The Evening Standard is the latest newspaper to back marriage equality for gay and lesbian couples; earlier this year The Times newspaper gave its support for gay marriage. In an interview with the Evening Standard the Prime Minister stated he had been “very clear” about his views on the subject and stated he didn’t think it was “right” that gay couples were “denied” the right to marry. An editorial in the Evening Standard agreed with the Prime Minister.
The Prime Minister, in his interview with this paper today, insists that he is “clear about my views” on gay marriage and feels that “the time has come for change”. He has faced criticism for his stance from within his own party and the issue may yet prove politically tricky. But his instincts are right and reflect a huge shift in public attitudes on the issue. Civil partnerships, once seen by opponents as a radical move, are now an unremarkable fact of British life, both in London and the provinces. We believe that making matrimony available to gay couples is a natural progression from civil partnerships.
Mr Cameron acknowledges that a public consultation is still under way on the issue but he is right to be open about his views. When he says that “if marriage is good for heterosexuals, it is good for gay couples too”, he makes an argument that will appeal to many conservatives. Indeed the challenge for marriage today is not that gay couples want it but that so many couples are not tying the knot at all. He should stick to his guns. – Evening Standard editorial
While The Times and now the Evening Standard are backing gay marriage several other newspapers are opposed. The Sunday Times and the Daily Telegraph have both stated their opposition; they believe gay marriage was undermine the “traditional” family whatever that may be. The Daily Mail has questioned the amount of public support for gay marriage but has featured columns which are supportive of gay marriage.
[Written by Martha Kirkpatrick, LGBT editor]