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House of Lords to vote on marriage equality tonight

Marriage equality

By Jacob Combs

Christopher Furlong/Getty Images
Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

The UK House of Lords is expected to vote tonight on a proposed marriage equality bill that passed the House of Commons a few weeks ago.

Today’s second reading vote comes at the end of two days of extended debate after more than 90 of the chamber’s members expressed a desire to take part in the discussion.

From the Belfast Telegraph:

The Lords will vote on Tuesday night on a wrecking amendment to stop the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill. If passed, the motion would give David Cameron another headache as it would embolden Tory MPs who oppose the Bill if he pressed ahead with it.

The controversial gay marriage wrecking move was proposed during a passionate Lords debate by Lord Dear, a crossbencher and former Chief Constable of the West Midlands. He angered peers who support gay marriage by warning that the proposal could provoke a public backlash against gay people.

Speaking in support of his motion against the bill, Lord Dear said that he feared marriage equality might “create such opposition to homosexuals in general that the climate of tolerance and acceptance in this country … could well be set back by decades.”  According to the BBC, motions such as Lord Dear’s are seen as a “rare move in the Lords.”

As the Belfast Telegraph reports, some peers in the House of Lords believe the wrecking vote is currently too close to call.  Andrew Sparrow with The Guardian, however, says that his sources believe the government will win the vote on the bill.  Debate is set to resume at 3:00 p.m. local time (7:00 a.m. Pacific), with a vote expected between 6:00 and 7:00 p.m (10:00 to 11:00 a.m. Pacific).

According to the Government Whips’ Office of the House of Lords, 27 speakers are expected today regarding the marriage equality bill.

You can watch the House of Lords consider the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill via their livestream.

1 Comment

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