We need your support to keep TheyWorkForYou running and make sure people across the UK can continue to hold their elected representatives to account.

Donate to our crowdfunder

Civil Partnerships, Marriages and Deaths (Registration etc) Bill - Report

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 11:45 am on 1st March 2019.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Lord Faulkner of Worcester Lord Faulkner of Worcester Deputy Chairman of Committees, Deputy Speaker (Lords) 11:45 am, 1st March 2019

My Lords, I think I can answer the noble Baroness with a reply to that very last point. I gave her my word during the week that I did not intend to divide the House at the end of the debate for the very reason she said. I would not wish to do anything that made it more difficult for the Bill to get through the House of Commons and become law. It is a very good Bill. I congratulate her on the way she has presented it. She sat patiently through a debate that was not directly on the main subject of the Bill, and I accept that. For that reason, I will not divide the House.

I would like to thank all my noble friends and other Members of the House who have spoken, so movingly and strongly, in favour of the principle contained in my amendment. I particularly thank the right reverend Prelate the Bishop of Oxford, whose tone in this debate, I have to say, was different from that of his brother bishop, the right reverend Prelate the Bishop of Chelmsford, who accused me in Committee of being divisive. I do not think I have been divisive, either today or on that occasion. It is important that the House has the chance to say to the Church of England, as the noble Lords, Lord Collins, Lord Cashman and Lord Elton, and the noble Baronesses, Lady Brinton and Lady Barker, have all said, that we want to see more progress from the Church of England in coming to its own decision, not at some point 10 years hence. My noble friend Lord Griffiths pointed out that five years have already passed since the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013 was passed.

If this is going to synod next year, I hope that will be the occasion when the House of Bishops takes a lead and wins over other members of the synod. I am not seeking to dictate or force the Church of England and the Church in Wales to do things that they do not want to; I want them to understand just how much support there is for a change of this sort. I particularly appreciate the words of the Minister, with whom I also had a discussion about this Bill during the week. Her message, that the Government support progress, is one I hope the Church will take on board very seriously. The support of my noble friend Lord Kennedy is also very important. I thank everybody who has taken part. The message from this House is clear: it is over to the Church of England to make some progress. I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment 1 withdrawn.