Saturday, 30 January 2016

So I've Read Lynne Featherstone's "#EqualEverAfter"...

It has been a couple of years since the end of the same-sex marriage debates and it is about time we got some insider knowledge of how same-sex marriage went from fringe issue (fringe even within the LGBT community, trust me... I was there!) to actual legislation.

And Lynne Featherstone was a central figure within that, there is not denying it. Now there's been some unkind mocking, including from me, of the way the book has been portrayed as being all about how Featherstone was the one and only person behind same-sex marriage becoming law. But let's get this out of the way from the start: even without reading what is in this book we all know she played an immensely important part in getting same-sex marriage on to the agenda and through Parliament. She justly deserves respect and appreciation for that.

So... the book. There are no massive revelations in it for any of us who followed the news and social media updates at the time. I don't think there's any surprise in how Theresa May gave Featherstone's proposals her blessing, how David Cameron got in the way of opposite-sex civil partnerships or how the churches and fellow travellers reacted.

Nor should any of us be surprised that Chris Bryant, Labour MP, "battled ferociously" against the idea at first and "didn't see the point". Nor how Ben Summerskill was "very dismissive" until the hard part was over when he was "literally lording it and loving it".

Basically if you read Pink News, or even just this humble blog!, you'd probably be well aware of all this stuff and more.

This book is not really a book about same-sex marriage, it is a book about how Lynne Featherstone got us same-sex marriage. It is a memoir and, if anything, merely one source for the yet-to-be written full history of the fight for equal marriage (also yet to be finished!).

Is it worth buying? Probably not. It's written in a very easy to read conversational style, broken down into themes rather than strictly chronological and perfect for a commuting read. But... it just didn't tell me anything important than what I knew already.

The one interesting little detail I saw was mention of Ed Fordham attempting to turn Tim Farron on the issue... using scripture! Ugh. I'm glad I'm out of that party now.

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