Thinking Anglicans

Marriage Bill: House of Lords completes Report stage

The House of Lords completed Report stage on the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill on Wednesday.

For a report on the Monday session, go here.

The Hansard record of yesterday’s debate begins here, and continues here.

The name index is here. The PDF file for the day is here.

The Bishop of Leicester introduced Amendment 95, designed to amend the Education Act 1996, and the debate on this starts here. In the end, he withdrew the amendment.

Updates

David Pocklington’s analysis of the day can be found here.

It is also worth noting that three Lords Spiritual voted in favour of Amendment 94 which sought to extend civil partnerships to specified new opposite-sex categories. The text read as follows:

Clause 14, page 13, line 13, at end insert—

“(1A) The review under subsection (1) must deal with the case for amending the criteria in the Civil Partnership Act 2004 which define the eligibility of people to register as civil partners.

(1B) The review must in particular consider—

(a) the case for extending such eligibility to—

(i) unpaid carers and those they care for, and

(ii) family members who share a house,

provided that they have cohabitated for 5 years or more and are over the age of eighteen, and

(b) the case for creating a new legal status that would confer all the benefits of civil partnerships upon those mentioned in paragraph (a) without amending the criteria for eligibility for civil partnership.”

The bishops voting in favour of this were: Chester, Exeter, and Winchester.

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julianTomCraig NelsonJeremy PembertonErika Baker Recent comment authors
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Craig Nelson
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Craig Nelson

I am of course delighted that the bill has survived Report stage unscathed. Barring surprises that is it for the bill which now only has 3rd reading (further amendments can be debated at 3rd reading in the Lords but the main topics have been thoroughly aired). I anticipate Commons approval of amendments could be relatively straightforward. When tested the bill has enjoyed 2/3 majorities or more. Highlights from the 2nd day of report included the deeply damaging idea of allowing close family relatives to enter into civil partnerships which for me comes close to sanctioning incest – supported by the… Read more »

Erika Baker
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Erika Baker

Craig,
I’m not sure that civil partnerships for family relatives would be incestuous.
One of the defining differences between Civil Partnership and Marriage is that CPs do not presume a sexual relationship, which is why the church has been able to accept them for its clergy provided they remain celibate.

The strange idea that the church could bless family CPs is rooted in the fiction that CPs are intrinsically non-sexual relationships.

Richard Ashby
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Richard Ashby

So it’s all done and dusted, and, bar the last bout of shouting at the Third Reading it’s over. The bill is intact and all the efforts for sabotage it have been defeated. Within a few weeks it will become law and sometime after that the Church will be faced with priests, currently in civil partnerships who have become married to their same sex spouse. Now marriage, as we have continually been reminded by those opposed to same sex relationships and to this bill, is the only place for sexual activity. What is the Church going to do? Is it… Read more »

Craig Nelson
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Craig Nelson

In response to Richard I would ask the Church to refrain from ‘thinking’ for a while and perhaps just listen, visit some church schools, talk to teenagers and young adults and have Sunday lunch with some families with same sex parents. If they can’t do that then go on a long hiking holiday somewhere with a good novel, anything other than ‘thinking’ which only digs the CofE deeper in its own mire. It’s not thinking that is called for it’s humanity and if not humanity then at the very least some rest (for them and us). As for the amendment… Read more »

Richard Ashby
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Richard Ashby

Point taken, Craig! I too was taken aback by the special pleading for a civil partnership type arrangement in order to avoid inheritance tax. I was also glad to see Lord Alli point out that this is an issue for tax legislation and not for this bill or the previous Civil Partnership Act. He was right to say that in the nine years since the latter there has been absolutely no attempt to introduce such legislation at any time, even though there have been plenty of suitable occasions. This clearly demonstrates that the proponents aim has always been to derail… Read more »

Erika Baker
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Erika Baker

“have Sunday lunch with some families with same sex parents.”

Anyone is always welcome to have Sunday lunch with us.

Craig Nelson
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Craig Nelson

On a broader note one kind of felt the bishops might have felt glad to get out of the chamber in one piece. Baroness Kennedy was very forthright on the fathers marrying their daughters amendment (quite rightly) and even though the Bishop of Leicester did a very good job in presenting his amendment there were quite a lot of vigorous put downs (in the nicest possible way of course) so there was no doubt the amendment would be defeated if pushed to a vote. In spite of the warm words given to the amendment I suspect its purpose was really… Read more »

Jeremy Pemberton
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Jeremy Pemberton

I would say “Come and have lunch with us”, but we have taken to going to the Carvery at the Bramley Apple – such good value! You couldn’t make it for that at home.

Tom
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Tom

Christian Concern have cancelled their Prayer Meeting at Third Reading on Monday.

http://www.christianconcern.com

This seems strange because there has to be some sort of vote, either voice or lobby for the Bill to clear the Lords, so what can they mean?

Have they perhaps got wind that there will be no further amendments from the Bishop of Leicester though he did say he reserved the right maybe to bring something back at Third Reading when he withdrew his amendment on Wednesday? Any views or information?

Craig Nelson
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Craig Nelson

Dear Tom, Thank you for this precious information. I think what is hinted at is that in the House of Lords one tends only to divide the House when there’s a point in doing so. In the Commons the Opposition calls many votes – it’s part of the Opposition wearing the government down, keeping them in Parliament. And of course losing a vote in the Commons raises the question of whether the government has lost its majority and whether an election is needed. In an unelected chamber that has little sense. Of course many members of the Lords are older… Read more »

Tom
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Tom

Hello Craig, thanks for that helpful view. The Govt has now issued the marshalled list of amendments to be moved at Third Reading and the Bishop of Leicester’s is not among them so I can only conjecture that CC maybe had prior information. The only ones listed are 5 Govt amendments concerning survivor benefits, which as you say, will be passed without a division.

But also is it too naughty to wonder if the prospect of facing the “Lions” of the Gay Men’s Chorus and the Gay Brass Band was too much for Christian Concern? :-Q

http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2013/07/12/day-long-equal-marriage-rally-at-house-of-lords-organised-for-third-reading-vote/

julian
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julian

Very good,Tom, and yes, a bit naughty. It’s nice to see that a thinking Anglican is not above making a silly remark to lighten things up

Not like those grim Christian Concern folk who obviously take the bible far too seriously