Support civil marriage equality today
Tomorrow, the government’s public consultation on equal civil marriage closes.
You can fill it in here.
If you wanted to go do something nice today, spend half an hour going through the consultation and responding. I did so as early as I could, and every response counts.
You know how it is when someone buys you a gift: a nice card, maybe a book token or a box of chocolates. Yeah, it’s like that, except the gift you are giving is support for equal rights for gay people under the law.
Here’s why it will be appreciated if it actually happens (and I’m not going to count any chickens until it’s on the damn statute books).
The state currently endorses discrimination against gay people by not allowing gay people to get married. It’s that simple. State endorsement of discrimination permits discrimination by wider society: in the workplace, in public life, in schools and elsewhere. Lack of equality and basic rights is a cause for a variety of mental health problems.
How can we have programmes in schools and youth clubs saying to gay and lesbian teenagers that society loves and values them for who they are, when actually society doesn’t? Without full civil equality, society simply sees the stereotypes: the sex-crazed hedonists, the leather daddies, the butch lesbians, the fabulous Gay Best Friends, the sissy as comedy relief etc.
Opponents of gay equality say that allowing gay people to marry destroys “traditional marriage”. No, no, no. That died a long time ago, and it wasn’t done by gay people but by more enlightened views of female sexuality that stemmed from feminism, and from the availability of cheap, reliable contraception. Heterosexual couples could now turn childbearing into a choice rather than an accident. If traditional marriage is the shotgun marriage of a woman finding herself unexpectedly pregnant and having to be forcibly partnered off with a man who doesn’t necessarily love her in order to meet social and familial expectations, we’ve got good reasons to be glad it’s dead and buried.
Marriage is now a romantic institution: one of the few romantic institutions left in a world run by markets and money men, incidentally. It’s yet to be convincingly deconstructed by either postmodern theorists or merchant banks. If you think marriage has any value, it’s because love has value. Behind my cynical exterior is someone who believes in love. Love is the foundation of all that is good and noble in humans: family, charity, care for each other, the desire to create and to share, in the fight for justice when we are wronged. Love requires above all honesty and truth. Marriage is the public telling of that truth to all. And gay people have some truth that needs telling.
The choice here is between segregation and equality, between fear and love. Please choose wisely.
Go respond to the consultation today.
Reblogging for any UKers, but also simply because Tom’s wording here is utterly superb in general. We Kiwis may be leading our own push for marriage equality soon, and these words are relevant regardless of geographic location.