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Third Reading

Part of Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill – in the House of Lords at 3:16 pm on 15th July 2013.

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Photo of Lord Alli Lord Alli Labour 3:16 pm, 15th July 2013

My Lords, I thank the Minister and my noble friend Lady Royall of Blaisdon for making this amendment possible. I am glad that the Government will re-look at this issue and that if they can they will change the law.

This is also my last opportunity to speak on the Bill. I want to say thank you not just to the Front Benches on both sides of the House but to the House. I have been truly humbled to have been part of the Bill in this place. This week will mark the 15th anniversary of my entry into your Lordships’ House. As a gay man, over those 15 years you have changed my life. You have given me dignity where there was sometimes fear, you have given me hope where there was often darkness and you have given me equality where there was sometimes prejudice. Those who want radically to reform this place come with their plans. Let me say this to them: witness this day; witness this Bill; judge us on the creation of the liberties that we protect and extend.

This is a special place and I am proud to have figured in it. My life and the lives of many others will be better today than they were yesterday, and I thank the House for that.