The secret is out in Great Britain's parliament. A conservative party minister whose responsbilities include England's education system has come out of the closet, and announced he will marry his secret partner of 29 years.
Member of Parliament Nick Gibb and his partner, Michael Simmonds, plan to marry in November. Simmonds is the CEO of the polling firm Populus.
In an interview with the The Times of London, Gibb said he had come out to family and friends the week before he made his public announcement. In a previously arranged agreement, Gibb’s brother broke the news to their elderly mother.
“I think my mother was initially shocked - that’s an age thing - but then very supportive and what she wants is for me to be happy. We are close, so to her being a loving family is more important than anything else,” Gibb told The Times.
Gibb, who recently voted in favor of the government’s recognition of same-sex marriage, gave Prime Minister David Cameron kudos for introducing the marriage equality legislation.
The couple, who met and fell in love in the mid-1980s, said practical considerations led to the public coming out.
“It was easier to have a relationship that wasn’t known about. It didn’t bother us, we both had successful careers,” Gibb said. "We just got on with life.” He said the change in the law changed their minds about coming out.
“Marriage has only been possible recently. We were never in favor of civil partnerships because we felt there should be the same approach for us and other couples. We both felt strongly that we would wait until marriage became legal.”
Civil partnerships became legal in the United Kingdom in 2004.