I have not followed all the intricate comings and goings of the Equality Bill but here's my brief overview to date:
Unfortunately the God-squad have been in action (bishops in the Lords) and latterly (and much more high profile) His Holiness the Pope.
The Pope's timing is a bit off as he attacked the Equality Bill as a whole after the bishops had won the votes in question and the intervention isn't the most well informed, from a number of perspectives.
The Pope meanwhile has been waxing lyrical on the idea that any equality legislation for gay people is against the Natural Law - this doesn't even compute as a concept so I won't try to understand what he exactly means by that. It is of course silly and insulting and does more to undermine Natural Law thinking. Which is a good thing.
The debate isn't about religious posts per se - it is clear they were always going to be exempt. It's about cleaners and office staff and whether it should be lawful to discriminate against people in such posts.
Anyway, the religionists have won that vote and the Government seems to have accepted this and won't be seeking to reverse the Lords' amendments. Apart from anything the Equality Bill which has been many years of hard work in the making is fast running out of time ahead of the General Election and there's limited parliamentary time left.
Whether the religionists have won what they think they've won is a different matter and in this field the UK needs to comply with EU law on discrimination (this is what the Government was trying to make clear in the Bill). So a lot of sound and fury for very little.
What are we left with?
The Church in its official manifestations seems to have put discrimination at its heart. Equates freedom to discriminate with both Natural Law and 'religious freedom'.
The Pope's obviously playing a bigger, wider game both in international power politics as well as trying to pick up Anglican converts to his 'Anglicanorum Coetibus' thing.
Very sad, will any one save the Church from itself?