#EqualMarriage – Do we really need this…?

December 11, 2012

Gay, politics, social

English: Wedding Ceremony of LT Gary Ross and ...

English: Wedding Ceremony of LT Gary Ross and Dan Swezy (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As a gay man, and a practising gay man, though why that is relevant I’m not certain, I feel I have a right to express my views on the debate raging in the twitter-verse, and in parliament.

As most people will know, or, at least will come to know, our Members of Parliament had a brief debate today in the House of Commons on same-sex couple marrying in religious venues and being able to get married. And even though I did not manage to see the full debate I am reasonably certain that, according to Twitter, most of the opinions by some right-wing Tory MPs. The ‘old guard’ of the Conservative Party, by all accounts, collectively got to their feet in one mad, spitting and spewing rush to denounce the idea of letting normal human beings get married in a church, synagogue, or mosque for who they wish to spend their one and only lives with. They somehow felt that it was against God, tradition and all that is right and proper about these little isles. I heard one Tory MP claim that the party stood for tradition and history, to keep history alive. And, again according to Twitter, there seems to have been many an MP claim that 99.999% of their constituencies do not want same-sex people to get married in religious places, or be able to marry in the common-law sense of the word. I’m no statistician but I am confident that there would be at least some people who either did not care or would like for same-sex couple to marry, or we really would not be having a debate.

The upshot of all this to and throw on twitter and in parliament was for the government to announce it is making it illegal for same-sex couples to marry in, or by the Church of England and the Church of Wales. There is also stipulations that any religious group who opt-in can marry same-sex couples. It will also not be possible to bring discrimination claims against any Church or person who refuses to conduct the marriage ceremony.

Now, this gives me a slight quandary. As a gay man, I am against having marriages in churches or get for the same-sex couples to marry. I am happy with civil partnerships, as the partnerships are recognised in law and offer the same rights and tax provisions as any civil ceremony for straight couples. Getting married, for me, is and will always be a religious ceremony, and even though religious doctrine has some strange ideas about gay couples. I feel that to be married can, and should only, be between a man and a woman, as it’s an religious confirmation of their union in the hope of procreation. It is an out-dated idea, I understand, and maybe shouldn’t be accepted in our modern, liberal, society. But religion is about personal faith, with the church being the public focus of that faith, but also a guide and authoritarian figure in helping society procreate. I’m not saying that this is their main role in society, just one of them and an important one.  Though you can be a religious, gay man or woman, you have to understand that some religions do not accept the consummation between two men or two woman, as in a religious aspect it is wrong. You can not begot a child from that sort of confirmation, so why try to recognise the fact with a religious ceremony.

Christ Church Cathedral

Christ Church Cathedral (Photo credit: infomatique)

Another part of my quandary is in making getting married in the Church of England and Wales illegal. I understand that to protect the Church, especially from discrimination, there would have to be a law passed to ensure its protection but I don’t think it needs to be classed as illegal. With this classification, there naturally follows that it becomes a criminal act to perform such marriages and this will only entice the more fervent gay activists to seek to break the law as they hope it will eventually be challenged in the Supreme Court. This then does not protect the Church. What is the answer, I am uncertain. I feel there could be a compromise with each dioceses of the Church being able to make determination on holding a civil partnership in a church, or on church grounds, but not to be performed by the vicar. They could still be classed as a marriage, but with part of the religious part removed. It could work, or I maybe talking rubbish, but I do not want to see our society put in law something which could cause a greater inequality for gay men and women than we already have.

Conservative Party (UK)

Conservative Party (UK) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The last part of my quandary is I am a conservative, and a practising conservative – in that I vote and agree with most conservative thinking – and I am disgusted at the narrow-minded, and vitriolic hypocrisy expressed in the House of Commons over this debate. The Conservative Party, for me, should stand for what is great about our country, for modern thinking, for strong ideals, and tradition. A Party that accepts there are many wonderful things about our country that make us great, and one of them is in our ability to be flexible and adapt to the changing society, Capitalism and Monetarism would not work if we focused on the past and not on the future. But what this debate showed was there are some Conservative MPs who clearly should reconsider their own ideals and accept that to make us great again society is moving forward with or without them. They should not stand up and spit vile falsehoods across the floor of the House of Commons.

Well, that’s my twopence worth. I’m not sure I made much sense, or that what I feel is very logical, but I do know in my heart, that even though I am a gay man, I would not want to get married, in a church or in a religious ceremony. I am quite happy with the civil partnerships, they offer the same protection and tax benefits as a marriage, and in all of this, it really comes down to being with the one person who makes you happy, and not whether some deity or other blesses that union or not.

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  1. #Equalmarriage « Musings of a Mild Mannered Man - February 5, 2013

    […] #EqualMarriage – Do we really need this…? (musingsofamildmanneredman.com) […]

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