|Croydon's united gay marriage front|
There have been resignations; claims of mass fallouts within political parties and with church leaders, but Croydon’s senior elected officials have chosen a united front on gay marriage. What’s most interesting about this approach is that it is proactive rather than reactive, with the MPs in question actively building public support for the legislation by appearing on radio and TV shows to promote the benefits it can bring to society.
Croydon North MP Steve Reed has been a public advocate of the legislation, "For gay men like me, young and coming to terms with their sexuality, things were difficult," he said in an interview with gay community news site Pink News.
Writing on his public blog, Croydon Central MP Gavin Barwell said, “Many of the people who object most strongly to same sex marriage are also the most passionate advocates of marriage as a force for good in our society. If marriage is such a good thing, why wouldn't we want to extend it to same sex couples?"
Croydon South MP Richard Ottoway claimed that he had received over 200 letters on the issue, some making some very significant and passionate points which swayed him to officially announce he was publicly in support of the legislation in January this year.
It is indeed rare that three leading politicians from different political parties should come together and agree and promote an issue such as this. But with three leaders dominating the media headlines for their support of gay marriage, the borough of Croydon is sending out a tolerant and gay friendly message to London and the rest of the country.