On Tuesday 5th February 2013, MPs approved legislation for same-sex marriage in England and Wales.
I am overwhelmingly thrilled by this.
There is argument by those who do not approve that gay and lesbian couples have the right to a civil partnership, and, essentially, “shouldn’t that be enough,” but I absolutely disagree.
Marriage is a strong word. It connotes more than just a legality, but a commitment, a declaration of love. “Civil Partnership” just doesn’t have the same ring. And calling it a different name makes it different—it creates an “us and them.” Why should there be any differences when it comes to love?
I read this quote on the BBC website that seemed to sum up exactly how I feel on the matter.
“Call us hopeless romantics, call it the triumph of hope over experience—most of us think that when people love each other and want to make that long-term commitment, that is a wonderful thing. So why stop a loving couple getting married just because they are gay?” – Yvette Cooper, Shadow Minister for Women and Equalities
Likewise, I found this very interesting.
“If marriage hadn’t been re-defined in 1836, there wouldn’t be any civil marriages; if it hadn’t been re-defined in 1949, under 16-year-olds would still be able to get married; if it hadn’t been re-defined in 1969, we wouldn’t have today’s divorce laws—and all of these changes were opposed. I know that the signal we send today about whether the law fully recognises the place of gay people in our society will really matter. Above all, I think of two people, faithful and loving, who simply want their commitment to be recognised, as it is for straight couples, and that in the end is what this bill is about.”
Well said, Nick Herbert, Conservative MP!
Image via Take Part / Photo by Stephen Lam/Reuters
I live in what is playfully known as the “Gay Capital of the UK,” but it’s not really any different than any other city. Aside from the Pride parade which takes place every summer, it’s not a vision of rainbow flags and drag queens, but simply a place where there is no judgement.
And that’s not just for our gay community, but for all the characters that wander our streets. The couple dressed in their 1940s attire strolling down the promenade, the 80-year-old raver, the guy in a top hat who I heard actually say “Tally-ho!”
It’s a wonderful place to be, Brighton, free of judgement and full of acceptance. It gives me hope that the world is slowly coming to accept people that stray from “the norm.”
There is a piece of art by the Pier that melts my heart whenever I see it. The “Kiss Wall” by Bruce Williams—a sculpture that shows love in all its forms. Love does not discriminate. Love just loves.
Image via axisweb.org
What you do you think about the House of Commons passing this bill? Do you think it will make a difference?