Congratulations to England! You are now one step closer to joining the growing club of countries that officially recognize same-sex marriage.
An initial vote in Britain’s House of Commons ended with 400 MPs supporting and 175 not supporting the idea, many of them being Tory MPs going against their party and their leader, Prime Minister David Cameron, in their independent vote. As always, this topic proved divisive in Britain as it does everywhere. The usual anti-same-sex marriage arguments (and often quite homophobic statements) are put forth by social and religious conservatives who warn of dangerous consequences with fire and brimstone speeches on the danger of allowing same-sex marriage and the horrible slippery slope that the country will descend down.
Some arguments include the ever popular statement: “Marriage is between a man and a woman.” Of course it is, unless you are in a country where it is between a man and up to four women. Then, it isn’t a marriage between a man and a woman, and it’s very clear that marriage has been open to interpretation since the first person decided getting married was a good idea.
Religion often enters into the debate, with the dire warnings from the Church of England and the Catholic Church being thrust forward here. To some, the idea that people of the same gender would want to marry is seen as an affront to god. Apparently when god created LGBT people, he did so without intending them to be happy or to live rich and fulfilling lives where they are free to love, be loved, and follow their dreams. He’s a funny god, that god.
I look at Canada, and although I am not an overly nationalistic person, I can proudly hold my head up knowing that we have marriage equality here. And guess what? No lakes of fire. The sky has not fallen. We have not experienced a wrath. Our crops have not been destroyed by plagues of locusts. We have not descended into chaos and anarchy. Rather, what we have now is a country and culture where more people are able to share in the beauty that is marriage. We celebrate diversity in love, accepting that the tired old idea of “one man and one woman” is just that: tired and old.
To all those eagerly awaiting changes in British laws, I say congratulations on this progress, and I have my fingers crossed that you too will soon be able to experience equality in marriage!