Wednesday, June 5, 2013

On the Queen's Watch: House of Lords Overwhelming Backs Gay Marriage

After two days of intense debate, peers supported gay marriage by a margin of more than two to one. There will now be a series of other votes but the clear signal from the proceedings was that the legislation will now pass into law. 

The proposals have already split the Conservative Party, as half of its MPs opposed the legislation in the Commons last month.

In a bid to appease religious leaders critical of the Bill, Baroness Stowell, the deputy Tory chief whip in the House of Lords, said that ministers will now consider changes to the legislation to offer churches further protection if they refuse to conduct same-sex marriage ceremonies.  

The "wrecking" amendment aimed at blocking the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) tabled by Lord Dear, a Crossbench peer, was defeated by 390 votes to 148. 

Ben Summerskill from Stonewall, the campaign for gay rights, said he was “delighted” by the result.

“We always expected a tough challenge in the House of Lords, and Lord Dear’s ‘fatal motion’ - very rarely used - demonstrates the lengths to which a minority of peers are, sadly, still prepared to go to deny full equality to lesbian, gay and bisexual people,” he said.

Juliet Prager, Deputy Recording Clerk of Quakers in Britain said: “A change in law to allow same-sex couples to marry will bring real joy to couples we know who say a civil partnership lacks spiritual expression.”

Opponents of same-sex marriage have attacked the “undemocratic tactics” the Government have used to “ram the legislation through Parliament at all costs”.

“Despite the highly unusual procedure of voting against a Government bill at second reading, 148 peers have chosen to register their profound opposition to the gay marriage bill,” Colin Hart, campaign director for the Coalition for Marriage said.

“The debate lifted the lid on the shoddy and undemocratic tactics of the Government who remain determined to ram this legislation through Parliament at all costs.”

During the two days of debate, scores of peers voiced their opposition to gay marriage.

Lord Hylton, an independent crossbench peer, said that the word “gay” has been taken over by homosexuals.

Warning that “medical opinion” is against gay marriage, the 80-year-old said,

“I regret very much that the fine old English and French word gay has in my lifetime been appropriated by a small but vocal minority of the population.” 

He complained that it is no longer possible to use the word “gay” it in its “original and rather delightful form”.

And General Lord Dannatt, the former head of the Army, warned that the way legislation was rushed through Parliament goes against what he spent his career fighting for as a soldier.

Lord Dannatt, a crossbench peer who was chief of the general staff from 2006 to 2009, accused the Government of committing an “abuse of the democratic process”.

“Following due process and procedure is a principle that I spent the 40 years of my professional life upholding,” Lord Dannatt said.

“We fought for the ballot box for 38 years in Northern Ireland... and now as a Parliamentarian I am asked to accept an abuse of the democratic process and I will not do it.”

The Bill will now pass into committee stage where it will face a series of hostile amendments before its third reading in the Lords.

The result was greeted with cheers from supporters of gay marriage outside Parliament.

Baroness Stowell hailed the legislation as a "force for good" which would strengthen the institution of marriage, saying that it protected both religious freedom and freedom of speech. - Telegraph: Lords give overwhelming backing to gay marriage

WEB Notes: Sodom and Gomorrah are alive and well today. The world is passing gay marriage laws left and right. Brazil, France , and now Britain. Twelve of the states in the United States of American have also passed similar measures, in addition to businesses and now the boy scouts promoting the homosexual act.

Concerning Britain, this goes down on the Queen's watch who is the "Defender of the Faith." The Preface to the 39 Articles of the Church of England describes the monarch as 'being by God's Ordinance, according to Our just Title, Defender of the Faith and ... Supreme Governor of the Church of England'. - British Monarchy

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