The Church is dead against, Conservatives are dead for, and gay people are still not being heard. They want neither special treatment nor quasi-religious homophobia. They desire to be left alone and get married. In my libertarian opinion, the reason why the matter is still so excruciatingly unsettled is the problem with interpreting legal documents, and the Church’s unquenchable desire to interfere with people’s souls and hearts.
First things first, though, let us return to the Home Office’s consultation paper, which was the primary cause for such a maelstrom of opinionated verbal abuse and equality-justified rebuttals. In the paper (you know, the black-on-white, hardcopy, wood recycling product with legal, real-life, accountable power), it clearly states that the government proposes two main things among all others. One: “To allow same-sex couples to marry in a register office or other civil ceremony”, and two: “To maintain the legal ban on same-sex couples marrying in a religious service’. Now, I may bring myself to understand the Church’s urge to challenge the first point due to considerations of morality and common human values (which, of course, in their own right are highly debatable and intrinsically individual). However, they seem to oppose the whole thing, and argue that should gay marriage be religiously acknowledged, it will initiate a disastrous and inevitably escalating process of general moral decline in the United Kingdom. Meanwhile, legal prohibition of same-sex couple marriage in a church is an actual fact in the document. Personally, I am bound to consider the argument slightly undermined if issued by people who appear to twist the debate and perform an elaborately vocalised tag of war. Seriously, you have to read carefully into something you intend to denounce internationally.
Also, the haters seem to completely miss the distinction between being committed and married to a loved one, and being committed and in need of some spiritual appreciation of this commitment. If the power vested in you by the Creator doesn’t allow for two people in love to devote themselves to each other for their lifetime (which is what any marriage is essentially about), fine, just don’t deny them their right to do so in some less indoctrinated place. So, being married and being blessed are two distinct and far too indirectly related domains.
The claim that gay marriage will necessarily call for the re-definition of the whole term does sound unsettling. For people entirely deprived of any kind of historical perspective, that is. The job of re-definition has been continually and legally done for at least 40 years now, since the Divorce Reform Act was passed in 1971. Most importantly, people may take vows of eternal love in front of the altar, but how do vicars, priests and bishops know what’s really going on in those heterosexual minds? Marriage, after all, is also about social status, property, partnership, financial security, personal insecurity and many other things. So, why marry heterosexual people for undisclosed reasons and not homosexuals for the cause of love?
The Church may have the authority to determine what’s right or wrong, but it deigns to humour only Christians, while the government strives for the equal treatment of all people in this case.
Finally, there was a time when women were held to be witches, the Earth was perceived to be flat and James Bond thought that homosexuals couldn’t whistle. Will the Church’s argument be valid in a decade? I think you can deduce my answer by now.