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