The Land of Do-As-You-Please
So the U.K. is beginning to process marriage reform. I am quietly pleased about this since I see no real reason it shouldn’t pass through our fairly moderate and generally secular political system. Thank God, really, this is not America.
The Coalition for Marriage – cunningly named – has launched a petition against the policy. It is apparently rallying the limping trail of old-school conservatives to its cause. Its website makes some bold but empty claims about marriage being under threat, which score high on controversy but low on factual backing. Like, “People’s careers could be harmed”.
Really? How? And I really don’t see how marriage will be redefined for “the rest of us” by allowing gay marriage. No rights are going to be taken away from anyone – and let’s be fair: if a child is taught that a woman can marry a woman at school, is it going to hurt anyone? I think, deep down, these people fear having gay children, or having their children ‘turned gay’. Let’s face it – the only people it’s going to help is the gay people. And what this all boils down to, really is this: is gay even a kind of person?
There is a constant suspicion that we are one step away from becoming the Land of Do-As-You-Please – marrying children, toasters, donkeys, or several people… Why? Gay marriage is just that: gay marriage. Nothing more, nothing less. But it seems that everyone agrees, once you make one compromise all hell will break loose and then…
It just startles me when conservatives feel that preventing anyone from marrying is a particularly conservative thing to do. David Cameron hit the nail on the head when he said that he supports gay marriage, not despite being a conservative but because he is a conservative – “It encourages commitment.” Same-sex marriage is not a denial of family values but an extension of them.
I should add that there are churches that want to perform same-sex marriages. There are gay clergymen who certainly would agree, not to mention Quakers and MCCers who all approve of same-sex relationships and would no doubt embrace ceremonies to solemnise, sanctify and bless – to marry – two people of the same gender. In other words – being against same-sex marriage is to be an opponent of religious freedom.