Tuesday, 11 October 2011

The Real Marriage Equality Battle Has Begun

The Scottish consultation on religious civil partnerships and marriage equality makes the Westminster version look positively backward. Whilst Westminster has categorically stated what can and cannot be involved in the consultation, the Scottish Executive has been a lot more open in allowing a more frank discussion on FULL marriage equality.

And this means that the opposition, that dark conservative grouping of Telegraph journalists and Catholic priests and all the miserable souls in between, has moved from grumbling to action.

For years the fight has simply been to get marriage equality on the agenda. The Stonewall controversy, the lobbying of politicians, the endless debates with civil partnership fanatics; these were all just about getting everybody singing from the same hymn book. Now the real battle has begun in the north, and the opposition of the Catholic Church ironically makes it far easier to argue the case for marriage equality. Now the weak links in the LGBT rights cause will have to toughen up and start fighting back. Thank you Archbishop Mario Conti!

You can read his full statement from the weekend here, but one thing that interests me, as a libertarian leaning sort, was this particular statement:

However the question would not be asked were it not for the increasing acceptance, wittingly or unwittingly, of a particular ideology which considers all structures and ethical systems as inimical to human freedom.  It places personal autonomy above even physical realities so that, for example, the very determination of one’s own sex and gender is regarded as an issue of choice – even a supposed human right.

This is one of the telling differences between his world view and my own. Whilst the anarchist world view of no structures at all seems to fly in the face of the realities of the human condition, the idea that choosing how we wish to live our life, how our bodies look and how we describe ourselves is somehow wrong boggles my mind. Who does he think he is to tell others that they must live their lives exactly how he wants them to live and to not aim to improve themselves in anyway they wish? This authoritarian arrogance is the achilles heel of the opposition's case, and should be exploited as much as possible.

His plan to encourage the Catholic voters of Scotland to block vote is another sign of the Catholic Church's desperate desire for power over individuals and Government's. I suspect the Catholic voters of Scotland are more intelligent and independent than their Church leadership gives them credit for.

The basic premise of the argument against marriage equality is that "same sex advocates" are involved in a conspiracy (get those tin foil hats ready) to change the meaning of marriage and undermine society in general. As far as supervillian plans go, it seems very uninspiring. But that's the funny thing. Far from wanting to undermine marriage, most marriage equality supporters want to get join and thus support that very conservative institution of marriage. As Chris Ashford says in an article regarding a Telegraph hate piece:

Moore reminds us that the 'victories' of gay marriage/same-sex marriage are in fact about the incorporation of homosexuals to heteronormative institutions. These acts of 'progress' are not about a fundamental re-appraisal of the marriage construct, which remains inherently conservative.  As such, these attacks by the likes of Moore can act as a 'smokescreen', creating a reaction among LGBTQ activists to argue for same-sex marriage - if the nuts are against it, we must be for it.
It's time to get dug in and start the fight for marriage equality, for what is happening in Scotland is bound to be repeated here in the south. Scottish readers should respond the consultation, and the rest of us should begin a letter writing frenzy!

If you feel benevolent and particularly generous, this writer always appreciates things bought for him from his wishlist

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