There are still steps to take.
But today marriage equality legislation in the UK overcame what was perhaps its biggest hurdle. There were rumors for weeks that the House of Lords would balk at approving same sex marriage despite overwhelming support in the House of Commons earlier this year. There was an attempt to derail the legislation with a "wrecking amendment" by the inappropriately named Lord Dear that some thought would pass - it failed by an almost embarassingly large margin, 148-390, in the only formal vote taken. Then the Lords voted immediately with a comfortable voice majority to approve the 2nd reading and send the bill on. (I'm not quite sure why no formal vote was taken on the legislation itself).
Packed House of Lords voting down "wrecking amendment" earlier today
The legislation will now have to go through the committee process in the House of Lords, subjecting it to possible amendment. Then it will have to voted on again in a final, 3rd reading. If amendments are approved, the legislation will have to go back to the House of Commons.
Still, it now seems inevitable that sooner rather than later England and Wales will have same-sex marriage - and Scotland's government has stated they will be introducing similar legislation shortly. The Illinois Assembly is looking more and more antediluvian.
By the way, the question of what would happen should the Queen and her lesbian spouse have a baby was addressed today by a Lords member. Apparently, the heir to the throne cannot be adopted, and must be the natural born child of a man and a woman united in matrimony. So, at least for the moment, gay Kings and lesbian Queens are out of luck insofar as far as their progeny being monarch material are concerned.
No 2nd vote required on #EqualMarriage... It's passed. Who would EVER think there'd be such a majority 4 equality in Lords... Woop woop!!
— Oona King (@Oona_King) June 4, 2013
11:45 AM PT:
Peers have voted by a majority of 242 to allow the gay marriage bill to continue its passage through the Lords. Although victory for the pro-bill lobby was never seriously in doubt, the size of their win took some peers by surprise. The Lords voted by 390 votes to 148 to reject an attempt by Lord Dear, a crossbencher, to defeat the bill at second reading. It is very unusual for the Lords to block a bill at second reading and some peers may have been voting against Dear because they were opposed to the idea of the Lords trying to obstruct legislation in this way, not because they were great supporters of the bill. But the size of the majority means the bill must now be certain to become law. However, it is still likely that attempts will be made to amend it in the Lords, in particular to strengthen the protection available to churches who do not want to conduct gay weddings. Lady Stowell, a government whip, told peers in her wind-up speech that the government would not necessarily object to amendments of this kind.http://www.guardian.co.uk/...