16 July 2013

The House of Lords has passed the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill which will now become law (Lords Hansard 15 July 2013 columns 542-549). As Nick Clegg has said, in a few years people will wonder what all the fuss was about.

This bill is a step on the endless road to a more civilised society. In my lifetime I have seen hanging abolished and homosexuality and abortion legalised. Discrimination on race, gender, belief, and sexual orientation has been tackled and equal pay for equal work for women is happening. Divorce law has been liberalised. Suicide is no longer a crime.

Liberalism brings problems of course. Is this Jerusalem? asked the children on their crusade. No, not yet.

See here for my post on the Commons support for the bill.

Addendum 20 July 2013
On 19 July 2013 the Lords agreed the second reading of the Alan Turing (Statutory Pardon) bill, introduced by John Starkey, a Libdem member. This grants a pardon to Alan Turing, one of our greatest scientists whose work was vastly important in the Second World War, and who was monstrously treated afterwards: he killed himself in 1954 after a conviction for homosexuality, then illegal. The government has guaranteed a third reading for the bill in October.