Equality minister Lynne Featherstone says government will consult on gay marriage and civil partnerships

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Liberal Democrat MP and equality minister Lynne Featherstone has said that the government will consult with a range of stakeholders on progressing civil partnerships and gay marriage.

Speaking to PinkNews.co.uk shortly after addressing the crowds at London Pride, she said she was not surprised at mayor Boris Johnson’s support of full gay marriage.

She said: “Both leaders have made clear they are relaxed about the issue, if not in favour of it.

“It’s up to the people really. The government will be consulting with all those with a stake.”

She added this would include anti-gay campaigners and said: “It’s really got to come from other people, then we’ll see where we are.”

Ms Featherstone said that the Conservative Party was “100 per cent committed to the LGBT agenda” but agreed that the presence of Liberal Democrats in a coalition government had made a difference to gay equality policies.

She added that her own party had to “try and get out there more” to encourage more LGBT people to stand as Liberal Democrat candidates.

When asked whether she had ever dreamt of finally becoming an equality minister after shadowing the role for years, she said: “No, and I think its fantastic. Sometimes life throws a blinder and you grab it when you can.”

Ms Featherstone also addressed the coalition government’s new style of using “LGB & T” instead of “LGBT” in speeches and documents.

She said: “These groups suffer hate crime and discrimination in similar ways. But the substance of the issues is very different.”

On working with Theresa May on the equalities brief, she said: “It’s really good. She’s ok.

After being appointed equality minister, Ms May was accused of homophobia for her poor voting record on gay rights.

Ms Featherstone said: “I think she’s moved on and the rest of the LGBT world needs to catch up.”