Today was a historic day when the main hurdle for the Equal Marriage Bill becoming law was passed thanks to the votes of 400 Conservative, Lib Dem and Labour MPs.
I want to say thank you to the brave and strong leadership of our conservative Prime Minister David Cameron. In the face of opposition from his own benches he today put the needs of the country and its people first and pushed forward with the Equal Marriage proposals. The reforms David Cameron has made as leader of the Conservative Party are one of the reasons I felt able to join the party and its great to see this culmination of his hard work. Thank you for helping LGBT people across the UK be one step close to being able to celebrate love, Transgender people be able to stay married to their loved one and for leading the Conservative Party into the progressive 21st Century.
I also wanted to say thank you to Maria Miller MP. When she took over as Equalities Minister she faced a raft of abuse and criticism focusing on her past and not looking at her skills and commitments she had made for the future. Today saw her leading on bringing forth the Equal marriage Bill and challenging the arguments made against introducing Equal marriage in England and Wales. She was forthright, clear and determined and I respect her a great deal for the role she has played in carrying equal marriage bill through and leading the debate in the chamber. Thank you Maria Miller I know people across the UK are feeling happier tonight thanks to your hard work.
Finally I would like to thank Liberal Democrat and former Equalities Minister Lynne Featherstone MP. She is an MP I respect a great deal, her hard work, persistence and passion has helped drive the equal marriage work within government as well as the wider equality agenda. She has been a fantastic advocate on transgender issues (which is often an issue hard to find advocates in the House of Commons on) and has remained positive and engaging on the issue of equal marriage winning people over and make a clear argument for why we should be supporting its introduction. I know many LGBT friends will join me in saying thank you Lynne we are proud of you and all your work!
A big thank you for every single person who has written to their MP, spoken on the radio, spoken to MPs in person, written blogs and done a whole variety of campaigning activities trying to show positively why we need equal marriage in the UK you have all made a difference and together shown what we can achieve when we unite across political, social and stereotypical divides to focus on an issue to bring happiness to 100 000s of people in the UK.
Finally a big thank you to the religious MPs Labour, Lib Dem or Conservative who voted to allow freedom despite their personal views on marriage and sexuality and those MPs that in the face of 100s of letters from constituents against equal marriage had the strength of their convictions to do the right thing for over 2.5 million LGBT people in the UK you have stood on the right side of history today and I thank you for the difficult decision you have made.
Equal Marriage is on its way to becoming law and the UK is better for it!