What a difference a day makes.
One minute we were all happily contemplating how best to celebrate Christmas in a recession, and the next the whole country is up in arms over the proposed legislation announced yesterday to introduce gay marriage. Quite what can have possessed David Cameron to charge willy nilly down this particular road remains a mystery to all; not least to his own party which is now visibly breaking apart at the seams. And R.S.Harris’ highly commended book, ‘Is there a case for same sex marriage?’, which Voice for Justice UK published yesterday in association with Anglican Mainstream, is already providing compelling insight and argument helping fuel the debate!
But the question remains: why has David Cameron chosen to push an issue that will radically redefine society as we know it, and was always wanted at most by only a tiny minority of the population? After all, only around 7000 same sex couples have so far chosen to enter into a civil partnership, and not all of them will want to convert this to ‘marriage’ – in fact some are fiercely opposed to the very idea. So why, when we have so many pressing problems in the UK today – like a triple dip recession, an escalating nuclear arms race in the middle east, the ever present threat of terrorism, and a disintegrating political situation in Northern Ireland, to name but a few … why, in heaven’s name, are the 62,000,000 people who make up our population being asked, at huge financial cost, to jettison theinstitution that has been foundational to the growth and stability of society for thousands of years? Is it really right to go down this route to satisfy a mere handful, who may or may not want it?
Can it be that Mr Cameron is actually trying to divert our attention away from these infinitely more serious problems, which have the added distinction of being real and not manufactured? Or is he puppet to Nick Clegg’s skilful manipulation of the strings, performing a dance to satisfy the demands of an ailing coalition that has lost all of its other demands?
Whatever the answer, he can’t seriously believe the Church will meekly accept the gossamer thin assurances now being put forward of statutory exemption. Especially not when the likes of Peter Tatchell are already crying unfair and promising challenge in the European Court. Please, if nothing else, give us some honesty here!