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Like many of my fellow contributors, and many of you lovely readers, I was watching the same-sex marriage debate in Parliament last Tuesday. Like most of you I was absolutely overjoyed that we are one step closer to equal marriage. I celebrated by going out for a pint or six with my brother – though I’m going to wait until it’s signed into law before I really start partying.
To get to that stage, however, we all had to sit through various closed-minded bigots who essentially say “I’m not anti-gay, but they shouldn’t be able to get married.” In the words of many, many people live-tweeting that debate: “You’re anti-gay, dear!”
I could go on for hours about the ludicrousness of those who put forth the “If we legalise this, then where does it stop?” argument, or the mind-blowing fact that an elected Member of Her Majesty’s Government actually stood up and used the “Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve” argument, or the ever-frustrating claim of “I’m not homophobic, I’ve got gay friends”.
However, the one piece of incomprehensible and unforgivable hypocrisy came from Nadine Dorries MP, who stood up and gave a speech about how the lack of any mention of consummation in the proposed same-sex marriage law means that gay couples would not be required to be faithful to their partners.
Let’s walk through that again. She alleges that the lack of any mention of consummation in a marriage law would directly affect fidelity. I don’t know about you, but I can think of a lot of other things that would more directly affect fidelity. Morals, ethics, and love for your partner, to name but three.
The fact that there is a mention of consummation in opposite-sex marriage law has done NOTHING to stop infidelity, which is shown by the very fact that there is even the concept of infidelity!
What’s worse is that it comes from Nadine Dorries, the woman who, in December 2012, publicly admitted to having an affair with her friend’s husband! And she’s lecturing US about fidelity? Does she think that fidelity is just a heterosexual concept? Although that said, it’s not one that her heterosexual self appears to have given much thought!
I don’t know how MPs such as Iain Stewart, who stood up and gave a very personal, moving and somewhat emotional speech about his own coming out to his parents, can even stand to sit in the same room as people such as Ms Dorries.
I also had to laugh when another MP opposing the bill (whose name I have unfortunately forgotten) stood up and elaborated on the point by stating that “gays cannot consummate a marriage, it’s a physical impossibility”, to which a Twitter user remarked: “Erm…awkward…does someone want to tell him?”
To those who hold such a standpoint as Ms Dorries and the other MP, I hate to break it to you, but not only could we consummate a marriage, we have been doing so without marriage for centuries.
As for fidelity, those same-sex couples who enter into a marriage will, hopefully, ensure their own fidelity by applying their morals, their conscience, and most of all the love for their partner, on which their desire for marriage is based – NOT on some clause in the small print.