Tony Blair ‘strongly supports’ gay marriage

The ex-PM, who introduced same-sex civil unions in 2005, lends his support amidst opposition from the Catholic Church

Tony Blair ‘strongly supports’ gay marriage
12 March 2012

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, a Catholic convert since 2007, has announced his support for David Cameron’s proposal to legalize gay marriage.

Blair’s endorsement defies the Catholic Church’s campaign against gay marriage, which intensified on Sunday as a letter from Catholic Archbishops Vincent Nichols and Peter Smith denouncing gay marriage was read aloud in 2,500 Catholic Churches in England and Wales.

On Friday, Pope Benedict XVI said to US Bishops visiting the Vatican that ‘sexual differences cannot be dismissed as irrelevant to the definition of marriage.’

Despite continued opposition from the Catholic Church, a government consultation on how to introduce equal civil marriage is being launched later this month. Leaders of both coalition parties are in support of the reform campaign.

At his party conference last year, Cameron said: ‘I don’t support gay marriage despite being a Conservative; I support gay marriage because I’m a Conservative.’

Nick Clegg, the leader of the Liberal Democrats and Deputy Prime Minister, said that the UK would see its first gay marriage before 2015 because of the Liberal Democrat presence in government.

Lynn Featherstone, the Liberal Democrat Equality Minister launching the consultation, has pre-emptively excluded any discussion of civil unions for opposite-sex couples. The fight for marriage equality also includes the debate on whether religious same-sex marriages should be allowed.

Peter Tatchell, the national coordinator of the Equal Love campaign that is seeking to overturn the twin bans on same-sex civil marriages and opposite-sex civil partnerships, released a response to Sunday’s letter from the Catholic Archbishops.

‘Gay Marriage is about love. By opposing marriage equality, the Archbishops are denigrating, demeaning and devaluing love between two people of the same sex,’ said Tatchell.



No thumbnail available

Disco fever is back for Brighton Pride

Don your cha-cha heels for 2014 Brighton Pride in Preston Park, where organizers have planned for extended opening times, unlimited entertainment and the comeback of the acclaimed main stage
No thumbnail available

Why corporates are ahead in the struggle for LGBT rights

Brian McNaught, a founder of LGBT training in the top corporates in the US, tells us about his career and how things have changed across four decades
No thumbnail available

Australian state premier accused of failing election promise on marriage

The Premier of the Australian state of Victoria has been accused of failing to deliver on a 2010 election pledge to allow a free vote on same-sex marriage after a spokesman cast doubt on the issue
No thumbnail available

Children's book shows that not all boys and girls conform to gender stereotypes

GSN talks to Craig Pomranz, author of the enchanting children’s book, Made by Raffi – about a young boy who enjoys knitting and sewing
No thumbnail available

Gay woman axed to death in Swaziland

Mother and girlfriend are mourning the loss of their loved one
No thumbnail available

The 8 most heartwarming LGBTI moments of 2013

Letters, videos and hilarious mishaps make up this year's must-see stories
No thumbnail available

Mati Weiderpass gets kicked out of Fire Island gay club, crowd cheers

Gay hotelier hosted a dinner for homophobic presidential hopeful Ted Cruz
No thumbnail available

Superman's big gay secret

Man of steel has shocked the world several times, but you have to find out what happens when everyone's favorite superhero encounters pink kryptonite
No thumbnail available

Olympic body challenge: You are what you eat

Matthew Jenkin discovers the way to an Olympic athlete's heart is through his stomach
No thumbnail available

Tom Daley’s ‘Splash!’ faces axe after ratings dive

Olympic diver's reality competition show is reportedly coming to an end as ITV searches for other projects for him