As the campaign for same-sex marriage in England and Wales draws to a close, PinkNews.co.uk takes a look back at our Out4Marriage campaign and some of the most important videos that were released. Here is the astonishingly powerful video by the founder of Virgin, Sir Richard Branson.
Sir Richard, who went into business the year homosexuality was decriminalised in England and Wales, said that despite advances in equal rights over the years, “one key right is denied, the right for every couple in love to marry.”
In his Out4Marriage video, Sir Richard says: “I’m Richard Branson, the Founder of the Virgin Group. For many years, I’ve been a supporter of gay rights around the world. Back in 1967 when we founded a charity called the Student Advisory Centre, the law was changed to make it legal to be gay in England and Wales. We took many calls from young people in the process of coming out, and we were able to offer some support and guidance. But these people were coming out into a world that still hugely discriminated against them because of the gender of the person they loved.
“Over the years, across the world, gay people have been given more and more rights. But in the UK, much of the US and many other countries one key right is denied, the right for every couple in love to marry. Getting married myself and giving my daughter Holly away at her wedding last year, are among the proudest days of my life. Everybody should be able to experience those moments if they wish to do so regardless of their sexuality.
“At Virgin, we treat everybody the same, whether they are straight or whether they are gay and the law should too. That’s why I’m Out4Marriage, are you?”
Out4Marriage, launched by PinkNews with the support of partners and volunteers featured videos by politicians, celebrities, religious leaders and ordinary people explaining why they supported changing the law. Videos included Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg; Home Secretary Theresa May; Minister for Equality and Culture Secretary Maria Miller; Labour Leader Ed Miliband, Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls, Shadow Home Secretary Yvonne Cooper, Sir Richard Branson, the Virgin founder; the film star Hugh Grant; Stephen Fry; the actor Simon Callow; the illusionist Derren Brown; The Saturdays girl group; Jack Straw, the former Foreign Secretary; Caroline Lucas, the leader of the Green party; Lynne Featherstone, the Lib Dem Minister; Peter Tatchell, the gay rights campaigner; Lord (Chris) Smith, the first openly gay MP and Rabbi Ariel Friedlander and many, many more.