Another big step

Same-sex marriage is to be included into law in England and Wales. It’s the right and fair thing to do.

Many religious politicians claim that this will devalue or destroy Christian mixed-sex marriages. But they seem to forget that for a long time, the UK has allowed pagans, atheists, humanists, scientologists, infertile couples, and so many others to marry to no detrimental effect.

In some statements, Church of England bishops even argues that this was a ‘redefinition of marriage’, while conveniently ignoring that redefining marriage was the very foundation of the good old C of E: the Pope didn’t let Henry VIII annul his marriage to Anne Boleyn, so he created his own religion. Not only that, but we also no longer consider women as property of their husbands; we no longer allow polygamy; we no longer ban mixed-race marriages.

This is simply the big step in allowing any two consenting adults to have the same rights –and responsibilities– as any other couple.

But there is a long way to go. Scotland and Northern Ireland still need to update their laws; and the UK now needs to help undo the Victorian attitudes it instilled in its colonies at the time. Gay people in places like¬†Pakistan, Uganda, Hong Kong, Cyprus, Cameroon, the Caribbean, India and Australia still live under varying levels of inequality. It’s up to the UK to say, “We gave you these attitudes, but we were wrong. We’ve changed. I hope your country will also do what’s right to do”.