De Montfort University awards PM ‘highest honour’ for equal marriage

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

De Montfort University has awarded its highest honour to Prime Minister David Cameron – for his work fighting for same-sex marriage.

The Conservative PM was made a Companion of the University, for facing down opposition including in his own party to push through the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act in 2013 – which finally allowed same-sex couples to tie the knot.

He was presented with the accolade this morning, at a special ceremony held inside 10 Downing Street. It is thought to be the first such ceremony for a sitting Prime Minister held at Number 10.

The university’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Dominic Shellard and Mr Mike Kapur, DMU Pro Chancellor, presented the Prime Minister with the accolade.

Echoing the words he first wrote on PinkNews when same-sex marriage became law, Prime Minister David Cameron said: “I am honoured to have been recognised by De Montfort University in this way.

“I have long believed in marriage as the bedrock of society and I am proud that in Britain whether you are straight or gay the State will recognise your relationship as equal.

“Together we should be proud to live in a country judged to be the best place in Europe if you are lesbian, gay, bisexual or trans.

“We are a nation that is growing stronger economically because of our long term economic plan. But I hope we can also be a country that is growing stronger socially because we value love and commitment equally.

“I am humbled to see this important moment for our country recognised in this way, and I dedicate this honour to all those who helped to make it happen.”

DMU  Vice-Chancellor Professor Shellard said: “DMU’s commitment to equality and diversity is embedded across all aspects of university life and is part of the very fabric of our university community.

“As such, we wanted to acknowledge the Prime Minister’s courageous role in making this historic law, in turn, part of the fabric of Britain.

“This award goes beyond politics. It is about honouring a man who has fought for the introduction of an Act which has improved the lives of millions of parents, husbands, wives and children in the name of equality.”

The nomination was made by Lord Alli, the university’s former Chancellor and a Labour peer who also championed same-sex marriage,

The university says that a Companionship is “awarded to people who have done outstanding work to benefit the educational, cultural or economic life of the nation” – with Nelson Mandela also awarded the Companionship of DMU back in 1996.