Don’t disparage equal marriage

On Monday 8th October, around 900 people met at a Tory party fringe event held by the ‘Coalition for Marriage’, with a view to expressing their displeasure at current plans to allow same-sex couples to declare themselves as ‘married’ in the UK. The ‘Coalition’ really brought out the big guns for their speakers; they featured, among others, Ann Widdecombe and a former Archbishop of Canterbury.

It seems that the main gripe is that if we were to allow same-sex couples to marry then it would fundamentally change the definition of marriage; an institution dating back hundreds of years and a key building block of society. Redefine marriage, they claim, and you will not
only fracture the bedrock of society, but anger married people across the country by forcing a new definition upon them. I have a few issues with the guiding philosophy of this organisation.

If you asked most people what the basis of a marriage ought to be, I imagine that the idea of procreation would most certainly be very high up on the list. Right at the top of the list, however, it‘s pretty obvious that love would be the most important criterion.

> Love would be the most important criteria. What is the point of marrying somebody if you don’t love them?

What, after all, is the point of marrying somebody if you don’t love them? A marriage without love is nothing; remove it and it becomes a terribly dull and pointless affair. One of the main arguments that the ‘Coalition’ raises is that the aim of marriage should be the creation of a strong family unit and the building of a strong bedrock for these children; marriage is for making healthy, happy babies.

I feel like they are forgetting that many children are born out of wedlock, so why are they not campaigning for mandatory shotgun weddings for unwed, pregnant women?

It’s also possible for those who are infertile to marry the person they love; why does the ‘Coalition’ not leave babies in baskets on the doorsteps of these couples? I don’t know about you, but it seems to me that two loving parents of the same-sex would be a far better upbringing than two miserable parents, or no parents at all.

I’d like to find a wife one day, but I think it would take more than a child to make me stick it out with somebody I didn’t love. It is possible to be happy as a child in a ‘broken’ home.

Another argument that the Coalition for Marriage levels at the government is that they are changing the fact that, for all of human history, the definition of marriage has been the union of one man and one woman. Except that this is simply not the case – what about King
Solomon and his seven hundred wives? What about the cases in Tibet where women have taken on more than one husband?

“But if we redefine marriage, won’t it weaken the marriage culture?” Not if you think the basis of marriage is love – and if you want to discuss the weakening of marriage culture
perhaps you should first deal with the relatively high divorce rate that is currently being combined with an increased trend in people simply choosing not to marry at all.

“But if we allow same-sex couples to marry, won’t we end up allowing polygamous marriage as well?” Perhaps, but that’s a ‘slippery-slope’ argument which didn’t wash when race was the main issue at hand.

Ultimately, it seems to me that the ‘Coalition for Marriage’ is a group of narrow-minded people who are frightened of change. But instead of taking issue with the truly horrifying
changes we face today – climate change, economic collapse, the acceptability of Jedward as a musical act – the ‘Coalition for Marriage’ instead chooses to address an arbitrary issue they can fret over from the safety of their own homes.

Think of how much could be achieved if they directed their energies to a more worthy cause.


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