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Southwark Council backs Equal Marriage

March 30, 2012 3:15 PM
Cllr David Noakes

Cllr David Noakes

On Wednesday night, Southwark Council became the first in England to debate a motion relating to Equal Marriage - and to give it overwhelming support.

The motion, tabled with cross-party backing, stated Southwark's support to the Government's ongoing consultation on allowing civil marriage between same-sex couples in England and Wales.

The Liberal Democrat and Labour councillors agreed to hold the first un-whipped vote of this council, which was carried with no councillors voting against.

Liberal Democrat Councillor David Noakes, who proposed the motion, commented: "Southwark has a proud history of leading the way towards equality. The introduction of civil marriage between same sex couples will do the one thing that civil-partnerships could not: it will give full equality to the gay and lesbian community here in Southwark and across the country.

"I was born in the same year that consensual sex between two men became legal in this country and I am proud that we have come far since that time - lifting the ban on gay men and lesbians in the military, allowing same-sex couples to adopt, the repeal of section 28, the introduction of civil partnerships and, most recently, the Equality Act. But there is still further to go.

"This vote is a reaffirmation that Southwark Council is on the side of equality and that the council will stand up and be counted in protecting the rights of all our residents.

"I am proud to be a gay man, I am proud to be a Southwark Councillor and I hope to soon be proud to be a member of a political party which has delivered equal marriage in Government."

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