PinkNews Exclusive
Lib Dem MP Lynne Featherstone spoke to PinkNews at one of the first same-sex weddings in England and Wales to express her joy at the fact that the law has changed to allow gay and lesbian couples to marry.

The DFID Minister also said she hoped that the first weddings would send a message to the international community that “everyone is equal”.”

She was attending the wedding of Subodh Rathod and Niranjan Kamatkar, who run the Wise Thoughts arts charity in her Hornsey and Wood Green constituency. The wedding took place at the Wood Green registry office.

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Lynne Featherstone at the wedding ceremony with the Mayor of Haringey, and Labour MP David Lammy.

On attending one of the first same-sex weddings in England and Wales, Lib Dem MP and Minister for International Development Lynne Featherstone said she was “very emotional”, that the law had finally changed.

She said: “This is just amazing, not many politicians get to have a happy day like this and I’m very emotional about it. I can’t really believe that I did it, and this is really happening.

“I just wish everyone who is getting married today all the happiness that there is forever and a day.”

On why she chose to attend that wedding, she said: “This is the first wedding out of the many invitations that I got, that I have come to because this is in my constituency. I know Subodh and Niranjan and they’ve run Wise Thoughts for years.

“They are the sweetest, loveliest couple ever, and now they can get married just like everyone else, and they will live happily ever after.”

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Lynne Featherstone with PinkNews publisher Benjamin Cohen, who is also a friend of the couple

Speaking to PinkNews, she said she thought the legalisation of same-sex marriage through the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act would “send out a message that everyone is equal”, in particular to African countries such as Uganda, which recently passed anti-gay legislation.

She also said the Department for International Development’s policy regarding human rights in Africa was being reviewed.

“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,” she continued.