If same sex couples wanted equality, today’s bill will not give it to them.
Posted 5 Feb 2013 by Walaa Idris
And here’s why.
First of all there is no adultery provision in this bill. This means unlike heterosexual couples, gay couples are not protected by law from adultery. In other words they are not required or expected to be faithful, when being faithful and forsaking all others is the foundation of marriage civil or religious. Moreover, as the law stands now, married couples can divorce on adultery grounds if one of the partners had sex with a member of the opposite sex. Question, how will that work on same sex marriages? This bill does not address that.
Secondly, for a marriage to be fully recognised it must be consummated otherwise it can be annulled. But not gay marriage, there is no obligation for same sex couples to consummate their union! I know some are uncomfortable talking about gay sex, I also know there is more to marriage than just sex. But let’s face it at least at the beginning it is about sex, making babies and laying the foundations of a family. Equality is about equal rights and equal responsibilities even the uncomfortable ones. If as the government said, the legal definition of consummation cannot be achieved in same sex marriage, then they have one of two solutions. Either redefine the consummation of marriage under the law or stop the bill until a just solution can be found.
Thirdly and here is where I anticipate a great deal of future problems. Even though the proposed bill includes clauses that protect the Church of England form prosecution, not all religious institutions, educators and many other bodies in our communities are guaranteed protection under this bill, either in the UK courts or the European Court of Human Rights (where most appeals go) if these people refused to marry same sex couples or teach, promote same sex marriage.
On the face of it, this bill gives homosexual couples the right to be equal, but look deeper and it doesn’t give them real equality and protection under the law. Imagine being married to an adulterous partner and have no rights to divorce them because the law doesn’t recognise adultery as breaking marital vows?
And for the record I am not a homophobe. If I was I would not care one bit what happens one way or the other. Of course I want gay couples to enjoy the same rights straight couples do, but not at the expenses of silencing those who disagree or disapprove. Everyone should have the right to their opinion and have that right protected.
This bill does not do what it says on the tin and that for me is a problem.
Categories: Gay Marriage
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