At the inaugural Attitude Awards, former Liberal Democrat Equalities Minister and current Minister for International Development, Lynne Featherstone received the Politician of the Year Award for her work to secure equal marriage for same-sex couples.
From the Attitude website:
As much of the debate over the issue has descended into hysterical farce, we salute Lynne Featherstone for her clear and concise defence of the reforms. The minister has refused to be sidetracked, stating in March: ‘The essential question is not whether we are going to introduce same-sex civil marriage, but how.’
At a time when faith in the government (and politicians in general) is at such a low ebb, Lynne Featherstone’s unwavering support for equality is rightly a cause for celebration. Congratulations Lynne, you’re our politician of the year!
Commenting on her award, Lynne Featherstone said:
I am absolutely delighted to receive this award for Politician of the Year. The Government have committed to legislate on equal marriage by 2015, and I look forward to seeing it happen.
I want to thank Attitude so much for the award, and wish them all the best with their great work in the future!
Accepting the award on her behalf last night, Liberal Democrat MP for St Austell and Newquay, Stephen Gilbert said:
One of the leading women in Government, Lynne pushed passionately for the cause of equal marriage against a backdrop of religious condemnation and right-wing revulsion.
She argued succinctly and with a good deal of common sense that marriage was owned by the people, not by the Church, and that equal marriage was the right and fair thing to do no matter what the naysayers might say.
She has stood her ground time and again on the side of equality. She was clear that the Government’s consultation was not about whether to bring it in – but how to bring it in.
In a time of austerity, when some have argued that the focus should solely be on the economy, she was one of the sane voices pointing out that a government can multi-task.