The wrecking amendment has been voted down by 242 votes, despite some peers’ contorted arguments against equality.
Here’s Lord Dear:
Insisting the measure would overturn centuries of tradition by altering the concept of marriage, Lord Dear added: “It seeks to divide a nation with an argument that hides behind the concept of equality, when in reality it is about sameness and it stands on its head all considerations of electoral mandate.”
He then went into concern troll mode:
“I fear the Bill, should it become law, could well create such opposition to homosexuals in general that the climate of tolerance and acceptance in this country, that we have all championed and supported and seen flourish over the years, could well be set back by decades.”
And here’s Baroness Knight:
Of course homosexuals are very artistic and delightful people, too. But marriage is not just about love. It’s about a man and a woman, created to produce children, producing children…
“This Bill is pretending it can turn men into women; or that children do not need a father.”
Lord Alli expresses his own strong feelings about the issue in an interview reported here.
The battle – and strength of feeling – is all a little bit reminiscent of 1999 when he was involved in the first piece of gay equality legislation. “I was called ‘sinful’, ‘disgraceful’ and ‘dirty’,” he says. “And that was in a debate in the House of Lords – it was awful. I’d only been there a few months. When the whip came back and reported that we’d lost by a huge number, I felt physically sick.
It’s good that he, and other peers such as Lord Black of Brentwood, have prevailed.
“This is 2013,” [Lord Black] said. “Gay people don’t want to be tolerated in this society. They want to be equal in this society.”