I am often asked why I oppose same-sex marriage. It's a curiosity for people. According to popular rumour, it was bizarre enough that this nobody Tory party member signed up to be an LGBTQ JCR Officer in the first place. To have him then become Equality non-sabb yet openly oppose "gay" marriage, I suppose, might seem like an eclectic scenario.
I suppose it stems from my conservatism, though not for the reasons you might think. I don't oppose same-sex marriage in the same way I would if I did so on religious grounds, or because I base my politics on some outdated moral compass. Indeed I rarely think of myself as opposed to same-sex marriage at all. Instead, I tend to think of myself as simply against marriage, or rather legislation on the subject.
To me, the State is a complex construction. It's role is to be limited in remit though absolute in authority. Very little should be under the pure control of it's bureaucracies, though where that power is granted by the people, that power ought to be limitless. Why, then, do we presume that marriage is something for the State to be involved in?
I could appreciate it if these were simply left-wingers, who's natural inclination, rightly or wrongly, is for the State to hold sway. But I don't buy that, and I didn't think my conservative and liberal and libertarian compatriots did either. It strikes me as odd, and often saddening, that people who I thought I had common ground with, rush to welcome same-sex marriage laws as "progressive" and "modern". I disagree.
How can it be progressive, in any measure of the word, to create even more legislation in which the State with grace and majesty grants us our freedoms and our equality? Progress? Towards what, exactly? Some say equality, which is a word far too often bandied around by people with very little understanding of it's true meaning. Equal right to have our relationships approved by the State is not something I wish to be equal in. I do not need approval.
For every piece of legislation on marriage that we craft in our parliament, we are legitimising State intervention in our personal lives. We are saying that in order to be equal, we need Stately approval.
I cannot support that. "I shall not make windows into men's souls" said Elizabeth I. Quite right. So let's stop doing it. It is time for the focus of the LGBT movement and of truly progressive activists to shift. It is time we started pushing for true liberation; to be liberated from this State-approval of our relationships. It's time to take marriage off the statute books.
Some will cry pragmatism; taxation, benefits, financial administration; the State needs to know. Fine. So a civic union open to all will suit that need fine without marriage. Some will cry religious freedom. Fine. So a couple's ability to have a blessing in their faith and call it a "Marriage" should not be hindered. I agree. Some will cry tradition; I can't help you there. Traditions that need to be changed cease to be traditions and start to become barriers to liberation in my view.
The LGBT community's obsession with marriage doesn't even make sense to me. An institution that has historically been racist, and sexist, and xenophobic, and anti-Semitic...not exactly filling me with confidence here.
I don't oppose same-sex marriage. I oppose any legislation on marriage. And whilst some will try to paint this as a "next best thing", as a "stepping stone" to what I want; you said that about civil partnerships and we're still tinkering around the edges of the issue.
Will I refuse to get married? Unlikely. I can't hide from the reality. But it doesn't stop me being damn angry about it. And I don't know about the rest of you, but neither Cameron nor Miliband have a rightful place in my sex life.