After Lord Geoffrey Dear surrendered to the marriage equality bill last week, he drafted new legislation in conjunction with it, intended to shield people who believe “marriage is the union of one man and one woman for life to the exclusion of all others.”
In particular, the bill is for people who believe “traditional marriage is a belief worthy of respect in a democratic society,” as well as “that no person should suffer any detriment because of their belief in traditional marriage.”
As a staunch critic of the equality bill, he said that marriage equality would lead “to children acting out gay weddings in class,” as part of their lessons.
Lord Dear unsuccessfully attempted to veto a second reading of the equality bill as the House of Lords voted 390 to 148 in favor of marriage equality.
Rumors swirled that Lord Dear would derail the bill. According to Labour peer Lord Alli, he had intentions “to put down an amendment to oppose Clause 1 of the bill.”
Lord Dear denied any sort of actions at the time, as he wanted to focus more on the issues he considered important, such as protecting the beliefs of teachers, artificial insemination, and divorce.
“The next stage is to go the other way, be very mature about it and see what can be done in committee,” said Lord Dear after the bill passed.
While he may not be able to override the marriage equality bill, he seems to be advocating for traditional marriage supporters.
Gay Labour peer Lord Alli petitioned equality supporters to continue to lobby peers.
“Please write to those who voted for the bill to thank them,” Alli said in a statement to PinkNews. “Say how much this legislation means to you. And urge them to be there for the crucial votes that are still to come.”
The equality bill will return to the committee on June 17; its report stage will start on July 8, as well as the third reading on July 15.
Lord Dear of the UK fears that marriage equality will lead “to children acting out gay weddings in class”
UK House of Lords supports equal marriage bill
Catholic Church continues to resist marriage equality in the UK