Britain celebrates equal marriage

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REFOCUS BY GERARD VELDHOVEN

British Prime Minister David Cameron has been an ally to the gay community and a stalwart supporter of equal rights. He had strong opposition from members of his own Conservative party, but as he said, “When people’s love is divided by law, it is that law that needs to change.”

This is in reference to the passing of a new law that provides equal marriage and allows same-sex couples to legally marry and thus be equal to all others.

It has been a long struggle for this European nation. Parliament was divided on this issue, yet Cameron was able to garner enough support to pass the new law. The Catholic Church and Church of England were vocal opponents, however, the Archbishop of Canterbury said his church will drop the opposition now that the law has come into force.

Lots to celebrate as gay couples enjoy the privileges extended to all others and live in a society that is truly inclusive. Kudos to David Cameron for realizing the importance of equal marriage and his continuous push, regardless of the opposition, to the inclusion of gay couples in the Marriage Act.

Even as we hear and read about the constant struggles of gays in many countries around the globe, we celebrate the actions taken by others. There is an increase in nations that accept same-sex marriage. Fifteen countries now are listed as having such marriage laws. The vast number of English citizens supports this new law and only one in 10 would refuse to attend a same gender wedding, which is a great number that equals Canadians opinions.

Most of us will recall another conservative prime minister by the name of Stephen Harper, who voted consistently against equal marriage when he was in opposition and continued a nay vote when he became prime minister. He made an attempt to reverse the marriage act and abolish same-sex marriage. Fortunately, he was not successful. Most Conservatives opposed the bill designed to include same-gender couples to legally marry, including now Justice Minister and Central Nova MP Peter MacKay. Luckily, the marriage laws in this country are intact.

Even in Conservative circles one may find a silver lining, as a handful of MPs in that party do support equal rights for the LGBT community. Thank you Prime Minister Cameron for recognizing that equality belongs to us all. Comments and information: lgbtconnectionsgv@gmail.com

 

Gerard Veldhoven is a longtime activist for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. His column appears Wednesdays in The News.

Organizations: Catholic Church, Church of England

Geographic location: Britain

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