“My Lords, I got a phone call last week from a former colleague of mine, whom I had not heard from or seen for some time, asking if I would come to his same-sex wedding. I said, “Yes, when is it?”. He said, “As soon as you lot have passed the Bill”. I said, “We might not pass it”. He said, “Well, you’ll vote for it won’t you?”. I said, “No, I won’t”. He said, “Well, you can’t come to the wedding then”. I said, “You’ve just exercised extreme prejudice against me. Why are you doing that? You’re pleading that you want this in order not to have prejudice, and now you’re prejudiced against me because I’m saying that I’m going to vote against it”. Then he said, “It’s not you we want, anyway, it’s your wife—she’ll really make the party rock. Can she come instead?”. I said, “Yes, of course she can. You had better write and ask her. She’ll agree”. They did and she is going.
I said, “By the way, is this anybody I know?”. I thought it might be another member of the team. “No”, he said, “We’ve been together for eight years, but he’s someone you don’t know”. I said, “Good luck”. He then said, “Tell me, really, why you aren’t in favour of this”. I said, “I’m not in favour of it because you’re going to create a series of new minority sectors in the community. You think that you’ve been underprivileged and that you can now get to a point of parity, but you’re going to be like the animals at the end of George Orwell’s Animal Farm. You’re all going to be equal, but some of you will be much more equal
than others. And what are you going to ask for next? This is the way it’s going”. He said, “It’s very unfair”. I said, “Look, my concern here is that this is introducing a new division and a new disturbance into British society at exactly a moment when we ought to be putting all of that behind us and getting on with being one nation, trying to sort out the dreadful problems we’ve got without worrying about creating new sub-divisions—and you are a sub-division that will cause a major rift in society”.”