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Gay Marriage Petition Launched By NUS Heads To David Cameron In Form Of Christmas Cards

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Student leaders have expressed their intentions to "drown out homophobic voices" with a campaign designed to encourage the prime minister to push through equal marriage proposals.

David Cameron is to receive more than 4,000 Christmas cards on Wednesday which will read "I saw daddy kissing Santa Claus", a day after culture secretary Maria Miller announced the coalition's "quadruple lock" plan.

nus gay marriage campaign

Supporters have been urged to print the Christmas card

Despite the equal marriage win, the National Union of Students (NUS) is still concerned about the prevalence of "blatant homophobia".

"We're not having the same discourse about what is or isn't a legitimate relationship; you can tell by the reaction to David Davies' comment," says lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) officer Finn McGoldrick.

"But we're still seeing some of that blatant homophobia. We're still seeing people say marriage is between a man and a woman and I can't think of a more outdated, out of touch thing to say."

The Christmas card campaign is something the NUS has been working on for the past year and is all down to the efforts of Sky Yarlett and McGoldrick, the LGBT officers. The movement aims to unify the voices of students, as well as other members of the public, who are shouting out loud in support for gay marriage.

The campaign has been a priority for the NUS. "We came to the campaign from a frustration at the lack of activity from the LGBT community and the gay rights lobby," McGoldrick explained. "There was a real sense nothing was happening and we were just sitting around waiting.

"We had the consultation and then nothing but deafening silence. So we wanted to get something off the ground."

The campaign has gained support from celebrities such as Stephen Fry and outspoken writer Caitlin Moran, which Yarlett says has been "phenomenal".

"It's really exciting Stephen Fry has got on board," Yarlett told Huffington Post UK on Tuesday. "Coming from someone who's so notable, such an idol and a sweetheart of the LGBT community is a really powerful message."

McGoldrick chimes in, saying the campaign is not only fun, but accessible and engaging. "That's what it's about, building our grassroots movement."

But the LGBT women's officer alludes to a more sinister reason for getting the campaign off the ground. "There was no way we're going to be able to lobby the MPs who have said some really quite homophobic comments in regards to equal marriage.

"We need to silence them or drown them out with positive voices.

"I remember when we had the arguments over allowing civil marriage. The overwhelming news coverage was given to people saying negative homophobic things and that has a real impact on LGBT people.

"We're really keen to get the message across about how good it is to be LGBT and that we have nothing to be scared of."

McGoldrick admits attitudes have changed dramatically in recent years. "It's seen as a lot more accepting to be out."

And this is where the student community comes in. "They don't think in the same way past generations have done," McGoldrick says. "And they spread the word to friends, family, everyone."

Yarlett describes the support students have shown for the campaign as "overwhelming".

"We've seen places like York College, Wakefield College and York St John's University, places which are not central hubs of the LGBT community coming out and doing such incredible things.

"People are really enjoying getting involved. Everyone wants to be a part of it. It's really exciting the future generation are setting such an incredible precedent."

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