Vote – Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill

On 8th and 10th July 2013, a number of bishops took part in divisions on the Government’s Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill, during its Report Stage.

House of Lords Division Lobby
House of Lords Division Lobby

8th July 2013

Lord Mackay of Clashfern moved amendment 1, which proposed to seek to refer to same sex marriage as ‘marriage (same sex couples)’, and opposite sex marriage as ‘marriage (opposite sex couples)’.

The Bishop of Chester, the Rt Revd Peter Forster, voted ‘content’. The Bishop of Leicester, the Rt Revd Tim Stevens, voted ‘not content’.

There were: Contents: 119 | Not Contents: 314 | Result: Government Win

(via Parliament.uk)

Continue reading “Vote – Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill”

Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill – Bishop of Leicester’s speech in the Lords

On 3rd June 2013 the House of Lords considered the Government’s Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill at its Second Reading. The Bishop of Leicester, Rt Revd Tim Stevens, spoke in the debate and his remarks are below, with extracts from speeches made by Peers where reference is made.

LeicesterThe Lord Bishop of Leicester: My Lords, having conducted some 400 weddings as a parish priest, making the journey with couples as they anticipate a lifelong commitment has been one of the great privileges of the ordained life. I have witnessed personally the stability, fulfilment and anchor for life for so many, which has been transformational. However, I have also observed that the open and public recognition of gay relationships that civil partnerships now provide displays many of the very qualities for which marriage itself is so highly celebrated. I speak as one whose respect for and appreciation of gay clergy is deep and who recognises in them sacrificial lives and fruitful ministries. I also recognise the need for some humility at this moment in speaking on matters of equality from these Benches. I add my appreciation to that of the most reverend Primate for the way in which the Secretary of State and her colleagues have tried to accommodate the Church of England’s concerns at every point in this process. I entirely endorse what the noble Baroness, Lady Kennedy, and others have said about the need to continue to make progress on the inclusion of gay people in our society, and I entirely accept what the noble Lord, Lord Pannick, has said about change and development in our understanding of the institution of marriage. Continue reading “Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill – Bishop of Leicester’s speech in the Lords”