Thursday, 30 May 2013

It's in the Lords already

Amid the celebratory coverage of the Same-sex marriage bill for England and Wales passing third reading a week or so ago, you might have missed that as soon as it was passed in the Commons it was introduced for first reading in the Lords that same evening.

First reading is the point at which they just go "oh look, a bill, shall we debate it?" and nod, but it means the more important stages are coming up fast, with the Independent reporting today that Monday's debate in the Lords has over 80 peers asking to speak and we can assume the debate will roll over to an extra day:
"the Government has agreed that if the debate over-runs, the Government and opposition wind-up speeches and the vote itself will be held over to Tuesday. A free vote is now expected to be held at around 4pm on Tuesday."

You've probably seen lots of people urging you to write to MPs at the earlier stages, and to Peers now, but have you done it? It honestly won't take you that long to do - I slyly drafted my letter during a meeting! If it makes it through the next readings you'll get to punch the air victoriously with much more oomph. And if you watch the debate on the Parliament Channel and who you wrote to stands up you get to shout at the TV even louder.

I've written to several members of the Lords already urging them to support the bill.  As I was doing so last week I went for the old-fashioned stamp-and-envelope approach, which I prefer but stamps do eat up your pennies quickly on a low income. Fellow BiBlogger EsmeT picked a Lord to write to and posted her emailed letter on her blog here which she sent in using WriteToThem - you can still do that now; it's cutting it fine to trust the Royal Mail to get there in time for Tuesday.

Which Lord? Any! One with the same surname as you. One you met at a fete. One you saw on Question Time and liked. One who used to be your MP. But Tory, Labour, Liberal, Crossbench, there are going to be pro and anti and undecided on every side of the chamber. Pick one and go for it...

...and I'll see you on twitter for the final stages on Tuesday!

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