This weekend is an important moment for our country. For the first time, the couples getting married won’t just include men and women – but men and men; and women and women. After all the campaigning - not least by readers of PinkNews - we will at last have equal marriage in our country. Put simply, in Britain it will no longer matter whether you are straight or gay – the State will recognise your relationship as equal.
This is something that has been very important to me. I have been so lucky to find the most incredible lifelong partner in Sam and our marriage has been a very special part of the commitment we have made to each other. Of course any marriage takes work, requires patience and understanding, give and take - but what it gives back in terms of love, support, stability and happiness is immeasurable. That is not something that the State should ever deny someone on the basis of their sexuality. When people’s love is divided by law, it is the law that needs to change.
The introduction of same-sex civil marriage says something about the sort of country we are. It says we are a country that will continue to honour its proud traditions of respect, tolerance and equal worth. It also sends a powerful message to young people growing up who are uncertain about their sexuality. It clearly says ‘you are equal’ whether straight or gay. That is so important in trying to create an environment where people are no longer bullied because of their sexuality - and where they can realise their potential, whether as a great mathematician like Alan Turing, a star of stage and screen like Sir Ian McKellen or a wonderful journalist and presenter like Clare Balding.
We are a nation that is growing stronger economically because of our long term economic plan. But I hope we can also be a country that is growing stronger socially because we value love and commitment equally. Let us raise a toast to that - and all those getting married this weekend.