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It's only right that Brighton hosted one of the UK's first gay marriages
Brighton was the gay capital of Britain long before homosexuality became legal, because it was a tolerant town.
Celebrated gay people such as Sir Terence Rattigan and Gilbert Harding settled there, along with a few thousand others who were not so well known.
So it seemed entirely appropriate that Brighton - now a city and incorporating Hove - should host some of the first gay weddings at the weekend.
Prejudice against homosexuality lingered for a long time in Britain. As late as the mid-1950s, Quintin Hogg, later to become a leading Conservative cabinet member, indulged in a rant against gay people remarkable for being both intemperate and vituperative.
All too often it was assumed that gay people were bound to corrupt and attack vulnerable members of the heterosexual majority, even though few of them ever did.
Even in a tolerant town, Harding never felt able to come out as a gay although he came close to it in a celebrated TV interview with John Freeman shortly before he died in 1960.
Rattigan had to rewrite Separate Tables so that a homosexual affair was eliminated and the play was not presented in its original form until well after his death.
Brighton, more accepting than anywhere else, was congenial for gay people if they kept themselves to themselves because every homosexual knew there were gangs of gay bashers who might attack them at night.
The police prowled around Brighton's then numerous public lavatories in the hope of arresting gay people for acts usually described as gross indecency.
So it was a huge relief for many homosexuals when the reforming Home Secretary Roy Jenkins persuaded Parliament in the late 1960s to change the law.
But it has taken the best part of half a century since then for gay weddings like those welcomed at the weekend to become legal.
Even now the Church of England has managed to make an exception so that gay weddings cannot be conducted in cathedrals, churches and chapels.
There are also restrictions on same sex weddings between clerics which are both astonishing and ridiculous.
Prejudice against homosexuality still exists in this country but is largely confined to elderly people who often consider it revolting.
To most people under 30, being gay is not much of an issue. Most heterosexuals have gay friends and think nothing of it.
I can understand the lingering dislike of gays by some older people who have not adjusted to this change in society or many others. But I do not share it myself and never have done.
Many churchgoers feel as passionately against gay marriage as they do about women bishops, often producing words from the Bible to back their beliefs.
But gay weddings were inevitably going to arrive and other reforms removing all barriers to homosexuality will take place in the next few years if the Church is not to fade away and die.
Gay campaigners can congratulate themselves on a major change in society which will soon be accepted by almost everyone as perfectly normal.
They deserve their day in the sun after enduring so much mindless prejudice and homophobia over the years.
But the more radical and flamboyant members of the gay community must be careful not to alienate the people who do not share their persuasion.
Some seek positive discrimination when equality is perfectly acceptable.
Gay groups need to avoid damaging and often bitter arguments which in Brighton have often taken the traditional view of homosexual bitching to a point beyond parody.
They also need to ensure gay people are not guilty of the same sort of prejudice they have endured for so long.
Walking in the gay area of Manchester last year, I was subjected to swearing and threats by a café customer that were unpleasant and unacceptable.
Most gay people I know do not want to draw attention to themselves and their homosexuality. They just want to be accepted and go about their daily lives without being condemned for being different.
Gay marriages are a big step forward but future reforms are more likely to be achieved by calm, rational argument rather than rants.
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