How can the Equal Marriage Bill be watered down any further?
Oh goody, the Equal Marriage Bill (sorry, the Marriage (Same-sex couples) Bill 2013) is back in Parliament this week and the bigots and homophobes have been crying their usual bollocks. And, apparently, the government is considering some concessions.
Concessions? In a bill this basic and underwhelming? There's something left to cut?
According to Pink News the government is considering two major changes to the bill to try and minimise a Tory rebellion:
- Allowing teachers not to teach about same-sex marriage
- Allowing registrars not to marry same-sex couples
Both of these look fairly innocuous, but they're not. Accepting either one just puts the boot in and declares same-sex couples second class citizens.
Teachers and registrars are employed by the state to carry out functions of the state. I feel a lot more relaxed about people wearing religious symbols openly because I know that, despite the negative connotations I have towards religion and the concerns I have about people who want to publicly associate themselves with a religion, they should still treat me the same respect and level of service as any other person using state services.
Allowing representatives of the state to discriminate is allowing the state to discriminate. It's saying that I do not deserve the same service and respect as other citizens (sorry, subjects). Allowing teachers to ignore gay families is harking back to Section 28's "pretended family relationships".
I am not a second class citizen. My relationship is not... well... OK, that is pretend at the moment, but that's nothing to do with my desired relationship being with another man (applications open).
I have written again to my MP. I have every confidence she will engage in the matter with all the enthusiasm previously shown.