Robert Hampton

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8th May 2012

Why it’s important
Posted by at 11.02pm | Gay | 1 response

Stop what you’re doing and take ten minutes to watch this video (embedded below). It’s the story of Shane Bitney Crone and Tom Bridegroom, a couple who were torn apart by Tom’s sudden death, and of Shane’s bereavement, which has been compounded by ugly prejudice and an unforgiving legal system.

It’s a story from the US, where gay rights can be patchy, depending on which state you’re in. As Shane says: in the eyes of the law, he and Tom were no more than roommates. In many countries the situation is much worse – in many parts of the world there are no legal protections for gay people at all.

In Britain it’s important to remember how fortunate we are to have a full raft of gay rights legislation, especially civil partnerships, which confer most (but not all) of the protections and rights of marriage. We should not settle for second best, however, and as certain factions wage a bitter war against full marriage rights, stories like the one above should be foremost in our minds.

Marriage is a right and a privilege – it must be opened up to all couples, regardless of gender. And even when that battle has been won, there is still a mammoth task of stamping out ugly prejudice like that described in the video above.