Feb 132013

OutStories Bristol’s exhibition Revealing Stories at M Shed has been quoted in the House of Commons!

Bristol West MP Stephen Williams opened his speech to the debate on the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill on 5 February with:

Last Saturday I went to the opening of an exhibition at M Shed, a museum in Bristol, entitled OutStories. It tells the stories of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people in Bristol over the last half century, and it begins with the story of Oliver, a 55-year-old partner in a firm of solicitors, who in 1963 was found guilty of gross indecency and sentenced to three months in prison or a fine of £40. It reveals all the trials and tribulations of that half-century, the ups and downs, and the way in which the experiences of gay people in Bristol have changed during that period.

Like all exhibitions, OutStories is not interested only in the abstract; it makes one think about one’s own place in history. For me that was rather easy, because I am mentioned in the exhibition as the first openly gay Member of Parliament to serve my city, and indeed the first on the Liberal Democrat Benches.

His speech is 2 hours 54 mins into this BBC video of the debate (click to start video then slide the time bar).

You can read a full transcript of his speech on his website stephenwilliams.org.uk.