The House of Commons returns to the Marriage (same sex couples) Bill for its final stages before being despatched to the Lords on May 20-21. The bill came through the committee stage with scarcely a single amendment. Now, the list of amendments being proposed for Monday’s debate is growing by the hour as everyone who had a go at changing the bill during committee is returning for another go.
The TUC approach has always been to welcome the bill: we have supported every step that has improved the position for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people however limited the progress may be. While almost all the publicity has attached itself to the vociferous claims of those who are actually opposed to equality to win exemptions for people who don’t support our equality from having to comply with the law, others have tried – so far without success – to improve it. Amid all the hullaballoo about allowing registrars to ignore the requirements of their jobs and teachers not to have to promote equality for all their pupils, amendments have also been proposed that will strengthen equality and the TUC, many unions and campaigns such as Liberty have been campaigning in their support.