David Cameron: My wife Samantha convinced me to introduce gay marriage

Exclusive: Despite fierce opposition from some within the party, Mr Cameron had ‘something of a convert’s zeal’ about the issue

Matt Mathers
Wednesday 21 June 2023 12:32 BST
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David Cameron’s wife Samantha “convinced” him to press ahead with legalising same-sex marriage, the former prime minister has revealed.

Despite internal opposition from some within the Conservative Party, Mr Cameron said he “kept on pushing” for change following “long conversations” with his spouse.

Writing exclusively for The Independent to mark Pride Month, he recalled the “fierce” opposition he faced from hostile MPs, sections of the press and the church.

“It was only through long conversations with colleagues, friends and my wife, Samantha, that I became convinced that denying gay couples the ability to get married made them feel like their love for one another counted for less than straight couples,” he wrote.

Mr Cameron said he could ‘always’ see the practical arguments in favour of gay marriage (Getty)

“It wasn’t just about symbolism – they wanted to show commitment to one another in the same way as heterosexual couples.

“It mattered to them, and it should therefore matter to us as a society.”

Mr Cameron, who had “something of a convert’s zeal myself” wrote that he could “always” see the “practical arguments” in favour of gay people being allowed to get married.

The ex-PM, who quit politics after losing the EU referendum in 2016, also described attending his first gay wedding after the law came into effect.

“What made this wedding different to so many I had attended before, though, was that the happy couple, a minister from my government and his long-standing partner, were to be pronounced ‘husband and husband’,” he said.

“I’ll never forget the laughter and the tears – mine included – as they exchanged their vows and began their new life together.”

Mr Cameron’s coalition government ultimately passed the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill with a large majority in 2013.

It became law the following year, allowing same-sex couples to marry in civil ceremonies and in religious ceremonies where the church has “opted in”.

The Church of England and the Catholic church still do not recognise same-sex marriages, although the former recently said it would permit ministers to bless civil marriages.

Pride 2023 marks 20 years since Section 28, the law that banned the ‘promotion of homosexuality’ in the UK, was repealed.

Pride Month started on 1 June and the main event in London, expected to attract more than a million visitors, takes place on 1 July and will feature parades, parties and protests.

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