As Britain's House of Lords debates embracing marriage equality, Anglican bishops are being pressured to abstain from the vote, despite the Church of England's stated opposition to same-sex marriage.
Church insiders fear that substantial opposition from clergy seated in the House of Lords could result in an electoral backlash, possibly inciting questions about the bishops' right to sit in the House, according to London's Telegraph.
The legislation being debated would enact marriage equality in England and Wales, allowing Britons the right to marry their same-sex partner. Parliament's other chamber, the House of Commons, gave final approval to the legislation in May.
Marriage equality supporters rallied outside the Houses of Parliament in London today, carrying signs that read "Say I Do to Equal Marriage" and "Some Girls Marry Girls. Get Over It."
Watch the House of Lords debate the legislation during its second reading below. Following the second reading Monday and Tuesday, the legislation will be heard in committee, sent through the report stage, then return to the House of Lords for third reading -- a process that could take several weeks -- according to the British LGBT group Stonewall. If the legislation passes the House of Lords on third reading, it will then go to the queen for her signature, also known as Royal Assent.
Click through for more images from London.
Supporters of same-sex marriage dressed as a bride and groom, Carrie Hardy and Martin Etchart of Argentina, stand outside the Houses of Parliament in London Monday.
A religious demonstrator (center) attempts to block pro-marriage equality protesters outside the Houses of Parliament in London Monday.
Proponents of same-sex marriage protest outside the Houses of Parliament.
Proponents of marriage equality sing during a vigil outside the Houses of Parliament.