UK Lords overwhelmingly vote for gay ‘marriage’ bill: pro-marriage campaigners not giving up
WESTMINSTER, June 4, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Marriage campaigners in Britain have vowed to keep fighting the government’s plans to install same-sex “marriage,” despite today’s vote in which an overwhelming majority of members of the House of Lords supported sending the bill on to the next stage.
Although observers on both sides of the issue had predicted a close vote, the Peers tonight voted 390 – 148 in favor. The bill will now go on to the committee phase and possible amendments before a final vote in the Lords.
Paul Tully, General Secretary of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children, said that his organization is continuing the fight against the bill.
“Redefining marriage in law as a genderless institution unconnected with child-bearing will strip marriage of its identity,” Tully said. “Whatever the fate of the government's bill, we must continue to fight to preserve the protection real marriage gives to children, both born and unborn.”
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The first vote on a piece of legislation in the House of Lords is normally on the “principle” of the bill. If passed at this stage the bill then goes on to be examined in committee. But a leading Peer who opposes “gay marriage” had called for a “division,” a vote accepting or rejecting the bill itself, today.
Lord Geoffrey Dear, a former head of police, had argued that the government had no public mandate for the bill, having bypassed normal procedures and made no mention of it either in their election campaign or later in the Queen’s Speech. Supporters of the bill had warned the Peers that should they reject the bill by supporting Lord Dear’s motion, it could trigger a damaging “constitutional crisis.”
Tully explained that some of the Peers who had misgivings about the bill were fearful that the government would invoke the Parliament Act, which would have allowed them to override the House of Lords entirely, forcing the bill forward, despite the constitutional chaos such a move would likely have created. SPUC is urging members of the public to contact Peers and urge that the bill be defeated.
Colin Hart, Campaign Director for the Coalition for Marriage, also said the fight is not over. “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.”
He said the government has “used every trick to curtail scrutiny and crush opposition but as today's result shows their tactics are failing.”
They “may have won the vote today but what was clear from the debate was the huge opposition to almost every part of the Bill,” Hart concluded.
Campaign for Marriage said they would support efforts to amend the bill to “introduce safeguards” protecting teachers, civil marriage registrars and chaplains.