During my years in politics I have had great opportunities to experience different cultures and listen to different viewpoints in life. It has been a humbling experience so far. And many of the people I have met during the last decade have been gay. I am for promoting the rights of all people in society and I have never had a problem with people being homosexual and I truly can say I have never met anyone in the Conservative Party who was homophobic in their words and deeds. I’ve met some pretty hard right wingers in the Tory Party and one of them, a married man, said he really did not care if a person is gay or not and I very much agree. I couldn’t care less what consenting adults get up to in their bedrooms – I don’t necessarily want to know about it but then I don’t really want to know what consenting heterosexual couples I know get up to in the privacy of their own home either. It’s just doesn’t bother me. This is why I support civil partnerships, which allow gay couples to publicly express their love for each other and wish to be with and support each other for the rest of their lives.
However, when it comes to marriage I don’t feel any government has a right to alter this extremely important and sacred institution. We have heard a lot of views recently on the Coalition’s plans to re-define marriage so that the word can be used to define not just a union between a man and a woman but between a man and a man or between a woman and a woman. But as David Cameron will find, it is not that simple.
Marriage as an institution is thousands of years old and is a very unselfish institution: it is not just about the union of two people who love each other, for life. It is the bedrock of society; without it, I believe, society would start to collapse. For marriage is also for the procreation and upbringing of children, society’s next generation. The next generation that will pay taxes to support us in our old age, the generation which will produce our future Prime Ministers and legislators, the generation which will lead our religions, the generation which will protect and nurture our environment and planet. In short, marriage is the very essence of our survival as a species on Earth. That is not to say people must get married (it is their right not to) but marriage does provide a stable family unit where children grow up nurtured by a mother and father, which has been proven in many studies to be the best way of bringing up happy and successful young people.
The last time I looked, a man and a man or a woman and a woman could not bear children. That is why we must not be so selfish as to cut off the legs of society to show how modernising we are, or how progressive we are. Because to legalise same-sex marriage would not be progressing but would take our society back thousands of years. To the extent society itself would be at great risk of collapse.
In a recent poll, 70% of respondents agreed marriage should remain a “life-long exclusive commitment between a man and a woman”. This seems to have been lost on David Cameron. He is an incessant moderniser but he is almost mad in his strategy. For a start, his so-called modernisation of the Conservative Party actually led to the fourth consecutive general election defeat for his party. That should tell him something. Perhaps the British public don’t agree with a party that drops its principles at the sniff of a potential vote. And now he seems intent on his legacy being the legislation of gay marriage. This will only lead the Conservative Party to a fifth general election defeat in 2015. He may win over some left-wingers by legalising gay marriage or by allowing Clegg to abolish the House of Lords but he will destroy his Get Out The Vote campaign when the elderly ladies can’t be picked up and driven to the polling station because his activists haven’t turn up to help on polling day.
I expect to be attacked for this article but if you are part of what I believe is the silent majority who support the current legal definition of marriage, please do sign the Coalition for Marriage petition.