Wednesday, 25 July 2012

All For One - Where do you stand on same sex marriage?

I do not generally use this blog to talk politics or take the world too seriously.  By and large, I try to offer advice about the wedding industry and I endeavour to keep the tone as light-hearted as possible.  But sometimes, there are topical issues that are too big to ignore.

The question of gay marriage has reared it's ugly head again.  (It's the question that's ugly, not the marriage.)  Today the Scottish National Party (SNP) announced plans to introduce gay marriage as soon as 2015.  Earlier this year, President Obama came out saying that he is in favour of it.  Everywhere you look, someone has an opinion on it.

The issue is far less contentious here in the UK.  We've had civil partnerships, granting equal rights to homosexual couples as  since 2005.  Religious groups cried 'Hell!' and 'Damnation!' left right and centre when it was announced, but to no one's great surprise, it hasn't caused the end of the world.  Life carries on pretty much as normal.

My position on the issue is this: I do not give one jot for semantics - marriage, civil partnership - the ultimate point is that so long as the legal rights are in place, the terminology does not matter.  Love is love is love, no matter who you are.  I also believe that the government are missing a trick with civil partnerships.  Marriage should be as it always is: two people entering into a contract with the state via a ceremony.  This is whether they are a man and a man, a woman and a woman or a man and a woman.  Civil partnerships would be exactly the same thing, except for the ceremony part.  Instead, a contract would be signed and agreed - in the presence of two witnesses and local official - and couples would sign a document, agreeing to do all the things that couples promise to each other when entering a marriage.  A civil partnership would in this way, I believe, cut out the one element of marriage that co-habiting couples would rather avoid: the ceremony.

Whilst I am all for weddings - in fact, my business kinda relies on them! - it's an inescapable fact that some people are downright allergic to them.  The thought of being obliged to spend so much money on one day just to keep friends and family off their backs is more than enough to put some people off the idea.  This is a shame because marriage has been proven to be legally, socially and scientifically better for you than co-habitation.

It is certainly not place to tell you how to think or feel, but I would urge anyone considering their opinion on gay marriage to think carefully about the implications from all sides.  I believe firmly in love; love at all costs.  Marriage relies on love, and I believe if you crush opportunities for marriage, you crush love too.

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