Minister for Equality Lynne Featherstone has assured that the
Government remains committed to Equal Marriage. In a meeting with
the LGBT media yesterday, Featherstone and out gay MP Stephen
Gilbert stressed that the measure has the support of Labour as well
as the Liberal Democrat and Conservative parties.
"This is the most totemic step change in terms of absolute
equality, and this is what the Liberal Democrats have always stood
for," Featherstone said.
The news comes on the day of the Queen's speech which notably
omitted any reference to the issue of equal marriage.
And with a petition by Christian extremists against gay marriage
securing massive support, Featherstone called for more people to
respond to the government's consultationabout it.
'Nothing should theoretically stop this happening now,' she
said. 'But when there is a campaign going which is so against it,
it is good to hear equally from the other side.
'A lot of people don't engage because they sort of think the
battle has been won. But however many people have engaged with it,
we need more.
'In the straight community, the majority is in favor as well, it
is by no means just a gay issue. The polls show the majority in
favor and most of them don't think it's a big issue but it would be
great for more of them to take part in the consultation.'
MP Stephen Gilbert also suggested the lesbian, gay and bisexual
community needed to fight back against the well-organized and
well-funded campaign by a minority of Christian activists in order
to put an end to the 'Equal but different' feeling that he believes
is perpetuated by the term Civil Partnership rather than
He said: 'It is depressing to think on the antis website there
has been perhaps half-a-million signatures. It is not a numbers
game but I don't think we want it to be that unbalanced.'
The politicians called on gay people to sign the Coalition
for Equal Marriage petition, take part in the government's formal consultation
on the issue and to write to their MPs or go to MPs' 'surgery'
meetings to raise the issue with them.