Gay marriage bill

Just a short post to say that today feels quite good.  I hadn’t really been following the gay marriage debate in much detail.  It just seemed obvious to me that gay marriage should be allowed. I really couldn’t see why people should have an issue with it and whenever I did encounter discussions about it, all the arguments against seemed poorly thought out and rather selfish.  

I am quite impressed that the gay marriage bill passed through parliament quite easily yesterday.  I thought it might pass, but didn’t expect it to be quite so overwhelming (400 voted in favour, 175 against).  I was somewhat disappointed in Sarah Teather voting against.  I had thought better of her.  She has written an explanation that I should probably read.  Maybe the most significant thing was that more than half of the Tory MPs voted against.  Not necessarily that surprising but it does suggest that David Cameron is somewhat losing support in his own party.  It might also suggest that there might be quite a lot of action to modify the final legislation.

Anyway, yesterday was a good day for equality and I hope it a sign of more good things to come. 

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One thought on “Gay marriage bill

  1. A somewhat odd article in the Guardian today by Simon Jenkins. I’m not sure I quite got what he was saying but, given that it is Simon Jenkins, that may not be a bad thing. He seemed to be suggesting that we should still tolerate and understand the views of those who object to gay marriage and that winning this vote will have some negative impact of our level of tolerance. Very strange. I thought that a large number of different views were expressed quite openly and freely in the media. The different opinions were given pretty equal airtime. There was a parliamentary debate and the gay marriage bill was passed (or at least the first stage). Pretty textbook representative democracy as far as I could tell.

    What I found interesting in the article was the line

    The fact that most of those holding this view appear to be over 50, live in the country, vote Tory and wear tweed is neither here nor there.

    I don’t know if most who object are over 50, live in the country and vote Tory, but I don’t think it is neither here nor there. This illustrates the issue. There are a group of people who have an idealised sense of what our society should be like and may actually have a life that is quite close to their ideal. They don’t realise that most don’t, can’t and probably don’t want to live this kind of idealised life. Not only should they not be allowed to impose their ideal on the rest of us, this change to the law is not going to affect their lives in any substantial way. They can continue to live their ideal life.

    To me, this bill passing is a great example of “human rights” operating in the correct manner. It really will allow a certain group access to something if they wish to access it (gay marriage) but will have virtually no effect on anyone else. If it does, it will only be through their own choice.

    The issue of tolerance is also interesting. There are many things that are no longer socially acceptable/tolerated. Maybe we don’t have strict laws against them, but it is no longer appropriate to express racist or sexist views in a public setting. Similarly homophobic views are not acceptable, but it is still alright to express views about gay marriage. This will presumably be tolerated for the foreseeable future but, hopefully, it too will become socially unacceptable. I’m not suggesting legislating against it, but I do hope that it becomes so accepted that expressing a view against gay marriage will be frowned upon so that it becomes something that a reasonable person would not do.

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