Gay marriage; will someone please tell me what all the fuss is about?!
My humble apologies, I realise it has been a year since I last posted anything, so it is time to make amends. The day when MPs are due to vote on Gay Marriage is coming up fast; next Monday in fact. This got me thinking, I really can’t personally see why it should be so controvertial, and I’ve had one of the most conventional upbringings I know! I attended the conservative party conference last October. It was the first time I had been and I was surprised by the spectrum of views held by the people there. I dutifully got my social action badge and my “I’m with DC” badge on Gay marriage. Maria Miller as newly appointed minister of the DCMS put it brilliantly; “The state should not stop two people from making the commitment to be married unless there’s a good reason. I don’t believe being gay is one of them”.
I wholeheartedly agree with this sentiment. I have to say however, that in a way I have to question the wisdom of Mr Cameron for bringing this to the forefront of politics at this time. The level of agitation from the grass-roots regarding this issue is quite startling for someone who regards themselves as something of a liberal Tory in some respects; although perhaps it shouldn’t be and I’m still rather naive. Perhaps it is more of a distraction from European matters?
I am worried however that the anti-gay wing of the party are right in that this will split the party, however not for the reasons that they argued for it. Personally I would argue that this issue divides older and younger people and will detract many young people from joining the party at a time when membership is so low this is alarming. As a very basic straw poll I can illustrate this; when Ms Miller delivered the line I mentioned above and indeed when the Prime Minister declared that he was in favour of Gay Marriage BECAUSE he’s a Tory, there was indeed a ripple of applause from the audience, but very few of
those clapping were above 45 from what I could see. I jest not, the blue rinsed tweedy lady sat next to me glared at me quite icily as I joined the applause. I must also say that I find it quite laughable when I listen to the arguments and by the anti-gay lobby (be they Christians, Coalition for Marriage, etc, etc)they are really not very good! While I think that we should probably be focusing on other pieces of legislation the fact that they can’t come up with a half decent argument against it is a bloody good reason to push it through Parliament!
Lets take the arguments listed on the C4M’s website shall we?
Marriage is unique – They ‘argue’ that children do best with a married mother and father. A very bland statement I must say. I assume they mean happily married. There are many that aren’t, and that can be incredibly damaging to the psyche of the child, as friends of mine would testify. Watching two people who can’t stand each other, yet feel trapped in a loveless marriage must be terribly distressing. Similarly, unmarried parents can be brilliant at raising children furthermore I am friends with a lovely gay couple raising a wonderful little girl; they tie the knot later this year. Surely a secure, loving environment regardless of its composition, it the best way to raise children.
No need to redefine – They seem to think that this redefinition is without precedent. Henry VIII was quite good at it, wasn’t he? Marriage as a concept has evolved and developed over the centuries. There was a time when the wife was merely a chattel, an object to be possessed; like a hammer or a cow. Then women could own their own property, then they could divorce their husbands, then they could vote! Marriage between man and women is now equal, but it hasn’t always. It has taken a long time to get to this stage, it changed with society. The changes to marriage law have always been reactionary, so to deny this modification would be to go against the tide, it would demonstrate to those who believe it an outmoded concept, that they are right!
Profound concequences – ‘Traditional marriage believers will be sidelined, careers will suffer, those seeking to adopt won’t be able to’ I have to say I had to reread this one; I was waiting for the bit where they predict the end of the world. It really is utter tosh! It’s terribly convenient though, an easy way to sway the ignorant. They never say HOW people’s careers will be in ruins, or WHY those who want to adopt can’t. I just don’t get it. HR departments go to great lengths to ensure that sexuality is not a barrier to career development or progression. Many large organisations have LGBT equality groups which, as I understand it act like a bit of a watchdog or lobbiest group. Sexuality is also not a barrier for adoption, be they straight or gay, all couples have to go through the same onerous bureaucracy!
Speak up, don’t feel pressured to be PC – Now I have to partly agree here, too many things have been done in the name of political correctness, and being PC for the sake of it is crazy. No matter how many mousey women in big jumpers and Doc Martins wag their fingers at me, it will always be ‘Black coffee’ not ‘coffee with no milk’, I will always ‘Brainstorm’, I don’t do ‘Blue sky thinking’ and people on this planet are ‘Mankind’ not ‘Earth children’, but this legislation does not fit into this category. This levels the playing field. It is the equality litmus test! Do we as a nation (and in particular our politicians) truly believe in equality? If so, there can be no caveats. Do our MPs believe in equality as it is defined, or are they really just a bunch of Alf Garnetts in (slightly) better suits?
Right, that’s C4M destroyed, now for the religious arguments. First off I should say that I don’t see why the clergy et al should be forced to perform gay marriages if it is against their beliefs. It shouldn’t be too much of an issue really, let’s face it, if you don’t need God to get married these days, so it’s really not much of a barrier! The Church is being rather short-sighted however, for years now they have bemoaned the fact that fewer and fewer people get married in a church and so they revenue is down, perhaps there should be more like Father Ian Stubbs. Father Stubbs is a rather outspoken member of the clergy, but what he says makes a great deal more sense than most vicars I’ve spoken to. I believe he has offered any gay couple the opportunity to marry in his church, and I’m sure many would take him up on it, and well he would be raking it in then no doubt!
The bottom line I suppose to religious arguments against gay marriage are very simple. Marriage as an institution has been around a damn sight longer than organised religion, and for many years people have been getting married in registry offices. Therefore, if we don’t need God to get married, then why do you need a bride AND a groom? It’s all about the definition of marriage, personally I see marriage as the legal union between two people who love each other, there may be those who would argue that this is not a complete definition but they cannot argue with me this is all wrong definition in fact it is a better definition and what we have now because it implies that one of the participants is not a golddigger and that the union is genuine!
As a slight aside, Ironically, when I spoke to someone the LGBTory stand in Birmingham, they said they received more abuse for being a Tory at pride events than for being gay.
Posted on January 29, 2013, in Coalition Government, Comment, Conservative Party, General and tagged Coalition for Marriage, david cameron, equality, gay marriage, Maria Miller. Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.