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Gay Marriage - An Issue of Conscience

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The man in charge of the land of the free (not Donald Trump) rocked up to ABC News earlier this month and told America gay marriage should be legal. Earlier this week the leader of this great country had a spokesperson issue a statement declaring gay marriage was a government commitment.

This week, Number 10 announced that MPs will be allowed a free vote on gay marriage because like abortion, equal marriage was "an issue of conscience". Why does our government seem to act on sexuality as if it's a lifestyle choice? Nothing says choose me more than social exclusion, risk of losing family, friends, abuse and attacks that even in the UK in 2011 lead to death.

A free vote will mean MPs are able to vote as they wish without scrutiny of their party leader, which has left many on the left worried the bill will not be passed, but it is still thought that the vote will go through. Are we supposed to believe that MPs like home secretary Teresa May who has previously voted against the age of consent (1998) and against adoption rights for homosexuals (2002 but later "changed her mind" on BBC Question Time) will allow us mere homosexuals marriage?

My Mum and Dad have been together for 28 years and are what American immigration shouts across JFK airport "a common law". They have seen their friends meet, marry, break up, make up, divorce and often remarry quicker than they could get through US immigration, and have stood by their decision not to marry but importantly made this decision as a couple. Unlike my folks, I would like to marry my boyfriend but unlike my parents this choice is out of my hands because of my given sexuality.

If I'm being honest I love the idea of gay marriage and not because I am one of them, allowing gays to marry (as opposed to gay marriage) subverts the idea of what a marriage is, what it means and what it can be, not to mention radicalising the gendered roles of a husband and a wife, all of which makes me excited. It also feels about time, when I told my Roman Catholic nan we couldn't marry she was shocked to think I wasn't seen as a good person in the eyes of the law (cue aww).

Peter Thatchell raises and interesting argument on his Twitter asking Cameron if he would put forward a free vote on race equality? No. But this echo's my hypothesis that government think sexuality is a preference.

As attractive as the idea of waking up and asking myself what sexuality do I fancy being today, this isn't the case. What I find more interesting than people in suits pretending they are doing the right thing is the anger my heterosexual friends have towards inequality in marriage, in fact I know more heterosexuals who have posted rants on their Facebook status' than my homosexualist mates - is gay marriage an issue for the gays?

We were thrown civil partnerships back in 2004, a convenient half way house that wouldn't rock the boat too much and of course my community lapped it up. Was I the only queer who thought we were being fobbed off? I'm aware I'm asking more questions than I am answering, but I'm baffled the decision of equal anything is still controversial in 2012.

Will gay marriage be approved? Who knows but I hope the MPs bring their issue of consciousness to the party. The only thing you can guarantee are the front pages of the right wing press printing "First Gay Divorce - Told You It Wouldn't Work!'

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