British Prime Minister Wants to ’Export’ Gay Marriage
Shortly after Britain legalized same-sex marriage, Prime Minister David Cameron expressed that he wanted to "export" marriage equality around the world, the British newspaper the Telegraph reports.
The conservative world leader, who has championed gay rights and promised to legalize same-sex marriage in Britain by 2015, spoke at an LGBT reception this week at the Prime Minister's Office, 10 Downing Street, expressing his pride for the gay marriage bill. He told guests that Britain is now "the best place to be gay, lesbian, or transgender anywhere in Europe."
"That is a great achievement. That's not my measure; that is an internationally recognized measure," Cameron added. "But there's still a lot more work to be done."
He also thanked ministers and civil servants who helped pass the measure into law even though they faced great opposition from his fellow members of the Conservative Party.
"It's been a real pleasure to work with you and to deliver this landmark social change for our country, which to me still comes back to the simple word of commitment," Cameron said, according to the Telegraph. He added that he wanted to "export" marriage equality so other countries around the world would extend marriage rights to same-sex couples.
"I've told the Bill team I'm now going to reassign them because, of course, all over the world people would have been watching this piece of legislation and we've set something, I think, of an example of how to pass good legislation in good time," he said. "Many other countries are going to want to copy this. And, as you know, I talk about the global race, about how we've got to export more and sell more so I'm going to export the bill team. I think they can be part of this global race and take it around the world."
The Telegraph points out Cameron said four times during his speech that he was proud to be Britain's prime minister when same-sex marriage was legalized, adding it was "a long, tortuous parliamentary process."
"I'm personally proud of this. I think I'm probably the only Conservative Prime Minister who's taken this step, but I'm very proud to have taken it," Cameron said. "I think it's a really good step, and thank you for helping me to stick with the plan and get it done so quickly."
Cameron said it was important that the bill was signed into law because it meant a lot to parents of gay children. He said that a mother approached him and explained she had a straight son and a gay daughter and that she's thrilled she will be able to attend both of their weddings.
Cameron, along with his team of ministers, signed a copy of the bill, called Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013.
On July 17, Britain legalized gay marriage after Queen Elizabeth II gave her royal stamp of approval. It is expected that same-sex ceremonies will take place next summer.