How good are the government's gay marriage proposals?
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In 1921 the Earl of Malmesbury opened a parliamentary discussion on gay rights by apologising for raising "a most disgusting and polluting subject." Thankfully today, in our substantially more liberal society, such comments would disgust both the population and political class alike. However, before we pat ourselves on the back too much it must be remembered that its is only in the last decade that equality for homosexuals has been gathering positive momentum. It wasn't untill 2007 for example, that it was illegal for a shop keeper to refuse to serve somebody because of their sexual orientation. In this light the government's recent proposals for legalising equal marriage, without forcing any churches to marry gay couples, should be viewed as a serious missed opportunity.
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