Tuesday, 5 February 2013

marriage belongs to people, not Parliament

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.

Gerry Dorrian
300 words


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


  1. What SHOULD be the definition of marriage if not between one man and one woman? You cannot have laws unless the institution of marriage is to be defined. Is it between any two people who are not minors? Why only two? Cannot 3 people make a lifelong committment to each other. Wait a minute. I used a wrong word. Lifelong? Why not for as long as it is convenient to the participants? So why can't I marry my sister and her girlfriend (or boyfriend) as long as they are of legal age. Wait a minute. What is legal age? 18? 16? 14? I guess it just depends. Sorry I don't have any of those accounts below. I am at martin.zehnder@yahoo.com

  2. I believe that the gold standard is for marriage to be lifelong. As a straight man I do not understand how it would feel to be attracted to somebody of my own gender, but I suppose gay people feel the same way about being attracted to people of the opposite gender. Why do gay feelings exist? I don't know, but they exist and their owners are every bit as human as any straight person.

    History has shown that people were wrong to deny the vote to non-property-owning men and to women. I believe history will show that we were wrong to deny marriage to gay people. But I stand by what I said: marriage is not the property of a bunch of MPs: this should have went to a referendum.

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