Sunday, 9 October 2011

Gay Marriage: The Right Perspective

Charles Moore, the right-wing columnist has written an interesting piece in the Telegraph in which he challenges the recent acceptance by David Cameron of same-sex marriage.  Whilst Cameron has cleverly taken the concept of marriage and used it to include homosexuals in a very 'traditional' conception of the family, Moore appears to short-circuit at such ideas and uses his piece to propagate the kind of hateful homophobia that many have to expect from the media of the right.  In case his diatribe against 'tolerance' and homosexuality more generally didn't convince readers, he moves on to include a reference to Muslims (always a sure fire way to have readers in full boggle eyed mode).  He writes:

'...for example, roughly as many Muslims in Britain as there are homosexuals. Muslims believe in polygamy – for men only, up to four wives. Muslims insist that women, just as much as men, welcome this rule. Suppose that Mr Cameron had got up and told his conference, “it shouldn’t matter whether commitment is between a man and a woman or a man and four women”, would he have been able to make the audience clap? Mightn’t they have recognised that a situation in which men were now permitted to marry four women would damage a society in which, until now, one man could only be married to one woman at a time? Wouldn’t they have said that the consent of those involved was not the only issue at stake? Wouldn’t they have been right?'

Now, for liberal loons like me, that's an easy one, yes, polygamy should be 'allowed' and recognised by the state.  Moore reminds us that the 'victories' of gay marriage/same-sex marriage are in fact about the incorporation of homosexuals to heteronormative institutions. These acts of 'progress' are not about a fundamental re-appraisal of the marriage construct, which remains inherently conservative.  As such, these attacks by the likes of Moore can act as a 'smokescreen', creating a reaction among LGBTQ activists to argue for same-sex marriage - if the nuts are against it, we must be for it.

 Check out the full piece here.

Share this:

Paul Prentice said...

Good piece, Chris. To me it's striking how little the gay community is talking about marriage equalisation (I'm trying to stop myself calling it 'gay marriage' because we don't call the existing institution 'straight marriage').

If and when the law to equalise the lawn does get passed, it'll create an interesting dilemma for those gay and lesbian couples who are planning on tying the not, or indeed already committed in civil partnerships (I'm not sure which category my boyfriend and I will be in by that point!). Do we accept that a civil partnership is still as good as anything else, or do we 'upgrade'?

Having made officially registered our intention on Thursday, and speaking purely for ourselves I think we are happy with the relatively progressive institution of civil partnerhships, without the historical, religious and cultural trappings of marriage. Interesting times.

Chris Ashford said...

Yea - I take your point on the use of gay marriage - it also excludes those who identify as 'bi' or who have issues with 'gay'. I used 'same-sex' in the body of the post but deliberately used 'gay marriage' in the headline as that's how Moore defined it.

I think the 'upgrade' issue is fascinating - if the gov allows vicil partnerships to remain (which I think they'll have to for practical reasons) they will have to decide whether to still offer new civil partnerships alongside same-sex marriage, but f they do that, they will end up being forced via Human Rights law to extend civil partnerships to 'straight' couples (which I'd like to see).

I support the move to same-sex marriage but I want civil partnerships to remain and I'd like to see further flexible forms of relationship recognition. As you say, interesting times! :-)

Elly said...

I think there is a real possibility that they could scrap civil partnerships altogether rather than have them open to everyone, which, frankly, is a bit French.

And this will cause me some wry amusement as suddenly gay people will be 'equal' to straights, but equally forced to choose between marriage and nothing.

Copyright © 2014 Law and Sexuality. Designed by OddThemes | Distributed By Gooyaabi Templates