My initial stance was that we have Civil Partnerships and being a child of the 80’s this was a giant leap forward, I ‘came out’ at work in the mid-90’s when technically I could be fired for being gay, so a Civil Partnership is a step forward; using this as a argument I was floored by the counter-argument against Civil Partnership
“separate but equal is still discrimination”
being always to admit I was wrong, I promptly conceded the point; in summing up the case of the B & B owners – who initially I respected – the Judge summed up by saying
to discriminate against one group of people gives ground for discrimination against any other group, if the couple had been black this would have been the same
Fast forward to the past few months and I listen to the Church of England tell me that the proposals to introduce Gay Marriage was going to be an affront to civilisation as we know it and totally undermine marriage as cornerstone of society, according to Lord Carey, former Archbishop of Canterbury, just to grab another slice of hyperbole it transpire, according to the to Carey, marriage does not belong to the State. The Coalition for Marriage is a new ‘grassroots’ organisation to defend society against people getting equality, sorry introducing Gay Marriage.
Firstly the argument of same but equal has not been addressed in the criticism of the proposed, it is discrimination, pure and simple and as such cannot be condoned.
Looking at society at the moment marriage is not the most popular of institutions, on the decline with those marriages that do take place increasingly likely to end in divorce, look at Queen Elizabeth 2 children three out of four have been divorced and this is the Head of the Church of England, in fact the next incumbent of Supreme Governor of the Church of England has been divorced, committed adultery and remarried – so the Church can hardly get sanctimonious about its position. I find it strange that the Church, or society, can egislate against who we fall in love with and who we want to spend our lives with, creating stable relationships within the context of society and the economy.
The argument that that gay marriage will undermine society does not hold close examination, marriage itself is not the bedrock of society, and relationships are not in the purview of the Church. Marriage does not belong to the State, or the Church, but to the people who chose how to define their relationship.
Whilst I respect people of faith, the corollary in a democratic libertarian society is that people of faith have to respect my stance; society falls down when we do not respect each others views.
Harsh as it may sound if some Christians do not agree with gay marriage, then they do not have to participate – though the question of the Church closing its doors to gay couples wanting to get married does seem an anathema in the 21st Century.
Gay marriage is an issue for the Church, it has to ask itself the simple question “what would Jesus do” – and do it.