I’ve been watching with interest the debate on ‘equal marriage’.
The discussion seems to have largely swung between rather hysterical arguments against, and the pro-camp calling everyone who disagrees with them a bigot. I can’t help but feel that the issue is largely a result of the blurring in this country of the line between religious marriage (whose definition belongs surely to the religion in question) and legal marriage which is sanctioned by the state and imposes legal responsibilities on the people involved.
The irony to me is that in many cases marriage imposes a cost on the parties involved because it enforces a financial dependence that means that marriage is no longer an economically sensible thing to do. Long gone are the days of the ‘married man’s tax allowance’! However, generously, the government is prepared to give those same disadvantages if you are civilly partnered or even just living together ‘as if you are married’!
Yet despite that, many people still choose to be married (myself included) and it is good to think that people will be able to marry whoever they please regardless of gender.
Still, as part of the debate, one of the against arguments proposed was that same-sex marriage would lead to polygamy. The argument being that this redefinition would lead to others, and so on…
For a start, this isn’t the first change to the laws on marriage and it would be unreasonable to think it will be the last. But more importantly, if it did lead to polygamy, would that be such a bad thing? Would multiple, committed, consensual relationships (all mutually paying taxes) really be a bad thing?
Now that really would be equal marriage.