Friday, 14 December 2012

Being C of E this week: same-sex marriage

This blog post follows the news that the UK will be legalising same-sex marriage with a quadruple lock to protect religious freedom.

I understand that the provision about the Church of England in the newly proposed legislation for same-sex marriage is a legal thing to do with Church of England canon law not being in conflict with common law. It makes sense, legally, when you read about the details.

The major problem for me is the truly idiotic stance of the CofE against same-sex marriage in the first place, never mind this hoo-hah about their own caveat in the law.

The true meaning of marriage is committing yourself to the one person you love and will share your life with, plain and simple. It is a social declaration of this commitment, and a legal contract that binds you to them in the eyes of the law - whilst still an individual, you are half of an intrinsically interconnected whole.

It is complete bollocks that marriage is anything to do with the "complementarity" of the "distinctiveness of men and women" (as the official line of the CofE goes). Bollocks! Just because straight people are the majority, and so the concept of a social contract started with them does not mean the man/woman element is intrinsic to what marriage is in society!

I just don't understand this official view of my church. The people who think this in the CofE must not have much interaction with society and the world around them, because they are simply behind the times - society does not consider marriage to be what the CofE considers it to be.

The Government's response to the consultation has it right - "At its heart, marriage is about two people who love each other making a formal commitment to  each other. We do not believe that this commitment is any different whether it is made by a same-sex couple or an opposite sex couple. We believe that by allowing same-sex couples to get married we are further strengthening the institution of marriage." As a bisexual, I can wholeheartedly standby the assertion that the commitment is not different whether your partner is the same or opposite sex!

We Anglicans are not Catholics, who believe that marriage is "based on “the biological complementarity of male and female and on the possibility of children”", and it is disturbing that we seem to be anywhere near this line of antiquated thinking. It is unreasonable to not realise that Christianity has no grounds on which to be against same-sex marriage, and the church is falling behind society by hanging on the views on marriage that the people of this country have left behind them. And I'm disappointed in me church.

The Archbishop of Wales: "What can the church do to show that this relationship is not simply something between my partner and I but that somehow God is in our midst as well and longs for our wellbeing?"

The official view doesn't make sense, it does not reflect what society and many CofE Christians think, and it breaks my heart. Come on now, my dear Church of England. Open your eyes.

1 comment:

  1. I agree that the homophobic views of the CoE (and of some other religions) are disappointing, but it is not really surprising that they hold such views. Throughout history, the official teachings of various religions have endorsed slavery (in many countries), racial segregation (in the USA), apartheid (in South Africa), and wars (in many countries). So, when religions have shown themselves to have fallible views time and time again throughout history, it is hardly surprising that they also display fallible views in modern times.