Currently, civil ceremonies are permitted between same-sex couples but these are not called marriages and are not legally recognised as such. By some bizarre form of logic, one Tory MP, Karl McCartney, has concluded that it will lead to child marriages.
In England and Wales recently, Catholic priests were ordered by the Archbishop of Westminster to read out a letter condemning the idea of marriage between people of the same sex.
A full transcript of the letter can be read here. In it, the authors clearly lay claim not only to the institution of marriage and the right to define both its form and its purpose, but also to the right to dictate what form our society should take with:
The law helps to shape and form social and cultural values. A change in the law would gradually and inevitably transform society’s understanding of the purpose of marriage. There would be no recognition of the complementarity of male and female or that marriage is intended for the procreation and education of children.
The arrogance of this is breath-taking in its audacity. No one elected them; they did not consult anyone; they are accountable to no one other than their own self-appointed church hierarchy yet they feel competent to dictate to us on matters of personal relationships and the form of society in which we are to live.
Abolishing one of the last vestiges of the times when clerics dispensed morality to the rest of us (often dispensing with it altogether for themselves) and meddled in the most private details of our lives, would be a major step on the road to freeing ourselves from the leash they had us on for centuries.
Marriage should be something people can freely enter into in whatever form they wish. If we want to incorporate some form of superstition in the process or base it on some ancient rites and rituals, we should be free to do so.
Likewise, if we want it to take some other, formal or informal form, or not have a marriage of any sort we should be free to do so. There is no reason save superstitious bigotry why a contract between people to hold goods and property in common should be restricted to just two people of different genders. There is no real reason why it should not be between any number of consenting adults of whatever gender. The physical relationships within that arrangement should be left to the individuals themselves.
There is no reason for any ceremony if none is wanted. There is no reason a marriage could not be registered by completing a form obtainable from the Post Office or posting a notice in the local newspaper, if the participants wish to make it official in some way. It could even be marked by drinks down the local.
And of course people should be free to leave it as and when they wish.
The only considerations where the state need be involved are those concerning care and welfare of any children and a framework of contract law by which agreements can be made and disputes settled if need be. Beyond that there is no place for the state to interfere in consensual personal relationships freely entered into. The state should not be in the business of creating victimless crimes just to give meddling bigots an element of control over our lives.
So what's causing the current hysteria? Why are these superstitious people so upset by the thought that we might be doing what we want to do, rather than what they want us to do?
The answer lies in the question: they want us to do what they want us to do because they want to control us. It's what they are using fear and superstition for. Making this bid for independence is undermining their power and authority. That goes against everything that religions were invented for in the first place.
It's time they accepted that they have lost the argument and have lost control. Civilised societies are quickly ridding themselves of the primitive, inhuman barbarities and meddling interference with which religions struggle to keep us in the dark ages the better to control us and the easier to earn a living 'ministering' to the damage cause by the superstitious ignorance they assiduously promulgate.