Sunday, 26 May 2013

news of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) bill

While we await the House of Lords second reading a week tomorrow, on 3 June, here are some articles that have recently appeared.

Channel 4 News had two items:

Adam Wagner wrote in the New Statesman on Myths and realities about Equal Marriage

Robert Watts wrote in the Telegraph about the forthcoming debate: Peers plot gay marriage revolt

…Peers expect the Upper’s House [sic] debate over same sex weddings will go through the night or even into a second day, with a key vote that could scupper the policy regarded as “too close to call”.

The former head of the British army Lord Dannatt and Lord Lothian, a former Conservative Party chairman better known as Michael Ancram, are amongst those set to criticise the draft legislation in next Monday’s session.

Other opponents will include Lord Waddington, a former Home Secretary, Lord Luce, who served as a minister in Baroness Thatcher’s government, and Lord Singh of Wimbledon, a respected figure in the Sikh community.

The Sunday Telegraph has also established that the senior Tory Baroness Warsi, a practising Muslim, refused to lead the bill through the House of Lords when asked to do so by David Cameron, the Prime Minister.

Some peers believe dozens Lords who rarely attend Parliament will flock to Westminster to make their position on homosexual marriage clear…

And in today’s Observer there is an interview with Margot James MP, who has this to say about the Church of England:

“I do feel very strongly that public life should be conducted with far greater respect than it often is in the chamber. Opinions do get heated but I didn’t behave like that in business and I don’t believe that going hammer and tongs at an argument solves much.” Her anger is kept for the church: “I think the churches conducted a very disreputable campaign where they really distorted what the government intended with this bill. I think it was truly shameful, both the Church of England and the Coalition for Marriage misled people. Not impressive.”

And the Guardian published this Gay marriage: news and teaching resources round up (hat tip Anglican Mainstream who presumably disapprove of all this).

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Sunday, 26 May 2013 at 11:07pm BST | TrackBack
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Categorised as: equality legislation

Which to get rid of first: Establishment or the HofL? >:-/

Posted by: JCF on Sunday, 26 May 2013 at 11:20pm BST

'Other opponents will include... Lord Luce'

Would that be the same Lord Luce who chaired the CNC for the Diocese of Canterbury last year? I rather had the impression that one of the things that qualified him for that position was his consistent record of being absent from the House during votes relevant to sexual-orientation equality, both before and after the Conservative Party line shifted.

Posted by: Feria on Monday, 27 May 2013 at 5:35pm BST

Meabh Ritchie writes that straights want civil partnerships so their partner is their next of kin. But that only works for as long as they are in Britain. The minute they travel to a country that does not have civil partnerships that same partner will no longer be a next of kin. After all, that is one of the reasons we want marriage equality.

Posted by: Erika Baker on Monday, 27 May 2013 at 6:30pm BST

One wonders why bishops of the Church of England are allowed to continue in the governance of the people of England once they have retired from prelacy?

People like Lord Carey can still do untold damage to the image of the Church by their insistence on maintaining a position of civil/religious power within the archaic structure of the House of Lords.

Is this what spiritual power should be all about?
One can understand the currently serving bishops exercising such power as they have been given as active leaders in the Church, but surely there must come a time when they relinquish such power?

In the case of the Same-Sex Marriage Bill, the Bishops are about to pronounce on a matter that has consequences far beyond the limitations of the Church they represent. Is that democratic? Is is time that Bishops Seats in the House of Lords were abolished?

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Tuesday, 28 May 2013 at 2:22am BST

'One wonders why bishops of the Church of England are allowed to continue in the governance of the people of England once they have retired from prelacy?'

They are not so allowed, as of right. If the Bishop of (say) Peterborough, sits in the House of Lords as a Lord Spiritual, his right to do so ends when he retires. However, if he has distinguished himself in some way the Queen (on the nomination of the Prime Minister) can appoint + Peterborough as a Life Peer.

It seems to have become a convention that ex Archbishops of Canterbury and York are usually granted life peerages. Hence George Carey now speaks in the Lords as Lord Carey - a peer in his own right - rather than as Archbishop, or ex-Archbishop, of Canterbury.

Whether this is right or proper is another thing, of course.

Posted by: Sam Roberts on Tuesday, 28 May 2013 at 10:15am BST

All one can do is hope and pray that the Bill goes through and that Carey and the C of E come to their senses. There are many of us who really are loyal Anglicans who want this Bill to pass and firmly believe that it is in accordance with God's will.

Posted by: Jean Mayland on Tuesday, 28 May 2013 at 11:33am BST

Sam: 'It seems to have become a convention that ex Archbishops of Canterbury and York are usually granted life peerages... Whether this is right or proper is another thing, of course.'

I'd add to this that it's of a piece with the position for other very senior managers in the public services (the Establishment means that the CofE _is_, among other things, a public service.) For example, Chiefs of the Defence Staff, Metropolitan Police Commissioners, and Cabinet Secretaries are often awarded life peerages on retirement.

Posted by: Feria on Tuesday, 28 May 2013 at 12:33pm BST

So why do some in the CofE and the swivel-eyed right want civil partnerships for opposite sex couples? Isn't it that which is going to 'undermine marriage'? I bet that if and when civil partnership become available for opposite sex couples there will be a large decline in both civil and religious marriage by the many who don't want the trappings and history of marriage to oppress their union. 'Marriage' will then become the preserve of a minority and the conservatives will have shot themselves in the foot again.

Posted by: Richard Ashby on Tuesday, 28 May 2013 at 5:15pm BST
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