Lynne Featherstone has caused something of a furore amongst the more conservative elements of Great Britain this week with her determination to change the definition of marriage in a consultation that was launched this week. Suitably traditional papers like The Telegraph and the Daily Mail alongside orthodox religious groups, have criticised Lynne’s insistence to ensure that same-sex marriage is given the same status as its more traditional counterpart. But not everyone’s having it.
This consultation raises the very interesting question, should a democratic government do only the will of the people or should it be a bastion for noble values, too? Where do you draw the line between implementing the wishes and feelings of a nation versus the need to protect and evolve civilisation in a positive way?
Well, all the answers to these questions are to our mind subjective, just as the questions themselves are, but here at Researching Reform we are very much of the same view as Lynne Featherstone. Marriage was never rooted in any form of noble or altruistic sentiment, other than the partial desire to protect women from being duped into a polygamous relationship, and the fact that we have not modernised it properly since its inception is something of a shame, but to our mind, allowing gay couples to get married in the traditional sense of the word is a good move forward. There are no rational arguments to be made against it, just as we could not possibly insist that marriage is a ‘natural’ state for human beings, given the important if subtle distinction between social interaction and togetherness as opposed to state registration of that interaction.
And whilst critics are saying that the government are not allowing the public to decide, there is a section in the consultation which asks whether or not we feel there is a need to redefine marriage. The argument made in the article above is that asking is not the same as listening. We’re not quite sure what that means, but it sounds like a pre-outcome temper tantrum fuelled by the fear of being democratically over-ruled, to us.
Yes, we applaud Lynne Featherstone for allowing Britain to protect its long-standing tradition of noble values and we have absolutely no qualms about her dogged determination to see this redefining period through. We’re right there with our dog collar…. or not, as the case may be.