Tuesday, 21 May 2013

The possibility of same sex marriage comes a little closer

The House of Commons has voted in favour of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill. This was the third stage.

In common with a lot of people, I don’t know much about how a Bill becomes Law in the UK. If you’re like me then there’s a descri0tion of the process here.

So it looks like it now has to go through a whole series of stages in the House of Lords.

Some of the statistics are unusual.

According to the Daily Mirror 133 Conservative MPs voted against the Bill, whilst only 123 voted in favour.

However, a total of 366 MPs from all parties voted in favour, with only 161 voting against – a majority of 205.

I believe that it’s quite unusual a Bill to be passed when so few of the Governments own party voted in favour of it.

There are now calls from some of the people that voted against the Bill asking that the (unelected and undemocratic) House of Lords prevent it from becoming law. 

My own Member of Parliament, Adam Afriyie has consistently voted against the Bill. There’s a record of communications that I had with him here and here.

Adam wrote:

For the avoidance of doubt, I am very much in favour of a long term commitment between same sex couples and I would like to see the same legislation underpinning every long term relationship so that there is no further inequality in the eyes of the law.

I must admit, that I don’t understand this at all, and I very much doubt the truth if the above statement.

I’m suspicious that some people that have spoken out against the Bill haven’t been completely open about their reasons. The list of reasons include protection of families, of the institution of marriage, of children. The Daily Mirror says:

It comes after Tory grandee Norman Tebbit accused Mr Cameron of “f***** things up” over gay marriage.

The former party chairman claimed the change could spark a constitutional crisis if a lesbian queen married a woman and had a sperm donor child.

The mind boggles.

I don’t know what Norman Tebbit’s real objections are.

However, I think that maybe, for quite a few people, there’s an underlying feeling that the Bible says it’s wrong. And so they think it’s wrong. And so they are against it. There are some people that say this. But I have the feeling that there are others that think this, but don’t say it. Instead they come up with a host of other reasons.

Over the coming few days I hope to make time to write to my MP and ask exactly why he voted against the Bill and what actions he is taking to ensure that there is no further inequality in the eyes of the law.


Jenna said...

Hopefully the House of Lords will debate this and then vote to pass it.
I'm not going to hold my breath though as I can see a game of ping pong starting up between the Lords and the Commons with the Bill being sent back and forth.

The interesting thing for me is what the knock on effect of this is going to be with regards to getting a Gender Recognition Certificate because at the moment if you transition and are married you have to get divorced to get a certificate. This Bill should do away with that need but I bet it will take a while to get that changed.

Andrea said...

Hi Jenna,

I fear you could be right, but let's hope not.

I hadn't realised the requirement to not be married in order to get a Gender Recognition Certificate.

I guess that's a natural consequence of the law as it stands at the moment, but it does seem unjust.