As a proponent of radical equality, I believe that gay people should be able to enjoy the benefits of marriage and a family as equals. And the Commons vote on gay marriage left me cold.
Marriage is not the property of our 650 MPs. Predominantly male and middle-class, they are entirely unrepresentative of the 62.5 million inhabitants of the United Kingdom to whom marriage in this realm belongs. Marriage existed long before the first parliaments started popping up in the early middle ages, it predates recorded history and it may even predate religion.
A civilised society moves on – sometimes in leaps and bounds, sometimes slowly and painfully; the cause of gay rights has seldom been anything other than the latter. But by making gay marriage the subject of a legislative decision, organisations that feel they cannot marry gay people will now be subject to penalties under equality legislation: for example, a church or a synagogue that believes marriage should be defined as a union between a man and a woman will not be able to hire a publicly-owned venue because of discrimination issues, and may lose the right to run their own schools.
But let’s not kid ourselves that the law will be applied equally. No islamist will ever be penalised or prosecuted for denying gay people marriage. It’s not going to happen.
This debate was about David Cameron desperately trying to pretend that the British parliament still has the power to decide some issues despite the EU’s legislative acquisitiveness. Had he any will to spit in the face of Euro-fascism, he could have given us a chance to speak in a referendum. But referenda are inclusive exercises and as such Westminster and Brussels fear them like railway operators do leaves and snow: they are the wrong sort of democracy.
This Equality obsession is mad, bad and very dangerous - Charles Moore, the Telegraph
Where was Cameron for the gay marriage debate? - David Hughes, TElegraph blogs