FROM MY PERSPECTIVE: A new awakening of marriage In the UK or is it just politics?


House of Commons Vote

House of Commons Vote

History was created yesterday in British politics where the House of Commons passed the first stage of the same sex marriage bill coming into force. The defining of marriage seems to be the hall mark of a day of debates yesterday as I watched opposing and supporting views of this latest bill.

So the question is how does same-sex marriage differ from civil partnership?

Although civil partnership is a legal relationship created exclusively for same-sex couples, distinct from marriage. It offers the same legal treatment as marriage across a range of matters, such as inheritance, pension’s provision, life assurance, child maintenance, next of kin and immigration rights.

Opposite-sex couples can opt for a religious or civil marriage ceremony, whereas a same-sex partnership is an exclusively civil procedure.

It is reported that Party leaders at Westminster have hailed the significance of the backing for same-sex marriage in England and Wales in this key vote.

Prime Minister David Cameron said Tuesday’s vote had been “an important step forward” and Labour leader Ed Miliband called it a “proud day” according to the BBC.

MPs voted in favour of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill by 400 to 175, a majority of 225.

But 136 Tory MPs opposed the bill and have continued to voice their concerns.

While watching the debate and listening keenly to the supporting voices and the dissenting voices I am left to wonder as to how much of democracy was really at work? To what level has been the consultation with the British public by the Members of Parliament in order for them to articulate their views and as well to vote in the way they did?

Yet again listening to the after debates there seems to be more discussion as to whether Cameron pulled off a good one in placing him in a good position to lead the Conservative in the next general election, albeit with a divided party or may lead to a revolt. But, by the next general election unity could prevail as a day in politics can make a major difference. Never forget we are two years before the next election and who knows the British public may come around to the Conservative way of thinking.

But what could be the underlining factor that lead to the Prime Minister to navigate this bill which was not in the party manifesto when we were knocking on people’s door inviting and encouraging them to vote for the conservative party in 2010.

It is clear now that the plans to legalise same-sex marriage have divided the Conservative Party, as from the votes more Tory MPs voted against the bill than voted for it.

Prime Minister David Cameron and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg

Prime Minister David Cameron and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg

Prime Minister David Cameron has said he believes same-sex marriages should be allowed in churches – but only if there is a “100%” guarantee that no church, synagogue or mosque would be forced to hold one against their wishes.

Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg said the legislation was a triumph for his party, which has championed the plans. Most Labour MPs, including Ed Miliband, also support the move.

But why do campaigners want same-sex marriage? The supporters cite a number of reasons for wanting gay marriage, including that separate civil partnerships perpetuate the notion that same-sex relationships are not as valid as heterosexual ones and that legal rights are still not exactly the same as those conferred by marriage.

Home Secretary Theresa May and Equalities Minister Lynne Featherstone say: “Put simply, it’s not right that a couple who love each other and want to formalise a commitment to each other should be denied the right to marry.”

Campaigners also say there would be international recognition for same-sex marriage. They say there is no universally-accepted recognition of civil partnerships and they differ widely from one country to the next.

Sylbourne Sydial

Sylbourne Sydial

Either way the lobbyist has prevailed to moved the hands of the Prime Minister via the various channels, I am however persuaded to the view that while the division remains and while this bill could be a good thing and could be the will of the majority of the British public, would it not be better as a question on the ballot at the next general election or Council elections?

Equality is key, but the process of redefining historical traditions could set a precedent where there will be punters out there now looking for other avenues to redefine.

Finally, as I always say politics does matter.

To see list of how your MP voted see link


Sylbourne S B Sydial

February 6th 2013

  1. #1 by nadine sandcroft on February 6, 2013 - 6:59 pm

    This is a lovely piece on this difficult decision that many are currently facing.. It will be interesting to see how the church handles the verdict if it is in the favour of same-sex marriages. The church and politics apparently do not intermingle, so with this being a matter that affects them both, lets see how itsl goes down. Furthermore, it is quite odd as to why cameron has chosen this path; i must say. Is it a matter of gaining favour from the same-sex community or something else…time will tell.

  2. #2 by Bishop on February 7, 2013 - 6:45 pm

    It is quite interesting that the UK is fast disappearing as a moral leading country in the neo-industrial, economic, political and social world – whilst she is going down the drain, she is been applauded to that place of precipice; even almost to a place of no return, from this calamity.
    Something tells me that the vast majority of the citizenry do not like this gay marriage palaver, but who really controls the media generally? [your guess is as good as mine]!. I even learnt that Samantha Cameron was making sure that David “tows the line” of gay marriage. She seems to have a vested interest in it.
    Tories generally would be wondering how they manage to have a leader who appears not to have a clue about what the party stands for, let alone that this issue was not in their manifesto or even the coalition.
    There is an African adage that says ” when a goat walks with a dog, it too would eventually eat excrement”, hence; the Tories’ alliance with Lib-dem appears a perfect example here, just watch closely the next general election!.

  3. #3 by sylbourne S.B. Sydial LLB on February 8, 2013 - 8:35 am

    Thanks for your comments Bishop, indeed the next General Election will be the test when all the various policies and changes are put to the test when the voters speak.

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