I love the gym. This morning not only did it allow me a guilt free cappuccino and pain aux raison, but it gave me some fodder for my 5 minute silent rant. Captive on the treadmill I caught an item on gay marriage – a welcome change from the Leveson Inquiry (see previous rant). The Church of England is opposing the government’s plans to upgrade same sex civil partnerships to marriage contracts. For God’s sake why? Well, apparently, they are in favour of the marriages in principle, but are fretting about an escalation of gay couples’ rights if they decide they want to recite their vows in church and take their grievances to the Almighty Gospel in Brussels – commonly called the European Court of Human Rights. Well, as Jesus might have said, they should cross that bridge when they come to it. And why, indeed, shouldn’t they welcome gay marriages in Church? Aren’t we all God’s children? But I’ll leave that argument for another day. My point is, gay people should be given the right, like heterosexuals, to a life-long union of bliss or bickering if they so wish. There is much to be said for growing old in a family environment. It’s not that you actually let yourself go when you get “comfy” with a partner…but you know what I mean.
Quite recently I read an item in the press about a prominent US champion of gay rights who killed himself. I do not purport to know the reasons why, but one suggestion was the pressure to age well and the cult of youth in the gay community. It can be tough at the best of times for women to look good as the years pass, but gay men have additional pressures and usually not the compensations of an aging spouse at home and children and grandchildren.
Just before the Jubilee one of my oldest and dearest friends said he was visiting from Holland and would our street party accommodate an “aging homo”? Of course! It was all good fun and he camped up a storm to compete with the weather. The reason my friend lives in Amsterdam is because, as a young man, it was a place that welcomed gay people. Times have changed for the better and, for most people in the West, being gay is no longer a stigma. Now’s the time to let them enjoy the companionship of marriage too.