First they came… ‘Gay marriage – my thoughts and conclusions’

BREAKING NEWS: Gay marriage will not hurt anyone and as a society we should not have to waste time in Parliament debating basic human rights and equality.

gay-marriage

I want to open this with a poem by Martin Niemöller, the once supporter of the Nazi movement, who became disillusioned and led a group of clergymen to oppose Hitler and the Nazi party.

First they came…

First they came for the communists, and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a communist.

Then they came for the socialists, and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a socialist.

Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a Jew.

Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a Catholic.

Then they came for me, and there was no one left to speak for me.

Gay marriage – facts and questions about the countries that have enshrined this basic right in law

Did a plague of locusts come when gay marriage was made legal in Argentina?

Did Belgium stop chocolate production when it allowed two people to show their love through marriage?

Did South America go into meltdown when Brazil gave equal marriage rights?

Maple syrup dried up when Canada…oh, no, it didn’t…sorry.

Denmark gave their people gay marriage and they haven’t all emigrated in fear.

Despite protests from some, France allowed gay marriage and to my knowledge the Eiffel Tower still stands strong.

Iceland, well, you’d expect them to what with having a lesbian Prime Minister and all that.

Europe’s most liberal country, the Netherlands surprised no one when they welcomed equal marriage (and their canals didn’t flood, nor tulips die).

No straight person was forced into a gay marriage when New Zealand let their citizens chose.

In Norway it is a right-wing zealot, not over eager married gay people that has caused the country agonies.

The sun still shines on Portugal

And South Africa still produces reasonably palatable wine. By the way, that is South Africa who until 1994 segregated races, they beat us to the same sex marriage punch.

The gorgeous country that is Spain has only got more fabulous since they made same sex marriages legal.

Sweden still charge £10 a pint, despite giving their people even more to celebrate.

Finally, Uruguay the twice world cup winning nation allow two people to join together in marriage regardless of gender.

Bills allowing legal recognition of same-sex marriage have been proposed, are pending, or have passed at least one legislative house in Andorra, Colombia, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, Nepal, Taiwan, and the United Kingdom, as well as in the legislatures of several sub-national jurisdictions (in Scotland as well as parts of Australia, Mexico, and the United States). (Thank you Wikipedia!)

I don’t want to live in a divide and conquer society, I want us to all stand together and create a platform where we can work together and create a society to be proud of.

Civil partnerships for all

There have been a range of arguments against the introduction of gay marriage, including quite interestingly, the point that if gay people are allowed to marry, then straight people should be allowed civil partnerships.

I agree.

But…why not help push through gay marriage before trying to change civil partnership legislation? After all, civil partnerships were brought in primarily to provide a form of marriage that the straight ruling classes felt didn’t destroy the sanctity of marriage, while appeasing those wanting some kind of equality.

I would rather have a civil partnership because I am not religious and to me, marriage is a symbol of union before whichever god you choose to believe in. This is why I would like civil partnerships to have an equal footing to marriage because I’d like any potential spouse of mine to benefit from the financial privileges that come from marriage.

Civil partnerships – Sophie’s choice

Still, to those who say that to allow gay marriage we must at the same time allow civil partnerships for heterosexual couples, I say this:

If you were sat in a room with a starving child and you had a bowl of food, would you:

  1. Eat one bowl of food and not allow the starving child any?
  2. Eat one-half bowl of food and give the starving child the other half?
  3. Eat one-half bowl of food, offer the starving child the second-half of the bowl of food but only on the condition that they gave you something in return?

I’d like to think it would be choice 2. The choice where you focus on the greater good and form an equal playing field for all so that you can progress and take on challenges together.

Religion

I am a member of a secular society and I am respectful of an individuals life decision to follow a religion. Both the secular and religious communities have a responsibility to be respectful of others, and this includes the fact that some people are gay.

I read an article yesterday, which had a lot of support on Twitter, entitled: ‘As a Muslim, I struggle with the idea of homosexuality – But I oppose homophobia‘. I don’t feel that this article was a useful contribution to the debate, however honest and true, because I feel that it shouldn’t be needed as it is none of the writers business. He is not gay, no one is trying to marry him, and so why should he have to reconcile other peoples choices with his own choice.

As a person of no religion, I struggle with the concept of religion and people having a religion, while I do not struggle with anyone being gay.

But I understand that as part of a multi-cultural society that I must willingly respect others choices.

Being gay is not a choice. Having a religion is.

Churches shouldn’t be ‘forced’ to conduct gay marriages but if they don’t, then given that their remit is to love all of god’s children, as a collective of people we should examine their place in our society.

The sanctity of marriage

If you think that gay marriage will affect the sanctity of marriage, then, ARGH!

A report by the Office for National Statistics showed that the number of divorces in England and Wales in 2011 – the latest year published – was 117,558. Why does anyone think that gay marriage will ruin something that 34 per cent of are expected to break-down by the 20th year?

If you’re worried about gay marriage affecting the marriage that you have…probably best to worry about your own marriage.

How gay marriage affects you if you’re not a gay person looking to get married?

It doesn’t. It doesn’t in any way shape or form and will continue not to do so for the rest of your life.

So please just love and be loved, and let others be happy too.

My conclusion

I find it truly sad that I have felt compelled to stick my oar in because I don’t even think that these types of basic rights should be debated. I think that allowing gay marriage should be an absolute forgone conclusion. I do hope one day that marriage and civil partnerships dissolve so that there is no hierarchy of commitment, but instead just one where everyone can be equal.

Speak out, because one day they may come for your rights.

I want to close with the poem I began the post with…

First they came…

First they came for the communists, and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a communist.

Then they came for the socialists, and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a socialist.

Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a Jew.

Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a Catholic.

Then they came for me, and there was no one left to speak for me.

 

P.S. Norman Tebbit is an idiot. A lesbian queen and marrying his son…who elects these Lords…? Oh yeah…

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1 Comment

  1. Mmm. I think the Tory idea of a review of civil partnerships in five years makes sense. Perhaps all the gay people will still have civil partnerships instead of marriage, and straights will be clamouring for CPs. Perhaps no-one will want CPs and they will wither away. Find out what people want by seeing what they do.

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