If you’ve read my past blogs you’ll realise that anger and upset drive me to post on here. Anger and upset and general disappointment and disillusionment with people and the world often drive me to write plays. Today I woke up to find my wife in tears, hands on her keyboard, tapping away furiously. The Church has upset her again. And it has upset me. And for a Jewish girl, that is not a good thing. The Church has decided that ‘gay’ marriage (they can’t actually call it equal, because to do so would be to acknowledge that it’s actually about equality not about being gay) will ‘dilute an institution “vastly” important to a healthy society.’ This suggests that by offering everyone equality, gay people will somehow create an unhealthy society merely by marrying. I didn’t know I had that much power. I am sick and tired of being told I am not equal, that I am not worthy of the equality my straight married friends are given just because they are straight. Perhaps people think that giving us civil partnership would shut us up, silence us from wanting true equality, but guess what, for me at least, civil partnership provides some, but not total equality. I believe equality is not just about having the same legal rights as my straight married friends, it’s about being married to my wife (see that, wife, NOT partner, civil or other) it’s about being acknowledged as equal by the society I live in, by the people I love, by my family and friends and by giving them the chance to finally see me as truly equal.
I know a lot of gay people don’t want equal marriage, and to them I say, that is absolutely fine, you don’t have to get married. If you don’t want equality that is your choice. But give me the chance to make that choice, right now I don’t have it. It’s the word ‘marriage’ that matters to me, although of course having the same legal rights as my straight friends is vitally important as well. And the word ‘marriage,’ especially when used with the word ‘gay’ causes the Church much concern. If the Church looks at marriage v civil partnership, it might see that straight marriage has done nothing to guarantee a healthy society – because a healthy society actually means an equal society and right now we are not equal. Imagine if only white people, and healthy white people, could get married, because anyone else (Black, Asian, disabled) would pose a threat to a ‘healthy’ society, what an outcry that would cause, and rightly so. And please Church people, don’t tell me it is different, it is not, it is about equality, and true equality is about treating everyone the same, no matter what colour or religion or physical state we are in, true equality allows everyone the same opportunity.
I honestly believe that offering everyone marriage will create a healthier society, because let’s face it, the one we live in is corrupt and pretty disgusting at times. The younger members of our society are the future, and many of the young people who I have known all their lives, have grown up with only knowing Stella as my wife – because we have been together for twenty-two years, far longer than a great deal of my straight friends. By disapproving equal marriage, the Church is telling everyone that we do not deserve to be equal and therefore we are not equal. In my opinion, inequality only generates an unhealthy society. What kind of future are we creating if equality is not there, high up on the agenda? Ultimately it is all about choice, allow me to choose what I want to do, until you do, I am not equal.
2 thoughts on “Equal? Gay People? God forbid.”
Yes, it all about equality. Your last line said it all: choice, we should be allowed that choice.
Beautiful, heartfelt written post.
What a shitty start to the day for both of you, I know all too well the sound of sobbing/angry typing that accompanies ‘someone being wrong on the internet’.
I was raised CoW (the Welsh version of CoE but with a much better acronym) and found my way to atheism at a pretty young age. I’m one of those lesbians in a Civil Partnership who can’t really get overly excited about the Equal Marriage thing but kind of grudgingly goes along for the ride for the sake of ‘Equality’. B and I have no intention of getting ‘Married’ and I frankly feel uncomfortable with the word ‘wife’ given B’s previous experiences of ‘wifedom’.
Lesbian usage of the word ‘wife’ is no longer automatic setting my teeth on edge (thanks to a month on twitter following various people), as I understand that you can’t reclaim a word unless you use it, so I suppose that’s something. I do kind of see it on a par with Gays in the Military and Women in Vicars, I never really understood why some people were so damned keen to join the very Institutions that had been happily hating and oppressing them for years. But hey, it takes all sorts.
Anyway, call me a cynic but I think that this may have more to do with internal power struggles within the Church than anything else. With Rowan getting out of the picture, a lot of money seems to be going on Sentamu, who as we know if rather more conservative (He was one of the 4 Bishops that refused to sign the Cambridge accord).
The Brand of the Church Of England is kind of on the wane in the home country so that gives the traditionalists the ammunition to push for a more conservative approach which which will play well in their more emerging markets where there is less acceptance of homosexuality.