Feathers ruffled by Featherstone?
The government has launched its consultation period over the issue of gay marriage. 12 weeks to decide the efficacy of such a momentous decision to change English law. One thing they will have to consider is what exactly constitutes a legal "gay marriage". They will have to incorporate some reference to homosexual activity in order to comply with the aspect of law that covers consummation of a marriage. For the first time, buggery will be officially sanctioned as opposed to not making it illegal. Currently the law says, about grounds on which a marriage is voidable, that a separation can occur if - "the marriage has not been consummated owing to the incapacity of either party to consummate it" or "that the marriage has not been consummated owing to the wilful refusal of the respondent to consummate it". If this aspect of law, the act of consummation, is removed, it makes the whole concept marriage remarkably odd. If it remains then we are all sanctioning something we might never have thought we would.
The Queen, as Supreme Governor of the Established Church, will be asked to sign her name to an act which enables something that, as Defender of the Faith, she should eschew. Lynne Featherstone says the church has nothing to fear, but how she can say that when church and state are so intertwined beggars belief. People will be asked to subscribe to things they know goes against their religious belief. Civil partnerships were always designed to protect homosexuals from being put at a disadvantage over property and inheritance rights. That's fair do's all round.
Those parliamentarians in favour of changing the law seem vague about the consequences of such a change. Will Self, on BBC Question Time, when discussing with Caroline Flint the Established Church's position, said to her "You don't get it, do you?" Her jaw dropped as her ignorance briefly overcame her. She didn't get it and probably still doesn't.
This Coalition government needs to get it before they get into a terrible mess.
read more: Gay marriage consultation starts