Thanks to every gay person in public and non-public life who has come out. Thanks to those politicians not in thrall to those constituents who cling to the status quo and who, given referenda, would happily reinstate capital punishment and the beating of children.
“Thanks most perhaps to the cherished national belief that an Englishman – and an Irishman’s – home is his castle and that the state has no business interfering in their bedrooms. Every rotten anti-gay law has been repealed, shaken down from the constitutional tree. So complete is the reversal, that we even have the anomaly of civil partnerships which are not available to heterosexuals and uniquely benefit the gays!
“The Heavens have not fallen in – though some blame Tsunami and earthquakes, even 9/11, on God’s response to advances in gay freedom. The world, at least this part of it, is a better place [but] beyond these isles things are worse than ever.”
— Sir Ian McKellen delivering the first annual Chancellor’s Lecture at the University of Ulster where he was awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Letters.