David Cameron: “I am proud that we have made same sex marriage happen.”
I am proud that we have made same sex marriage happen. I am delighted that the love two people have for each other - and the commitment they want to make - can now be recognised as equal. I have backed this reform because I believe in commitment, responsibility and family. I don’t want to see people’s love divided by law.
Making marriage available to everyone says so much about the society that we are and the society that we want to live in – one which respects individuals regardless of their sexuality. If a group is told again and again that they are less valuable, over time they may start to believe it. In addition to the personal damage that this can cause, it inhibits the potential of a nation. For this reason too, I am pleased that we have had the courage to change.
I also want to acknowledge those that worked to bring about this moment: the campaigners, groups such as Out4Marriage and Freedom to Marry, and the team in the civil service and Parliament who worked to deliver it.
The UK is rated as the best place in Europe for LGBT equality - but we cannot be complacent. There are subjects we must continue to tackle: not least taking a zero tolerance approach to homophobic bullying, and caring for elderly members of the LGBT community. Rest assured, this government will work tirelessly to make sure this happens.
As the sun shines this week on our country, the LGBT community now know that the unique bond of marriage is available to them. As Lord Alderdice put it when arguing for civil partnerships in 2004: ‘One of the most fundamental rights of all is the right to have close, confiding, lasting, intimate relationships. Without them, no place, no money, no property, no ambition – nothing – amounts to any value. It seems to me a fundamental human right to be able to choose the person with whom you wish to spend your life and with whom you wish to have a real bond.’
I couldn’t agree more. Yesterday was an historic day.