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Just been listening to the radio and lots of churchgoers saying that gay marriage is wrong and that it is a holy union in front of God.
So, are DH and me actually married? We were married in a reg office and it had nothing to do with God. Or, are we in a legal partnership even if not gay? If we are married, then what are all the God people on about?
Please help in a few lines to explain this to me as I just realised the debate is not about what I thought it was, I think.
p.s. I have a cold, this could also be the reason for brain fog.
If you are a heterosexual couple you can have a religious marriage or a non-religious marriage. It's still marriage. Bottom line, it's a legal transaction, wherever you happen to intone the words and you are afforded the exact same rights under law.
Gay people can currently have a civil union, which gives them the same legal rights as heterosexual marriage and allows them to be each other's next-of-kin. This union is currently not called marriage, however, and some gay people would like to be able to call their union 'marriage' and for others to consider it so. Some gay people also consider civil union to be lesser than marriage and they would like to be afforded the right to 'marry' like heterosexuals do.
Church leaders are up in arms because the religious definition of marriage is 'a union between a man and a woman for the procreation of children', and obviously a union between two people of the same sex would not meet these criteria. However, religious establishments are not obliged to marry gay couples under the current proposals - they have an 'opt out'. So, quite honestly, I'm not sure why they're all so aerated. But I'm not religious, so maybe that's why I don't really get it.
Of course you're married and the truth is that gay people in a civil partnership are also as married as you are. As a couple in the eyes of the law a civil marriage and a civil partnership confer identical rights and responsibilities. The 'marriage' aspect being fought over at the moment is a rather more academic argument about religious & social definitions. What was voted for yesterday was a relatively tiny change.
I wouldn't call it a "relatively tiny change", Cogito, swapping marriage for civil partnership. The civil partnership law was a botch. People are either equal or they're not. Having 2 parallel systems reminds me of apartheid.
Gay people in a civil union are not married in a way that is recognised outside the UK. Gay marriage exists already in 11 other countries, several states in the US and is in the process ob being legislated for in 3 others.
Marriage in the Bible is not defined as being between one man and one woman.
Marriage in the UK is constantly being redefined, the latest redefinition being in the 1990s when women's bodies were no longer considered the property of their husband's, allowing wives to prosecute their husbands for marital rape.
It doesn't actually matter how the Bible defines marriage, it's how the various denominations define it, surely? That part at the start of every church wedding about .... Marriage is a gift of God in creation through which husband and wife may know the grace of God.... etc.