This is the film of the lobby of Thanet Council before the vote on equal marriage on April 19th 2012. After a heated discussion, the council voted to support equal marriage.

This makes Thanet Council one of the first councils in England to vote in favour of equal marriage rights for all.

The council voted by an overwhelming majority in support of allowing same sex partners to marry.

Most Tory councillors abstained.

The vote, said Ian Driver, the councillor who moved the motion, was a “slap in the teeth” for Thanet North MP Roger Gale.

Said Driver: “I believe he should now consider his position as the area’s Member of Parliament and stand down.”

In the past Gale has publicly attacked equal marriage, questioning whether it might lead to the rewriting of the Shakespeare and the Bible.

Driver said that the vote, which was in answer to a government consultation, shows that Thanet is becoming more progressive.

Driver said: “This vote sends a mention to other authorities, including KCC, that there is no place for homophobic attitudes and bigotry in Kent “

The vote was submitted by Driver and John Worrow, who are independent councillors in Thanet.

“If we hadn’t done it, I don’t believe either of the big parties would have touched it,” said Driver.

Driver believes this shows the new importance of independent councillors.

“I hope we will become the conscience of the council. We will go on raising the uncomfortable issues that otherwise wouldn’t be debated.”

See the MAY issue of THANET WATCH magazine: “I Want to be Free to Marry the Person I Love” – a young woman from Birchington speaks out.



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