The UK Equality Bill passed its Third Reading in the House of Commons on Wednesday, and has now moved to the House of Lords, where the Second Reading is scheduled for 15 December.
An amendment to delete entirely Schedule 9, Clause 2, Paragraph 8, was proposed by David Drew Labour MP for Stroud, who made this speech in support of it. But when put to the vote it was defeated Ayes 170, Noes 314.
The debate on the religious exemptions and related topics starts at this point.
There has been some comment about the bill on blogs. For example Cranmer has written EU forces Government to put gay equality over Christian conscience and also European Commission ‘lobbied Parliament’ to pass Equality Bill which refers to the debate on Wednesday.
The full text of the EU Reasoned Opinion has not been published by the Government, but the Conservatives have obtained a copy from Brussels (they said) so it is surely only a short matter of time before it is available. Meanwhile, according to Mark Harper Conservative MP for the Forest of Dean it does say this:
“The UK Government has informed the Commission that the new Equality Bill currently under discussion before the UK Parliament will amend this aspect of the law and bring UK law into line with the Directive.”
Earlier in the House of Lords, the Bishop of Ripon and Leeds had used the occasion of the Queen’s Speech to speak there about the Equality Bill. You can read his speech in full here.