lord Singh calls for equal marriage referendum in October

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

Lord Singh of Wimbledon has tabled an amendment to the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill calling for a referendum on the issue of same-sex marriage, which would mean that even if passes at all stages, the law would not come into effect until voters approved it in a referendum.

The Crossbench peer’s amendment 96, which has been proposed as part of the equal marriage bill’s final transitional and consequential provisions, plans to hold the referendum on 24 October 2013, or if that date is unsuitable, on any date before 1 November 2014.

The question which would be raised on the ballot papers for the referendum is: “Those entitled to vote in the referendum are the persons who, on the date of the referendum, would be entitled to vote as electors at a parliamentary election in any constituency.”

The amendment states that, even if the bill is passed at all stages, it would not be able to come into effect until a majority of voters at the referendum vote in its favour.

It reads: ”The Secretary of State must by order make provisions for the conduct of the referendum.”

A previous amendment made by Lord Singh, Labour peer Lord Anderson of Swansea, and Conservative peer Lord Cormack also proposed for a similar referendum to be held in 2015.

Lord Singh, who is a prominent British Asian active in the Sikh and interfaith communities, previously introduced amendment 22, which would have added specific language relating to Sikh groups not having to perform same-sex marriages.

Out4Marriage has launched the LobbyALord website in order to make it easy for members of the public to lobby Peers on the issue.