Supporters of the Equal Love campaign presented a giant wedding card for Prince William and Kate Middleton outside the gates of Buckingham Palace today. As well as wishing the royal couple “congratulations” and “a happy life together”, the campaigners highlighted the ban on gay civil marriage and urged Kate and William to support the right of same-sex couples to marry in a register office. Cupcakes with Equal Love logos were handed out to tourists and passers by. Dozens of people signed the card.
The card read:
“Congratulations William and Kate on your Wedding Day. We wish you a happy life together. You can get married, gay people can’t. We are banned by law. We ask you to support marriage equality. Equal=Love.”
“As well as wishing the royal couple happiness, our card highlighted the fact that William and Kate can marry, but same-sex couples cannot. In democratic society, we should all be equal before the law. The ban on gay marriage is discrimination and should be repealed,” said coordinator of Monday’s 12 noon event, Peter Tatchell of the Equal Love campaign.
Mr Tatchell added:
The public response was amazingly supportive. Everyone outside the palace expressed support for marriage equality. We didn’t get a single negative reaction.
William and Kate are a modern young couple. They have gay friends. I am sure they would not wish them to be discriminated against. Denying gay people the right to marry is unjust discrimination.
Kate and William had a choice. They could get married, or not. They chose to marry. Great. Same-sex couples don’t have this choice. We are banned from marriage by law.
We are urging the royal couple to find a way, within official protocol, to indicate their support for marriage equality. If they did this, they’d be the first royal couple to do so.
The majority of the British public now support gay civil marriages in register offices:
Three of the couples involved in the Equal Love legal campaign were present outside Buckingham Palace today, including Rev Sharon Ferguson and her partner Franka.
In February, four gay couples and four heterosexual couples filed an application in the European Court of Human Rights, seeking to overturn Britain’s legal prohibitions on same-sex marriage and opposite-sex civil partnerships.
Even if people don’t agree with marriage, the prohibition on gay marriage is homophobic and should be overturned. We must not let the government dictate that lesbian and gay couples cannot get married.
Equally, we object to the way heterosexual couples are prohibited by law from having a civil partnership. Perhaps William and Kate might have preferred a civil partnership? It is wrong that they were prohibited by law from even considering this option.
This event is an affirmation of our opposition to discrimination in marriage law. We want to show our support for the right of everyone to be able to choose whether or not to get married,” said Mr Tatchell.
Today’s celebration was organised by the Equal Love campaign, which seeks to overturn the twin bans on gay civil marriages and heterosexual civil partnerships: www.equallove.org.uk
It is supported by the LGBTI human rights group OutRage! www.outrage.org.uk and the Peter Tatchell Foundation www.petertatchellfoundation.org