On equal marriage, Parliament let us down today

Today, Maria Miller made a statement on the Government’s plans for same-sex marriages. And I should have been happy, because it’s been a long time coming.

But I wasn’t, and I’m still not. I’ve been thinking about why all afternoon and most of the evening (even through two-and-a-half hour the AGM I attended), and I think I know why.

I wanted to see MPs support it, to reaffirm what many have been saying – that it’s right, that it’s about time, that it’ll get through. But that’s not what I saw.

What I saw was a statement from Yvette Cooper decrying the ‘rowing back’ of marriage when, only the day before, the Labour party went back on a promise to have a whipped vote – the very same party that held the courage of their convictions when in government and did exactly that.

What I saw was a Government minister have to respond politely to people accusing her of playing God; of being intolerant; of being bigoted; of going against her Tory beliefs; of ruining life itself.

What I saw was a Tory MP stand up and be heckled for wanting what those around him could freely have, purely because of their sexuality; watched him sit there and have to listen while the people he has to work with every single day said what he wanted wasn’t normal, an abomination.

What I saw were MPs in favour stand up and criticise the lack of equality for the straight majority* and not for the trans community; for the pro-religious freedom aspect to somehow be even moreso, when the church they attend has legal rights beyond reasonable doubt.

What I saw? Was a more than half-empty chamber, with no high profile front/shadow front benchers in sight to combat the majority letting them get away with this.

So yes, I am angry. To see such overpowering indifference from those who purport to be in favour; who let the ‘opposition’ speak long and hard and loud; who let them go unchallenged but for the minister’s constrained answer.

This? Matters. And if you believe it matters, start showing it.


(*For the record, I am pro civil partnerships for all, but once the question was asked once, why ask it again? That’s something for the first and second readings)

About Stackee

All you need is love. Well, that, and ice cream, beaches, Sci-Fi and pi(e). Perhaps water too.
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