Not overly religious but religious enough to care

Posted 3 Jan 2013 by Walaa Idris

Looks like I am coming late to the Gay Marriage debate. But I feel like with Israel/Palestine and Benefits, Gay Marriage is not a straight forward black or white issue. There are so many grey areas and for it to be put on a ‘for or against’ platforms is wrong and unjust to both the public and the issue.

Take me for instance, I have absolutely no problem whatsoever with two loving people becoming legal partners, in fact I welcome marriage and believe it’s the backbone of a stable family life. Whether that union is called marriage or civil partnership is for the individuals’ own personal preference. What I have a problem with is the uncertainty of what will happen to religious institutions that chooses not to marry same sex couples once Gay Marriage becomes law. My concern is what will happen to their rights to choose not to marry gay couples?

We know the proposed law exempts the Church of England and allows it to protect itself, but what about the other religious institutions? What will happen to them? What about the ECHR, can the government protect against their legal reach? And finally, how is it fair and just for homosexuals to protect their rights to marry by law, but the same protections are not afforded to those who their religions believes denounces homosexuality and will therefore never accept to marry same sex couples? If gay couples feel oppressed by not being allowed to marry under the law, could it be that those who theologically oppose same sex marriage feel forced to accept what defies their believes? Forcing any group to accept what’s against their conviction is oppression, even if it is modern, enlightened and progressive.

Marriage is good; it is a beautiful institution and should be entered into with love, joy and celebration, not with a dark cloud hanging over it.

It is not too late, I think we need to go back to the table and put in place all the safe guards that give those groups who oppose same sex marriage on religious grounds the same freedoms to protect their rights. The last thing we need in twenty first century Britain is a religious leader in court defending his or her religion because they refused to marry a same sex couple.

As I mentioned before, Gay Marriage is not as black and white, for or against as many seems to think, there are many grey areas and they need addressing. It is an issue that can never be a straightforward right or wrong but with the right safeguards in place it can have a beautiful and happy ending.

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