4 Mar 2010

UK: The fear of gay weddings

The difference
Some would think Britain is one of the most progressive countries when it comes to civil rights. Yet, gays and lesbians were until now not able to get hitched in a church or religious building and any religious language or even music was banned from the civil registry office where these strictly “civil partnerships” are made.
Fortunately, this ban is now as good as lifted with the House of Lords agreeing on an amendment to the Equality Bill which would make it possible for religious organisations to host civil partnership ceremonies. Among these that are ready to do that are Unitarians, Quakers (See “Quakers welcome debate on equality”), Metropolitan Community Churches, Liberal Jewish synagogues and some Anglican churches might follow in near future.

Why no marriage?
In my understanding, this is a good step, but a better step would have been allowing same-sex marriage altogether. Yet this is exactly what some forces fight against and are scared of in the United Kingdom.

It’s not the same!
The Bishop of Bradford warned that the change risked equating civil partnerships with marriage:
"The fundamental difficulty (…) is that we (…) have been quite clear ever since civil partnerships were introduced that they are not the same as marriage.”
Thanks you for proving us a point, Mr Bishop, in the debate of why the government should change the unequal and discriminatory  institution of civil partnerships. (See also: “Marriage Equality for the UK”)

So far, opponents of this have argued that civil partnerships are adequate enough and marriage should be preserved for union between a  man and a women only.

Homophobes are scared
Christian Today had a headline entitles “Fears for churches and status of marriage

The Religion Correspondent of The Times, Ms Gledhill wrote a comment entitled “Bishop of Winchester slams gay marriage in church ‘fudge’” and quotes someone saying:

“I believe it does further fudge the line between civil partnerships and marriage. That is shown by some newspapers which simply speak of gay marriages in church.”

Face the reality!
So newspapers already speak of "gay marriages"? Oh my!
Yes, Ms Gledhill or whoever made that comment, here is a bit of a reality dose for you:  Do you really think people in civil partnerships refer to their love as "civil partner" among their colleagues? Do you think they tell people that they are "civilly partnered"? Do you think their personal banker, the call-agent from BT or anyone makes a fuss to refer them as "civil partners"?
No! It's a formality being upheld only in the books to not upset religious nuts like you. The majority of the population (61% support gay marriage) has long understood that there is no difference between gay or straight relationships and the apartheid system of civil partnerships is a farce and a mockery of civil rights that is hopefully soon to end.

Several newspaper articles today again showed that so many religious leaders are simply all through homophobic in the sense that they literally FEAR gays and lesbians and they want to fight for their right to discriminate. Hopefully, this injustice will end soon. May God help them to learn to love all of his children.