Editorial: April 2004

Johann Hari in the Independent on April 2nd put it so well:

We’ve won. We did it. In less than half a century, Britain has gone from being a state that jailed gay people to one that recognises our love and commitment for each other in law. This week, a bill creating de facto gay marriage has begun to pass through the House of Commons, and even the Tory party – led by the man who piloted Section 28 into law – is yelping and crawling for our votes.

A little triumphalist, and there are many things about the civil partnerships bill that I at least am not satisfied with.  Perhaps that strange new bastion of democracy, the House of Lords, will be able to pass amendments to improve matters before it enters law.

But the changes in the last decade have been amazing – sometimes as the result of British politicians having the courage to change things in spite of the tabloids, but mostly thanks to a progressive Europe forcing the UK to budge on LGBT rights issues.

It’s almost enough to make you go to the polling station on June 10th.