Thinking Anglicans

Third Reading for Marriage Bill in House of Lords

Updated yet again Tuesday afternoon

The Third Reading of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill in the House of Lords is scheduled for Monday 15 July.

The five new amendments marshalled for consideration are related to the issue of pension equalisation, and all have government approval.

See the marshalled list.

The bill as amended so far is now reprinted and available as a PDF File here.

David Pocklington has provided an analysis of the numerous amendments that have been approved.

Updates
The bill has now passed at Third Reading in the House of Lords. Because of some amendments made during its passage in that house, it now returns to the House of Commons. Further action there is likely tomorrow or Wednesday.

The Hansard record of this debate starts here. PDF for the day here.

Intervention by the Bishop of Norwich here. Full text below the fold.

Media reports:

David Pocklington has again provided a detailed analysis of Monday’s proceedings.

The Bishop of Norwich:

My Lords, I support this group of amendments. A review of the benefits accruing to all survivors under occupational pension schemes is both desirable and necessary. The principle of equity under the law for those whom the law holds to have the same status in relation to the deceased is a sound one. Hard-pressed pension schemes must be tempted to limit benefits, and the complexity of some schemes may hide inequity, so this principle is clear and just and I support it. Indeed, the Church of England pension scheme already treats surviving civil partners in precisely the same way as widows and widowers.

There is a wider reason for supporting these amendments. It is no secret that the majority of Christian churches and other world faiths do not believe that same-sex marriage accords with their understanding of marriage itself. However, many of us, including on these Benches, welcome the social and legal recognition of same-sex partnerships and believe that our society is a better and healthier one for such recognition. That is why I support this group of amendments. This point has sometimes been obscured in public commentary on what has been taking place here, but not in the debates in your Lordships’ House. The courtesy and clarity with which your Lordships have listened to each other represent our very best traditions, and I echo all that has already been said in this brief debate.

I, too, thank the Minister for her work and the Government for accommodating the needs of the Church of England and other faith traditions, and for wanting to do so. That has also been a characteristic of this House as the Bill has been debated. While the Bill is necessarily complex as a result of meeting many needs—and we are making it a bit more complex again—it will serve very well both its supporters and those who are still unconvinced about it, and that is a signal achievement.

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Jeremy Pemberton
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Jeremy Pemberton

Simon, This is pretty modest tinkering with a Bill which opponents said needed lots of work to get it into any kind of shape. I have followed things fairly closely, and note that every single wrecking amendment that was put to the test failed dramatically usually by a factor of 3 or 4. I guess that ping-pong will take no time at all, as I can’t see the Commons not agreeing to all these amendments. How long does Royal Assent usually take after the Third Reading? I note that the rally being organised by Christian Concern on Monday has been… Read more »

Jeremy Pemberton
Guest
Jeremy Pemberton

By the way, does this overwhelming victory in Parliament, aided by the many Christians who voted for the Bill mean that C4M and their allies will now accept that the answer to all their fervent prayers was “No”? No, I thought not…

Kate
Guest
Kate

Am I right in my impression that none of the amendments proposed by those hostile to the Bill, including all the bishops, was accepted?

Simon Sarmiento
Guest

Yes, that is correct. Although numerous amendments have been made, none of them are hostile amendments. Proceedings when it returns to the Commons should be quite swift.

Craig Nelson
Guest
Craig Nelson

Yes, their prayers were answered it’s just that the answer was ‘No’. I think that the religious angle on this is intriguing when you start to ponder it. The Bible doesn’t really contain a teaching on marriage – there are elements of man-woman monogamy but quite a lot of polygamy that didn’t trouble God to talk to his followers about at the time. So presumably God didn’t think that marriage of couples of the same sex would become that big an issue or else the marriage teaching would have been adequately clarified. I fervently hope and pray for the bill… Read more »

peter kettle
Guest

This, copied from Christian Concern’s website regarding cancellation of the demo:

We’re sorry to inform you that after much consideration we have decided to cancel the prayer gathering we had organised for Monday (15th July), as it now appears there will not be a vote at the third reading of the same sex marriage bill on Monday and what happens on that day in the House of Lords will be a mere formality. We have therefore decided not to gather on Monday but to conserve energy for a future occasion.

Simon Sarmiento
Guest

The following letter from the Chief Executive Officer of Christian Concern was copied to members of the General Synod: ——— I have sent the email below to Archbishop Justin and all the bishops who sit in the House of Lords. Kind regards Andrea Minichiello Williams _________________________________________________________ Dear Archbishop Justin At General Synod I made a request (SO 33) for the Archbishops to consider postponing the day’s business until the next day to enable all those bishops who are members of the House of Lords to be present at the crucial debate on the redefinition of marriage. Votes were taken on… Read more »

Jeremy Pemberton
Guest
Jeremy Pemberton

What a ghastly, hectoring letter. Written in green ink, one suspects.

Kate
Guest
Kate

(Suitably ashamed at not managing a grammatical comment earlier: I was on an iPhone and also distracted by delicious Austrian soup) But yes, as Jeremy says, the opposition very much gave us to understand that the Bill was hastily thrown together junk, that if not carefully revised would throw up all sorts of impossible situations about teachers, adultery, polygamy and God knows what. Then whenever one of these things popped up in the Lords debate, it turned out to have been very well covered elsewhere with no need for elucidation in the Bill. Also wondering if ‘winsome’ is a word… Read more »

Ernie
Guest
Ernie

I for one am delighted that the objections of Religious groups have been ignored and perhaps they’ll not cease their campaign seeking to deny true marriage equality for all.

And all power to those who came to the Commons and the Lords to overwhelmingly demonstrate that this is the will of the nation, not just a hobby horse for David Cameron.

Richard Ashby
Guest
Richard Ashby

The only possible response to this arrogant letter is to ignore it. Who does Ms Williams think she is?

Laurence
Guest
Laurence

‘How long does Royal Assent usually take after the Third Reading?'(Jeremy Pemberton)

Jeremy I understand, that it is hoped Royal Assent will be granted on Thursday.

Helen
Guest
Helen

“Winsomely” is becoming a catch word for Conservative Evangelicals (though I’m still not sure what it means). Pete Myers of the Church Society has written recently about engaging “winsomely” with opponents and, particularly, female clergy-make of that what you will.

Laurence
Guest
Laurence

‘1 Why, on Monday 8th July, only two bishops were present (Chester and Leicester);’

There should have been ‘only’ two bishops present!

That is their normal practice.
More questionable by far, is the fact there were double figures on the first day or two.

Interested Observer
Guest
Interested Observer

I’d not heard winsome used by evangelicals. The only sense I would expect to hear it used would be of a little girl, tilting her head on one side while she asks daddy for another ice cream. Most dictionaries I’ve looked at ascribe some element of “child like” to it, and my suspicion is that when used of adult discourse, it normally implies disingenuity.

So, it might be an appropriate word for evangelicals on same-sex marriage after all.

Tom
Guest
Tom

Unlike Ms Minichiello Williams perhaps the Bp of Leicester listened to arguments when he voted against a wrecking amendment. Perhaps he did so because his conscience told him it was not honest in intent. I think he did something to retrieve some integrity from the lamentable history of the C of E over this whole debate and I think Lord Alli appreciated this in his kind words to the Bishop and to Justin Welby for his speech to Synod on the second day of Report.

Tom
Guest
Tom

Dear Laurence,

Has it ever been the case that all 26 bishops have turned up to vote? Presumably Ms Minichiello Williams would have liked them all to turn up and vote the way SHE wanted, but even if they had done that it wouldn’t have affected the outcomes…and maybe she needs to consider if she is on the wrong side of the argument (maybe even HER God does not agree with her on this?).

Kate
Guest
Kate

Stephen Sondheim uses ‘winsome’ in ‘Everybody Ought To Have A Maid’ – in which he imagines a dramatically meek and compliant woman – but I’m pretty sure the great man was being sarcastic…

Laurence
Guest
Laurence

What a wonderfully brave, honest and encouraging quotation to think on at this time, perhaps ? “I face you therefore as an ambiguous compromised and questioning person, entering upon an ambiguous office in an uncertain church in the midst of a threatened and threatening world. I dare to do this, and I, even with fear and trembling, rejoice to do this, because this is where God is to be found. In the midst, that is of the ambiguities, compromises, the uncertainties, the questions, and the threats of our daily and ordinary worlds” David Jenkins at his enthronement as Bishop of… Read more »

Veuster
Guest
Veuster
Laurence
Guest
Laurence

A moving testimony to a death bed marriage made possible against great odds.

This is what real gay couples may be like….

http://www.bilerico.com/2013/07/terminally-ill_oh_man_marries_husband_at_md_airpor.php

henry Klamper
Guest
henry Klamper

The church is living in the 10th century and its the church’s own fault that equality will pass for gay people.

The church does have the right to live in the 10th century but not to drag others to the bottom with it.

I guarantee you that within a couple years the CoE will come crying to parliament to be allowed to do SSM.

It will be a matter of survival

Interested Observer
Guest
Interested Observer

“I guarantee you that within a couple years the CoE will come crying to parliament to be allowed to do SSM.”

Based on the views on my teenage children, I suspect that they would not be willing to be married in a place which excluded their gay friends. I doubt they’re alone in that. The CofE again risks turning itself into a fringe cult for bigots. The passage of SSM legislation today will make heterosexual marriage in a registry office an act of solidarity, but heterosexual marriage in a church an act of oppression.

Jeremy Pemberton
Guest
Jeremy Pemberton

Poor Andrea M Williams – the House of Lords just passed it with no “not contents”. What were those Lords Spiritual doing???!!

Hurrah – Equal Marriage is nearly here!

Laurence Cunnington
Guest
Laurence Cunnington

I loved the thanks given to the Bishops for their valuable input – which was completely ignored!

Interested Observer
Guest
Interested Observer

Those with a taste for the deluded should read: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/10180552/Gay-marriage-clears-the-House-of-Lords.html C4M appear to believe that by having 700 000 signatories to their petition they are in a position to swing 39 marginal seats, and therefore can issue demands to MPs (the usual nonsense about registrars, carers and siblings). Aside from the fact that none of the measures they propose could be passed without a government bill, which won’t be forthcoming, and all of the measures they propose were roundly rejected by the Lords anyway, it’s the sort of political illiteracy that only true obsessives can engage in. The presumption amongst… Read more »

Laurence Cunnington
Guest
Laurence Cunnington

“C4M appear to believe that by having 700 000 signatories” Interested Observer

And are there really that many? There are fewer than 1000 signatories on each page and only 234 pages of signatories. I also doubt the authenticity of some of the signatures, given that – during a cursory scan – I note that someone called ‘Adolf Hitler’ is listed as a supporter, in addition to a handful of our Right Reverend Bishops.

Richard Ashby
Guest
Richard Ashby

Readidng the article in the Daily Telegraph can we see the Bishop of Norwich already starting the rowing back from the CofEs absolutist position?

Sam Roberts
Guest
Sam Roberts

Laurence Cunnington: The curse of the unchecked petition strikes again! In 1848 the last great Chartist petition (a far more worthy enterprise IMHO that the C4M petition) foundered in part when the signatories were found to include Mr Punch, Queen Victoria, and even The Man In The Moon!

Craig Nelson
Guest
Craig Nelson

Dear Interested Observer The thought crossed my mind that they would stand their own candidates. Although they made hay on the issue I don’t think UKIP would look kindly on the possibility of C4M supporting them, the BNP would of course be delighted. We’ll see of course but wiser minds know that standing candidates is a perilous business and when one loses one’s deposits both expensive and humiliating. Still it’s a free country and if that is their pleasure then they are free to do so. If they succeed they will punish the Conservatives and help put Labour into office;… Read more »

Interested Observer
Guest
Interested Observer

Craig, Yes, the thought had crossed my mind as well. But I assumed they were just deluded, rather than stark staring mad. If they advised people to vote for a list of C4M-approved candidates, who are otherwise from mainstream parties, then the reality of just how little support they have will be concealed: mainstream candidates don’t generally lose their deposits. But a special hand-picked list of swivel eyed lunatics, running on a “no rights for gays” platform? There might a vague pleasure in watching their campaign implode as they turn out to be a motley crew of racists, young-earth creationists,… Read more »

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

I know of a church where the priest put out the C4M petition at the back of the church and invited parishioners to “sign it to show their support for marriage”. Most duly went and signed it.

I would be very surprised if many really knew what they were signing, or even if they did, whether that would translate into passionate support for any major political campaign.

Jeremy Pemberton
Guest
Jeremy Pemberton

Lest anyone think that the antis are not going to develop their persecution mania to the max, I do recommend a look at Anglican Mainstream tonight. They are already quoting Martin Niemoller’s well-known protest: “First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out, because I was not a Socialist. Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out, because I was not a Trade Unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out, because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me–and there was no one left… Read more »

MarkBrunson
Guest

“It is laughable – but it is also disgusting – they are not persecuted by other people gaining equality, and the comparison of their disappointment with the loss of life that others have suffered is shameful.”

And these right-wingers were the sort who not only said nothing, but cheered on “them coming” for others. Vile creatures.

Interested Observer
Guest
Interested Observer

Erika, “I know of a church where the priest put out the C4M petition at the back of the church” Would I be right in thinking that you are American? And therefore that it is unlikely that the people who signed in the case you cite are on the electoral roll of a constituency in the United Kingdom? That was one of the things that scuppered the oh-so-clever campaigning to swing the consultation exercise with form letters. Aside from the woeful misunderstanding of the process and purpose of government consultation exercises, which are not votes and therefore are not really… Read more »

Interested Observer
Guest
Interested Observer

Oh, and look at C4M’s statement:

“We are one of the largest campaign groups in the nation. We have many more active supporters than the two main political parties have members.”

I await, with bated breath, C4M being able to canvass door to door in support of candidates in not only every every constituency, but every council ward, in the country.

If C4M has a hundred active members, I would be surprised. There is a point past which they should be ignored until they can demonstrate that they aren’t just a tiny bunch of cranks meeting in front rooms.

Simon Sarmiento
Guest

Another letter from the CEO of Christian Concern Sent: 15 July 2013 Subject: Further note on bishops vote on marriage Bill Dear I copy below a letter I sent today to Richard Chapman, who replied to me in response to my letter which I circulated to you on Friday. This is the response that I sent to him earlier today. Kind regards Andrea Minichiello Williams ____________________________________________________ Dear Richard, Thank you for your email and for the obvious care you took over sending it, time-stamped, as it was, after midnight. However, I have to say I am extremely surprised at the… Read more »

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

Interested Observer
“Would I be right in thinking that you are American? And therefore that it is unlikely that the people who signed in the case you cite are on the electoral roll of a constituency in the United Kingdom?”

I live in rural North Somerset, the church in question is one of our neighbouring parishes, a member of the congregation is a personal friend.

Tom
Guest
Tom

The moment may pass quickly enough but I am puzzled to see David Burrowes has put up an amendment to Lords Amendment 18

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/bills/cbill/2013-2014/0094/amend/pbc0941607m.583-584.html

when there appear only 11 Amendments on the list given here:

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/bills/cbill/2013-2014/0094/14094.1-4.html

Can anyone point to what Burrowe’s Amendment refers to?

Iain McLean
Guest
Iain McLean

Although Ms Williams has not distributed the letter from Richard Chapman to which she replies, its contents can be inferred in a Kremlinological way. It is clear that he told her that Lord Dear’s move was disastrous for those who opposed the Bill, because it generated an oversize majority in its favour at Second Reading. Which makes the ABC’s conduct at 2R, deploring the Dear move and then voting for it, all the more puzzling.

The sight of rows of elderly Peers wearing pink carnations yesterday was quite striking.

Interested Observer
Guest
Interested Observer

Erica: my apologies for my confusion. In regard to Andrea Minichiello Williams, one is irresistibly reminded of the (not entirely fictional) trope of the Japanese soldier, unaware that the war is over, fighting on for thirty years. The concern trolling for “employees” is preposterous: the Ladele case was fought to the ECHR, and was lost in every forum other than the initial ET. Had 26 Bishops turned up and voted en bloc then the amendments would still have been lost, but the damage to the CofE would have been irreparable. It would have shown a group of peers whose existence… Read more »

Laurence
Guest
Laurence

The sight of rows of elderly Peers wearing pink carnations yesterday was quite striking. Posted by: Iain McLean on Tuesday, 16 July 2013 at 9:44am BST It was wonderful ! Also when they came over to the stonewall rally to be with us for the singing by the Gay Men’s Chorus; and some making speeches rejoicing in all that has been achieved for ourselves and as a pointer to for the world ! Also Nick Clegg and Diane Abbott and a young war veteran. Also a lovely hug from my favourite baroness ! A strong and visible Christian presence was… Read more »