‘Love is a many splendid thing, love lifts us up where we belong … All you need is love’ Elephant Love Medley, Moulin Rouge
In all this debate about marriage equality, I think the one resounding question we have to ask is what the institution of marriage is supposed to represent. Is it about procreation? Is it a legal way to bind two families’ finances? Is it a way of ensuring our partner receives our pension in the event of our death? Or is it, as many would like to believe, a commitment between two people brought on by the sanctity of love?
Above all else, is it strictly between a man and a woman? It seems opponents of equal marriage can only justify their argument on the basis that marriage is about the family. That only one man and one woman can produce a child, and as such, only a union between the opposite sexes can constitute a marriage. No talk of whether infertile heterosexuals should be banned from marriage. Or those who would rather pursue a life without children. No recognition either, that gay people can have families, although that brings up a whole other debate.
Possibly the most outrageous argument against marriage equality has been the suggestion that it would lead to a rise in the number of homosexuals roaming the planet. This phobia has been so exacerbated as to suggest everyone, upon marriage equality, would suddenly turn gay, and quite unscientifically, be able to procreate a host of homosexual generations. And all this ‘logic’ from the same campaigners that believe homosexuality is unnatural. It seems to me, opponents have never read a science book or tapped into the hundreds of species around the world that display homosexuality.
I can understand that it has taken centuries for people to publically acknowledge the existence of gays, but there is no disputing the fact that we have always been there, and always will be. What I cannot fathom is the Christian argument against homosexuality. Anyone who has read the bible, such as myself, will know that Jesus never spoke a bad word about gays. Yet the pope gave his blessing to the Ugandan politician trying to make the “Hate the Gays” bill pass to make homosexuality potentially punishable by death. And we can’t forget the biblical undertone too, that the apostle Paul himself was batting for the pink team.
Let’s get this straight, so to speak – homosexuality is not evil, is not wrong and is not about sexual deviance. As Harry Potter’s Daniel Radcliffe recently pointed out, there’s no difference between gay male sex and straight anal sex. And it’s not as though heterosexuals stick to a rigid missionary position with the lights out and “no orgasms please”, so in that sense, what is so wrong with homosexuality? It, alongside heterosexuality, is simply a variation. But again, I can’t stress enough how sex is no more significant in a gay relationship than it is in a straight one – so why the obsession? It seems to me, straight homophobes are the most preoccupied with homosexual acts.
Marriage, in my opinion, should be about love. Scepticism says love wears off, and maybe it does, but sceptics have no right to decide who gets to test that theory. If you believe marriage is about family then you have to make divorce, where a child is present, illegal. By the same logic of the opponents, you have to make extra-marital affairs a punishable crime. Only then, will the nuclear family have any chance of surviving – much to the detriment of human happiness. I have little faith in any government or, to be honest at this stage, any religion, in making a decision not based on its own gains. So it is up to us, the people – gay, straight, bi, trans – to stand up and do what makes people happy – that is love. I haven’t heard love used as reason to oppose marriage equality – why, because no organisation views that as the basis of marriage. And yet, we are supposed to walk down the aisle with that being the only reason for swapping vows. What a contradiction? And if marriage is all about money, I still don’t see why gays can’t financially secure the person they cherish the most in the world when straights can.
A mere debate over marriage equality simply points out that the world has yet to respect that gays are capable of the same levels of emotion as straights. Otherwise this wouldn’t be up for discussion, and that is a sad result for humanity.