“You are the Death Star and we are an army of fabulous Luke Skywalkers”.
With PM David Cameron backing legislation to allow marriage for same-sex couples in churches in England and Wales , Josef Church-Woods opines about those that are less than thrilled at the idea.
What really winds me up about the equal marriage debate is not the possibility of a world where same-sex couples can’t get hitched in a church. It’s the relentless moaning from various religious and conservative quarters, as if their rights and privileges were somehow on the chopping block.
There is a lot of talk of the threat to ‘religious conscience’ and a ‘gay mafia’ infiltrating the hearts and minds of the population with their anti-family agenda. The perceived purpose of this sly operation would appear to be the willful desecration of the holy union that is heterosexual marriage, which as we all know must eventually lead to the demise of the human race.
As a member of the ‘gay mafia’, I have to admit I found this notion confusing, initially. It had never dawned on me that every time two gay people declare their love for one another publicly and make a legal commitment to their relationship, somewhere else in the world, a decent, straight, god-fearing family is instantly torn apart, stripped of their religion and sent screaming into the afterlife by this homosexual evil.
Because that’s pretty much what some of the more outspoken advocates of ‘conventional marriage’ would have you believe.
It’s almost as if the faith held by those opposed to equal marriage is conditional on the compliance of everyone else. That would actually make a lot of sense, thinking about the level of fear and anger the same-sex marriage debate – and every, single other LGBT equality issue to date – has stirred up.
If the belief systems of anti-gay people are hinged upon the stipulation that all other people must live by the same rules, no wonder so many religious and conservative leaders across the world are shouting blue murder. Apparently, the special, sacred meaning that they invest their definition of marriage with, cannot withstand a legal tweak to allow for other people’s interpretations of this universal and already variable concept – so who can blame them for getting all-mightily worked up. It’s like straight marriage is their Christmas, and we’re The Grinch!
But the fact remains that as much as these people may feel angry that others want to live by a different set of rules, they are still very much free to stick with their own beliefs. No one is forcing any religious organisation to marry same-sex couples, and those who do not believe in this type of union are under no obligation to be part of one. In fact, you don’t have to have any gay in your private life whatsoever. You can be as straight, conservative, religious, close-minded, mean-spirited and miserable as you like, in almost all aspects of your existence.
But you still have to accept that other people hold different beliefs, and that they have just as much right as you do to a life lived according to their values – with the same basic legal protection and recognition as everyone else in our society. As Jesus might have said: If same-sex marriage is slapping you in the face, turn the other cheek.
So in the charitable spirit of the festive season, let me offer anyone who feels compelled to harp on about the evils of same-sex marriage a bit of free advice: stop worrying about how other consenting, law-abiding adults want to celebrate their relationships, and start being thankful for the many freedoms and privileges that you yourself enjoy instead. I promise that it will save you and everyone in your surrounding a lot of frustration and anger, and make for a much merrier Christmas.
And if that’s not enough of an incentive, perhaps the following will do the trick; learn to live and let live, or we will marry the shit out of your girlfriends.