There is a constant argument going on in the background of our society about whether same-sex marriage should be allowed or not, an argument recently fuelled by David Cameron saying that he supports the idea. Most Christians (by Christians I mainly mean CofE), of course, don’t like the idea because their religion is homophobic and the lefty liberals want it because they don’t understand equality. My view, stands somewhere in the middle of both.
I believe in equality as it should be, equality of opportunity. Equality does not mean that we all have to be in the same situation all the time, it means that we all have the opportunity to do the same things without the decision being based on traits that are inherent to them and that they possessed from birth, such as skin colour or gender or sexuality. Equality inherently includes freedom and our individual rights to believe whatever the hell we like no matter how stupid the rest of the world may find it. The number of people in the world leaves us with an awkward dilemma when it comes to avoiding the infringement of other people’s rights, particularly when it comes to organised groups such as religion.
I don’t like organised religion and I don’t like the hate that they spread. This is particularly relevant in the argument for gay marriage because the only reason that hardcore Christians don’t believe in gay marriage is that they are homophobic and horribly repressed. However, I do find myself agreeing with the principle of not allowing same-sex marriage.
The reason is that I think Christians should be allowed to keep the word marriage. To be fair to them, it has traditionally been a Christian ceremony with a vicar and a church and all that jazz. So let Christians have their marriage, and call it something else when done outside of religion. I became legally bound to Blip in a registry office, so I shouldn’t be considered married either. For those of us who don’t want the Christian connotations to our wedding, there should be a different term and where same sex couples want to be legally bound they should fit under this as well. If we keep the system how it is we are directly going against the principle of equality of opportunity because we are allowing marriage for people only as long as they are the right gender and that's just spiteful. There is no reason to hate people just because they find people of their same gender attractive, sexuality is something that is inherent to each individual and no matter how hard people try to hate the idea of different sexualities their existance won't change and it won't stop not being any different from hating a person just because their skin is a little too dark or a little too pale. What other people do in their private life has no impact on anyone other than the people in that particular relationship and so judging their rights purely on this one factor has no logic to it.
The idea of this is to give everyone the opportunity to be faithful to their beliefs. I would hope that the decline of religion in this country would lead to a majority of people not being married, but rather falling under this other term leading to an increased opportunity for equality without letting Christian hate get in the way but at the same time without infringing on their rights to believe whatever they want.
If marriage is to retain its meaning and yet we all want to continue disagreeing with the CofE, we have to move on without them rather than constantly trying to fight with them and change their already made-up minds. Despite their rather fishy origins, the church believes in a heavy amount of tradition and they are always going to clash with modern society so maybe it’s time to stop complaining that they don’t keep up with society and instead simply move forwards and leave them to it. If we change our system of legally binding people together to fit more closely with those people who get married outside of church in a registry office or a stately home or whatever, by changing the term by which we refer to them while keeping their legal status the same as a current married couple, we can move forwards as a society and work towards stopping the stigma of same-sex marriage without going against other people’s beliefs. If it devalues the church that is simply a reflection of the decline of that particular religion, and a democratic reflection of the wishes of the people.
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