Meaning of 'compel'

Bill: 
Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill 2013
Stage: 
LordsC
Proposer: 
Lord Hylton
Verdict: 
Bad
Synopsis: 

Currently, the Bill does not define "compel" - this amendment seeks to rectify that. "Compel" is used throughout Clause 2 to say that, for example, a person should not be compelled to conduct a relevant marriage (which is defined as one under religious auspices).

This is Number 17 in . For the .

Commentary: 

This issue was brought up in the Commons and rejected. The only difference is the removal of (c) any other legal proceedings.

I am struggling to work out how they think any of the examples they have listed may come about (higher charges for registering a premises for opposite-sex couples only? - but that would contradict a Local Authority's Equality duties), criminal and civil penalties are a matter of law... you can't just write yourself a broad get-out like that, you have to be specific about which criminal laws you are afraid of violating.

Amendment: 

After Clause 2

Insert the following new Clause—
“Meaning of “compel”

(1) For the purpose of this Act “compelled” includes, but is not limited to—

(a) less favourable treatment of a person by a public authority, and
(b) the imposition of any criminal or civil penalty, as a result of a decision not to opt-in, conduct, be present at, participate in, or consent to the taking place of relevant marriages.

(2) Expressions used in this section have the same meaning as the expressions
in section 2 of this Act.”

Bill Text: 
2A - Meaning of “compel”

(1) For the purpose of this Act “compelled” includes, but is not limited to—

(a) less favourable treatment of a person by a public authority, and
(b) the imposition of any criminal or civil penalty, as a result of a decision not to opt-in, conduct, be present at, participate in, or consent to the taking place of relevant marriages.

(2) Expressions used in this section have the same meaning as the expressions
in section 2 of this Act.