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Stay out of people’s private lives

In the grand scheme of things – and in a real world where innocents are slaughtered in their schoolrooms and homelessness, abject poverty and hunger live cheek by jowl with eyewatering wealth – it matters not a jot.

Gay marriage. Come on, be honest. What’s the fuss?

Dozens of MPs and peers have signed up to a cross-party alliance opposed to Government plans to legislate for same-sex marriages.

In total, 58 parliamentarians – including 35 Tory MPs – have put their names to an open letter warning ministers they have no mandate for proposed changes to vows made in hope and faith at the altar, in a hotel ballroom, hot air balloon or under a canopy in the back garden.

Seems to me ministers have no mandate to interfere with the intensely personal detail of individual lives and loves under any circumstances – though they do rather prefer to assume every aspect of life, from boardroom to bedroom, has to be licensed by their laws.

It doesn’t. It never could be.

The complainers, now gathering to scupper David Cameron’s support for same sex marriage, state angrily that at the last election no party stood on a platform to redefine marriage, none included it in a manifesto, nor did it feature in the coalition’s programme for government.

Well, of course not. Neither should it have done. How two people in love choose to share their lives of mutual respect and support is nobody’s business but their own.

And as for redefining marriage, is anyone suggesting that should be the case? Extending its reach, as a commitment from which anyone can benefit isn’t redefinition – it’s a natural and generous correction of a now outdated limitation.

Although Tory MPs have been promised a free vote on the issue, there is deep anger among traditionalists in the party, who say it is out of step with the instincts of their natural supporters and is driving away the activists they need to campaign for them.

Ah, so there we have it. Fusty old stick-in-the-muds are in danger of defecting to UKIP. This isn’t about love, life, tradition or faith. It’s about majorities and lost deposits at the next election.

Even the most traditional of traditionalists must concede that how two people opt to conduct their shared lives impacts on nobody other than each other.

The tradition of marriage is same sex anyway, isn’t it? You marry and have the same sex for the rest of your life... didn’t quite catch on as fully intended for heterosexuals, did it?

For those same sex couples who want nothing more than to live together in matrimony, rather than partnership, I wish you luck. My straight marriage failed – may yours do a whole lot better.

Have your say

What is all this fuss about same sex marriage and the redefinition of the term marriage? All you heteros forget that Henry VIII fought hard to redefine the institute of marriage by wanting a divorce from Catherine of Aragon. People are hiding too much behind their religion to justify why 2 committed people should be allowed to live in matrimony. But they forget that they like to cherry pick from what the teachings of christianity really are. If homosexuality were against 'Gods law' then why was it left out of the 10 commandments? And by christians (and other religions) own beliefs, God does not make mistakes so then homosexuality is in Gods will. Its amazing how heterosexuals think that by letting gays marry, they will interfere in how they live their own lives. Lets face it, me marrying my partner of 9 years is really going to affect how you watch Emmerdale, Coronation Street and any other crap that you are all tuned into every night.

Posted by Shaun B - expat on 14 January 2013 at 18:35

Hi Bob. No tarring was involved - my comment was pretty open-ended, if read objectively. I wasn't demanding tolerance for my views, I was just writing them down. You seem to have taken my comment a little too personally, given that you start your comment to me with an ad-hominem attack (liberal bigots like 'Expat marra').

Labeling people (eg "liberal bigots") is a form of "tarring with the same brush" which you accuse me of doing. However, most people won't fit squarely within just one label, because humans are complex animals.

In your second paragraph you seem to feel that calling someone a "bigot" is an insult.. erm, 'scuse me, what did you refer to me as? And lets move on to your suggestion that the term "racist" is an insult.

We have an interesting conundrum here - lets say that person A shouts a racist taunt at person B. Person B then calls person A a racist.

How is this an insult? It is simply a statement of fact as seen from person B's viewpoint. Is it an insult from person A's point of view? If so why? Is it because person A is indeed a racist but tries to pretend they aren't, and hates being called out on it? The same goes for the term "homophobe". These are not insults, they are definitions of human behaviour which many people think of as uncivilised.

Your final sentence -

"Being against same sex marriage ... is not an example of an irrational fear of homosexual." (sic).

I don't know how you worked that out - if you listen to the far right wing over in America, you definitely get the impression that they are scared that gay marriage will ruin straight marriages in some strange undefinable way. And the fact that they can't define it, in among their righteous ranting, tells me that they do indeed have an an irrational fear of homosexuality.

Posted by Expat Marra on 31 December 2012 at 20:13

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