"Marriage (Same Sex Couples) is no longer a Bill: it is now an Act. La Reyne le veult. That's Norman French for: The Queen wishes it." That's how Baroness Stowell, Equalities Spokesperson in the House of Lords, announced to the world via twitter that equal marriage is now on the statute books! Read more detail below:
We are delighted that, at approximately 3.07pm on Wednesday 17 July, the Marriage (same sex couples) Bill was granted Royal Assent. It doesn't seem that long since, before the last General Election in 2010, LGBTory was involved in ensuring that same-sex marriage was included in a Conservative Party election document (the 'Contract for Equalities', launched by Theresa May MP) and now we have same sex marriage on the statute books. That's quite an achievement and we are over the moon! The Conservative Party was the only main Party to include mention of equal marriage in a manifesto document and we are immensely proud that this has happened led by a Conservative Prime Minister, David Cameron. We were also pleased with the cross-Party support and encouragement for the Bill, both in Parliament and outside. In both Commons and Lords, there was detailed co-operation and a determination that this Bill should succeed on both government and opposition front benches and this was mirrored with the co-operation that LGBTory had with the LGBT groups of the other political Parties too!
Throughout all the Parliamentary stages, we lobbied Conservative MPs and Peers by letter and postcard, we provided newsletters and specialist briefings and also kept the media informed too, including both Mainstream (for example our Chairman made an appearance on BBC Radio 4's PM programme) and the Pink Media too. Our thanks go to the Prime Minister, David Cameron; Equalities Minister Maria Miller and Equalities Spokesperson in the Lords, Baroness Stowell and the many others who did us proud throughout all stages of the Bill. There are a couple of issues including pensions equality and the trans 'Spousal Veto' that will be looked at further now the Bill is law and LGBTory will be campaigning vigorously on these to ensure the right final outcome is reached.