Wednesday 22 May 2013

Gay marriage bill is divisive and unnecessary

The British government has voted to legalise gay marriage in England and Wales but David Cameron has suffered yet another embarrassing rebellion with 133 Tory MPs voting against the party.

I personally couldn't care less whether gay people want to get married and I don't have a problem with gay marriage being legalised.  What I do have a problem with - and this is where UKIP's opposition to the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill stems from - is with religious organisations being forced to conduct them against their if it's against their beliefs.

I listened to some of the debate yesterday and I can't decide whether the MPs talking about the protections for religious organisations in the bill were deceitful or just ignorant.  The protections were described as a "triple lock" and later a "quadruple lock" but really any protections are useless when the EU Court of Human Rights can (and will) rule it a breach of human rights.

The British government has started on a dangerous path with this legislation that will see the rights of religious people not to have to take part in something that is against their beliefs pitted against the rights of gay people to get married.  I'm neither religious nor homosexual so don't have a vested interest in either side and I don't think the rights of either side are more important than the other.  But the EU Court of Human Rights will rule in favour of gay marriage because it always rules against Christians trying to protect their religious rights so one group of people will lose their rights so that another group of people can call their marriage a marriage rather than a civil partnership.

Yesterday's vote wasn't a victory for gay rights or "equal marriage" (although it was good to hear an MP call for civil partnerships to be extended to straight couples in the name of equality) - it was a victory for a relatively small group of militant gay rights activists fronted by Pink News who have created the illusion of demands for the right to call their civil partnership a marriage.  I don't profess to be an expert on the gay community but I do have a few gay friends and the ones I've spoken to about gay marriage really don't care.

There is no difference in the legal rights of a gay couple in a civil partnership or a straight couple in a marriage, this law will change nothing other than the name of a civil partnership.  It is divisive and unnecessary and has wasted huge amounts of taxpayers' money for what?  A friend of mine is in a civil partnership, he calls his partner his husband and says they are married.  So what if the law says that it can't be called a marriage on a legal document because they're gay?  It doesn't change what it is and what it is is a marriage in all but name.