If we call it something different then it means something different


I have been asked a few times lately what my point of view is on same sex marriage, by both straight and gay friends As part of the conversations I had, I realised that many people have what I think of as a ‘skewed’ idea of what marriage is all about.

Now why do I say that? Well it is not that I mean they have ideas about how a marriage might or might not work. The key thing that almost everyone seems to think is that ‘marriage’ is a religious act. Now even my ‘non-religious’ friends (some who did not get married in a church themselves) believe that the act of marriage is a religious thing!

Correct me if I am wrong, but I thought a ‘marriage’ was in fact a ‘legal’ act, not a religious one. Yes, a lot of people choose to get married within a religious setting, such as in a church, but ultimately they sign a legal document that then legalises their wedding… in fact without this you are not really married in the eyes of the law.

Also a key point is that heterosexual couples are allowed to ‘get married’ in non-religious places, such as a garden, on a beach or even in a pub – where is the religion in that!? And yet they can still call it a ‘marriage’.

It is not good enough to say “but marriage is a religious act” as an argument, because that is not the entire truth, and besides non-religious heterosexuals being allowed to get married in a church simply makes a mockery of that argument.

I do agree however, that if the church does not want to allow same-sex marriages in their churches, then so be it, but they do not ‘own’ the copyright of marriage. I fundamentally believe that same-sex- partners should be allowed to get ‘married’ (be it in a garden, on a beach or in a pub) and call it just that. Marriage. 

A ‘civil-partnership’ is not the same. If we call it something different, then it means something different. People know what the act of marriage means, what being married bestows on a relationship and the statement a couple make to their friends and family when they ‘get married’. We all know the importance of this. And no it is not the same when a couple make a civil declaration, it does not have the same gravitas and it certainly is not seen as ‘equal’ to a marriage by most people.

Until I can say “this is my husband” rather than “this is my civil partner” there will always be a disparate treatment and acceptance of same-sex partnerships.

And if R is reading this…. no I am not wanting to get married.

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7 Responses to “If we call it something different then it means something different”

  1. Anita Ribbons Says:

    completely agree that marriage has never had anything to do with a religious act.. born out by Henry V111 who simply changed his religion for pure convenience to shag another woman! Dont get too hung up on the title of your union I say… marriage, wife, husband, partner, missis, him indoors….. say what you will… it means different things to all people. And who’s saying you cant just say “this is my husband” anyway? Because if you did say that there would be no confusion or argument about what you actually mean.. would there? You can call him your husband now and noone would really care or argue the point.. married or not. If I lived with Graham and kept saying this is my husband.. even though in the eyes of the law he was my ‘common law partner’ noone would even know or care in the end that we’d never had the wedding.! Marriage is a state of mind. The certificate with the words on is not what binds you.. its the public declaration of your love and committment that helps make the difference.. then the daily act of getting on with it. And the more history I share with one person.. the less likely I want to ever leave him.. and the fact that I still laugh at his jokes and share the same dreams. That is a marriage dear Colin and each marriage is so different not one of us is an expert.. or can define it in a title on a piece of legal paper.
    ps… you do realise you are my spare if it all goes peet tom dont you!
    Anita x

  2. R Says:

    phew! 🙂 R

  3. hilldag Says:

    I wish people could get past the religious arguments. Straight Atheists can get married across the country. However, I think the most important issues are the legal and financial rights a married couple are given. Taxes, hospital visitation, employee benefits… So many people are so clueless.

  4. erica Says:

    friends of mine got married recently . . in a church . . funny thing was that it was a civil ceremony . . they just liked the location . . and the church was just happy to get anyone inside!

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