This is not the first time that tradition has been used to debase marriage. Down the decades, and even to this day, there have been those who advocate that in a traditional marriage a husband should be able to physically punish his wife; that a husband should control his wife’s property; that a husband can use as he sees fit. And whilst there have been those who would have it that all these thing are perfectly normal and proper and traditional, any right thinking person would describe such behaviour as brutality, theft and rape.
So what about those who oppose gay marriage? The problem with their view point is it defines marriage as a negative, as an act whose primary function is to deny and exclude the humanity and love of others. But worse, far worse, is that the act of lessening another person’s right to love and how to express that love is in fact an act of questioning whether that person is fully human. Our blood and tears soaked history has shown us precisely what results when a group of people are defined as lesser ‘Others’.
But what is particularly toxic about the recent debate over marriage is that gay people, the very people who traditionalist would seek to exclude and diminish, can no longer use the word that any right thinking person would use and that word is ‘Homophobia’.
On the plus side there is another marriage tradition that has no place for brutality, theft, rape or homophobia. It is a tradition that defines marriage as a primarily positive act – the selfless meeting and conjoining of two hearts. It is a tradition that many people strive to adhere to, including those who do not go through a formal marriage. It is a tradition that believes that love begets love and that is all – it should never be used to justify the lessening, the degrading and dehumanising of anyone else.
Anyway, that’s enough from me. Here’s what Panti Bliss so powerfully had to say about homophobia…
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