Writing for PinkNews, Conservative MP Mike Freer states the importance of same-sex marriage in that it allows same-sex couples to feel equal, at last, and celebrates the choice now available to many more couples.
So the world hasn’t stopped turning. Civilisation continues. In fact, the world is a better, more tolerant, accepting place. From 00.01 today same sex marriage came into law.
For many gay couples, they will want to wear their love on their sleeve, and why not. Every couple I know who gets engaged are bursting with happiness and want to tell everyone. They want to declare their love and the commitment they want to make. For me Civil Partnerships never quite had the same excitement.
When my partner and I decided to enter into our Civil Partnership, we were happy, full of optimism and grateful for being able to. Yet, there was a slight tinge of, but it’s not quite the same.
So whilst many gay couples will want to declare their love from the roof tops, for me, there will be quiet satisfaction in knowing that however I choose to declare my love it is my choice. I wont have to introduce Angelo as ‘my partner or my civil partner’. He will be my husband and I his. Or we may stick with partner, but it will be our choice, not the State’s. Importantly I will no longer have to declare my sexuality when filling in forms. I won’t have to say ‘marital status – civil partnership’- I will be able to say married. Now, however and whenever I choose to declare my love, it is my choice. I won’t and can’t be forced into a separate tick box.
They say love is blind and from one minute past midnight on the 29th, the State became blind to who I choose to love, it will no longer treat my love differently. In the eyes of the law and the State, I am just like every other committed married couple. That is priceless.
I pay tribute to all those who have campaigned. From the placard carriers to the editorial writers, whatever the style of campaigning it couldn’t have been done without them. One of the strengths of the campaign was the breadth of supporters. Benjamin Cohen and PinkNews and Peter Tatchell have places of honour, alongside Parliamentary colleagues, actors and musicians, but most importantly ordinary people.
This country has an amazing capacity to simply question change, then accept it and absorb it.
Mike Freer is the Conservative MP for Finchley and Golders Green.