This is prompted by Arch Bishop Sentamu’s statement (27th January 2010) that ‘Marriage’ is not for same sex couples. Why this is news or controversial makes me sigh – but let’s have a bit of common sense shall we?
For me, the religious definition matters not except for the simple fact that ‘Marriage’ is culturally defined as being between a man a woman, usually for the creation of the nuclear family and for the production of children.
That is what ‘most’ people expect ‘marriage’ to mean and don’t even question or think about it. Most of us born in this country, over the age of 30ish, are cultural christians whether we like the idea or not – it is reality.
The complication is a legal and a political one where gay couples in a long term relationship wanted the same legal protection and political recognition as do married couples, so, in 2004, we got ‘Civil Partnership’ – ta dum – job done!
In time, I would expect that ‘Civil Partnership’ would quite rationally and reasonably be extended to include opposite sex partnerships and “Marriage” would be retained by the religiously inclined and by those who don’t really care but who do like the churchy marriage ‘thing’.
So then – just what is the problem ..?
Could it be that …
- religion is trying to maintain its grip on unreality and social power
- coalition politics is trying to be “cool” with the gay wing of the liberal democrat party
- some high profile gays are saying that gay marriage is quite normal and a human right – well it is not ‘normal’ in any sense that the person on the Clapham omnibus would find normal
None of the commentators are being honest about the subject or, it seems, open to rational debate.