On the second day of debate of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill in the House of Lords, significant progress was made on addressing the Revised Marshalled List of Amendments, here, and in two sessions ending at 12.29 am, amendments 13 to 41 were covered thus leaving amendments 42 to 59 for the 3rd day of debate on 24 June. As on the first day’s debate, the majority of amendments were withdrawn. The amendments that were agreed – numbers 21, 38 and 42 to 44 – were moved by Baroness Stowell of Beeston, the government equalities spokesperson with responsibility to take the same-sex marriage bill through the Lords. However, a number of their Lordships who withdrew or did not move their amendments reserved the right, having heard what the Minister had to say, to come back to the House on Report.
The outcome of the debate is summarized below, and a similar summary will be produced for the third day’s debate. A more detailed analysis of the entire Bill will then be posted, prior to the Report Stage, which is scheduled for 8 and 10 July.
Clause 2 : Marriage according to religious rites: no compulsion to solemnize etc
Amendment 13: Baroness O’Loan, Lord Singh of Wimbledon
Page 4, line 9, at end insert— “( ) For the purposes of section 149 of the Equality Act 2010, no regard may be had by any public authority to—
(a) any decision by a person whether or not to opt-in, conduct, be present at, carry out, participate in, or consent to the taking place of, relevant marriages; or
(b) the expression by a person of the opinion or belief that marriage is the union of one man with one woman.”
Amendment 15: Lord Carey of Clifton
Page 4, line 20, at end insert — “( ) A person does not contravene section 29 only because the person—
(a) does not conduct a service of blessing for a relevant marriage, or
(b) is not present at, does not carry out, or does not otherwise participate in, a service of blessing for a relevant marriage, or
(c) does not consent to a service of blessing for a relevant marriage being conducted, for the reason that the marriage is the marriage of a same sex couple.”
Amendments 16 to 19:
Clause 2 Agreed
Clause 3 : Marriage for which no opt-in necessary
Amendment 19A: Lord Harrison, Baroness Massey of Darwen
Page 4, line 38, at end insert—“(cc) a marriage of any couple conducted according to the usages of an approved organisation;”
Clause 3 Agreed
Clause 4 : Opt-in: marriage in places of worship
Amendment 20: Lord Curry of Kirkhale
Page 5, line 33, at end insert—““recognised” means recognised according to the ordinary customs and usage of the organisation and in the event of a dispute between the members over which person or persons are recognised for the purpose of giving consent for the purposes of this section, the Secretary of State shall consult all members of the relevant religious organisation to determine which person or persons are recognised, and this shall include power to order a ballot of members in which a quorum of 66 per cent shall be required and recognition shall be determined by a majority vote;
“members” means those whose names have appeared on a formal membership roll kept by the relevant religious organisation for a period of at least 12 months prior to written consent being given, and if no such roll is kept, then the members shall be deemed to be those who have attended worship at the place of worship for a majority of services of worship during the 12 months prior to written consent being given.”
Clause 4 Agreed
Schedule 1 Agreed
Clause 5 : Opt-in: other religious ceremonies
Baroness Stowell of Beeston
Page 6, line 18, leave out from “purpose” to end of line 25 and insert “the meaning
of “relevant governing authority” is to be determined in accordance with this
|The “relevant governing authority” is…||…if the marriage falls to be registered by…|
|the Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth||the secretary of a synagogue certified under paragraph (a) of the relevant definition (certification by the President of the Board of Deputies)|
|the person or persons duly recognised by the members of—(i) the West London Synagogue of British Jews (“the West London Synagogue”), and(ii) the other synagogues that are constituents of or affiliated to the Movement for Reform Judaism||—either the secretary of the West London Synagogue, as certified under paragraph (b) of the relevant definition—or the secretary of another synagogue in a case where:
(i) the secretary is certified under paragraph (d) of the relevant definition by the secretary of the West London Synagogue, and(ii) the synagogue is one of those which are constituents of or affiliated to the Movement for Reform Judaism
|the person or persons duly recognised by the members of—(i) the Liberal Jewish Synagogue, St. John’s Wood (“the St. John’s Wood Synagogue”), and(ii) the other synagogues that are constituents of or affiliated to Liberal Judaism||—either the secretary of the St. John’s Wood Synagogue, as certified under paragraph (c) of the relevant definition—or the secretary of another synagogue in a case where:(i) the secretary is certified under paragraph (d) of the relevant definition by the secretary of the St. John’s Wood Synagogue, and(ii) the synagogue is one of those which are constituents of or affiliated to Liberal Judaism|
|the person or persons duly recognised by the members of the synagogue by whose secretary the marriage falls to be registered||the secretary of a synagogue certified under(ii) Liberal Judaism paragraph (d) of the relevant definition (certification by the secretary of the West London Synagogue or the secretary of the St. John’s Wood Synagogue) in a case where the synagogue is not one of those which are constituents of or affiliated to:(i) the Movement for Reform Judaism, or|
In that table—
(a) “relevant definition” means the definition of “secretary of a synagogue” in section 67;
(b) a reference to a person or persons being duly recognised is a reference to the person or persons being recognised for the purpose of giving consent for the purposes of this section.”
Amendment 21 agreed.
Clause 5, as amended, agreed.
Clauses 6 and 7 agreed.
Amendment 23: Lord Dear
Insert the following new Clause—“School Standards and Framework Act 1998: consciences of teachers
After section 60 of the School Standards and Framework Act 1998 insert— “60A Teaching about marriage
(1) This section applies to a maintained school.
(2) No teacher shall be required to endorse same sex marriage if he has a conscientious objection to so doing based on his religious or other beliefs.
(3) No teacher at the school shall receive any less remuneration or be deprived of, or disqualified for, any promotion or other advantage by reason of the fact that he relies on subsection (2) above.””
Clause 8 Agreed.
Clause 9 : Conversion of civil partnership into marriage
Amendments 24A and 24B
Amendment 24C: Lord Elton
Page 9, line 23, at end insert—
“(3A) Regulations under this section shall in particular—
(a) specify the terms of the marriage contract; and
(b) make provision for each party to a civil partnership within subsection (1) or (3) to undertake, before witnesses and by oath or by solemn affirmation, to honour the contract and the other party to it for as long as both of them are alive.
(3B) The oath or solemn affirmation referred to in subsection (3A)(b) shall be made before not less than three witnesses.
(3C) Neither a registrar conducting the conversion of a contract nor either of the parties to that contract may act as a witness under the provisions of subsection (3A).
(3D) The oath or solemn declaration referred to in subsection (3A)(b) shall be recorded in the certificate of marriage issued by the registrar on completion of the conversion.”
Amendments 25 and 26
These had been withdrawn from the Marshalled List.
Clause 9 agreed
Clause 10 : Extra-territorial matters
Amendment 26A: Lord Alli
Page 11, line 1, leave out subsection (3),
Clause 10 Agreed
Amendment 27: Lord Trefgarne
Insert the following new Clause—“Marriages at sea
In section 26 of the Marriage Act 1949 (), after subsection (1)(e) insert— marriages which may be solemnized on authority of superintendent registrar’s certificate “(f) a marriage of a same sex couple conducted by the Master of a British ship registered under the Merchant Shipping Act 1995 while that ship is sailing outside of the territorial waters of England and Wales.””
Amendment 27 withdrawn.
Schedule 2 : Extra-territorial matters
Amendments 28 to 32
Schedule 2 agreed
Clause 11 : Effect of extension of marriage
Amendment 33: Lord Stevenson of Balmacara
Page 11, leave out line 5 and insert “couples, whether they are of a different sex, the same sex, or non-gendered.”
Amendment 33A: Lord Stevenson of Balacara
Page 11, leave out line 5 and insert “couples, whether they are of a different sex, the
same sex, or non-gendered.”
Clause 11 agreed.
Amendments 36 and 37
These had been withdrawn from the Marshalled List.
Schedule 3 : Interpretation of legislation
Amendment 38: Baroness Stowell of Beeston
Page 25, line 23, leave out “Paragraphs 1 and 2 do” and insert “This Part of this
Amendment 38 agreed.
Schedule 3, as amended, agreed
Schedule 4 : Effect of extension of marriage: further provision
Amendment 39: The Lord Bishop of Guildford, Baroness Thornton, Baroness Royall of Blaisdon
Page 26, line 32, leave out paragraph 2
Amendment 39 withdrawn.
Amendment 40: Baroness Buter-Sloss, The Lord Bishop of Guildford
Page 27, line 4, leave out paragraph 3
Amendments 42 to 44: Baroness Stowell of Beeston
42: Schedule 4, page 28, line 13, leave out “as to the validity of a marriage” and insert “of validity”
43: Schedule 4, page 29, line 29, leave out “as to the validity of a marriage” and insert “of validity”
44: Schedule 4, page 30, line 34, at end insert—“Interpretation
6 In this Schedule “declaration of validity” means—
(a) a declaration as to the validity of a marriage,
(b) a declaration as to the subsistence of a marriage, or
(c) a declaration as to the validity of a divorce, annulment or judicial separation obtained outside England and Wales in respect of a marriage.”
Amendments 42 to 44 agreed