Lords roadblock ahead for gay marriage

Majority of peers think gay marriage bill should "not proceed"
Majority of peers think gay marriage bill should "not proceed"

By politics.co.uk staff

The coalition's plans to legalise gay marriage could hit a stumbling block in the Lords, a poll of peers out today suggests.

Over half of members of parliament's upper House said they believed the government's legislation should "not proceed", a poll by ComRes for the Coalition for Marriage group found.

Opposition was found to be heaviest among Conservative and crossbench peers, which could provide a majority blocking the coalition's drive to get the bill through parliament quickly.

"Mr Cameron should realise that trying to ram through this policy in a desperate bid appear trendy and progressive is not fooling anyone," Colin Hart, campaign director, told the Telegraph.

"Ordinary people want him to stop meddling with the institution of marriage and get on with fixing Britain's flatlining economy."

Ministers have said they hope the reform will be passed so same-sex couples will be able to marry on the same legal basis as heterosexual couples by the summer.

But prolonged resistance from the Lords could derail that, raising the possibility that the Commons could attempt to use the Parliament Act to force its will on the unelected upper House.

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport said last month it did not foresee any need to use the controversial move.

But culture secretary Maria Miller has hinted the Parliament Act could be used against the Lords if it attempts to resist the coalition's gay marriage drive.


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