When I came to America from Britain, the gay rights movement was way ahead here of the old country. No longer. Here is a list of the most powerful openly gay people in Britain. The whole list is a staggering contrast with the US. At the top:

1. Spencer Livermore, 32, Director of Political Strategy, 10 Downing Street
2. Nick Brown, 57, Deputy Chief Whip, MP for Newcastle upon Tyne East and Wallsend
3. Peter Mandelson, 54, EU Trade Commissioner. He's back in the cabinet as Business secretary and Brown's main spin doctor.
4. Angela Eagle, 46, Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, MP for Wallasey
5. Ben Bradshaw, 47, Minister of State for Health Services, MP for Exeter
6. Andrew Pierce, 46, Assistant Editor, Daily Telegraph. Julian Glover, Matthew Parris partner, is opinion editor al The Guardian.

The bigotry that infects the Republican party and the cynicism and cowardice that dominates the Democrats on this issue prevent such success and integration in America. And yet many of the causes that have prevailed in Britain - marriage equality and military service, for example - were pioneered on this side of the Atlantic.