Paula's Place

Paula's Place

Wednesday, 13 June 2012


As I was driving my daughter to school today there was a short piece on the radio on the governments plans to allow same sex marriage.  To debate the issues they invited two men of opposing views Rt Reverend Tim Stevens The Bishop of Leicester, and Ben Summerskill, chief executive of Stonewall.   Personally I'm no longer sure where I lie on this issue, but it is interesting to note that my daughter and I agreed that the Bishop came over as much more considered and reasonable as he simply stated his, and the Church's views where Tim Stevens got quite emotional and tried to interrupt and speak over the others.   I'm afraid that Tim Stevens did his cause no good at all this morning.

As regular readers will know I have been trying to work out my position on this for some time now.   I am sympathetic to my Church's view that this is a major change in how society works, the ability of individuals and groups to act within established systems of belief and practise. and could undermine the whole position of the Church of England as the established Church.   I also can see no reason why my gay friends should be denied the joy and stability I and many others have found in marriage.
I am quite certain that there is something wrong with how we as a society do marriage, this is evident by the number of marriage and civil partnerships that fail.  I have heard it said that divorce is too easy, but not by anybody who has been divorced, I suspect that getting married is too easy, and maybe undertaken for the wrong reasons.   It often seems that the wedding is more important than the marriage, all the trappings of a wedding, the dress the photos the reception, the whole thing costing tens of thousands of pounds and putting into the shadows the essential thing of two people saying publicly that they are committed to each other for life.   In a religious marriage there is of course the other factor of inviting God to join them together and play a part within that marriage.   Again I suspect that many church marriages do not fully embrace that aspect as much as just finding a nice venue for the photos.

I am convinced that civil partnership were a fudge and a missed opportunity ~ they should either made available to all people living in stable non married partnerships or abandoned all together.

Something that was pointed out to me recently is that since marriage can only legally be between a man and a woman, if one partner transitions then the marriage will be annulled, with all the implications that can have for children, and grand children, property and pension rights and all sorts of other issues.   Now I don't know how many people that actually effects as the only people I know who have transitioned were not married before, or were already divorced.   However for a partner who has stood beside their loved one all through the trauma, pain and bureaucracy of transition to then be told that their marriage is null seems heartless.
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