House of Lords backs UK government plans for same-sex marriage

Celebrations and singing outside the House of Lords

The House of Lords spent two days debating the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill, with many members voicing their concerns…But it rejected an amendment aimed at wrecking the bill by 242 votes, moving it a step closer to becoming law.

The BBC’s Norman Smith said plans were on course for the first same-sex weddings to take place next summer.

The bill would allow couples, who can currently form civil partnerships, to marry…

The result was greeted with cheers from supporters of same-sex marriage gathered outside Parliament…equalities minister Baroness Stowell of Beeston called the legislation a “force for good” which would strengthen marriage.

She said it protected both religious freedom and freedom of speech.

Baroness Royall, Labour’s leader in the Lords, said marriage had a “special status in our society”: “I firmly believe that our society will be strengthened when more couples are able to choose to make a lifetime commitment to each other and when all members of our communities are able to celebrate their identity and relationships within the institution of marriage…”

Peter Tatchell, who co-ordinates the Equal Love campaign, said: “This is a victory for love, marriage and equality“…

Bravo! Mail me a penny postcard when the United States government catches up to the growing number of Western industrial nations supporting full civil rights for their LGBT citizens.

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