Friday, 23 March 2012

One Bad Argument Against Marriage Equality And One Sensible One(!)

Two Tories. Two arguments against marriage equality. Two completely different views. Shall we take a look? Just to screw with our chronology let's start with the most recent one first. Sir Roger Gale, MP for North Thanet here in Kent, has come out against marriage equality quite forcefully in the most recent edition of the Thanet Extra (available online for this week only here on page 14). His arguments against are, sadly for him, flimsy.
Last week I was asked by a party colleague, a gentle man who I respect and like, why I wanted to stop him and his same-sex partner from being blessed in his Catholic church. 
My answer was that it is for precisely the same reason that I and my wife and soul-mate, Suzy, were united in a registry office and not by the Anglican Church of which I am proud to be a member. 
As a divorcee I may not re-marry in my church. Those are the laws of my faith. I acknowledge them and I do not wish to change them for my own convenience. 
The inference, though, is clear: my parliamentary friend does not want a registry office wedding. He wants the right to be married in church and the holy law excludes that possibility.
He doesn't elaborate on whether his colleague's Catholic church was willing to marry him or not. Instead he infers that "wanting the right" to be married in church is equivalent to forcing a church to marry you. These two propositions are not the same thing. There may well be a few activists out there who might wish to force some unwilling church to marry them but they are few and far between. I certainly don't expect his "gentle" colleague to be the sort to want this. In any case the consultation doesn't allow them to even try, and any future legislation would (I have no doubt) allow any church to refuse to marry whomsoever they wish not to marry. It's a red herring of an argument and one I'd call dishonest if I wasn't being polite. The next argument is again given no context and no proposal for another solution offered.
Additionally, we are told, the Liberal Democrat Equalities Minister, presumably with the support of the government, wishes to re-write history and tradition and literature and official forms and to remove from the lexicon the words “husband and wife” because these words encapsulate the very fact that marriage is a union between a man and a woman. 
This takes “equality” into a realm that is almost Stalinist in its “political correctness”. If weare to re-construct official and business documentation and to replace “Husband and Wife” with “spouses” and “partners” where will this stop? 
Will Shakespeare and Milton and The Holy Bible be rewritten also? Will only “correctly” expurgated literature be allowed to be used in the classroom? Do not try to portray this as fanciful. 
Children’s literature has been sanitised in the interests of other “equalities” and this, if it is allowed to pass, will follow.
Well why would they want to do this? Because otherwise laws would make no legal sense. This isn't about forcing people not to call each other husband and wife, many same sex couples will consist of husbands or wives after all, just about making sure the law applies equally to all. Perhaps that might things seem a little more sane than the idea of some evil Liberal Democrat (could you not hear him spitting when he wrote those two words?) desperate to take change the very nature of reality to serve their Stalinist desire to rewrite Shakespeare.

Rewrite history? Not very old history, as marriage wasn't actually set as being between a man and a woman until the 1970s (the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973.

Special shout out for the mention of "political correctness". I felt the urge to grab a tin-foil hat when I read that. But the last time I checked Parliament doesn't get much of a say in the content of the works of Shakespeare or the Bible (although as we saw above Sir Gale presents himself as an expert on what is and what isn't "holy law").

It's so shrill, dishonest and lazy that one has to take a step back and realise this is about letting two people marry each other and not some sort of New World Order plot to upset Sir Roger Gale.

P.S. If anyone can let me know what books have been amended by our Stalinist overlords I'd be really glad to know of them.

Now to our second slightly earlier argument from Steve Baker MP. It's an article that is against marriage equality but actually proposes a different way forward. I have to say I absolutely agree with the aims, just not which path to take to get there. Have a read of "It’s time to denationalise marriage". Message to UKIP; that is how one does a libertarian argument against marriage equality!

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

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