We’re very happy to report that last night (4th June) the House of Lords voted down a bid by Lord Dear to block the equal marriage bill for England and Wales (the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill).
Lords voted by 390 to 148 against Lord Dear’s wrecking motion. That’s a bigger majority in favour of the bill than many had expected – many congratulations to the campaign in England and Wales!
The bill will now go forward to the next House of Lords stage, the Committee stage, on 17th and 19th June. There will be two further Lords stages after the Committee stage finishes, and the bill will then go back to the Commons for consideration of any amendments made in the Lords.
The bill is for equal marriage in England and Wales, but it also makes some relatively small changes to Scots law.
Meanwhile, we expect the Scottish bill, the Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Bill, to be introduced in the Scottish Parliament in the last week of June.
In other parts of the world, the first same-sex marriage in France was celebrated last week. The US Supreme Court is expected to rule by the end of June on two cases: one against the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which bans federal recognition of same-sex marriages, and the other against California’s Proposition 8 which halted same-sex marriages there in 2008. In the US state of Illinois, the next opportunity for a vote on pending equal marriage legislation may be in August.