(This article was first published on Liberal Democrat Voice www.libdemvoice.org)
If it didn’t exist would you create it? Well based on tonight, the answer for the London Gay Men’s Chorus was a resounding Yes.

As thousands of members of the LGBT community poured into Soho, supported by friends, family and a host of straight allies - everyone was very uncertain. The nervousness was palpable with no-one clear about what was going to happen next. There were a few attempts to get a political chant going, but the crowd was more contemplative. As the hour of 7pm approached there was a hanging sense of expectation in the air.

It has been said that people who vote against the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill will be ‘standing on the wrong side of history’ – as those of us who know and study history accept, only time will tell.  But yesterday, as we led the Equal Marriage Vigil outside the House of Lords  I was struck that we were witnessing and perhaps even making history.

What occurred at our Vigil can be variously described as glorious, fashionable, tuneful and positive. In short we gathered together the LGBT+ communities and their families – and we sang, we danced – led by the London Gay Men’s Chorus.

(This article was first published on LD Voice http://www.libdemvoice.org/opinion-we-will-not-stand-aside-while-persecution-takes-place-42837.html)
Whilst party activists gathered in Glasgow and quite literally were debating policy F33 Age Ready Britain there was another gathering taking place of a quieter, but perhaps more significant nature.

In the Admiral Rodney Pub, in Southwell, Nottinghamshire a small group of LGBT activists and supporters prepared to demonstrate for equality. Archbishop John Sentamu was in Southwell for the opening of the refurbished Bishop’s Palace and he was accompanied by acting Bishop of Southwell and Nottingham, Richard Inwood.

(first published on 26th July 2013, written by Oliver Wright http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/gay-marriage-first-how-ed-got-down-on-one-knee-to-propose-to-russell-and-made-a-little-piece-of-8734458.html)
It’s not every couple who get their forthcoming nuptials mentioned by Hansard – the official record of Parliamentary proceedings.  Or make a little piece of history in The Times – the paper famous for its births, marriages and deaths column.  Or indeed get the news relayed to over 120,000 people via the Twitter account of the Deputy Prime Minister.

But then it’s not every couple who get engaged outside the mother of Parliaments, under a statue of George V, with an Erasure song playing in the background – moments after it becomes clear that it is now their legal right to do so.

(This first appeared on Lib Dem voice - http://www.libdemvoice.org/opinion-standing-on-the-right-side-of-history-34778.html)
It has been said that people who vote against the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill will be ‘standing on the wrong side of history’ – as those of us who know and study history accept, only time will tell.  But yesterday, as we led the Equal Marriage Vigil outside the House of Lords  I was struck that we were witnessing and perhaps even making history.

What occurred at our Vigil can be variously described as glorious, fashionable, tuneful and positive. In short we gathered together the LGBT+ communities and their families – and we sang, we danced – led by the London Gay Men’s Chorus.

(This first appeared on Lib Dem voice http://www.libdemvoice.org/equal-marriage-for-all-same-sex-couples-but-not-yet-equal-for-all-32994.html)
In 2013 we celebrate 15 years of having been ‘going out’ together.  That’s a long time to be ‘going out’ – even for the decidedly commitment-phobic.  Over the last fifteen years we have attended many weddings, christenings, funerals of friends and family that mark out the great stations of life.

Apart from the occasional birthday bash and Eurovision party- we haven’t provided a similar opportunity for our friends and family to celebrate our life together.

(This article was first published on Lib Dem Voice - http://www.libdemvoice.org/ed-fordham-writes-oooh-equal-everyone-surely-not-23092.html)
Filling out a form the other day the options were single, married, divorced, civil partnerships – so I didn’t complete that question.

No other, no long-term relationship – so it clearly didn’t apply to me… I tried explaining this to the person at the desk and they were positively un-interested. But yet again it irritated me.

David Laws has resigned and the story has more or less moved along.  For my part I know and like David a lot and his loss is a real blow to the Liberal Democrats, the Government and the country.  But most of all this was a personal story.

So I was appalled by the decision of Stonewall’s Chief Executive Ben Summerskill to take the airwaves and print media to launch his own mini-campaign against David.