So, first the cliche. I’m not homophobic, but…

And really, I’m not. Live and let live is my philosophy. Oh, and ‘thou shalt not suffer a liar to live’, or at least get much peace.

What’s been bugging me about the issue of gay marriage, though, is that in this country, we had a perfectly workable solution to the problem of homosexuals who wanted the same legal securities as married couples, re inheritance rights in the event of a partner’s death, and of course, that all-important right to divvy up property in the event of a relationship going south. That solution was the civil partnership. Some people even thought it might be of use in the case of, say, spinsters sisters, who could also benefit from formal recognition of their effectively exclusive relationship.

The great thing about the civil partnership was that it sidetracked the religious issue of matrimony, that marriage is specifically intended as a precursor to having children, and two people of the same sex can’t have children, so… Sure, they can adopt, even use a sperm donor, or a surrogate mother, so at least half the DNA involved is their own, but it’s still not exactly what ‘marriage’ is about.

So, with civil partnerships in the bag, you might think the calls for gay marriage are pretty irrelevant, and there are many homosexuals who agree, although I think some of them would rather just let ‘partnership’ and ‘marriage’ become interchangeable terms in common usage, so that gay marriage slips in through the back door. So to speak. 

What I think is that marriage is a pretty archaic institution that has survived to the present day, with scrapes and bruises, because it does accomplish something, re stability. Maybe not as much as before (though the changes haven’t all been downside), but something. Whatever it is still worth, though, may not withstand the pressure of this latest attempt to ‘modernise’ it. Campaigners should just accept that this institution is the churches’ dummy, or comfort blanket, and let them have it. It’s more use to them, and through them to us, if they keep it. 

 

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