Peers have voted overwhelmingly in favour of equal marriage, following a controversial attempt by Lord Dear to have the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill thrown out. Lord Dear’s ‘fatal motion’ was rejected by a majority of 242 peers. The Bill now proceeds to Committee Stage in the House of Lords.
Stonewall Chief Executive Ben Summerskill said: ‘We’re absolutely delighted. 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.’
‘In the last 24 hours alone, opponents of equality in the House of Lords have compared loving, committed relationships to incest and polygamy. Britain’s 3.7 million gay people don’t deserve to be second class citizens in their own country. A tough fight lies ahead and we’ll continue to work tirelessly every single day to get equal marriage through the Lords. At Stonewall, we fight to win.’
The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill passed its Third Reading in the House of Commons with a majority of 205 on 21 May. MPs had earlier rejected a wrecking amendment – by 375 votes to 70 – during the Bill’s Report Stage on 20 May. The Bill’s Second Reading on 5 February passed by 400 to 175 votes, a majority of 225.
For more information about Stonewall’s campaign for equal marriage visit www.stonewall.org.uk/marriage
Enquiries: Ben Summerskill, Chief Executive, on 07949 108798, or Richard Lane, External Affairs Officer, on 020 7593 2828 or 07525 359960.
1. YouGov polling for Stonewall (of 2,074 adults) showed that 71% support equal marriage. This figure rises to 82% of those under the age of 50.
2. The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill will now head to Committee stage in the House of Lords on Monday 17 and Wednesday 19 June. The Bill will be scrutinised by a Committee of the whole House.
3. Stonewall is the gay equality charity founded in 1989.
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