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Breaking: Lords 242 majority supports marriage equality

Breaking: Lords 242 majority supports marriage equality


The Guardian reports that the marriage equality bill is moving forward:

Evening summary

• Peers have voted by a majority of 242 to allow the gay marriage bill to continue its passage through the Lords. Although victory for the pro-bill lobby was never seriously in doubt, the size of their win took some peers by surprise. The Lords voted by 390 votes to 148 to reject an attempt by Lord Dear, a crossbencher, to defeat the bill at second reading. It is very unusual for the Lords to block a bill at second reading and some peers may have been voting against Dear because they were opposed to the idea of the Lords trying to obstruct legislation in this way, not because they were great supporters of the bill. But the size of the majority means the bill must now be certain to become law. However, it is still likely that attempts will be made to amend it in the Lords, in particular to strengthen the protection available to churches who do not want to conduct gay weddings. Lady Stowell, a government whip, told peers in her wind-up speech that the government would not necessarily object to amendments of this kind.

According to Giles Fraser on Twitter: 9 C of E bishops supported the “wrecking amendment” and 5 abstained.



House of Lords votes to pass Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill by 390 to

148. Majority 242. 14 bishops at vote. 9 voted against, 5 abstained.


To clarify last tweet. 9 bishops voted for Lord Dear’s amendment not to

give the Bill a 2nd Reading. 5 abstained.


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Susan Zimmerman

What part of the polity are the Lords???? Scripture, tradition, or Reason???? This Protestant Episcopal titherrrr.. votes NO…Absolutes of Love and Sex are different….

Emma Pease

One of the sees is empty (the former see of the new ABC) and one archbishop is having medical treatment. There was apparently some pressure within the church for large numbers of bishops not to show up (having the bishops perceived as killing the bill or being so out of step with the public could be a political disaster for the church [disestablishment {admittedly I’m all for disestablishing the church}]).

If I have correct information of the retired bishops who were given peerages and so continue to be in the House of Lords, Lord Harries of Pentregarth, retired bishop of Oxford, voted against the amendment and almost certainly will vote for the act. Lord Carey, former ABC, voted for the amendment but that is no surprise. I don’t think Lord Williams, former ABC, voted. Offhand I’m not sure which other retired bishops are lords in their own right.

The actual debate and vote can be found at the House of Lords web site.



I’m sorry that no bishops had the spiritual and/or political courage to actually vote AGAINST the poison-pill Dear amendment, but I find myself grateful to the abstainers anyway. Baby steps. [@Cantuar: Boo! >:-( ]

JC Fisher


@Doug, a number of BIshops did not attend.

–Susan Forsburg


By my count that still leaves 12 CofE bishops in the House of Lords unaccounted for. Am I wrong about the count of 26 bishops in the House of Lords?

Doug Spurlin

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