Welcome to Straight Britain
Legislation passed last week essentially makes it illegal for the Church of England to ratify a same-sex marriage. Further legislation then exempts the church from discrimination laws. The Islamic Council Of Britain is accusing the government of discrimination, by preventing it from also being legally able to discriminate against same-sex marriage. And I find myself asking the question no one else seems to be asking: just what is the legal argument against gay marriage?
Plenty of other bloggers will be far more capable than me at discoursing elegantly against the towering, spiralling, Heller-esque hypocrisy surrounding this “issue” – and I inverted those commas as hard as I could, because for me, this is an absolute non-issue. I’m not angry about it; the issue only affects me indirectly, since I don’t really care what the church says about anything, and also, I can’t imagine myself ever marrying another man. (It’s enough having one man, me, in my life. Sometimes even that’s too much; adding another would be insufferable.) I’m not angry, I’m utterly mystified. I’ve never felt more deeply entrenched in sex and sexuality – which is the same as saying I’ve never felt more distant from mainstream thought – than I do right now.
Perhaps it’s my own fault. The reason I’ve never felt so distant from conventional thinking is because I’ve been in the adult industry for something close to a decade now, and gender, race, sexuality, and personal fetishes are simply not considerations of mine. The colour of someone’s skin or their gender alignment make no more or less difference to me than the colour of their eyes. Unless their eyes are a colour with which I’m totally unfamiliar, pinstripe or polka dot for example, then it’s of no odds whatsoever. My confusion over this issue highlights just how far removed I’ve personally become over recent years, that something I believe should be allowed as a matter of course is now actually illegal. I mean, imagine how confused you’d be if masturbation was suddenly outlawed. It’s something you and I surely take absolutely for granted: suddenly prohibiting it would be an incomprehensible step backwards. The same is true of this new homophobic legislation.
I understand the moral argument against equal marriage. I understand the religious argument. I understand there is underlying cultural resentment towards the concept of it. I even understand the political reticence. But the legal argument against gay marriage? Nope, you got me. Not a fucking clue.
It’s been 50 years since the laws against homosexuality began to be relaxed in the UK (though I’m aware of the irony that only in the last 30 years is it no longer considered a mental illness). Which is why it’s all the more confusing now that there is a strengthening of the laws against it, and a strengthening of the laws protecting the strengthening the laws against it.
Just how is this argued in a rational, secular court of law? In my childlike simplicity, I can only imagine the conversation went something like this:
Counsellor in favour of same sex marriage: “Your honour, homosexuality has been legal for fifty years; the gay community is established and stable, we contribute to society and abide by the same laws as heterosexual couples. Shouldn’t we be afforded the same legal ratification as heterosexual couples?”
Judge: “Thank you counsellor.”
Counsellor against same-sex marriage: “But… but… Your Honour, you know they’re gay, right?”
Judge: “OH MY GOD, REALLY!? These people lobbying in favour of same-sex marriage are gay? Ewwwwwwww, get away from my bum, Gay Counsellor!”
Counsellor against Same-sex marriage: “I know, right?”
Judge: “Case dismissed. And bring me some antibacterial gel, just in case I got any gay on me.”
That’s how I imagine it in my head, and that’s the best I can do. So please, anyone out there with any insight on this topic, please help me out. How and why do you argue against gay marriage in a court of law?