In an unprecedented and historic move, Peers in the House of Lords have voted overwhelmingly in favour of the same-sex marriage bill.
After two days of heated debate in the House of Lords, Peers voted in favour of same-sex marriage, after Lord Dear, former Chief Constable of the West Midlands Police Force tabled a ‘wrecking’ and ‘fatal’ amendment potentially denying the same-sex marriage bill its second reading.
Peers voted 390 votes to 148, a majority of 242 votes meaning that the Lords allowed the passage of the bill to the committee stage.
Taking to Twitter human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell wrote,
“Lords vote a landslide victory for love, marriage & equality: 390 in favour, 148 against. YOUR lobbying efforts helped us win. HUGE thanks
“With this huge Lords victory, we are on schedule for the first same-sex weddings late this summer. Hurrah”
The debate initially commenced on Monday at 3:00pm and continued until 10:45pm, it resumed on Tuesday afternoon and concluded with Peers voting.
Stonewall Chief Executive Ben Summerskill said,
“‘We’re absolutely delighted. We always expected a tough challenge in the House of Lords, and Lord Dear’s “fatal motion” – very rarely used – demonstrates the lengths to which a minority of peers are, sadly, still prepared to go to deny full equality to lesbian, gay and bisexual people.
“In the last 24 hours alone, opponents of equality in the House of Lords have compared loving, committed relationships to incest and polygamy. Britain’s 3.7 million gay people don’t deserve to be second class citizens in their own country. A tough fight lies ahead and we’ll continue to work tirelessly every single day to get equal marriage through the Lords. At Stonewall, we fight to win.”