Dan Savage, the founder of the ‘It Gets Better’ Project, has joined the Out4Marriage campaign for marriage equality.
The author and columnist has recorded a video in support of the internet-based campaign that encourages members of the public, politicians and celebrities to offer vocal support for a move towards equal marriage rights for heterosexuals and homosexuals living in the UK.
‘Gay and lesbian people, same sex couples for too long have been discriminated against under the law when it comes to rights – rights as couples, rights as people in love,’ says Savage in the video.
‘One of the arguments against same-sex marriage rights is that we are seeking to redefine the institution of marriage and that is not true. It is straight people who redefined the institution of marriage. Marriage is the legal union of two equal and autonomous individuals. Marriage can be monogamous, or not; it can be for life, or not; a married couple can have children, or not; they can have a religious ceremony, or not.’
‘Marriage is no longer a gendered institution, it’s about two people in love.’
Savage founded the ‘It Gets Better’ project in 2010 following a number of suicides among LGBT youth, including 15-year-old Billy Lucas, who hanged himself after suffering prolonged bullying at the hands of his schoolmates.
Out4Marriage is itself modelled on It Gets Better, which encourages private and public individuals from all walks of life to film videos reassuring gay teens that any bullying and prejudice they suffer will not last forever.
‘So long as we’re willing to accept civil unions or domestic partnerships, and so long as that’s all that society is willing to offer us, what’s being communicated to gay and lesbian people is that our love is lesser than. That there’s something deficient about who we are, and that our love isn’t the same as the love of heterosexuals and we know that is a lie,’ Savage continues.
‘So we’re fighting for full civil equality, for full recognition of our relationships and what they mean and what they are, for protections under law for our families, for our children and that’s why I’m Out4Marriage and I encourage everyone in the United Kingdom and every country on earth to come Out4Marriage.’
It has attracted support from high-profile figures including Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, Home Secretary Theresa May, Richard Branson, Paloma Faith, Sinitta and a growing group of MPs from all parties.
Dan Savage’s declaration of support comes the day after the Scottish government announced its intention to introduce equal marriage north of the border.