Why I’m Finally Coming Out…for Gay Marriage

Apologies to anyone who started reading the title and expected an announcement.

The debate about whether or not to introduce same-sex marriage was one that annoyed the shit out of me, partly because it seemed to get a great deal more airplay than it merited in the context of the other issues that could have been discussed at the time, and also because both sides of the argument managed, somehow, to make me dislike them immensely. I found myself agreeing with the sentiment of abuse and general unpleasantness from all angles, seeing it as something akin to the Iraq vs Iran war, where you hope that they all lose, crawl back under their stones and fuck off.

Unofficial power is the most dangerous form anyone can have, since it does not openly exist and therefore can avoid legitimate challenge. There is no doubt that the militant gay lobby (as opposed to the average LGBT individual) wields an amount of it that is grossly disproportionate to the percentage of the population they claim to represent. If their ‘clients’ are the 0.2% of people currently in a civil partnership, then Stonewall et al have done a fantastic job for them. However, it was quite apparent to me that their pushing for ‘equal marriage’ something they had rejected as ’embracing patriarchy’ when the civil partnerships bill was passed, smacked of a spoilt sibling not allowing bro or sis to have anything, not unless they could have it too.

Then we have the curious coalition of Tory backwoodsmen and religious leaders looking to hide rampant homophobia behind, er, religious freedom. The argument that civil partnerships had ended a historical injustice and therefore rendered same sex marriage unnecessary is a valid one, held by a few totally reasonable people I happen to know. However, most of those Tories making this case were blown out of the water somewhat when they were reminded that they had voted against civil partnerships at the time. Meanwhile, religionists who justifiably complained about churches being forced to conduct same-sex ceremonies found a way to be opposed even when it was written unequivocally into law that this would not happen. Go figure…

So the quality of the discussion was absolutely fucking dreadful, leaving many of us, myself included, not really giving a shit how it turned out and wishing the whole thing would go away. It was only something I thought about again when I happened to talk to a few people in the last couple of weeks who had either just got married or were about to do so. I always find it easier to be genuinely happy for those who get hitched at a slightly older age, mainly because you can assume with more confidence that they have made the decision entirely for themselves, rather than as a form of surrender to social or parental pressure. Doing something because you should is probably the worst motivation for anything I can think of.

Now I’ve never proposed to anybody and so can only imagine that it has the potential to be an immensely nerve-racking experience. Fear of rejection exists in all of us to varying degrees, and proposal is usually done in the knowledge that a negative response will mean game over for the relationship. I’d venture that nobody is ever going to take this brave step in total comfort and confidence. So…is it not more than a tad sadistic that society has devised this convention, where a guy has to get down on one knee and act like a dog grovelling for food? Personally, I wouldn’t want anyone I gave a shit about to feel like they had to behave that way in any circumstances, or understand, beyond the fact it’s what people do, how anyone could be comfortable with it.

Surely this can only be a ‘between genders’ thing, right?. I mean, if we’re talking about two guys or two girls getting hitched, then why on earth would one of them feel the necessity to humiliate themselves, become so utterly subservient to the other? Trying to visualise it is proving impossible, since it just doesn’t compute. My gut instinct here would be to think that more same-sex couples would be inclined to discuss the pros and cons of marriage over a meal or a beer, in a cooler, more equal and less intense, theatrical way. Surely this is how such a conversation should work? If they ultimately decide not to get married, for now, then at least there isn’t the very open sense of hurt to deal with – why make this any more difficult than it already is?

So if same-sex marriage makes the rest of us question the merits of this rather strange and antiquated social convention, then I’m all for it. The only angles from which it makes any sort of sense, those of ‘romance’ and ‘tradition’, don’t stack up very well. Tell me this girls – what is romantic about getting someone you claim you care about to make a complete fucking arse of himself? Do adults still read fairytales, is that it? Meanwhile, ‘tradition’ was used as a rather lame excuse to continue with such archaic pastimes as bear-baiting, fox-hunting, dogfights and celebrating the monarchy. Three down, one to go on that score. Rather like its friend, patriotism, the wheeling out of ‘tradition’ is the last refuge of someone who knows very fucking well they’ve lost the argument.

Do your thing, take no shit, be yourself – take care and catch you soon.


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