I thought I would put in print my thoughts on Gay Marriage.
First, you might be wondering why I am interested in the subject at all. Albeit I have a handful of gay friends I do not consider myself particularly an activist for Gay rights. I have never felt the need to hastily daub a placard and take to the streets, on the other hand I recognise an injustice when I see one. I think this might give some weight to my side of the debate – I have no particular axe to grind, I am not hopping on any particular bandwagon for any personal benefit.
Despite being a churchgoer for many years until fairly recently, I am not a particularly religious person. I believe in the usefulness of the idea of God, for some people. I would not deny anyone this right. So I don’t have a particularly vested interest from the religious angle either. You could therefore say I am fairly impartial.
But as a heterosexual with no particular vested interest in gay marriage, some part of me knows deep down that denying a gay couple a religious ceremony of marriage is wrong.
- Some (small) part of me is pleased that Scotland is leading the way (again) in having the debate on the subject.
- Some (big) part of me felt angered when that lovely guy questioned Mitt Romney about the inequality in ‘spousal’ benefits for ex. servicepeople who happen to be gay.
- And some (huge) part of me was sickened when a couple took time out of their honeymoon to take a petition to Downing Street advocating continuing the ban on gay marriage.
It seems pretty terrible to me that we even have to have the debate. The ex. serviceman put it to Mr. Romney as eloquently as it could ever be put: when it comes to straight and gay couples “what the hell’s the difference?”. Not a trace of malice in him. He just wants equality.
What perplexes me a bit is why, when religious institutions have been so anti-gay for so long, would you want to get married to your same-sex partner in such an institution? This must be totally heartbreaking, and make you really question your faith, surely? I admit I do not fully understand, but I think it is your right to be treated equally.
I think nowadays if you have made it to your adult life as a gay individual you have probably already had more than your fair share of hard times. School is a tough place to be gay. ‘Coming out’ to your family (what a truly awful phrase – as if there is something shameful about you that should remain hidden) must be tough. If a gay couple want a church wedding, who are we to deny them? In reality, there is no ‘we’ and ‘them’, there is only ‘us’.
I have a sense that this issue (and similar ones of equality) may be the equivalent of my generation’s Rosa Parks moment. I, for one, would like history to record what side of the bus I was on. Part of my reason for starting an online presence was to leave a trail of my thoughts for my kids – I hope they know where I stand on this one.
I don’t know if any gay couples will read this, or find any comfort in my words if they do, but know this – a straight man with no vested interest other than what he feels is right is on your side.
I wish you the best of luck.