1 the formal union of a man and a woman, typically as recognised by law, by which they become husband and wife.
I’m in a committed relationship with a guy who I adore and find utterly irresistible. However, the idea of us being stood at an altar, in matching suits, with a crowd of people, complete with a ‘You may now kiss the groom’ moment almost makes me laugh out loud. I can’t imagine a more mortifying scene to have to endure. The instant retort to that opinion is that ‘marriage doesn’t have to mean all of that stuff anymore, you can just do what you want’, which is a fair point. But ‘all of that stuff’ is tradition. When you say ‘marriage’ to someone, that is what he or she pictures in his or her mind. It’s the understood and accepted tradition, which is the argument of many against gay marriage; it’s not the understood, traditional definition, which I tend to agree with.
Marriage, to me, is between a man and a woman. I’m not religious. I don’t believe in god. This is all the more reason for me to leave the sanctity of marriage to those who have faith in the institution providing it. Marriage that takes place in a church, a religious setting, should respect the tradition of that particular house of worship. Same-sex marriage in almost all religions is deemed unrighteous, with Reformed Judaism, the Quakers, Wiccan and Native American religions being the only notable exceptions.
How many guys can say they grew up planning their traditional church wedding, dreaming of the day when it would finally arrive? I honestly don’t understand what the interest for a man would be in partaking in such a ceremony. I think most straight guys look forward to the party with their mates and making their wife-to-be happy. Women look forward to walking down the aisle, their fiancé lifting their veil, wearing an incredible dress, surrounded by beautiful flowers, throwing the bouquet to their friends, picking a pair of expensive shoes, having someone do their hair, the make-up, the reception and all the other material things that constitute a traditional wedding.
Gay rights activists have fought for equal rights in many areas, which is admirable and in most cases necessary. Being gay isn’t something people choose; I know that for certain. Gay people shouldn’t be treated as second-class citizens, but are gay people right in challenging the beliefs of an institution that has been developed over a period of two-thousand years; the root cause of countless civil wars, world-wars and revolutions, seemingly endless terrorist attacks causing deaths all over the world? I don’t believe they are.
Smart people choose their battles wisely. This is a battle, that even if as a PR stunt to win votes, David Cameron chooses to rush Equal Marriage through Parliament, will not be fought quietly. And I back the church in their right to say that their beliefs do not allow them to perform same-sex marriage ceremonies.
In the eyes of the law, we have Civil Unions which grant us the same rights as a married heterosexual couple. Why is this not enough? Is it that these activists have run out of more worthwhile battles to fight and feel they need something else to justify their feelings of being hard done by society? I often think that these people are still in ‘fight mode’ from growing up as a gay kid in school, which for a lot of us wasn’t very easy. But there comes a time when you have to come to peace with your lot in life.
We are no longer imprisoned for who we love, we are not ostracised by society, we don’t have to hang around in public toilets to meet men, local councils embrace and promote their ‘gay quarters’, police services actively encourage diversity, we can openly serve in the army, we can adopt children (if we are so inclined), transsexuals have the right to be recognised as another sex and discrimination of any kind on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity is illegal in housing, employment and the provision of goods and services.
I think forcing churches to perform marriages by law is as discriminatory of people who subscribe to those faiths as homosexuals have been treated historically. It stinks of hypocrisy. The Church of England is our state religion and throughout history has been an extremely powerful force, defining the destiny of this country countless times. While I don’t subscribe to their religion, I believe the institution demands respect in the same way as the monarchy, another historically powerful influence, deserves respect. Without the Church of England and the monarchy we perhaps might not be even in a position where we are able to have this debate at all.
I think, in time, the church, knowing that it must maintain relevancy, will come to offer same-sex marriages, which it should be allowed the time to do.
We’ve won a lot of battles over the years. We can have great lives. There are always going to be terrible things that happen to people that are different, done to them by people with limited intelligence and minds full of fear, that is the world we live in. Let’s be happy with what we’ve achieved thus far.
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