The first same-sex weddings in England and Wales take place on 29th March – yet marriage was the last thing on the minds of pioneering gay rights crusaders in the 60s and 70s. On Tuesday the 18th of March the Reverend Richard Coles looks at how same sex marriage became the defining issue of recent years – and asks whether it represents the last crusade of the campaign for gay rights.
He speaks to senior Stonewall figures Ben Summerskill, Michael Cashman and Angela Mason. He also hears from Peter Tatchell, the Conservative Party’s first openly gay MP Alan Duncan and former Prime Minister Tony Blair who introduced Civil Partnerships.
Richard discovers that for many early activists, marriage was not only a far off prospect, it wasn’t a very desirable one either, as many gay men and women sought the downfall of traditional institutions.
So where along the line did the idea of same sex marriage become the number one campaigning issue? And with this last major legislative milestone passed, is it time for gay rights campaigners to pack up and go home?
The broadcast will remain on BBC I-Player for a week if you miss it