It was inevitable that Lord Dear would try, yet again, to do what he could to oppose the equal marriage (same-sex marriage) bill in the British House of Lords. The former Chief Constable of West Midlands Police saw his first amendment to the Marriage (Same-Sex Couples) Bill go down in flames- a staggering 390 to 148.
Now he is introducing a bill that will allow those who believe that marriage “the union of one man and one woman for life to the exclusion of all others” to continue to discriminate, be bigots, and continue to hate others.
His new amendment states:
“Protecting belief in traditional marriage
Any person, in exercising functions under or in consequence of this Act shall have regard to the following —
(a) that prior to the coming into force of this Act, marriage was the union of one man and one woman for life to the exclusion of all others (“traditional marriage”);
(b) that belief in traditional marriage is a belief worthy of respect in a democratic society;
(c) that no person should suffer any detriment because of their belief in traditional marriage.”
Tory peer and former health secretary Lord Jenkin of Roding has said that he does not believe that opponents of the equal marriage bill will try to derail the bill a second time after Lord Dear’s first amendment crashed and burned, but that isn’t necessarily a universally held belief.
Lord Alli, an openly gay Labour peer, was cautious about that and called for people to continue to lobby their peers in support of marriage equality. He wrote “Please write to those who voted for the bill to thank them. Say how much this legislation means to you. And urge them to be there for the crucial votes that are still to come.”
PinkNews notes that the bill will be out of committee sometime during the week of 17 June. From there, it will have a report stage beginning on 8 July and a third reading on 15 July.
After that, it goes to Queen Elizabeth II for her signature.