Marriage Equality or Marriage Apartheid?

Typical indecisive liberal Libran, I’m all in a silly tizz. I just can’t make my mind up about the Government’s marriage equality law. Just for the record, the proposal is to legalise same sex civil marriage (a good thing) but will enshrine in the Law the notion that religious marriage is only between a man and a women (a bad thing). Presumably, this is a typically British fudge to placate the lofty preachy men who’ve got their cassocks in a twist. One minute I think I just can’t support this daft nonsense that will introduce a kind of marriage apartheid. The next minute I think that this is a step in the right direction. Maybe it won’t matter as the Government seem to be running scared of the blue-rinse brigade and getting cold feet anyway. The proposed Act has been kicked into the long grass by being dropped from this year’s Queen’s Speech which sets out the Government’s legislative agenda for the coming Parliamentary session. This smacks of political cowardice. It will be left to the Scots (as usual) to lead the equalities charge.

The law may eventually pass and, if it does, I suspect the dust will settle and people will wonder what all the fuss was about. Perhaps an amendment will then be carried to remove the discriminatory religious marriage clause and allow all those religious organisations who wish to conduct ceremonies for same sex couples to do so. Maybe then the preachy men will turn their attention to something more worthwhile like world peace and eradicating child abuse.

Interestingly, in Turkey, a Muslim majority country, religious marriage is not recognised by the State. As a secular republic, anyone wishing to marry (that’s opposite sex couples only, obviously) must do so in a State registry office. Those who are religious have their union blessed by an imam, priest, rabbi, etc.

While the debate rages on, take a look at the video of men in uniforms.

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Home Office Consultation on Marriage Equality

I’ve just responded to the British Home Office consultation on same sex marriage. As I understand it, the original proposal was to make us all equal under the Law by allowing same sex secular marriage (replacing and/or supplementing civil partnerships) and to enable those religious organisations that wished to conduct a religious ceremony for same sex couples to do so. The Quakers really wanted their oats on this one: our Friends were at the forefront of agitating for reform. They will be disappointed; a collective ‘tut, tut’ will echo around the polite meeting houses of Blighty. Why? Because the proposed statute will introduce civil marriage equality but will also enshrine in law the notion that religious marriage is between a man and a woman only. Presumably, this typically British fudge is a concession to the meddlesome priests who think they have the divine right to call the shots. This is absurd. Where’s Henry the Eighth when you need him? Either there is marriage equality or there isn’t. A religious ceremony isn’t right for me but to deny it to the religious isn’t right either.

If there is to be a two-tier marriage system can we also have a two-tier tax system where I pay less for fewer rights? A kind of citizen-rights lite.

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