Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Defending Marriage? Like hell you are.

So, I'm checking facebook on work today, and suddenly I see that one of my colleagues has answered a poll question. Nothing unusual in that, I hear you say, people answer poll questions on facebook approximately 17 million times per second.

The reason this one caught my eye was because it was on a page labelled "Protect Marriage: One Man, One Woman."

The question asked "which side are you on?"

The answers were

"Marriage = One man, One Woman"
"I support marriage equality."

So I sat there, looking at that question, and started to think to myself 'exactly what do I think of this issue?' To be honest, its not one I've paid an overly large amount of attention to. As I'm sure you can see from previous entries, fitting anything in amongst motorsport, writing and videogames is a bit of trial for me, so sitting there, trying to think of my point of view took a little while.

Now, I am a Christian - bear with me - but I try not to make too big an issue of it. I don't adhere to all church doctrine, and I sure as hell don't agree with every word the big papa in Rome hands down. But the whole principal behind a lot people citing that they're "Defending the Sanctity of Marriage" is that somehow gay marriage erodes the preciousness of the marriage between a man and a woman.

With all due respect, horseshit. I'm pretty sure Britney Spears and Kim Kardashian have done a hell of a lot more to erode the sanctity of marriage than any loving gay couple.

On the other hand, the recent debate laws that would force churches who disagree with gay marriage to allow same-sex weddings in their churches also smacks of a certain amount of political manoeuvring and has led to a lot of christians feeling like their hand is being forced.

So I sit there, as the rather limited minutes of my lunchbreak tick by, contemplating those two little options, and then I remembered something my wife mentioned in passing; The actual wedding between two people is conducted by the registrar, not the priest. It's when your name is entered in that record book that you're officially entered into the ranks of married. Sure, the church ceremony beforehand is nice and all, but the important bit is that ten or so minutes where the registrar takes your details.

And then I got onto thinking about Marriage itself. I've always held to the core belief that at the end of the day, the wedding itself isn't that important. Before my wife wallops me one, let me say that I loved our wedding, and it was the happiest day of my life thus far, but the important bit has come in the three years since, where we've been through trials, tragedies and many, many tribulations. And that's marriage.

SO I decided, yes, I am a defender of Marriage. But I'm not a defender of Religious Nutbars who want to maintain their exclusivity of the term, and I'm not a defender of the other side trying to score political points over the Religious Nutbars by trying to force them to do something they fundamentally disagree with.

I am, however, quite happy to defend marriage. Be that straight marriage, gay marriage, civil marriage, religious marriage or any other kind. Because you know what, a proper marriage doesn't start at the altar and end at the reception. Marriage is about two people - be that a man and a man, a woman and a woman or a man and a woman - who love each other enough to say "I want nothing more than to share the rest of my life with this person. I want to wake up in the morning and see there face, and I want to go to sleep at night seeing the exact same thing."

Marriage is about those people in love. It isn't about what God says - although I'm sure that if anyone actually bothered to ask God rather than deciding on his behalf, he'd be pretty cool with it - and it isn't about demanding others adhere to your view for the sake of it.

So I clicked the second option. I clicked "I support marriage equality." Because I do. People can do what they want for their wedding at the end of the day. Their wedding is not their marriage. But everyone, be they gay, straight or somewhere in between deserves the right to Marriage.