If same sex couples wanted equality, today’s bill will not give it to them.

Posted 5 Feb 2013 by Walaa Idris

gay marriage

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.

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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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“Liberal bigotry is worst of all, because it thinks it's so enlightened”

Posted 15 Dec 2012 by Walaa Idris

Not my own words, I borrowed them from Peter Hitchens, sadly they are profoundly true!

A couple of days ago on Question Time, in a response to Will Self’s for relentlessly accusing the right, of homophobia and racism, Hitchens explained why lefties label those who oppose their views on Gay Marriage as homophobes and on Immigration as racists. This is what he said:“Liberals use the bigotry of defamation of an opposite opinion rather than the willingness to listen to it or be prepared to debate it. Liberal bigotry is worst of all, because it thinks it’s so enlightened!” and I happened to agree with him.

This brings me nicely to Gay Marriage. An important issue, one that polarises opinions and like a can of worms, once opened there is no going back.

Personally, I don’t see the point of it, as we already have Civil Partnerships which in my opinion is marriage with a different name. Especially since cohabiting couples have similar rights to married couples. So why complicate matters?

Don’t get me wrong and please don’t go all ‘Will Self’ on me, I am not a homophobe and never was.

Gay Marriage is an important issue and should therefore be given its weight, it should be discussed freely and at length on all sides, hopefully without too much finger pointing and accusations. As a nation, we are very fortunate, because debate is a healthy and welcome part of our fabric. Open, frank and respectful debate is what makes us one of the best most accepting and admired societies in the globe. Our ability to be respectful of other peoples’ opinions, believes, and values sets us apart from many equally developed nations. Sometimes, we, Brits, go beyond just respecting others’ ideals, we actually facilitate ways and set the environments for them to grow and flourish.

And we do it with almost every issue. But sometimes, the liberal left in their desire and passion to win the debate become overly militant, hijack important issues and turn them into personal crusades. They tend to become blind to the facts and others’ believes and opinions.

This is exactly what happened regarding the Equal Marriage debate. An issue that is not black or white, lefties managed to turn it into a right or wrong issue and labelled everyone who did not agree with them a homophobe! Sadly in this case it is not their passion speaking, but their underhandedness, their desire to stifle debate and bow people into their way of thinking. But, they are hurting the issue and will ultimately dilute the debate.

As someone who has no objection to homosexuality and respects people are different yet equal and therefore deserve to be treated as such. My concerns here, has nothing to do with their lifestyle, the kids they might raise and the rest of it. My main concern is what will happen to religious institutions that break the law by refusing to marry a gay couple? The government might have put some clause to protect some churches but what about those not exempted, furthermore, what about the European Court of Human Rights? Can the government protect us from them? Did lefties even think that far? Or were they too busy counting the scalps they claimed and the voices they silenced?

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Roger Helmer is wrong on gay marriage but those who shouted him down are too!

Posted 18 Sep 2011 by Walaa Idris

God help anyone who dares to oppose any issue that has anything to do with a minority group, and if that person’s politics happens to be right of center then it’s a double whammy. Conservative MEP, Roger Helmer did just that when he said it was wrong for the Coalition government to introduce a bill to allow same-sex marriage. And even though he explained why he feels “gay marriage” is wrong – despite admitting he is a librarian who believes people are free to live and behave as they wish – his remarks angered many including some from his own party!

Of course they were wrong to jump on him and paint him a villain for speaking his mind but at the same time I’m confused as to how he can be a librarian yet not see that gay couples deserve the same rights heterosexual couples now enjoy?

I will bypass his first and second points because one is a linguistic issue and the second is covered in my argument.

Traditionally, marriage is a relationship between a man and a woman, but as we evolve so should our civilizations. It therefore makes sense for marriage to become a relationship between two people who chose to live their lives in a legal and fully recognised union. Also if they and their religious institution are happy for that union to be acknowledged by that body, then that too should be a matter between them.

As for society, it is much stronger and healthier when relationships are loving, open and approved. Gender limitations, nature and biology are not really an issue nowadays. Because many lesbian couples get pregnant by donors or adopt and most gay couples either adopt or use surrogate mothers to have children. Adopting might not be quite as populating but more importantly it gives a stable home to those who need one.

Following on from Helmer’s main argument, gay marriage is no different to traditional marriage plus it is still a relation between three – the couple and the society – the couple here just happens to be of the same gender. Nevertheless, they still have the same relationship with their society. Like traditional marriage, gay marriage also gets its strength from its recognition, respect and the financial benefits the state affords it.

That’s why I am not surprised David Cameron gave it his approval, he is a champion of marriage and it would have been hypocritical of him to exclude gay – marriage!

Where I disagree with Mr. Helmer the most is in his final point, because broadening the definition of marriage to include gay relationships will actually strengthen and deepen the institution of marriage which in recent years has been sidelined for cohabiting. I know what I’m about to say will anger some people, but cohabiting isn’t always built on the same commitment as marriage. That piece of paper (marriage certificate) plus the public display of commitment to each other is stronger than many of us give it credit. And that strength reflects on the family nucleus – if the family, as Mr. Helmer says is the bedrock of society – which I strongly believe it is – then more committed unions are better for our communities.

Many studies have shown children mostly need love stability and to be raised by people who care about them, the parents’ gender or how the children were created had little to nothing to do with that stability.

I find it’s always best to allow people to speak their mind and regardless of what they say it is best to listen then rationally refute their arguments than shout to shut them up.

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