One Small Step on the Long Road

Congratulations to California for having a temporary reprieve from the tyranny of the majority. Of course it is a somewhat pyrrhic because nobody on either side believes this is going to end before the Supreme Court gets to rule, no matter how any of the intermediate rulings go. If it had gone the other way the process would still have moved inexorably upwards. There are no dead-ends that can be taken – this will be judged by SCOTUS in due course.

Still, I am cheered by the fact that, hopefully, those gay folks wanting to get married soon should have a window of opportunity. I also know some folks who will continue to refuse to marry until that right is won by all: and I appreciate their stand too.

I firmly believe in 50 years we’ll look back on this struggle as our generation’s great social justice issue. Here in the UK we still have a long and hard battle to fight. It is legal for same-sex couples to join in “civil partnerships” (similar to the situation in New Jersey), but not “marriage”. And what is more, to pander to the overinflated egos of the established church, the legislation on civil partnerships means that it is illegal for a same-sex couple to have *any* religious content in their service. Regardless of whether they are religious, or whether they belong to a religion that has no problem with homosexuality. The tyranny of the majority. Okay, Britain is past the position where a gay person can be systematically deprived of the next-of-kin rights their partner wanted them to have. In that way we’re ahead of 44 out of 50 US states. But make no mistake, bigotry in the big institutional churches runs deep and dark. Hell, the Church of England has only just decided to allow women into positions of authority over men!

I for one, am happy to be standing on the right side of this battle. At least as much as I can from my safe little bunker of a state-endorsed heterosexual marriage.

[Edit: It seems that the ruling stays the repeal of Prop 8 pending an appeal. So there isn’t a window of opportunity at all :(]


Filed under Uncategorized

2 responses to “One Small Step on the Long Road

  1. Well said, totally agree.
    Democracy is dangerous !

  2. Hi Ian,
    I think this was always going to have to be the subject of appeal, but speaking as another heterosexual male in a fantastic state-sanctioned (and church-sanctioned – we all might do things differently if we could do them again) marriage, I think it’s great that the tide seems to finally be turning, to allow gay people the right to have the right to marry. AND for that to be *called* “marriage”, if that is what they want.
    My son and I were out for a bike ride the other week and ended up in Belfast as the annual Belfast Pride parade came in. I was amazed (should I have been?) by just how good-humoured and family-friendly the whole atmosphere was, and delighted to see how well everyone was interacting – the parade, the supporters, the ordinary citizens of Belfast. All in a celebration of accepting people for the way they are.
    And this is a lesson that we in Northern Ireland really need to learn.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s