When I had my civil partnership in 2010, it was simply the happiest day of my life. My husband and I sealed our relationship, forever, in the company of the people we loved the most, with words we had chosen especially for that occasion. Dressed in full state uniform, usually reserved for the Royal Family, I married my man proudly and with true meaning.
But would I have chosen a religious ceremony, if I'd have had the choice?
You bet I would!
Why should a man and a women have the exclusive right, and indeed honour, of exchanging their lifelong promise to each other in the presence of God? What makes me different? I say my prayers. I join in at 'heterosexual' weddings by wishing newlyweds the very best, even saying a prayer for them. I even swore an oath to God that I'd protect Queen and Country as a young 16-year-old boy facing military service. Why shouldn't I be afforded the same respect from a faith that I have served so well?
The answer is... I should be. And I'm very confident that people like me - a gay person who chooses to get married, soon will be allowed to do so. Just because a few people who have appointed themselves spokespeople of the divine have to drag us through a quite hurtful protest about 'their' rights along the way. What about our rights?
Lets think back to 2004 when the Civil Partnership Act was being introduced. Those same bigots who exclaim our 'lifestyle choices' infringe their human rights, kicked up exactly the same fuss as we see the Coalition For Marriage (C4M) doing today. Even an (Ex) Archbishop has thrown himself wholeheartedly into the argument, leading C4M's calls for legal intervention. I wonder if they have asked for 'Divine Intervention' yet? I bet you they've tried.
Unsurprisingly, the Daily Mail has all but publicly announced its support of the group, describing it as 'a new grassroots organisation', and even permitted (Ex) Archbishop, Lord Carey, to blog about it on their own Mail blogging site, RightMinds.
So what is the problem? What will it actually mean to Lord Carey if this act goes through?
Can anybody offer a fair and just answer to this question? Is this going to affect straight people who are getting married? Well according to the C4M homepage, it just might, and one or two other things also... "If marriage is redefined, those who believe in traditional marriage will be sidelined. People's careers could be harmed, couples seeking to adopt or foster could be excluded, and schools would inevitably have to teach the new definition to children. If marriage is redefined once, what is to stop it being redefined to allow polygamy?"
So, as it states... if gay marriage is passed, straight people are going to be out of work. Nothing like a threat to jobs in a time of increasing job losses. Some very straight forward individuals, the sort that read the Daily Mail perhaps, will read that and actually believe it. And C4M know this... that's why they have put it in there! And what about the image they have chosen to use as their campaign logo? A white man, a white woman, and their two children -one boy and one girl, of course.
I'm very grateful to have a number of gay friends who have either gone fully through the adoption process and now provide a very safe home and environment to a child that was once not so fortunate to have such a thing, and a number of friends who are still awaiting either approval or child placement. This sight reflects family life in the 19th century. As do the views of Lord Carey.
Thanks to a number of high profile individuals, including prime minister David Cameron, there is a growing likelihood and belief that C4M's petition and campaigning will not deter the bill being passed in the House of Lords; but with the views of Lord Carey and other faith leaders across the land, it makes the prospect uncertain, still.
Lord Carey and his C4M bunch should be more sympathetic to the realities of the modern world in 2012. Instead of circulating 19th century propaganda and outdated ideologies. More so, they should think a little more about how this makes other human beings feel. If they enjoy bringing stress and misery to other men and women; if they enjoy discriminating against other people just on the basis of who they love, and if they want to make the church even more excluding of individuals than it already is, then they ought to be spending more time and energy questioning their own faiths.
Originally posted on HuffingtonPost.co.uk