Waking up to news that British Prime Minister David Cameron and his fellow Tories roared to a resounding victory in Thursday’s general election was thrilling. No, I’m not a closet conservative. I’m a marriage-equality supporter and Cameron’s victory is a major validation of his support of it.

Civil partnerships, the United Kingdom’s answer to civil unions, started in 2005. That’s the year Cameron became leader of the Conservative party. In 2010, he became prime minister. The following year, Cameron’s coalition started looking at ways to legalize same-sex marriage in the U.K. Using his conservative credentials to make the case, Cameron succeeded. In 2013, same-sex couples began to wed.

Cameron showed true leadership. Neither his nation nor his party supported Cameron on marriage equality. So, angry were Conservative leaders that they predicted the death of the Tories. The BBC reported in 2013 that Cameron’s move on marriage “is thought to have been one of the factors behind a mass defection of grassroots members to the UK Independence Party (UKIP) in some parts of the country.” It added that a leading Conservative think tank “warned that the party is ‘dying’ and facing ‘an existential crisis’.” And, in a 2013 letter to Cameron, a Conservative leader wrote, “I am personally convinced that the Conservative Party has little chance of winning a majority at the general election unless you reach a sensible accommodation on this subject and draw people back who have gone to UKIP or have no intention of voting at all.”

AD
AD

Man, were they wrong. Cameron’s conservatives won 326 of the parliament’s 650 seats in yesterday’s general election. As The Post reports, that’s an “outright” majority that allows Cameron to “not have to look for coalition partners as he puts together his new cabinet.”

This ought to be a lesson for Republican politicians who always lambast liberal U.S. leadership in favor of our conservative cousins in the U.K. Just look at the GOP presidential candidates. They all oppose marriage equality. But when asked whether they would attend a same-sex wedding of a loved one or a friend, their responses ranged from humane to heartless. These folks need to move into the 21st century with the rest of the country — and Cameron.

The Cameron victory is further proof of three things: marriage equality is not antithetical to conservatism, support for same-sex marriage is not a killer at the ballot box, and the electorate ultimately won’t care when they see that the sky hasn’t fallen because the nice gay couple next door can legally marry. I can’t wait for the GOP to wake up to that reality.

Follow Jonathan on Twitter: @Capehartj

AD
AD