Several members of the House of Lords were probably already in bed by the time their colleagues voted last night to allow the use of religious elements in same-sex civil partnerships. But those of us who have long waited for this vote were wide awake.
In a dramatic development, the House of Lords has voted to allow the use of religious premises and religious language in same-sex partnerships. Peers voted in favour of the proposal by 93 votes to 21, despite government opposition.
Senior Church of England bishops in the House of Lords say that they will now support an amendment to the Equality Bill to lift the ban on civil partnership ceremonies taking place on religious premises.
It is absurd that one of Britain's Houses of Parliament continues to consist of political appointments. It is time to ditch a feudal past and have a UK democracy worthy of the name, says a leading campaign group
Having unelected male religious leaders from one denomination in an unelected legislative chamber is unfair, inappropriate and contrary to the Christian message of equality and justice, an audience in parliament heard this week.
Democracy campaigners have reacted angrily to news that the British government plans to bury proposals to reform the House of Commons by putting them to a special vote which means they will almost certainly be rejected.
Human rights campaigners, trades unions and several religious groups have reacted with dismay to a House of Lords vote allowing religious organisations greater exemptions from anti-discrimination law in matters of employment.