I don’t blog often, either personally or professionally. That is partly because I have a rather full life professionally and personally in any event and partly, as my friends will undoubtedly remind me, because I lead a disordered life. However…
This is a subject I’ve felt strongly about for a while so I ought to say one particular thing.
There is no excuse for the British Government delaying in introducing a bill to allow same sex couples to marry, rather than be obliged to settle for the second rate description of “civil partner”. Most people in the UK support this; most people refer to civil partnership as “gay marriage”; only a decreasing number of the religiously motivated, who tend to be of an older generation, seem to object.
Until gay marriage was on the agenda, I used to refer to my civil partnership (Jonathan and I have been married in all but name for the best part of 20 years) and my partner as “married” and “my husband” to get people to the stage of understanding that there is no difference between a steady, monogamous, permanent union of two men and one of a man and woman. To their credit nearly everyone recognised this although a few people (mainly of religious or provincial background) clearly found it difficult.
I am now minded to use the word “partner” again – to emphasise that although there is no difference between the relationship I have with my partner and the relationship my friends have with their opposite sex partners the state likes to use a different word for it. All that does is encourage people to pretend to a difference where none exists and at worst to give bigots like the B&B owners in Cornwall and Berkshire (the cases are too well known to need citing) an excuse to try to discriminate against people.
I hope, at the very least, that this might provoke some discussion. But above all I hope that the Government has the balls to move this legislation forward and ignore the hate driven rantings of the sects.