Bending, not breaking

Unlike Matthew S. Dent I am not a Christian. I am a life-long atheist (so far, anyway). My moral compass has no theological underpinning – I do what I think is right, and will change course and views in the light of experience.

My Laboratory Of Life approach is somewhat at odds with anyone who attempts to use a 2000 year old book as a lifestyle manual. Perhaps that is where some religions get it wrong – there is no version two of the Bible, Qu’ran, Torah, etc.

Anyway, I have no wish to commit heresy; only to right some wrongs. Matthew S. Dent (what does that ‘S’ stand for – superb?) has written rather well on the subject of gay marriage. I support gay marriage, or to put it correctly, marriage between persons of the same gender. I have a few, rather abstruse, thoughts to add to the debate.

Firstly, marriage between two people of the same gender is not necessarily gay marriage. Sex and marriage do not have to go together, and although non-consummation may be grounds for divorce, it is not compulsory.

Gays can already marry. A gay man can marry a gay woman, and there are examples of this already.

Marriage is not the only vehicle for procreation. Many couples marry and are content to be childless, and many children are born outside of marriage (nearly half nowadays). Besides, gay couples can and do have children. They can adopt, be inseminated, or bring children from previous relationships.

What of the heterosexual couples where one partner (or even both) subsequently come out, or have gender re-assignment surgery? They can (and often do) remained married.

Does the legalising of marriage between same sex couples diminish the institution? It certainly changes it, I accept that. But let’s get real – modern marriage is already a changed beast from days of old. Gender equality and the de-stigmatisation of bastardy have already cut swathes into it. Divorce, second and subsequent marriages – all have changed the institution we call marriage. Singletons, one-parent families, children, wonderful children, brought into the world with the assistance of science – all this has also meant that marriage is now altered, forever.

I think marriage needs equalising for it to survive. Those who cling to fundamental religiosity are an increasingly small minority. Like it or not, the world is changing. Marriage has to move with it – adapt to survive. No-one is intent on forcing gay marriage onto any religious body, and they should stop forcing their agenda on everyone else.

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