An argument against Gay Marriage

The Telegraph yesterday had a reasonable argument against gay marriage published. I don’t personally subscribe to it but it is worth a discussion:

Church and government have long been at loggerheads over marriage: was it the domain of the parson or the squire? The tussle between these authorities, as Ferdinand Mount reveals in The Subversive Family, spurred impatient young men and women to tie the knot on their own – often without a single witness, let alone the blessing of their parish priest. Even in Victorian times, marriage as a private deal continued among the working classes: religious authorities such as the Committee on Religion and Morals of the Free Church would throw their hands in the air at the live-and-let-live attitude of those who ignored their warnings of children born out of wedlock, marriages ending in separation, and widespread adultery.

Relationships are just as messy, and just as flimsy, today: 80 per cent of couples cohabit before marriage, leaving them vulnerable to legal and bureaucratic nightmares involving inheritance, “palimony”, and children’s visiting rights. Divorce, which ends almost half of marriages, can mark the beginning of a traumatic relationship with your former partner, as can separation.

These untidy permutations bring home an important fact: marriage is anything but natural. As Darwin didn’t dare say, marriage thwarts the masculine impulse toward promiscuity and the feminine self-interest in hooking up with the highest-status male. Left to our own devices, men and women would wander from relationship to relationship, having a child here, another one there, thinking of our own needs and satisfying our own desires. Marriage, at once divine and artificial, reins in our instincts and institutionalises our love. It requires collaboration, nurturing, a sense of duty and responsibility, self-sacrifice as well as the self-confidence to don billowing white tulle and waft down the aisle to Mendelssohn’s Wedding March.

It’s a tall order – so no wonder two grown-ups who commit to one another to the death need all the help they can get. That means both spiritual guidance and sustenance from religious authorities, and legal and fiscal support from secular ones. Sadly, this Government seems loath to hold out a hand. Tories were once stalwart supporters of traditional marriage; but this Prime Minister talks of making gay marriage legal and straight marriage costly. (Tax benefits are an incentive for couples, even with children, to live apart.) The one minister who champions heterosexual marriage, Iain Duncan Smith, has yet to see his proposal for a marriage tax break come into effect.

This is a terrible shame. Marriage may be a force for the good, but for some gay people, it has become a fortress they must storm. They argue that, in its present state, marriage discriminates and excludes. The ancient and much-loved edifice must be broken into – or simply broken.


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.