Here's what I wrote:
I've been to two weddings this year and I will have been to another two before 2012 is out. That's what happens when you hit 30; all of your friends get married!
I'm not married but I do have a boyfriend of three years. Do I want to get married? Not at the moment, no. Do I want to have the option to get married one day? Of course I do. Who wouldn't want to have the option? At the moment in this country I am not able to get married. I can however have a civil partnership. The entire debate surounding 'gay marriage' is one of definition. Some religious groups are fighting to protect the term marriage to mean a union of a man and a woman. They claim to 'own' the term and suggest that altering it's definition to include same sex couples would basically undo years of tradition and simply cannot happen. I disagree. Straight couples who do not wish to marry in a religious ceremony can have a civil marriage. Gay couples can have a similar ceremony however it is not to be called a civil marriage but a civil union or civil partnership. Why the difference?
The philosopher Confucius was born in ancient China in 551BC. His definition of marriage goes like this, 'Marriage is the union of two different surnames, in friendship and in love, in order to continue the posterity of the former sages, and to furnish those who shall preside at the sacrifices to heaven and earth, at those in the ancestral temple, and at those at the altars to the spirits of the land and grain.'
Over half a century before the birth of Jesus, we see a definition of marriage with a clear absence of genders. I'd prefer to refer to this definition of marriage if that's ok. There is no mention of God but of a spirituality and repsect for our land.
The Church did such a good job in claiming marriage as their own and shaping it to fit their own values and agendas that as a society we have come to believe that the word itself is steeped in religion, when it simply isn't.
Many people argue that gay people are being awkward and simply stoking the fires. After all, we can get civil patnered which gives us the same legal rights as straight married couples so why the persistance? The point is this. Just because I don't want to get married now, it doesn't mean I shouldn't be allowed to. The word 'marriage' does not belong to anyone, just look in the history books. Times change and so do mankind's attitudes and just because some things are traditional it does not mean that they should not change over time. It used to be traditional to drown women accused of witchcraft; it isn't now because that's ridiculous.
There are many arguments against gay marriage, none of which have any real substance. If indeed marriage is just a word, then allow us, the gays and lesbians of the UK, to use it too. No one likes being left out do they?
"Do not do to others what you do not want done to yourself"*
*(Sound familiar? Well that was also Confucius by the way)