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Humanist & Secularist Lib Dems back equal marriage

February 8, 2013 8:51 PM

The Chair of Humanict & Secularist Lib Dems, Toby Keynes, has been backing the campaign for same sex marriage, which passed its first hurdle with the backing of the overwhelming majority of MP's this week. Writing to HSLD members and supporters Toby said:

"I'm sure you know already about the part that Liberal Democrat MPs and campaigners have played in getting the Equal Marriage legislation this far.

"On Tuesday afternoon, a large contingent of supporters gathered at 5pm outside the Houses of Parliament to celebrate the bill's progress - you may have seen some of the pictures of us that appeared in the papers the following morning. We were then ushered indoors to a rather warmer committee room to hear from various MPs and follow the results of the various votes as they came in.

"So far, this campaign has been a huge success, as demonstrated by the massive majority of 400 in favour of the bill, with just 175 (mostly Tories) against.

"It has been a genuinely cross-party effort involving Tories, Liberal Democrats, Labour and Greens, but it would never have got this far without the key support of LGBT+ LibDems - who ensured that it was put before Conference and adopted as party policy - and Lynne Featherstone who launched last year's public consultation.

"As you'd expect, Liberal Democrat MPs who voted supported the bill by eleven to one, with 44 voting in favour and just 4 (Sir Alan Beith, Gordon Birtwhistle, John Pugh and Sarah Teather) voting against. The only party that did better than that was the Greens, with 100% support (from their one MP, Caroline Lucas).

"However, despite that massive majority of 400 to 175, the bill still has a long way to go, and it could be heavily watered down during the House of Commons Committee stage and amended or even rejected by the House of Lords.

"The parliamentary process now moves to the Public Bill Committee, which will examine the Bill in detail and will meet from Tuesday 12th February to Tuesday 12th March. Anyone with an interest in the proposed legislation can submit written evidence to the Public Bill Committee which will examine the Bill in detail. Information about how to do this can be found at: http://www.parliament.uk/business/news/2013/february/have-your-say-on-the-marriage-same-sex-couples-bill/".