Search

Former MP lifts the lid on her successful campaign for same-sex marriage

PUBLISHED: 08:08 06 February 2016 | UPDATED: 16:24 08 February 2016

Lynne Featherstone celebrates the release of her book Equal Ever After outside the House of Lords. Photo: Polly Hancock

Lynne Featherstone celebrates the release of her book Equal Ever After outside the House of Lords. Photo: Polly Hancock

Archant

Lynne Featherstone, former MP for Hornsey and Wood Green, didn’t waste much time after losing her seat in the Lib Dem cull of last year’s general election.

“I spent about two weeks watching TV, eating chocolate and having a little bit of alcohol,” Baroness Featherstone admits, sipping tea in the House of Lords cafeteria.

Then it was straight to work and Baroness Featherstone, a newly-appointed Lib Dem peer, started writing about her successful campaign to legalise same-sex marriage.

“This is a bit of history and I wanted to get it on the record,” the Highgate resident says.

The book tells the story of how Baroness Featherstone, an equalities minister in the Coalition, fought for gay couples to have the right to marry, as granted in 2013.

She traces her passion for LGBT rights back to her “gorgeous, gay” friends on the design course at Oxford Polytechnic and shooting a student film about life in the gay community.

In power, she pressed David Cameron, Nick Clegg, and former home secretary Theresa May to legalise gay marriage, despite it not being in either Party’s manifestos.

“It came to mind immediately because I always thought it was an injustice,” she says.

The Church of England mounted firm objections, while Liberal and Reform Jews, Unitarians and Quakers spoke out in favour.

The Same Sex Couples Act, when introduced, said religious organisations can opt-in to marry gay couples, but would be protected from legal challenge if they did not.

Baroness Featherstone pays tribute to activists in the historical fight for equal gay rights, starting with those who fought to make homosexuality legal.

“I stand on the shoulders of giants,” she says.

Now a Lib Dem peer, Baroness Featherstone is campaigning for gay rights in Africa and continuing her work combatting female genital mutilation (FGM.)

The 64-year-old will not be contesting MP Catherine West’s seat in the 2020 general election.

“I’ve had the best run of any Lib Dem and changed the world a bit,” she says.

Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories

21 minutes ago

With Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe expecting to spend her third Christmas in Evin prison, the foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt used a visit to Iran to slam the middle-eastern nation’s imprisonment of UK dual nationals including the West Hampstead mum.

39 minutes ago

Police want the public’s help to identify a man wanted over two Golders Green burglaries.

12:08

Dawn Barnes will be looking to upset the odds as she has been reselected as Lib Dem candidate for the Hornsey and Wood Green seat.

10:23

Eastenders actor and Celebrity Masterchef winner John Partridge will be switching on the Archway Christmas lights.

09:29

Hampstead’s Lisa Deaner, 54, has been shortlisted for an Anthony Nolan Supporters award by the blood cancer charity.

07:00

Save Swiss Cottage is crowdfunding for a judicial review into Camden Council’s decision to approve the Construction Management Plan (CMP) for 100 Avenue Road last week.

Yesterday, 16:55

A workshop owner who engraves benches on Hampstead Heath was forced to break in to his own business to retrieve machinery after the landlord changed the locks and evicted him over unpaid rent.

Yesterday, 14:00

Champagne corks were popped on Saturday as the well-known former Blustons clothes store in Kentish Town has been re-opened as a vintage charity shop.

PROMOTED CONTENT

Looking to get your child interested in a sport? Allianz Park, home to rugby union team Saracens, welcomes people of all ages to join their family of supporters and discover how their core values Honesty, Discipline, Humility and Work Rate underpin everything they do off and on the pitch.

As part of a major refurb, the London Marriott Hotel Maida Vale has renamed its three new-look function rooms to reflect the geography and rich history of the area. The largest, perfect for weddings and large meetings, is named after a Hampstead subterranean river, The Westbourne.

Londoners seeking high quality houses for sale within easy commuting distance of the capital are being advised to look north to St Albans’ prestigious Gabriel Square development.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now