Yesterday the Church of England took a step towards approving same sex marriage. Currently same sex marriage in the UK is legal but the Church of England is not permitted to perform ceremonies without expressed saying they wish to do so. It has taken them about 3 years of naval gazing to say anything meaningful on the subject but yesterday a large chunk of the church decided they should give their blessing to support same-sex marriage in the church. This doesn’t yet make same-sex marriage in a church possible but it is a step in that direction and surely it’s only a matter of time.
Firstly I’ll give you my views on things. On the subject of marriage I don’t see that much point to it – I have a long term girlfriend who I live with and love very much but marriage won’t change anything in that regard. However if you want to get married – gay or straight – then I don’t have a problem with it. With regards to religion, I’m an atheist but if people want to go to church and follow various religions then again, I don’t care. With regards to same-sex marriage I don’t see why so many people care and oppose it so strongly. My view on all these things is that if two consenting adults want to do something that doesn’t harm anyone else then who am I to stop them? The key points for me are consenting adults and no harm to others – whilst there may be some debate about the definition of ‘harm to others’ I think if you ask these two questions about any subject then you’ll arrive at a fairly logical conclusion. Two people of the same sex, both wanting to get married are certainly consenting adults. With regards to harm to others some members of the family might not like it but that can be said of any marriage, so they certainly aren’t hurting anyone else.
To expand on my broader topic of history judging conservatives poorly in matters of human rights, I think we need to take a very quick look at the history books. Whenever major social conventions have been changed there has always been opposition. Whether that’s the abolition of slavery, allowing women to vote, delegalizing homosexuality there was always opposition to progress on human rights. The slavery abolition act made slavery illegal in the UK in 1833 – If today you read an account of the time where people were opposing the ban and trying to maintain the legality of slavery then most likely even the most staunch conservative would be appalled. I think the same will go for current issues such as legalising same-sex marriage – in 20 years time younger generations will wonder what all the fuss is about and in 100 years time we’ll be appalled at our ancestors who opposed it.