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Friday, 22 November 2013

What's in a name?

"A rose, by any other name, smells just as sweet", the English Bard has his character Juliet argue, in Romeo and Juliet (Act II; Scene I).  The argument is that the names of things don't matter, only what they "are"!

However, although there is an element of truth in the statement - an 'apple' is the same as a 'pomme', or a 'manzana', or a 'μήλο' (melo) - it is not completely true.  Some names have a meaning that makes them of greater importance than others.

One such word, I would still argue, is the word 'marriage'.  Regardless of the language into which it is translated, it is still the union of a man and a woman, for life, and to the exclusion of all others.  That is so, regardless of the voting decisions of any group of politicians!

Wednesday evening's vote in the Scottish Parliament had more to do with the impassioned speeches of some of the members in the Chamber, than it had to do with reason and common-sense!  Of course, as the last Sunday School teacher that I ever had (by 15 I was considered too old, and had to leave!) often said, "The problem with common sense is that it isn't very common"!

I was unable to listen to all of the debate.  However, it struck me that the strongest pleas came from those who, like the Conservative leader, Ruth Davidson, are openly homosexual/lesbian/bisexual.  I didn't pick up on anyone confessing to be transsexual.   It also struck me that those speeches which I heard, from the aforementioned groups were very personal - as Ms Davidson stated in her opening remarks, "... this could be the most personal speech that I will ever make in the Chamber."

Therein, I would contend, lies the problem!  All of those speakers whom I heard supporting the Bill appeared to be doing so from the perspective of either personal choice (to do with their own sexuality), or on the basis of 'equality'.

I fail, utterly, to see why the very fabric of our society should be altered merely to suit the personal lifestyles of certain politicians - politicians who are elected (although, in the List system used by the Scottish Parliament, the majority are not even directly elected, but are put in place by their respective Parties!) to represent the public, not to use their positions of temporal power to achieve their personal ends!

The others, it seems to me, have yet to understand the difference between 'equality' and 'equivalence'!  Yet there is, in fact, a world of difference between the two terms.  To put it simply, 'equality' means being treated the same; 'equivalence' means being the same.

The Civil Partnership legislation gave, and gives, same-gender couples all of the legal rights of heterosexual married couples.  That is equality.   Indeed, they have far greater rights, in law than, for example, two elderly same-gender siblings, or a mother and (full-time carer) daughter, sharing the same family home - but not the same bed!  That same Civil Partnership, we were assured at the time (and that was less than ten years ago!), would not lead to any further demands from the homosexual (etc) community.  Of course, it was politicians who gave the assurance and, as the old joke (with too much truth in it to be funny) asks: "How do you know when a politician is lying?  His lips are moving"!

It is more than interesting that these "representatives" totally ignored the expressed view of almost fifty-five thousand petitioners (almost 670,000 for the whole of the UK - but David Cameron ignored them and realised, too late, that he had made a major mistake!) who were, and are, opposed to the proposal.  They realise that neither two men, nor two women, is the 'equivalent' of one man and one woman - any more than two oranges, or two bananas, is the equivalent of an apple and a kiwi fruit!

What is also interesting is that it is not, as the media have persistently portrayed, only 'religious' people who are opposed to this redefinition of marriage.  Prominent homosexuals have voiced their opposition - including Rupert Everett (actor), and David Starkey (academic); or their indifference - Alan Bennett (playwright) has stated that he isn't bothered, and doesn't even know anyone who cared, one way or another!   Indeed, even the (largely tax-funded) homosexual rights organisation, Stonewall, didn't start pushing for the redefinition of marriage until after Civil Partnerships had been introduced!
Paddy Manning, a homosexual commentator, writing in the Irish Daily Mirror, said that with same-gender marriage, the state remakes the institution as “an anything-goes irrelevant partnership agreement between adults”.  He further commented that same-gender  marriage “asks us to ignore reality and children’s rights”, and stated that “I’m a gay man, I’m not a victim and I reject this notion that traditional marriage should be drastically altered for some fantasy.   He said that Civil Partnerships are sufficient. Of course, he was writing within the context of the Republic of Ireland having announced that, in 2015, it is giving all of its citizens the opportunity to vote in a referendum regarding the redefinition of marriage to include two persons of the same gender.  Jim Eadie (SNP) provided the debate with the views of three (3) of his constituents (none of whom actually elected him!) out of the hundreds that he claimed he had received urging him to support the Bill.  It would be of great interest to know how many requests he received urging him to oppose it!  I wondered, too, if those who support the Bill are so convinced that they have the electorate on their side, why we were constantly refused the very referendum that the Republic of Ireland is being given!
Of course, the Bill has two further stages to go though and so, although the signs don't look good, I am one who will continue to campaign, and pray, that it will be defeated.  What if it passes all stages, and is enacted?  All that I can say to that is that this is not human beings seeking to change that which was introduced by human beings - such as the Butter and Margarine Act, 1907!  This is human beings flying in the face of the Creator, and Sustainer, of all that exists, and Who ordained, from the beginning, that it should be a man and a woman who come together for their mutual comfort (strengthening);  for the procreation of children (a definite 'no-no' for same -gender partners!); and for the good of society.  Those who are supporting this measure, or who have supported it in the Westminster Parliament, will ultimately answer to Him - and "It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God." (Heb 10:31).

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