My wife and I have just celebrated our 25th Wedding Anniversary this summer, so I don’t need convincing that marriage is a good thing. So, I am left perplexed as to why a change in civil marriage such as this which, important though it is, will directly affect only a few, will be noticed in their daily lives by even fewer and will have minimal, if any, direct impact on the general population, is causing so much disquiet, particularly when there are such wider benefits.
In 21st century Britain, we should not be willing to accept a legal system which effectively casts one group of people in the role of second class citizens on the grounds of their sexual orientation. It is true that gay people will benefit from this change through the greater social and emotional value it will bring them. But it should also benefit us all in helping us become a society more at ease with ourselves and more genuinely focused on equality of opportunity.
This is not some Liberal conspiracy nor is it a war waged on the majority by the minority. It is a thoroughly Conservative aspiration and was echoed on the steps of Downing Street in 1992 with John Major’s assertion that he believed “in a nation at ease with itself, the development of a truly classless society with opportunities for all.” Gay civil marriage fits in to that Conservative vision.
Before saying why I find arguments against same sex marriage deeply unconvincing, let me declare one further interest - as an active member of the Anglican Church.