SUZANNE HARRINGTON: There’s nothing to be afraid of from a gay marriage

FEW word combinations cause more consternation than ‘gay’ and ‘marriage’.

GAY MARRIAGE! You can’t even write it without it jumping off the page and poking you in the eye. It automatically puts itself into capital letters, because it knows it makes people afraid. Very afraid. But of what?

It’s like we hear the words GAY MARRIAGE and think that we are going to be dragged from our beds, forcibly frogmarched up the aisle by Elton John, and made to say ‘I do’ to the strains of Judy Garland dueting with Liberace, before being forced to cut a big pink cake at gunpoint while wrapped in a rainbow flag surrounded by drag queens disco-dancing to a Gloria Gaynor / Village People mash up. (And on the other side of the hymn sheet, we have all the straight wedding cliches; bridezillas, fat bridesmaids, drunk uncles, scared grooms, sartorial car crashes, warring families, daft cake, bad disco…..but for once this isn’t about straight weddings.)

No, the thing about GAY MARRIAGE — see it’s still shouting — is that it only affects gay people. All it means is that gay people will have the same rights as anyone else to sign up for a lifetime of bickering, resentment, and bitching over who does the washing up. It does not mean that everyone will have to marry someone of the same sex once the law has changed.

If GAY MARRIAGE meant that I had to run out and marry a woman, I would be dead against it. Being straight, I don’t want a wife. (I don’t want a husband either, but for different reasons. See above). But if I were the marrying type, I’d want the option of marrying whoever I am in love with.

Imagine if a gay person told you that you couldn’t get married. Ha! You’d flip, right? So what gives straight people the right to butt in? Like Ben Summerskill of Stonewall said, if people are worried about GAY MARRIAGE, then they should refrain from marrying a gay person.

Anti-gay equality people always go on about the kids. As in kids need a mother and a father. Has anyone asked the kids? Because what kids need are loving parents in a loving family. And few parents on earth go to more trouble to get kids than gay parents — they can’t just knock one up like straight parents.

The religious right say that GAY MARRIAGE undermines the traditional concept of marriage. I was under the impression marriage is about formally declaring your love and commitment in front of family and community. So, er, no change there. You get the feeling that the world is moving forward a bit when Obama came out in support last week. That we are evolving. That love will triumph over fear. Yay!


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