Yet with member states all in agreement, there are some that do little to actively promote equality for the LGBT community. In particular, catholic countries such as Italy and Poland who are members of the EU, are a very long way behind some of their counterparts. They will allow couples to live together but do not recognize any kind of commitment between homosexuals.
Only last year the coalition government refused to pardon the 49,000 men all convicted under the 1885 Criminal Law Amendment Act, the act which recriminalized homosexuality. Alan Turing's conviction came from this Act but he was not the only famous person to suffer this. Oscar Wilde was also famously convicted under this act.
The witch-hunt against people who dare to disagree with gay marriage is well underway, even though the legislation has yet to clear parliament. Put aside for a moment whether you agree or disagree with gay marriage, surely no sensible person wants this sort of 'marriage McCarthyism' in an open democratic society.
There is no doubt about the fundamental value that we place upon marriage and its role at the heart of our society. Marriage embodies the principles of love, loyalty and commitment - all vital components of a strong society. And it is those principles that we are championing through the Equal Marriage Bill which continues its journey through Parliament tonight.
I believe that everyone should be equal in the eyes of the law, and that the lifelong commitment people make to each other when they make their marriage vows means something profound to them, and benefits society as a whole. I believe that these vows have great significance to the couples taking them regardless of their sex or sexuality.