David Cameron’s coalition Conservative/Liberal Democrat government announced last year that it would introduce legislation to allow same-sex civil marriage prior to the next general election, due in 2015. A period of consultation will be undertaken from this month, not on the merits of gay marriage, but rather on how the change can be introduced.
Cameron has stressed his personal support (or at least his recognition that gay marriage is probably a net vote winner in the electorate (if not his own party)), saying:
Conservatives believe in the ties that bind us; that society is stronger when we make vows to each other and support each other. So I don’t support gay marriage in spite of being a Conservative. I support gay marriage because I am a Conservative.’
Of course, this has prompted much screaming from the old men. The former Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey stated that:
Like many others, I was baffled by this statement. Not because I begrudge rights and benefits to homosexual couples. I was baffled because this Government’s proposal constitutes one of the greatest political power grabs in history.
The state does not own marriage… The honourable estate of matrimony precedes both the state and the church, and neither of these institutions have the right to redefine it in such a fundamental way.
and the current Archbishop, Dr Rowan Willams, appears to agree with him.
Apparently neither of these gentlemen had a problem with it when UK governments were passing laws to define marriage in a manner of which they approved.
Now the Catholic church has entered the fray, distributing a letter from Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster, which was to be read at all masses held today. The letter is, of course, the usual senseless blather from celibate know-it-alls in dresses about marriage being for the purpose of bringing about little Catholic babies or, as Bishop Nichols puts it:
Male and female we have been created, and written into our nature is this pattern of complementarity and fertility.
Changing the legal definition of marriage would be a profoundly radical step. Its consequences should be taken seriously now. The law helps to shape and form social and cultural values. A change in the law would gradually and inevitably transform society’s understanding of the purpose of marriage. It would reduce it just to the commitment of the two people involved. There would be no recognition of the complementarity of male and female or that marriage is intended for the procreation and education of children.
If you want, you can listen to Archbishop Nichols here, although I do warn you that two minutes of the good bishop is equivalent to about 10mg of rohypnol and a hammer to the right temple.
Even worse for the bishops, they seem to have lost old Rupert, with the Times coming out strongly for gay marriage:
Stable gay relationships are a part of national life. If marital law cannot accommodate them, the purpose of marriage will eventually be brought into question. Gay marriage will be a notable but still evolutionary social reform. And the marriage contract has changed historically to take account of shifting mores.
Earlier ages considered that allowing women to own property was against God and nature. Changing the law abolished a gross injustice and thereby enhanced the legitimacy of marriage. It is time to lift another form of discriminatory treatment. Reforming the law would enrich the lives of same-sex couples who wish to marry in order to affirm by rite that they love and are loved in return. By that commitment, they will enrich the society and culture that their fellow citizens share.
I could be wrong, but I suspect the gay marriage ship has already sailed, and it is simply a matter of time before the UK joins such heathen and anti-religious nations as Spain, Portugal and Belgium in the wanton rending of the fabric of their societies.
At least Archbishop Nicols will have a nice frock to wear when he gets carted off in chains and forced to gay-marry Boy George.
I will be vaguely live-blogging the royal wedding on Balloon Juice direct from Westminster Abbey, commencing at about 10am London time (5am New York time) on Friday.
If any of you are silly enough to be up at that time and to give a flying crap about the family affairs of an inbred bunch of horse-faced Germans, I hope you will join me there.
I will post the text of the live blog here on Sarah, Proud and Tall later on Friday.
[Image from http://katemiddletonforthewin.tumblr.com/]
Hello, my dears.
Great excitement and surprise at Shady Pines today, as I have finally received my invitation to the royal wedding next Friday.
In order to be entirely accurate, I should say that everyone else is excited and surprised. Marge is running around burbling about how beautiful Diana is, and the other girls have already started engaging in blatant bribery with spirits and pharmaceuticals in order that they might be chosen as my “plus one”.
I’m not surprised, given that I phoned Betty Saxe-Coburg-Gotha at Buckingham Palace last week and mentioned that I was a little put out that Elton Fucking John and that cadaverous bint Vicky Beckham received their invitations before I did. A few passing references to the special services I provided to Stupid George during the war and certain information about Paris road underpasses that Betty really doesn’t want leaking out, and before you could say “overprivileged inbred hereditary bloodsuckers” a nice little man in full livery was standing on the front doorstep of Shady Pines, panting and clutching an envelope.
Excited is probably also an overstatement. It will be nice to have an excuse to visit Harvey Nicks and Harrods, and Westminster always looks so lovely when it’s done up for a wedding, but it’s really just another chance for Phil the Greek to try to get into my pants. I’ve been dealing with him since 1952 and frankly it does get a little wearing fending off the racist old git’s wandering fingers.
Even worse, I then find out that Big Red Sarah isn’t even invited, and she’s the only member of the family I can actually stand for more than five minutes at a time. Perhaps I’ll call her and tell her that she can come with me. That will put a badger up Betty’s monogrammed knickers.
It all puts me in mind of the week before Diana and Charles got married. We were at Windsor, and I was sitting having breakfast with Betty. Charles was off communing with his cabbages, and the two of us were watching Diana up the other end of the table trying to eat her bacon with a spoon while taking the occasional sip out of the salt cellar. Betty said something about calling the wedding off because she didn’t want a vacuous moron marrying into the family. I seem to recall I asked her why she would want to break with a centuries old tradition, which made Betty cross for some reason.
Anyway, young Ms Middleton seems like a nice enough thing, even if she does look a bit like a constipated horse at an all-you-can-eat apple buffet.
A fairytale wedding of the balding and increasingly plain heir to the throne to a commoner with an eating disorder and a mad father, coupled with the frenetic attention of the British tabloids and the pathetic hopes of the British public for a happy ending.
How on earth could anything go wrong?
[Image from http://katemiddletonforthewin.tumblr.com/%5D