4 Jun 2013

Gay marriage vaults over first hurdle in the House of Lords

The thumping margin of victory for the gay marriage bill in a well-attended House of Lords (390 to 148) suggests that this battle could be nearly over a lot sooner than might’ve been thought.

One very seasoned master of the place said it was proof the opponents of the bill, led by former Chief Constable Lord Dear, had misjudged their tactics. By breaking with usual precedent and trying to defeat the bill on the second reading rather than waiting to ambush it with amendments in its committee stage, the critics have exposed their lack of strength early. “It’ll be plain sailing after this,” the long-serving peer said.

Back down the corridor in the Commons you find Tory MP opponents who still hope for guerilla attacks by their allies in the Lords. But the scale of the defeat for Lord Dear’s amendment makes that harder and as yet the Lords opponents do not seem to have found a Baldrick-style cunning plan amendment that will trip up the bill’s supporters.

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