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Same-sex marriage Bill likely to face strong opposition in the Lords today

The House of Lords rejected Lord Dear's wrecking amendment by 390 votes to 148 (Photo: PA)

The Government’s same-sex marriage Bill is expected to face opposition in the House of Lords today, as it begins its Second Reading.

Lord Dear, a crossbench peer and former West Midlands chief constable, has tabled an amendment which would refuse the Bill a Second Reading and effectively kill the controversial legislation.

Lord Carlile of Berriew successfully used the same parliamentary tactic in May 2006, to defeat Lord Joffe’s Assisted Dying for the Terminally Ill Bill.

Eighty-six peers are due to speak during today’s debate which will mean there will not be time for a final vote until tomorrow.

According to a report in the Daily Telegraph, it is alleged that senior officials in the Church of England have urged their bishops to stay away from the vote in the House of Lords this week, despite the Church’s official opposition to the legislation.