This week the Gay Marriage- Equal Marriage debate has been given a fresh boost, thanks to Barack Obama who this week said that through his experiences speaking to his children, serviceman and the public that he endorsed same sex couples the right to get married.
“for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same sex couples should be able to get married”
There’s no question that this is a massive step forward to the gay community; but this doesn’t mean that things are going to change.
The sad fact is the Obama has also said that he’ll allow each state to legislate on gay marriage, and this statement came a day after North Carolina, a state which is close to my families heart as my aunt and uncle raised their family there, amended their constitution to ensure that gay couples are never recognised and civil partnerships are also not even an option.
America is still a very young country and has a lot to learn, there are some areas that are clearly more progressive than others, but a county that is so saturated in religion, it is laughable how hypocritical the religious right are. It actually makes me quite agitated when I read peoples comments spouting out scripture, when a dozen pages further the bible is condoning slavery and sexual bigotry. The truth is that the world is changing – 40 years ago people were protesting against inter-racial marriage and look how stupid those people look now. I bet at the time those against equality based on skin colour would find some scripture to back up their ludicrous ideas.
In America there is freedom of movement and it’s a sorry situation if a gay couple have to move to a different state to have the legal rights as their heterosexual counterparts. I want to show you a video – it’s been doing the rounds on the social networks, and tells the sad story of what happens when same-sex couples are denied the rights of their heterosexual neighbours – the video is heartbreaking, but sends a clear message. As I write this the hit counter stands at over 1.6 million.
What Obama has done is important, because he has set an example, as the leader of the free world. Obama, has hopefully some influence globally – but in the UK, the coalition government seems to have stalled as they Conservative majority, try to appease their right wing electorate. It’s been argued that in the recent local elections, that those on the right, who have become disillusioned with the coalition have turned to UKIP, (UK Independence Party) who has said categorically that gay marriage is wrong, suffice to say that UKIP will never have any real political influence. regardless of what people think.
What has angered me, is that David Cameron, Nick Clegg, David Milliband, the leaders of the three main political parties have all said they support equal marriage – so, why wasn’t it in the Queen’s Speech this week? How can Lords reform be more important than giving gay people who love each other the right to marry?
If the church doesn’t want to perform the ceremony, then that’s fine. I have no problem with that, but just like Obama has allowed each american state to make their own judgement about equal marriage, I feel that each parish should be able to make a democratic decision as to whether they want to perform gay marriage ceremonies. I think this is the fairest way to deal with the situation, then the government can pass legislation to allow same-sex couples to marry, and for those who are already going to a church they can make the arrangements to be married in a religious ceremony, if that means they have to move a few parishes down the road, then fine. The church still get their fee, and Chris and Mark, or whoever, get to have the wedding of their dreams.
Personally, I would rather get married on a beach somewhere sunny, and leave religion where it belongs – out of sight.