A Landmark for Equality

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?

gaywedd

Image via Brighton & Hove News / Photo by Lucky Dog Photography

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!

marriag

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?

BLOGGER

Mrs. Jackrabbit

Location:
Brighton, UK
Wedding Date:
September 2013
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comments

  1. Member
    mstreasure 1655 posts, Bumble bee @ 3:31 pm

    Hooray for Britain! In Illinois, we are thisclose to passing a marriage equality bill. (It might happen on Valentine’s Day, actually!) I completely agree with you that love is love. Plus, as a lawyer, I firmly believe that equality under the law is essential.

  2. Member
    sunkissed19 601 posts, Busy bee @ 3:49 pm

    If weddingbee had a like button for posts, i’d be clicking it a million times over! So exciting – congrats to all over there!

    Thanks for sharing!

  3. Member
    mspony 9265 posts, Buzzing Beekeeper @ 5:03 pm

    “Love just loves”-I couldn’t agree more!

  4. Member
    mswallaby 2066 posts, Buzzing bee @ 5:17 pm

    That’s awesome! Sadly here in Texas a marriage equality law probably isn’t on the horizon here anytime soon, so it makes me happy to hear that change is happening elsewhere.

  5. Member
    faeriehazel 245 posts, Helper bee @ 5:33 pm

    It is so encouraging that such words were spoken by a conservative MP. I doubt that same sex marriage will be legalized in my country (Korea) in my lifetime, but it’s wonderful to see that acceptance is spreading slowly but surely.

  6. Guest Icon Guest
    sarah, Guest @ 6:05 pm

    your post made me think of this, which i thought was so cute:
    http://www.buzzfeed.com/mjs538/joyful-declarations-of-love-from-newlyweds-in-seat

  7. Member
    scone 181 posts, Blushing bee @ 6:09 pm

    Yay! That makes the Scones rather happy!

  8. Member
    mstoadstool 2485 posts, Buzzing bee @ 6:28 pm

    I learned the monumental importance of that difference just recently.
    I’ve always been pro same-sex-marriage, because I don’t think it’s fair same-sex-couples couples can’t get married, however the Scones’ video showed me that it’s much more than “just be married”. It’s kids’ custody, house ownership, monetary security, it’s building a life in solid rock without fearing it someone will come and tumble it down.

    It breaks my heart to think my country is decades away from reaching this point. Religion has us in a very dark place concerning acceptance and understanding.

  9. Member
    panda 1359 posts, Bumble bee @ 6:37 pm

    I am so encouraged by the change that is happening. =)

  10. Member
    sword 1029 posts, Bumble bee @ 7:17 pm

    Let’s be besties. I love this post so much and I especially love that it is much more eloquent and savvy than my post on the subject. Agreed on all accounts! “love just loves!” YES. This “issue” is important, it needs to be talked about.

  11. Member
    mrs-mac 190 posts, Blushing bee @ 7:19 pm

    Great news! Chalk one more up for the pursuit of worldwide marriage equality.

  12. Member
    jilleeann 409 posts, Helper bee @ 8:37 pm

    I adore you for posting this.

  13. Member
    pinkpre 132 posts, Blushing bee @ 8:48 pm

    I live in Seattle where marriage equality recently became a reality. What an amazing experience…to be here…to vote…to witness the countless weddings that took place after the bill was signed. It’s amazing. Kudos to you Miss Jackrabbit, for speaking up on the “civil rights issue of our generation”

  14. Guest Icon Guest
    ComingSoon!, Guest @ 11:00 pm

    “Love does not discriminate. Love just loves.”

    I agree sooooo much! As someone who longs to be accepted for her human-animal love, instead of having to fear legal retribution for a loving and caring relationship with a non-human, I cannot wait to see the day when archaic laws will not just look at love as two sides of a coin: opposite gender/same gender, but recognize love as a sphere. That is: multiple couples/adult-child/adult-elder adult/human-nonhuman/human-object. Love knows no bounds – and a commitment to something or someone should be recognized legally, the same for everyone!!! Anyone who disagrees with the multifaceted expressions of caring….well, is just a bigot!

  15. Member
    msjackrabbit 1080 posts, Bumble bee @ 11:48 pm

    @Mrs. Treasure: awwww that would be so cute if it happens on V-Day!!

    @karistiz: Likewise, I would be clicking ‘like’ all over this comment :)

    @Mrs. Wallaby: I hope Texas gets there some day :) That would probably be even more of a celebration of acceptance!

    @faeriehazel: Slow and steady wins the race :)

    @sarah: actual goosebumps! amazing!

    @Mrs. Toadstool: I completely agree. Whilst civil partnership was a step forward to equality, I think it’s marriage which is important, here. Clearly it means something more than paper to straight couples, so why shouldn’t other couples feel the same? :)

    @Miss Sword: Yes! I searched for your post but couldn’t find it :(

    @jilleeann: thank you :)

    @pinkpre: I debated writing so publicly about something so sensitive, but realised that I shouldn’t try to spare the feelings of some, by ignoring the beliefs of others – especially when it’s what I believe in. I’m glad to see people are happy I did :)

  16. Member
    wilmat 31 posts, Newbee @ 5:58 am

    I adore you for posting this.Thanks for sharing!

  17. Member
    Ms_Maple 115 posts, Blushing bee @ 9:41 am

    Awesome post. I live in Vermont which is very accepting of same sex marriage – it is essentially a non issue where I live. I hope that sentiment will spread world wide!

  18. Member
    sword 1029 posts, Bumble bee @ 9:53 am

    @Miss Jackrabbit: Yea, that’s because I have wacky titles sometimes, I think I talk about gay rights in “If you’re gay that’d be ok” (a quote from Avenue Q) and in my post, Am I having a feminist wedding? Regardless, I just agree with this so much! I heart open-minded people. :)

  19. Member
    honey 1684 posts, Bumble bee @ 10:50 am

    Beautiful post, and I agree with every word you shared. I’m all for love and it still boggles my mind that it gets so twisted up with politics. Thanks for sharing!

  20. Member
    stephk527 987 posts, Busy bee @ 11:18 am

    I love this, Miss Jackrabbit. I echo what @Miss Sword said – “love just loves” is beautiful and eloquent, thank you for sharing!

  21. Member
    blonde17jess 1290 posts, Bumble bee @ 5:25 am

    I agree with you. I hope it happens everywhere!

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