LibLink: Lynne Featherstone: Two same sex weddings, one happy politician

Protest against a constitutional amendment banning same sex marriageIt was a struggle to stay awake till midnight on Friday night because I’d been up at stupid o’clock to travel to Scottish Liberal Democrat conference. But I did, just to mark that very special moment when same sex marriages started to happen. In the morning, the scenes of happiness on the television news had me blubbing.

Both Nick Clegg and Lynne Featherstone talked over the weekend about how this isn’t just an important thing for the couples themselves. In his speech to Scottish Conference on Friday, Nick told this story of a single, gay friend of his:

A gay friend of mine told me that, walking past Moss Bros the other day, he saw a window display of two grooms. He’s not in a relationship, no current plans to get married. But he said that, as he passed that shop window, he literally felt himself walk a bit taller. He said he literally felt more equal to the people passing him in the street.

And if our change to the law means a single young man or young woman who wants to come out, but who is scared of what the world will say, now feels safer, stronger, taller – well, for me, getting into Coalition Government will have been worth it just for that.

Speaking to Pink News, Lynne Featherstone said the move sent an important global message:

I hope it sends out a message that everyone is equal. I work in Africa, and that is a really hard wicket, and it is really quite scary what is happening and I am looking now as a DFID minister. We had a policy across Africa, but it’s clearly not working. They are able to say it is a Western construct, and we are looking at that.

Lynne went to two weddings on Saturday. Here she is, in a photo taken by Pink News publisher Benjamin Cohen.

She wrote about her day on her own blog. 

The first wedding of the day for me was at 9.30 at Wood Green Civic Centre between two men who I have known for years – Subodh and Niranjan.

They have been together for over twenty years – and yesterday – I was there when they got married. Yes – I did cry. It was incredibly moving. Weddings are always moving – but this was both personal and historic. And additionally – because they come from an Asian background – it heightened even more the discrimination and rejections that they have come through to get to this day – with their mothers and family around them.

The second wedding of the day was quite a production – literally. It was the wedding of Benjamin and Nathan who had written and composed their entire wedding as a musical and wanted to share it with us all. It was held in the theatre at Alexandra Palace and as it will be screened on Monday night on Chanel 4 at 10pm – I will keep the surprise. Suffice to say that despite all the hoo ha and the celebs that surround a television production – this was still a wedding at its core and just as real and just as moving. In fact there is one bit that had me sobbing – but if you watch it on Monday you will probably be able to guess which bit.

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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