The new Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill will now progress to its Third – and final – Reading in the House of Lords after Peers backed the proposals during tonight’s Report Stage.
Despite attempts by opponents to attach ‘wrecking’ amendments to the Bill – including a ‘son of Section 28’ clause which would have ‘protected’ teachers from ‘promoting’ equal marriage – the Bill now heads for its crucial Third Reading next Monday, 15 July.
Stonewall Chief Executive Ben Summerskill said: ‘We’re close to making history. It’s a promising sign of progress that peers from all parties and the crossbenches have refused to let the Bill be derailed by Lord Dear’s “Son of Section 28” amendment and others. Stonewall’s hardest ever work now lies in the five days ahead as we make the final push for equal marriage.’
Stonewall supporters will be outside the House of Lords for a public rally in support of equal marriage as peers debate the Bill on Monday from 3pm. All supporters of equal marriage are welcome to attend.
The Bill passed its Second Reading in the House of Lords on 4 June by 390 to 148 votes, a majority of 242, surviving a fatal motion moved by Lord Dear – former Chief Constable of the West Midlands – designed to stop its progress.
The Bill passed its Third Reading in the House of Commons with a majority of 205 on 21 May. The Bill’s Second Reading in the House of Commons on 5 February passed by 400 to 175 votes.
For more information about Stonewall’s campaign for equal marriage visit www.stonewall.org.uk/marriage
Two young Italian girls, both dressed as bride advocating for same-sex marriage at the 2010 Gay Pride in Rome