Tuesday, 5 February 2013

A point about the equal marriage debate...


It's just that I'm a stickler for these things. The debate - and the decision of parliament isn't about marriage it's about the institution of marriage. Let me explain.

Imagine that my partner (of whatever gender) and I decide to get married in the ancient pagan Armenian style by leaping over a fire. Maybe that good old Saxon way of jumping over a broomstick. Or a thousand other ways including wearing a big white dress and walking down the aisle.

At the end of this ceremony we are married. All the bits that we talk about - love, commitment, eternity - can be included. We can throw a bash - lashing of grub and gallons of good ale.

Except for one small detail. The government doesn't think us married. So all those privileges granted to married folk simply because they are married aren't granted to us. Jumping the fire won't suffice. We have to sign a register in front of witnesses and collect a piece of paper from the representative of government that says we're married.

The gay marriage thing is about this bit of bureaucratic procedure not the love, joy and commitment bit. If there were no privileges granted in law to married people then there would be no need for the piece of paper and no need for the debate. And no need for us to be bothered about who exactly is getting married to who.

And because it's about a piece of paper rather than love, commitment or eternal partnership, there is absolutely no justification for witholding the privilege that paper grants simply because the couple are both women or both men.



Anonymous said...

That's fine, provided that you do not call such a union 'marriage'. Call it what you like, but not marriage.
Oh, and why shouldn't three men or ten men get married to each other at the same time? And women, of course. And why not a man and all his pets? They could all be called 'marriage', if you like. I suppose that you could even marry a tree if you wish.

SadButMadLad said...

They already have that piece of paper. It's called a civil partnership. The same as civil marriage in all but name. And the only reason the name partnership was used was so as not to offend the religious.