Following last month's volatile row over the Marriage (Same Sex) Bill it's time to take stock of how far LGBT rights have progressed in Britain - and how far we have to go before real equality.
Over the past 20 years the position of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in Britain has been transformed. But campaigners within trade unions, political parties and LGBT organisations still have work to do.
Legally, LGBT people now enjoy the same rights as other citizens, enshrined in the 2010 Equality Act.
The Public Sector Equality Duty covers sexual orientation and gender reassignment, and obstacles to adoption and other family issues have been removed.
Immense progress has been made in terms of attitudes - lesbian, gay and bisexual people are now overwhelmingly accepted as equals by society, and progress has been made on attitudes to trans people too, although this has been slower.
However, since Prime Minister David Cameron announced his marriage Bill we have seen a loud and vicious backlash by the Roman Catholic church, Church of England and a substantial number of Tory MPs - and, to their shame, some Labour and Lib Dem MPs as well.
This loud opposition effectively drowned out any debate over the institution of marriage itself. It also misrepresented people of faith in this country - liberal religious leaders who supported equality were invisible and repeated surveys have actually shown that religious people in Britain are not opposed to LGBT equality, whatever their leaders may say.
Still, the marriage Bill has passed, and the government has said it's willing to use the Parliament Act to ensure it becomes law if the House of Lords tries to hobble it.
The TUC has consistently supported this legislation, showing how important trade unions have been in this battle for equality as in so many others. Its calm recognition that if government assertions that marriage is good for a stable society are true, then the denial of marriage is unacceptable discrimination was a hard case to answer - although the law as it stands is messy and the TUC is right that civil partnerships need to be opened up to opposite-sex couples to iron out the creases.
Still, we must acknowledge that there remains widespread - if minority - hostility and prejudice to LGBT people. The most recent British Social Attitudes Survey revealed that almost a third of people identified as prejudiced.
Young people coming to terms with their sexuality still face difficulty in hostile homes, schools or workplaces. In extreme cases they become the victims of hate crime - transgender people are especially at risk. In fact, worldwide 30 per cent of trans people die before the age of 30 - often they are murdered or, even more commonly, they commit suicide.
There remain whole areas of life where homophobia and transphobia are rampant. Not a single player in Premier League football has come out, for instance.
And even the marriage Bill leaves some worrying gaps in equalities legislation. Faith schools and, increasingly, free schools are allowing prejudice to flourish in educational establishments. People do not choose their sexuality or gender identity any more than the colour of their skin - would we allow faith schools to teach that people of different races were inferior or that interracial relationships were unhealthy?
Schools Out and LGBT History Month organisers have raised concerns over increased bullying of LGBT people in all schools, but especially in the new schools removed from local authority control and given so much leeway in what and how they teach.
And anyone who uses public transport will know that young people still use "gay" as a term of abuse.
Despite its marriage Bill the Con-Dem government will make things worse for LGBT people, simply as a result of its austerity measures. All working people are suffering from the government's cuts, but in certain areas LGBT people are likely to be particularly badly affected.
Young LGBT people are more likely to be homeless than most, since many are rejected by their families. And LGBT people of all ages are more likely to live alone.
Trans people are less likely to find employment - the unemployment rate for them is triple the national average.
Cuts to NHS budgets mean cancellation of reassignment surgery. And still prevalent discrimination puts them at risk if ill health means they need residential care.
So there's a lot to campaign for in Britain - but worldwide of course the situation is even bleaker. In some parts of the world the suspicion that someone is LGBT can lead to long imprisonment or death. Cuts to legal aid in Britain put those fleeing persecution at the mercy of arbitrary decisions - already we have cases of gay people being denied asylum here and sent back to torture and possible death.
The World Health Organisation classified transsexuality as a mental illness as recently as last year.
Britain has made great strides in LGBT rights, but let's acknowledge the battles still to be fought against bigotry and hatred.
We in the LGBT communities demand no less than anyone else - to be able to define ourselves and not be defined by others.
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