I promised to write a post about my opinions on marriage equality for gays and lesbians. With last month's vote in Parliament to legalise it and all the current activity in the United States over the issue, now seems a fitting time.
I am a strong supporter of marriage; I doubt this will come as a surprise to my family, friends and followers, but in short: yes, I support marriage equality. I hold no animosity towards gays and lesbians, and have no reason to deny them something I have the right to myself. I am entitled to marry a woman I love and vice versa (with each other's consent, of course), so why should the LGBT people I know, and others who love someone of their own gender, not be allowed to marry?
I do not consider gay marriage to be a threat to my future marriage or to anyone else's, nor do I think heterosexual marriage would be devalued by it. After all, in the United Kingdom and United States, on average a heterosexual marriage has a 50% chance of succeeding, greater amounts of straight people are becoming disinterested in marriage and certain celebrities treat marriage frivolously. None of these problems are caused by gays and lesbians, and marriage equality will not exacerbate them.
I reject arguments against gay marriage such as "it will lead to bestiality and paedophilia!", "gays will force straights into marrying them!" and "people will want to marry their kitchen sink!". Marriage is between two consenting adults who (usually) understand what they're doing. The sole result from legalising gay marriage will be couples of the same gender being allowed to marry; nothing more, nothing less. Everything else is paranoia and utter nonsense.
I don't believe in opposing gay marriage based on politics, either: LGBT people can be liberals, moderates, conservatives or even apolitical — my family and I once had a gay friend and neighbor who identified as a Republican, and his partner was a Democrat! I think it's wonderful that both the President of the United States and
the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom — a Democrat and a Conservative, respectively — support equal marrying rights; never before has this happened, and ten years ago this would have been unthinkable.
It's also been stated that gays and lesbians should not be allowed to marry because marriage is only for producing children. If that were the case, then people who are old or infertile should be barred from marrying, and couples whose children have left home and can support themselves should divorce since their marriages have served their purpose. What about all those children born out of wedlock today, too? While on the subject of LGBT parenting, by extension of my support for marriage equality, I support same-sex couples being able to have and raise children; I might not know of many kids raised by gay couples, but I have yet to discover anyone who went off the rails because their parents were both of the same gender.
Nothing will be lost by granting marriage equality. I find it relieving that in this era of falling marriage rates, at
least one group of people thinks marriage is worth fighting for. Who knows?
Perhaps after gays and lesbians achieve the right to marry, other people might start valuing marriage again! I like to see the positives, and I think marriage equality will be a great step forward in civil rights, respect...and for marriage itself.