Not that it's in anyway dominating the headlines at the moment but something has come to my attention that I think it's important to address on the marriage equality debacle; the reports that the Coalition for Marriage have been able to get over 300,000 signatures on their petition to protect the definition of marriage as a union between one man and one woman. Rumours aside as to how they've managed to amass such a huge number of signatures on a petition covering an issue that, even I will say as a gay man is not the biggest thing going on in politics right now; it really isn't about the numbers.
When something's right, it's right. Numbers don't matter. This isn't about what the majority want (and forgiving the numbers previously mentioned, I don't think inequality is what the majority wants anymore.) The fact of the matter is, in this country marriage does not belong to the Church. I would never agree that it does in any circumstances anyway because as I've said before, marriage in one form or another existed before many organised religions did. It's been hijacked really. Let's boil it right down - two people who love each other and want to show commitment to each other in the accepted and traditional ritual of the present time deserve to do so. We're not in caves anymore. It's not about procreation and the controlling religious rules that go with religious marriage, it's about recognising that any 2 consenting adults (not related, I should add, before the nutters bring up the apparently impending incest problem we're going to have) deserve absolute equality in the eyes of the law as a minimum in being able to participate in said ritual.
Another point we need to get out is this; it's about furthering equality for the LGBT community in general. And in disagreement with other opinions I've read recently, I fully believe that these opposing groups are very aware of that fact and see this, more or less final hurdle for our rights as a massive blow to their intentions of keeping inequality alive and well. My recently blogged Open Letter speaks of holding hatred close to oneself in order to be so outspoken as to deny fellow human beings some basic rights for no justifiable reason. While delusional hatred is certainly obvious in other countries, in the UK I think we're looking more at some form of active contempt really. What else could possibly lie behind such a fervent campaign to stop the legal definition of marriage being changed than, well, they just don't like gays very much and think we should be quiet and be grateful for what we've already been given and get back in our boxes. Our mythical, hedonistic, partying ways are just a bit too 'bleurgh' for some people's minds to deal with. Given that the aforementioned lifestyle in question is obviously lived out by so many more straight men and women than gay, and being gay or straight or bi or trans is only one part of what makes a person a, well, person I'd have to say its an obsessive step in the wrong direction!
I do appreciate the most quoted thing David Cameron said in his support of gay marriage equality (despite my feelings on our government, I can't not show my support here can I) in that he supports gay marriage not in spite of being a Conservative but because he's a Conservative. After all a headline argument for the prevention of gay people being able to marry is that it will destroy family life as we know it. What a load of cobblers. Marriage is still a massive part of family life and extending this right to everyone who should have it surely will only serve to help protect the idea of 'married family life'. After all, the people that want to get married want that life, they're not out to change the idea of it. Balancing this out are oodles of straight people that don't believe the institution of marriage is right for them and they want the right to have a Civil Partnership so they can still legally protect their family unit and have the same securities but in a way that means more to them, there are still many gay people that prefer this to marriage. I think this should also be opened up if marriage is going to include gay people. Do whatever it takes to keep family life alive and well I say, don't use a dislike for homosexuals to keep it in downward motion without a really good justification, that just makes the nay-sayers look out of touch and inflexible.
The bottom line is this; the laws have to change first for something to start to become normalised. As time goes by most attitudes in our society will adjust as people realise that the world around them isn't falling apart because two people of the same gender can sign a marriage certificate together. Equality is for everyone, and its happening people.