Threatens Marriage – Oh No It Doesn’t
I spent part of today listening to the House of Commons debate on the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill and how very revealing it was. It was, perhaps, the only debate where the electorate have had an opportunity to identify just what kind of person their elected MP is.
Whether hero and supporter of equality and freedom, fence sitter who practices ‘positive abstentions’ (whatever that means) or someone who repeats the cant and hypocrisy about how society will be damaged by those who enter into the commitment of a ‘same sex marriage’.
The argument that same-sex marriages will undermine the traditional male/female marriage is ridiculous and, as someone who is approaching the 30 year mark, I’m trying and failing to understand how two people of the same-sex who get married will weaken my marriage.
Interestingly at least one advocate of this outcome of passing the legislation is on his third marriage. Others have very public records of adultery, and one made it clear that he was in favour of traditional marriage values despite having had children out-of-wedlock! It seems some of our representatives pick and choose which values they practice, and which values they expect from society.
As someone who served in the Royal Navy for over 22 years, during a period when gay servicemen were subject to Courts Martial, prison and dishonourable discharge from the service (a discrimination that didn’t apply to women serving) I was pleased when the Government ended the discriminatory practice.
It was a change which recognised that gender has no place in determining how well a person can do their job, or contributes to society.
The argument which is based on religion, particularly the idea that the legislation would water down or invalidate existing biblical scripture or beliefs also holds little weight.
To start with, for hundreds of years marriages didn’t involve a religious or even civil ceremony. Instead it was just two people who lived and who were recognised as being together.
It is only in relatively modern times historically that marriage has developed into the form we see today.
I have to say, and it is only a personal view, that to see some MP’s talk about the bill being an attack on religious freedom, especially those who for years practised the exclusion of people from employment solely on the basis of their religion, was enough to have me passing Anglo-Saxon comments at the television.
The vote saw 140 Conservatives voting against their own Governments Bill and, when added to those 40 who abstained, over half of the Conservatives failed to support their own bill.
More importantly they failed to exercise the opportunity to prove that they are a party of the 21st century, who believe that people should be treated with respect and equality rather than being stigmatised and banished to the margins as ‘not quite right’.
It sadly shows an entrenched systemic attitude that we see extended into other areas of their policies. It was right for Labour to support the bill and a vote of 400 for and 175 against shows clearly that it is Labour who are listening to people.
It isn’t same sex marriages that are a threat to marriages, but the failing economic policies of George Osborne that is putting marriages and families under enormous pressure.
And as more and more of them are facing up to the reality of having to live below the poverty line, and while we must continue to strive for equality for all; the debate, surely, must now turn to defeating the economic inequality present across all ages, races, genders and faiths.
After the performance in the House of Commons by many today, it surely would make for gripping viewing.