How'd my MP do on Equal Marriage, Pt 1
So, I've written several letters to my MP on the issues around Equal Marriage, including the consultation response. I have had no response at all from her. She voted in favour of Equal Marriage at Second Reading but the Bill is now doing Report Stage (where the House of Commons gets to make amendments) and Third Reading.
Warrington has two MPs - Helen Jones in Warrington North (Lab) and David Mowatt (Con) in Warrington South. I am (currently) in Warrington North and "represented" by Helen Jones. Proposed boundary changes, last I looked, will put me in Warrington South at the next election. This means I care about both. David Mowatt says he is supportive but has penned an article attacking the timing (because the government should do nothing but the economy).
So, at yesterday's debate, five key things were voted on:
- Opt-outs for registrars and teachers
- Defining belief in marriage as between a man and a woman as a religious belief protected under the Equalities Act
- Defining "compelled" - I personally don't understand this one, but those who do considered it a bad amendment for the bill
- Starting a review into Civil Partnerships (with a further amendment to make it a prompt review)
- Reforming Civil Partnerships to allow straight couples access
I wrote about the first item at the weekend and I don't believe I've been silent on the need to deal with Civil Partnerships - the review of Civil Partnerships idea was brought in to counter the actual reform amendment which is considered a wrecking amendment - the only reason for this is the government willfully ignoring consultation respondents (61% wanted it sorted) and turning a blind eye to the steam building up behind it. I am I am against the idea of any religious belief being specifically codified in legislation like the Equality Act (and the amendment has been specifically brought forward by the anti-equal marriage side).
So, how'd my MP do? Well, in the Hansard transcript my MP voted in three things last night: Against the opt-outs and religious definition and in favour of defining "compelled". She did not vote in the Civil Partnership votes at all.
And David Mowatt... err.. well... he didn't vote at all...
But what about in the Debates, how did my representative manage there? Anything:
Helen Jones (Warrington North) (Lab): My hon. Friend is making a powerful speech. Does she agree—I speak as someone who supported the Bill on Second Reading—that there are concerns about some issues, including how the subject will be dealt with in schools? If the Minister cannot accept new clause 1, perhaps he can give us some assurances on the subject from the Dispatch Box, because Catholic schools in particular will want to teach what is legal, but will also want to ensure that the Church’s view is put to their pupils. None of us would want that not to happen.
Aww... yes, won't someone think of the poor Catholic Church...
I'm sorry Ms Jones, but I would not want the Catholic Church to be able to indoctrinate school children with their vile views on my right to marry, my existence, my inclusion in society. No, I'm not sorry at all. Why the fuck am I apologising for your wish to place bigotry above my my very existence?
Overall then... I am glad that my MP voted against the opt-out amendment and the specific definition of religious belief, but overall 3/10 so far 8-(.
So today: Humanist Weddings and other bits and pieces before the Third Reading...