A few more things -
Here is a link to the breakdown of the voting in the House of Lords as well as a link to the Hansard report of speakers.
Of particular note are speeches by Lord Smith, Lord Alli and Lord Lester.
Interesting that the majority of the votes against are from Conservative peers and that a large majority of Conservative voting Lords were against. Clear and uncontrovertible evidence, if any were needed, of the probability of any Tory Government (even with Cameron at the helm) enacting any socially progressive legislation at all.
All of the Labour and Lib Dem peers who voted were in favour.
After watching the debate on the Parliament channel I was struck by several facts:
- the motion to annul was moved by someone who sounded like Ian Paisley
- Lord Tebbit started by being nice to Chris Smith to show he really was a nice person, then procedded to talk about 'sodomy', rather spoiling the effect
- there was genuine warmth in the Chamber for Lords Smith and Alli, with lots of 'hear, hear's' and silence greating those speaking in support of annullment
- a really warm reaction of the Chamber to the announcement of the result.
Overall a very positive experience (if you could manage to sit through the Tory and DUP speeches).
There has been some really interesting articles which are well worth a read on the Guardian comment is free site:
Peter Tatchell (Take a bow your Lorships), AC Grayling (Halting Progress), Inayat Bunglawala and Abdurahman Jafar (None are more equal than others) and Dave Hill (Hate the sin, not the sinner). All good articles and well worth a read.
To summarise in sketch form, Peter Tatchell argues the vote in the House of Lords is a body blow to US style religious right being introduced into the UK; Bungwala and Jafar make a cogent argument for Muslims to support the regulations, A C Grayling makes a powerful argument against religious forces foisting discrimination upon society; meanwhile Dave Hill's piece makes a subtle and interesting argument that we apply the phrase 'Hate the sin, not the sinner' to religious communities, also emphasising, rightly, that many of the religious (including myself) were campaigning in support of the regulations.