14. February 2012 21:46
Gay marriage is hardly out of the news at the moment. In our view, civil partnerships are not very civil while they still offer different life choices to straight couples than to gay couples. Love should not come with caveats attached. If civil partnership has the same legal rights as marriage, then we should able to call it marriage.
Important strides have been made towards gay marriage recently. David Cameron said "I don't support gay marriage in spite of being a Conservative. I support gay marriage because I am a Conservative." Aligning the Tories so explicitly with the rights of gay couples to use the M-word shows something new is in the air. So much for the top brass. But rank and file Tory MPs are still in many cases against gay marriage and threatening to derail the law. Where does the objection spring from? Who exactly is stopping us using from this most loving of words? Step forward, the Church.
The Christian establishment is fearful of extending rights to gay couples. They have banned civil partnership ceremonies in C of E churches1. This is because "marriage" is defined in the Bible as being a union (given by God) that can only exist between a man and a woman2. Well, we ask, who owns the word marriage in today's world? And why should the Church have ownership over it? As gay people who want to live and love in today's society we should strive to de-couple the word "marriage" from religious overtones and reclaim it for use by all equally.
We reclaimed the word "gay". We reclaimed "queer". Now we should stake a claim to the word "married".