The government is a quarter of the way through a 12 week consultation on its plans to extend marriage to gay partners in the UK.
As with many other of the current government’s policies to date, public support appears to be in the minority and nowhere is this highlighted better than in the number of people who have signed opposing petitions on the issue.
Since launching on February 20, the Coalition for Marriage petition, which is campaigning for the definition of marriage to remain unchanged, has attracted over 384,000 signatures. In contrast, at the time of writing just 38,353 signatures have been added to a counter petition, Coalition for Equal Marriage, which was created only two days later on February 22.
Based on those figures, those in favour of a change to the law defining marriage are outnumbered by more than ten to one.
The argument for change centres around equality, but civil partnerships were created exactly for that reason.
The Oxford Dictionary defines marriage as “the formal union of a man and a woman, typically as recognized by law, by which they become husband and wife“.
There can’t therefore be discrimination in reserving marriage for one man and one woman when that is the very definition of what marriage means. Marriage is male complementing female and becoming one. Any other definition simply doesn’t equate to marriage.
If couples who have entered into a civil partnership believe that they are lacking certain rights or privileges which are afforded to married couples, and believe that the rights of a civil partnership should closely mirror those of a marriage, then that’s the debate to be having.
To feel a need to fight for the redefinition of marriage is another thing entirely – and not only unnecessary, but it’s also unwanted by a large number of people.