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Thursday, 29 March 2012
Marriage - should it be available to one and all?
Society is debating the question of marriage being extended to gay couples.
The government has just announced that there will be a public consultation on changing the law applicable to same sex civil unions.
The consultation will look at whether it is right to redefine the term 'marriage' which currently only recognises the joining of opposite sex couples. It will not take evidence on whether same sex marriages should be allowed in a religious setting, nor whether civil partnerships should be extended to heterosexual couples.
For me both exclusions are simply storing up problems for the future.
If we want a society where marriage is available to one and all then surely there is no need for two 'types' of marriage? Either a couple is married or they aren't.
Then again, if marriage and civil partnership are two different things then why shouldn't either be allowed to anyone that wants to make that particular commitment - regardless of your sexual orientation.
At the same time, not consulting on religious settings is merely a sop to the more conservative religious organisations - there are some that welcome the idea of gay marriage and would be more than happy to conduct religious cermonies, so why should they be refused the right to do this.
As far as I am concerned any, and all, type of discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation should be consigned to the waste bin of history along with racism and religious intolerance.