I’m giving thanks for all the people who have worked so hard over the years for the legalisation of same-sex marriage. The Marriage (Same-Sex Couples) Bill passed the House of Lords yesterday on its third reading. The law in England and Wales is now set to change within months.
The bill is not perfect, and is particularly confused and inconsistent when it comes to the rights of religious same-sex couples. However, it is massive progress. It deserves celebration – but not complacency.
As I wrote in an article for the New Statesman yesterday, some of the bill’s more vicious opponents will respond to its success with even more extreme and vocal promotion of prejudice.
As if to fulfil my prediction, the homophobic group Anglican Mainstream has compared the passage of the bill to the Nazi round-up of Jews. The new group Gay Marriage, No Thanks peddled their particularly nasty message about “the needs of children” by driving round a van with a billboard showing a same-sex couple ignoring their child.
I am not suggesting that all people who have a problem with same-sex marriage are so bigoted. I appeal to the more moderate opponents of the bill (with whom I strongly disagree but with whom I have had meaningful and helpful discussions) to disassociate themselves from these reactions.
P.S. Sorry that my New Statesman piece went online with a very out-of-date and inaccurate biography of me. This was due to my error in not asking them to update it. It should be rectified soon.