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Marriage at last

05 December 2005

As of today, gays & lesbians in the UK can enter in to a Civil partnership. It gives them (almost) the same rights as a married couple, with execption, I think, of adoption and some other bits and pieces I am not sure of.

That is of course good news. But unfortunately it means that in the past few days, radio and TV have been inundated with pros and cons of this new piece of legislation. So for the past week or so, and today, on the day of its introduction, the biggoted homophobes have been all over the airwaves, explaining to the world why gays should not be given similar rights.

And the debate is marred by side-issues. A lesbian who thought it was all rubbish because she simply felt that marriage as a whole was stupid and should be abolished. Her argument was that she got sick of people staring in to each other's eyes and saying I love you whilst wearing their Sunday best. Hardly the topic up for dicussion I felt. But of course this gave the religious guy the opportunity to play his 'all homosexuals want is the destruction of marriage' card. After all, this lesbian on the radio had just said so.

And then there are those who don't argue about equal rights but about the word 'marriage'. Civil partnership has clearly become 'gay marriage' but, mostly, Christians are on the airwaves objecting to the use of the word marriage because it is supposedly the union between a man and a woman. Really, that is a detail. Marriage is used in this case to mean 'a union between two people, driven by love and a desire to har their lives together'. Stop discussing the little details and talk about the real issue.

The main thing is that now, if JD has to go to hospital again for her brain tumour (God forbid), I can now be her next of kin officially. And when I die, JD will not have to pay tax on whatever little I leave her. And I can get her pension if she dies before me. And that my boss will HAVE to include her in any kind of partner-scheme he may have running. THAT is what it is about. Simple as that.

But people argue all kinds of things against it. Their biggest argument seems to be that it degrades the institute of marriage. I would say that straight folks have done a really good job of that themselves over the past 2000 years: 50% divorce rates, drive-by weddings in Las Vegas, forcing people to get married due to pregnancy, spousal abusse.....The fact that there seems to be a crisis in the Institute of Marriage has nothing to do with gays & lesbians. After all, they have always been denied their chance to be part of this destruction.

See, I don't want to be like straight people. If I did, I would force myself to get married to a bloke. What I want is equal rights for me and my partner. If people have a problem with calling that 'marriage', then fine. Call it something else. I don't care. Because it is not about wanting what others have out of jealousy. Those who argue that, since homosexuality is not normal, we should not treat them like normal people and give them normal rights, are on the radio all day. And quite frankly, it is making me depressed. I know acceptance of homosexuality has a long way to go. And I doubt it will ever really go away.

It saddens me to hear all the cliches being bandied around for days on end: Unnatural, against God's will; unfit for parenting, disgusting bedroom antics; not the same as straight folks so should not have the same rights; Allow this and why not allow peadophiles to marry children, or people to marry their goat; this bill tells kids it is perfectly OK to be gay and it certainly is not; children raised by a homosexual couple will grow up thinking being gay is normal and they are much more likely to be gay themselves; God created Adam & Eve, not Adam & Steve; a child needs a mother and a father (Never mind that this argument is never used to ban single-parent families)and so on and son on.

So on a day the gay community should be celebrating a big step forward in their fight for rights and equality, I am actually sad and hurt by the venom that people spit out over the airwaves without having met me or my partner. On a day that should be a celebration, it actually reminds me of how many people hate me without even knowing me.

I want to crawl under the blankets in bed, with JD and just cuddle her and remind me that what we have is good, pure, honest and that those who are disgusted by it are a bunch of wankers who have a pea-sized brain that does not enable them to make up their own minds and think beyond anal sex and gay men.

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