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Gay marriage normal now, says Clegg
Gay marriage already feels normal and matter of fact, Nick Clegg said tonight as he was presented with an award for helping to push through the controversial reforms.
The Deputy Prime Minister said the fury and anxiety expressed during the legislation's bruising passage through Parliament, which sparked strong opposition from many Conservative backbenchers and some religious groups, had quickly subsided.
Mr Clegg was speaking as he received Pink News's special award for his work in securing the new laws.
He said: "How quickly, already, it feels normal and I've always thought this would be the case that v ery, very quickly the fury, the polemic, the anxiety, the differences of opinion, as strongly expressed as they were, would very quickly subside and it would it just feel matter of fact, as indeed it should."
At the inaugural awards ceremony hosted by Commons Speaker John Bercow in Speaker's House, Mr Clegg added : "I think we have got to be as outspoken, as forthright in speaking out for those rights abroad as we have been in campaigning for those rights at home.
"I'm certainly committed and my party is and I can certainly speak on behalf of the Coalition government that whether it's in Russia, whether it's in parts of the Commonwealth where we see acts of blatant discrimination which is entirely out of keeping with the rights that have been enshrined in this new legislation we should proudly stand against that kind of discrimination."
The Marriage (Same-Sex Couples) Act received royal assent from the Queen in July after a bruising passage through Parliament which saw stiff opposition from many Conservative backbenchers and some religious groups.
It means gay men and women will be able to get married in England and Wales from next summer.