Monday, July 15, 2013

British House of Lords Gives Final Approval to Gay Marriage

While the U. S. Supreme Court chose to dodge facing the fact that bans on gay marriage are unconstitutional on an equal protection basis in Hollingsworth v. Perry, the British House of Lords - not exactly an ultra-liberal body - has given its final stamp of approval to gay marriage in the United Kingdom.  Frankly, it is embarrassing to watch as other Supreme Courts around the developed world find that gay marriage bans are discriminatory and unconstitutional while America's Supreme Court lacked the balls and morality to call out religious based discrimination for what it is and rule broadly.  The only positive light is that the language in the Windsor opinion may likely set the stage for ending anti-gay amendments nationwide in future cases.  Here are highlights from Stonewall on events in the UK:

Lesbian, gay and bisexual couples in England and Wales will be able to marry next spring, after the House of Lords gave Third Reading to the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill. Subject to consideration of amendments in the House of Commons – a technicality, as the Bill made it through the Lords without any material amendments – the Bill will now receive Royal Assent and become law.

Stonewall Chief Executive Ben Summerskill said: ‘It’s impossible to express how much joy this historic step will bring to tens of thousands of gay people and their families and friends. The Bill’s progress through Parliament shows that, at last, the majority of politicians in both Houses understand the public’s support for equality – though it’s also reminded us that gay people still have powerful opponents.

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