So news these past few weeks has been full of stuff I like! The same sex marriage bill finally got passed, making it all the way to the final stage when it got signed off by the Queen on 17th July, good ol' Liz. Yes, I am a fan of monarchy, for all sorts of reasons, like the fact that they make us a lot more money than they cost us, and really, I'm a real sentimental sort at heart. That's the reason I like the second big news, of the birth of Prince George of Cambridge - well, that and Cambridge is my hometown, which makes it more exciting.
But this is not a monarchy or baby blog, so dear friends, we will concentrate on the bill, The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013. As much as it is a huge success for gay and lesbian people to finally be able to get properly married, I feel it is much more of a victory for bisexuals. This is due to the civil partnerships being introduced way-back-when, because that at least was a step in the right direction for gays/lesbians, giving them some (though obviously not enough) legal support and recognition.
Whereas it was almost worst for bisexuals - almost being the operative word, because, to be honest, it just added a new option to our unequal, combination lives; 'commit to an opposite sex person and get married, or commit to a same-sex person and sit in legal nothing', changed to 'commit to an opposite sex person and get married, or commit to a same-sex person and get a few legal concessions'.
Those legal concessions did not make up for the fact that we still had to live out our lives differently depending on the gender of the person we ended up with. It is only with the passing of this bill that we can legally live how we feel - that the gender does not change the love and commitment in the relationship, and we can choose how to commit to them the way we want, rather than the way dictated by their gender.
This difference in effects of this bill between us and the LGs makes me want to point out how it still hasn't sorted out all the legal issues for our T allies, the trans* community having stronger mutual links with us than the LGs, I feel. This bill doesn't change the already existing marriage law allowing husbands or wives to void marriages if their partner fails to reveal part of their gender history when they wed, nor does it rid marriage law of the option for a partner to have their marriage declared void if their spouse failed to disclose the fact that they possessed a GRC. And it adds the caveat that before obtaining a Gender Recognition Certificate, trans* individuals in a marriage must obtain the consent of their spouse. (Source: GayStarNews.com) So celebrate, but keep supporting our trans* friends and allies in their continuing battle with marriage law.
And on a LGBT rights-related note, I wanted to share this video - The Riddle - if you haven't seen it already, from the UN human rights office, published back in May. I like it. Quotes that struck me were (paraphrasing) "Being LGBT exists in every corner of the world, existed in every country throughout history, but some people still consider it abnormal, it is illegal in 76 countries, and carries the death penalty in 7." The UK has given us same-sex marriage, but we are long way from a free and equal world.