She said yes a man can love a man like a man loves a woman, and that cousin, Liam and *the BF* loved each other. Her six year old nodded and said OK.
This shows how children react when they’re told about same sex relationships. They really couldn’t give a monkeys. To children it’s a *shrugs* OK, that’s that, I’m off to play with my Ben 10/Spongebob Squarepants.
Children learn their reaction to things from their parents. I am scared of spiders, because Mum is scared of spiders. I remember seeing her jump on the sofa as one scurried across the floor, when I was a child. Mum is scared of swimming out of her depth, and she deliberately didn’t tell us about this when my brother and I were learning to swim as little children. I am not scared of swimming out of my depth.
Children are not homophobic. For children it is about love. Do these two men love each other like mummy and daddy love each other? Yes, ok. As young children they don’t know about the sexual ins and outs of their parents’ relationship, nor do they know about the sexual ins and outs of their uncle Bob and Dave either. Because actually it doesn’t matter.
It’s adults who get all hung up about who does what to whom, and it’s that which results in homophobia. When actually it’s none of anyone else’s business what people get up to in the bedroom.
I watched Gogglebox the week of the legal change in England, and it was really interesting seeing the viewers’ reaction to the gay marriages. Some people looked away from the TV, saying they didn’t like to watch two men kissing.
It was interesting to watch because all the reactions were pretty moderate, probably due to the fact it was being filmed. In the UK now, there’s a general acceptance that being homophobic is as unacceptable as being racist. And none of the Gogglebox people would say anything overtly racist, so any overt homophobic comments weren’t shared either.
Same Sex Marriage
I’ve heard it described as, ‘The final piece of the legislative jigsaw for gay people.’ Because a civil partnership is not the same as a marriage, as this Gay Star article shows, there are seven differences between the two.
And in contrast Andrea Williams, CEO of Christian Concern said, ‘We can’t just redefine an institution – redefine something that always has been – because we say it’s something that we want. This is actually very self-centred. This is not about rights, it’s about seeking cultural dominance and seeking to redefine marriage for all of us.’
Things change. Nothing ‘always has been’ - wives used to be thought of as goods. People used to be sold to other people like you sell cars nowadays. And as for ‘cultural dominance’ come back to me when two men holding hands in public is as acceptable as a man and a woman holding hands. A statement about cultural dominance by gay people could only come from the mouth of a person who has no idea what it’s like living in a world where the norm, the assumption is straight, because statistically there are more straight people than gay people. This cultural dominance is everywhere: every time a workman asks me what my girlfriend thinks about the work; every time I’m asked if I want to add my wife to an insurance policy; even down to buying a two pack of toothbrushes where one is blue and one pink. I'm not criticising this cultural dominance, merely pointing it out to show how ridiculous Williams' statement is.
Interestingly the definition of adultery has not been changed in the law. Adultery is still having sex with someone of the opposite gender. So a gay married couple could not site adultery as the reason for divorce if one of the guys slept with another man. They could site adultery in the divorce if one of them slept with a woman. Of course ‘unreasonable behaviour’ is still grounds for divorce, and I’m guessing if one of the men slept with another man, that would be defined as ‘unreasonable behaviour’ and grounds for divorce.
The language of marriage
I’ve been to quite a few civil partnerships and they have all been described on invites, at the time and afterwards as a wedding. The people involved do not refer to their partners as ‘my civil partner’ because that sounds like some business model like a limited company. No, they all refer to their husbands.
I think it’s important that gay couples can now legitimately and legally describe their joining together as ‘marriage’. The wording used by organisations to conduct marriages has been changed from "marriage is the union of one man with one woman" to now read "Marriage in this country means the union of two people, voluntarily entered into for life, to the exclusion of all others." Sounds sensible to me.
Like most things, this change is about choice. Now gay people have a choice, they can get married if they want to. I have friends, straight and gay, who’ve been in long term relationships for ten years or more, and some have got married, others haven’t, but now they all have the choice to get married, or not.
Until next time,