Conservative MP Nick Gibb has announced he is to marry his partner of 29 years, having only told his family last week he was gay.
Mr Gibb praised his party for championing gay marriage and even said the Church of England should follow suit.
He will marry Michael Simmonds, the chief executive of polling organisation Populus in November, saying this necessitated the “practical” step of telling his 79-year-old mother and relatives, the Telegraph reports.
But Mr Gibb said he and his partner had enjoyed a “wonderful life” together and by speaking out it was more a matter of administration and “not a matter of being liberated” as they had never felt “unliberated”.
“If one of us was ill and had to go to hospital it would be awful if we couldn’t be there for each other,” he said.
And he admitted that nearly three decades of being unable to attend social and family events or spend Christmas together as a couple had “drawbacks”.
He said the couple had met and fell in love in a “different era” but had both been comfortable keeping their relationship a secret.
“It was harder then. [Homosexuality] was only made legal in 1967. There was discrimination in industry and the professions. It was easier to have a relationship that wasn’t known about. It didn’t really bother us, we both had successful careers. We just got on with life,” he said. “We realised very quickly we had an interest in common and it was pretty rapid. We fell in love very quickly.”
He said he thought his mother was “initially shocked” at the announcement but put that down to “an age thing” but said she was “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.”