Kyle trembled. He adjusted his suit, and looked nervously at his best man. “You’ve got the rings, right?”
“They’ll be here shortly,” the registrar promised the anxious groom and Kyle gulped, straightening his tie, and running his hands through his hair.
“Ten minutes late,” he mumbled, and took a deep breath as he consulted his watch for the umpteenth time. “But …”
“It’ll be fine,” the best man soothed, as the doors opened to the wedding room. Kyle breathed loudly, and beamed as his partner of twelve years hurried down the aisle to their “song.”
“Sorry. Car broke down,” the blonde teacher whispered, frantically trying to hide specks of grime residing under less than pristine fingernails.
The registrar motioned for the congregation to sit, and conducted a heartfelt marriage service as the audience watched the loving couple join in marriage, and then join then for the wedding breakfast and speeches.
“So that’s another village in Somerset fucked then,” the best man joked as he looked at his friends, Kyle and Graeme: the married couple, with a broad grin.
Recently, the UK passed the Equal Marriages Act that allows couples of all genders to marry. It’s a landmark and fantastic moment for those who it affects, but this hasn’t stopped all manner of spiteful and misguided comments, such as a UKIP councillor who claimed the flooding on the Somerset Levels was due to gay marriage. He has since been expelled from his party.
I find it funny how the right wing always use climatic events as proof that God is angry that we have not adhered to their bigoted agenda. I have never heard a union of sex workers stand up and say “these floods are caused by the partial criminalisation of my profession and is a sign that God wants decriminalisation. After all, John 10:10 says ‘The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly’ and so on …” Why? Because it’s a ridiculous notion.
The point of all this rambling, is that whether you believe in free will or not, I don’t believe you can decide who you fall in love with. It’s an emotional response and all emotions are inherently illogical born out of an instinctive reaction and not cold, hard logic; this is well known. So while Kyle and Graeme won’t have chosen to fall for each other, that was fate, David Silvester, the UKIP councillor, did make a conscious decision to link a “once in a century weather event” to progressive politics. After all, who are we – white, heterosexual men – to say that loving people can’t get married, because they don’t align into what we do?
Personally, that’s a decision not for me, politicians, the Church of England nor anyone else wanting to stick their oar into the debate. Let’s leave that to the couples – gay, lesbian or straight – to make, and keep personal prejudices and holy book away from societal progress.
And this is said far more succinctly, and funnily, by Maurice Williamson in the New Zealand chamber with his big gay rainbow speech; if you haven’t seen it, do!