Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Love is love.

So, following recent events and discussions, I've decided to write a post about something that is not only a hot-button topic at the moment, but is also very dear to my heart.

I have spent this evening arguing with my parents to let me have a boy sleep in my bedroom over the weekend (I won), and later arguing with my Dad about whether or not gay people should be allowed to marry.
It may sound like I am jumping on the bandwagon here, but in actuality it is the complete opposite. I have always felt that two people in love should be able to marry; regardless of their age, race or gender. Supposedly the reason to marry is for love, but even in my comparatively average everyday life I have seen people marrying for money, for security, and in many cases due to an unforeseen pregnancy. Shallow and scantily-clad women marry ancient billionaires every other day all over the world, and then spend their married days simply sitting around and waiting for their significant other to drop dead so they can get their claws on the fortune. How is that less of an affront to marriage than two men or women who have been madly in love for years and are desperately wanting to solidify their commitment to one another and be together for the rest of their lives?

I remember sitting in my Year 9 Maths class many years ago, and my gay best friend turning to me and saying sadly: "I really don't think homosexuality will be accepted in our lifetime." It really stuck with me; I hate the thought of some of my closest friends growing old with their other half, still being mocked and pointed at when they walk down the street hand in hand.

"No-one should ever be afraid to walk down the street holding hands with the person they love." - President Obama.

University has introduced me to people from all walks of life; I have met people who believe things I have never considered, people who define things differently to me, and sadly, some people who are more ignorant than I could have ever imagined. I have also met a significant amount of homosexual individuals during my first year at uni, and although they are somewhat still oppressed within society, our campus was a friendly safe haven for them to be whomever they wished. I know of two guys who came out during the first term, and both have told me how free and accepted they feel among their peers.

My generation have really surprised me with their open-mindedness and warm acceptance of those who are of different backgrounds and have different preferences. I am constantly disappointed with the older generation and their stiff resistance to anything alien to them. I feel the need to remind them that things like homosexuality have always been there, under their noses, they just weren't as public or as accessible as they are today.

What upsets me most especially today, and what led me to write this post, was tonight's news report about gay marriage now being condemned by the Church of England. Firstly, I went to a Church of England school, and we were always taught that any two people can fall in love and be happy. I feel slightly double-crossed right now. Also, wasn't the Church of England founded by Henry VIII, purely for the purpose to divorce his wife Catherine of Aragaon and marry another woman so he would not be found guilty of adultery? Oh yes, it was. So founding a church in the name of annulment/divorce is perfectly acceptable, but when two people want to get married, they frown upon it? Nice one, CofE.
According to them, gay marriage "could undermine the status of the established church," and "would strip marriage of its significance." The Church of England believe that "marriage should be about procreation", and by allowing gay couples to have civil partnerships they are "giving gay couples sufficient equality."

Homophobic bullying is a real danger in our society. But as it turns out, it's not just done by teenagers behind computer screens posting anonymous comments on their gay peers' online profiles... Homophobic bullying is carried out by responsible and respected adults, and takes place in public for all to see.

I am not an avid news-watcher, nor am I a passionate activist who spends every weekend protesting outside the Houses of Parliament. But every now and again, a news story emerges  which makes my blood boil and before I know it, I'm typing away. The latest stories to have this effect on me include: Josef Fritzl, student fees rising, Nick Clegg backing down and Southeastern trains policy for lateness changing. I always assume that other people share my opinions and agree with me on such important issues; this particular topic however, I am not sure about... We'll see.

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