MPs voted by 366 votes to 161 to pass the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill at third reading on 21 May 2013.
128 Conservative MPs voted against the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill as part of its third reading on Tuesday evening – along with 14 MPs from Labour and 4 Lib Dems. Plymouth Conservative MP Oliver Colville voted in favour of the bill.
There is no room for complacency we MUST LOBBY THE LORDS!
“The biggest uncertainty facing the same-sex marriage bill is how the House of Lords will vote. We just don’t know how much opposition there will be in the upper house. It would be a big mistake to assume that equal marriage is a done deal,” warned Peter Tatchell, Director of the human rights advocacy organisation, the Peter Tatchell Foundation, and coordinator of the Equal Love campaign.
“There is no room for complacency. We need to lobby the Lords just like we lobbied the Commons. Church leaders and right-wing peers are determined to derail the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill. They’ll try to vote it down or introduce wrecking amendments.”
There is information on how to lobby the Lords and a draft model letter to get you started here on the Peter Tatchell Foundation website: http://www.petertatchellfoundation.org/partnerships/lobby-lords-marriage-equality
For details of how our MPs voted see this article published on Pink News
The bill passed report stage without a vote after Lib Dem Julian Huppert and Caroline Lucas (Green Party), who had tabled amendments aimed at improving the bill’s treatment of transgender people, accepted government assurances on the issue. You can hear what they had to say in this BBC video footage along with the rest of the debate.
In the same week that the bill was being debated in parliament the Public and Commercial Services Union PCS held it’s Annual Delegates Conference in Brighton. On Wednesday 22nd - Motion A46 was debated and carried with massive support from conference instructing the National Executive Committee to lead a robust campaign for equal marriage and highlight the discrimination faced by LGBT members received.
Seconding the motion, Marianne Owens, pointed out that it was even more crucial than ever to support it after what we had seen in the debate on the issue in parliament in the last few days.
‘Nasty bigotry’ had been revealed as we again heard the demonisation of the LGBT community – the ‘same old Tories, same old hate’ from the party that brought us Section 28.
Marianne reminded conference that homophobic bullying and attacks on members of the LGBT community were continuing: “We must continue the fight,” she said, “There’s still a long way to go and we must stand shoulder to shoulder for a better society.”
Julie Bremner, a Cabinet Office rep, added her voice to the debate and reiterated the warnings about a political party that still harboured people like Norman Tebbit who were more worried about the tax implications of equal marriage than the rights of people who love each other: “The Tory party is still full of bigots,” she said. Julie also pointed to the attack in South London on Chris Bryant and his boyfriend and supported his call for MPs to moderate their language as this sort of violent hostility was the result.
Motion A47 led on from A46 and instructed the national executive to support the Northern Ireland Equal Marriage Campaign.
The Northern Ireland Assembly narrowly voted not to follow England, Scotland and Wales in introducing legislation for ‘Equal Marriage in Civil Ceremonies’.
You can view all the motions debated at the PCS conference here: http://pcs.org.uk/en/news_and_events/conference/conference-2013/daily-reports.cfm
Peter Tatchell reminds us of the prejudice LGBT people are subjected to and how the debate has allowed some politicians and religious leaders to publicly air their bigoted views.
“It is wonderful that the House of Commons voted in favour of marriage equality this week, by 366 to 161. Bravo! Big thanks to everyone who lobbied to help make this victory happen. Without your commitment and support for equal marriage over recent years, the outcome might have been different,”
“One downside is that the battle for equal marriage has prompted an outpouring of anti-LGBT prejudice unprecedented in Britain for many years, with politicians and religious leaders spearheading the attacks on LGBT people.”
“Although there are politicians from all three main parties who oppose same-sex marriage, most notably 128 Conservative MPs voted against marriage equality. Only 117 voted in favour. David Cameron is to be commended for bringing forward this legislation and sticking to his guns. But clearly large swathes of Conservative MPs and local constituency parties support homophobic discrimination in marriage law. They want a return to the days when the Conservatives were the nasty party,”
THE GOD CHANNEL MOVING TO PLYMOUTH
With the religious hatred that has been further exposed by this bill we learn that ‘GOD TV‘ is looking to set up a base in the disused Millennium Night Club on Union Street.
The broadcaster wants to use the venue as a religious centre for worship and large-scale events which would then be shown on the channel to 250 million homes worldwide.
It would appear that this is another ‘done deal’ by Plymouth City Council with no consultation that we are aware of!
A spokesman from GOD TV believes there will be a ‘positive response’ :
“This is a significant investment of capital for us but we are happy to do it as we believe there will be a positive response,”
We hope the council has the resource to ensure that religious hatred will NOT BE SPURTED at this venue whether it is broadcast or not!
Remember that the channel was fined £20,000 for its denunciation of homosexuality as “an abomination.
We will be posting more about this over the coming weeks and welcome your comments below.