Speaking on the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill

lordnortonI spoke in the debate yesterday on the Second Reading of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill.   The debate was spread over two days.  I was the last scheduled backbench speaker – at number 91.  However, three peers ‘scratched’ (withdrew their names), so I was actually the 88th speaker.  Two other backbenchers then spoke briefly in the ‘gap’ (between the last backbench speaker and the first frontbench speaker).  My speech can be read as free-standing speech here.  An amendment to reject the Bill was defeated by 390 votes to 148.  I was anticipating that there was a majority against the amendment, but I was not expecting it to be defeated by such a massive majority.   I have posted a breakdown of the voting here on Lords of the Blog.

Given the number of speeches, those participating were advised to keep them short.  I spoke for about seven minutes, responding to the arguments deployed against the Bill.  I was not quite expecting the response I got afterwards.   There were many excellent speeches and I wasn’t expecting people to comment on mine.  However, I have never had such a positive response to a speech – including two expressions of love on Twitter! – be it from people outside the House or from colleagues in both Houses.   However, the most rewarding aspect was being told that what I said was influential in how some peers voted.  One of the great things (among many) about the House is that members listen to what is said and, by being the last backbench speaker, it meant that I was addressing a packed House.


About Lord Norton

Professor of Government at Hull University, and Member of the House of Lords
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12 Responses to Speaking on the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill

  1. Alex says:

    Hopefully this should embed the player for the video of the debate. Lord Norton starts speaking at 2:20.0


  2. Alex says:

    Hmm I tried to post a link to the video but it got swallowed up. Lord Norton’s speech starts at 2:20.0 (http://www.bbc.co.uk/democracylive/house-of-lords-22775266).

  3. maude elwes says:

    The ignorance revealed in the Lords over this matter is a result of childish naivete. I suggest they take up a year living in San Francisco. Of course, the gays amongst them will love it, pure freedom, the rest will learn a lesson of experience. One that will haunt them for their entire life.


    And as we are now setting up gay marriages for children in the school curriculum, to dramatize and emulate, you may as well have a picture of the people now taking up posts as teachers. On the Sunday discussion forum after the Andrew Marr show last Sunday, was a very camp gay porn star who gives lessons in school to young people on the joys of pornography. And as he so gleefully spouted, ‘I don’t just shake my willy about, I’m the real thing.’ Hold onto your hats for the next step.

    And Lord Norton, it’s you who must calm down dear. As Queen Gertrude speaks, ‘The Lord doth protest too much, methinks.’

    • Dean B says:

      As usual, Maude, vile.

      • maudie33 says:

        Vile, moi? God forbid. …What is it you find so disturbing in what I’ve written, the fact of the programme being spouted for our schools on BBC television on a Sunday morning, or, the recording of it on this blog?

        Truth is often hard to swallow.

    • Lord Norton says:

      Maude: You cannot generalise from an N of 1. See also my comments in my speech about anecdote and assertion.

      • maudie33 says:

        Lord Norton, I have tried to find the video of your speech in the Lords and somehow my computer is unable to get to it. Which is a great disadvantage to all who follow your teaching. I really am interested and sometimes in awe of what you have to say and think on all matters, as I respect your mind greatly. Even though you may not see that yourself because of my lack of tact. .

        If you can put a link up for me to access it I will be grateful. However, I will understand if you cannot.


        Maude Elwes

  4. Dean B says:

    Yes, Maude, you. What is vile is that, not for the first time, you have sought to draw a false correlation between something you do not agree with and something that everyone would agree is unpleasant. The man you saw on TV has nothing to do with equal marriage whatsoever. By your own admission he is already working in schools, promoting his views. Since equal marriage is not yet on the statute book, this cannot possibly be a consequence of it.

    In all of your postings on equal marriage I have yet to see one which actually addresses the reality of proposed legislation, as opposed to the “inevitable consequences” that you claim will follow but are in fact nothing more than the insane workings of your inner mind.

    • maudie33 says:

      @Dean B:

      Insanity, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. I see you not as insane, or even vile, but, terribly misguided and naive. And your post on my words and feeling on same sex marriage is completely inadequate and definitely narrow. The example of this man on the show I cited is what already takes place in states that have adopted same sex marriage as equal to heterosexual marriage, which is a slippery slope from one tolerance to the next.

      Here is the programme I mentioned, it is the second question in discussion. And it has everything to do with same sex marriage and the move on from there to more partnership inclusions


      And so that you, like the rest of us are being sold, don’t go on believing that Sweden and the rest are having a wonderful time with same sex marriage and its fall out, and no down side exists, this paper will enlighten, if enlightening is what you seek, rather than wanting to deride and defile the messenger.


    • maude elwes says:

      @Dean B:

      I did respond to your post a couple of days ago, It must have got redirected as it was up initially.

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