A month and a half ago, I wrote a blog on Equal Marriage – or the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill – that was then being debated in the House of Commons. This was a blog mainly on how disgusted I felt on the many Conservative MP‘s who felt the need to stand in the House of Commons and spew bile and hatred on same-sex couples.
I also expressed my opposition to having Same Sex Marriage.
Now, with the second reading of the bill in Parliament, and having a few and lengthy debates on Twitter on the issue, I would like to slightly amend my earlier stated opinion.
I still believe that ‘marriage’ is a religious covenant that should be performed in Church and as such should only be between a man and a woman. I do not feel that we should, via the state or in law, allow this form of marriage to change to allow same-sex couples to marry. I understand that there are many homosexual people who do have a strong sense of faith and feel that not being able to marry in the eyes of the Lord is unequal, and I do accept this. There is inequality in same-sex couples not being able to marry in Church, and this is wrong. However, being brought up a Christian and a member of the Church of England, I have always be taught and informed that to be a homosexual is abhorrent and that I’ll be damned upon my death.
For many years, I grew up feeling scared over being gay. I had this fear reinforced and multiplied each, and every, Sunday when attending Sunday School and Sunday Services in Church. I was sure that God could see into my mind and was making note of all the deviant little thoughts I was having over many of my male school friends, and that he was saving up many horrors and punishments for when I died.
Entering adulthood and developing a strong and forthright, though slightly cynical, mind, I came to understand that religion and faith was more a personal issue than a reality and that I had decided that my scientific mind could not rectify the existence of a God or Divine Creator. But this does not take away the hundreds and hundreds of years of history and strong institutions that were created to reinforce and offer guidance on faith and religion. For many people, my mother included, the Church and Faith offer help and give strength in time of difficulty and triumph. I understand and accept everyone’s opinion on faith and their right to express their religious beliefs. But one of the Christian beliefs is that man shall not lie with man. That homosexuality is wrong and you will never find redemption or access to heaven through committing sin.
So I ask this question. Why should I want to stand up in a church, in front of God, to declare my love for the person I love when the Church I am standing in, declaring my love to God, that do not recognise my choice in partner and lover?
I have stated before that marriage is between a man and a woman. But I would like to amend this as being marriage in Church be between a man and a woman. I feel that a religious ceremony in a religious setting should adhere to the precepts and teachings of said religion.
I have no objections or reservations with civil marriages, or civil partnerships. I actively support them. What I feel would be of a better debate and change in the law is to make civil partnership a civil marriage and allow the same-sex couples to have a civil marriage in law with the same rights and connotations in society. Under the current law, same-sex partners in a civil partnership do have the same rights and privileges in law as a different-sex couple in civil, and religious marriage. The only difference is that same-sex couples are not allowed to call the union a marriage. This is the part of law that should be changed, and only this part. This would remove some of the inequality over marriage. It would not totally remove the inequality, but I believe that unless the Church makes radical changes in its precepts and practices we can never have total equality and our government must not make a law that forces religious institutions to make these changes. Or should our government make it illegal for the Church of England or Wales to conduct a same-sex marriage should these changes be made.
However the law will change over the next few months, I hope many of my gay friends can understand my difference to this #Equalmarriage debate and realise I am not against being gay or not having equality for gay people, I just find it hypocritical to want to have a religious marriage where many religions do not accept my lifestyle.
- British Parliament to vote on same-sex marriage (cbc.ca)
- Equal Marriage: An Open Letter to MPs (iaindale.com)
- Gay marriage bill: the key questions – Channel 4 News (channel4.com)
- #EqualMarriage – Do we really need this…? (musingsofamildmanneredman.com)
- Why is same sex marriage so controversial? (newstatesman.com)