When MPs decided to debate amendments to the Con-Dems’ ‘gay marriage’ bill, most people probably braced themselves for a bit of homophobia disguised as concern over religion.
Michael Johnson, Leeds City Socialist Party
And that was there: Conservative MP David Burrows said, essentially, religious schools should be able to teach that gay marriage is wrong.
Others made the typical but still infuriating argument that allowing LGB people to marry would be marginalising and discriminating against those who think that LGB marriage is an ‘equality too far’. The 95% of LGBT youth who regularly experience discrimination seem to be less deserving of consideration!
Things escalated when another Tory MP Gerald Howarth criticised an apparent ‘aggressive homosexual community’ for pushing things so that straight people now have fewer rights than LGBT people.
Obviously, the ‘aggressive homosexual’ controlled media has been hushing up gangs of LGBT people beating up straight people for seeming straight…
Lord Tebbit said the Conservative Party had ‘fucked up’ and posed such brain teasers as: “When we have a queen who is a lesbian and she marries another lady and then decides she would like to have a child and someone donates sperm and she gives birth to a child, is that child heir to the throne?” and whether the bill would mean he could marry his son to allow him to avoid paying inheritance tax!
But the arguments against – and wrecking amendments such as ‘opt out’ clauses – failed spectacularly.
Labour answered Cameron’s eleventh hour plea and voted against the amendments. So marriage equality took a small step forward.
Cameron has pushed this bill to try to make the Tories look progressive. Marriage equality is supported by the large majority of the UK, despite what some church leaders have presented.
Marriage equality is an important step forward, but this is not the end of the struggle: the marriage bill as it stands is not perfect, especially for trans people due to the wording around gender and the implications towards the status of a marriage or civil partnership if someone transitions.
But many LGB people, due to the attacks and cuts introduced by the government such as increasing unemployment, low pay, and lack of housing, will have a low quality of life after marriage.
The LGBT community must unite with the other oppressed sections of society: women, immigrants, and the working class as a whole; to fight for true marriage equality, including civil partnerships for any consenting couple regardless of gender or homophobic prejudice.
This movement must also resist attacks affecting the working class as a whole, fighting not just for a few small gains over time but for a true transformation in society.