I'm no stranger to same-sex marriage arguments. My Colombian partner and I had differing opinions of our own civil partnership sandwiched between the Olympics and Paralympics. The contentious topic? The inclusion of a mariachi band at our reception. We managed to overcome those cultural differences in favour of a life long commitment to each other.
Petty you might say, yes - but consider the laughable statements against same-sex marriage or those who have made sweeping statements on behalf of gay men and women. We supposedly do not want equal marriage and did you know that same-sex marriage will pave the way for polygamy?
I have to wonder if those who said, and those who have risen to these ridiculous statements want to encourage rational discussion and debate or if they're grabbing headlines and column inches for their own profile. And with same-sex marriage proposals now made public I'm worried that those same voices are quick to dismiss the advances of equality the proposals lay out.
A 'hear, hear' for David Cameron - those plans should be celebrated by the gay community, but I have a feeling the most militant of us won't be cosying up to the Conservative party just yet. But can we take a step back and acknowledge that equality can't happen overnight? It should, but it takes time and railroading of individuals or institutions will, in the long run, require much more earth moving to dig their heels out.
Whilst I'm not in favour of voting on equality, I support Cameron's free vote. As I've already mentioned, it's been mistaken by some backbench Tories as license to demonstrate intolerance and out of touch views of a Party that introduced Section 28 banning schools and councils from recognising the LGBT community - and those views will certainly be used against any Party or person in upcoming elections.
Maria Miller has only recently changed her tune from suggesting that we, the gay community, would have "locks" placed on our "freedom" - reworded to "legal locks" - to protect and appease the Church. Confusing statements coming from the minister whose remit is to promote equality and freedom. Is she really on our side?
So, I say it's time to take a break and "celebrate not discriminate" as shadow equalities minister Yvette Cooper rightly said. For those who have been vocal against gay marriage to now support or simply accept the view of the majority of the House of Commons and that of the British people who are broadly in favour of same-sex marriage. And for those questioning whatever motivation David Cameron might have in pledging to legalise same-sex marriage, the fact is, he's doing it and with that equality wins.
The mariachi band was canned. I hope same-sex marriages won't be.
Photo (c) Laura Macarto
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