Saturday, 2 June 2012

The Government's consultation on changing the scope of marriage: searching for the right words

May I begin by recommending to you a fine post by The Reluctant Sinner, entitled "We shouldn't blame homosexual activists for wanting to get 'married' - The real purpose of marriage was probably destroyed before the decriminalisation of homosexuality".

Those of us who have signed the Coalition for Marriage’s petition to keep the classical definition and scope of marriage, are being encouraged to go a step further by adding their contribution to the consultation document.

It’s much easier to sign a petition than to express one’s views in so many words. I was reluctant at first, because it always takes me such a long time to gather my thoughts into shape. But at last I have managed to compose something and send it.

C4M provides a selection of suitable texts, which you can use or adapt, or you can write it in your own words. I incorporated one or two phrases in my own statement.

It’s very hard to argue these things without relying solely on assertions. But then, our Prime Minister is very fond of uttering that great unproveable assertion: “It’s the right thing to do.” I hope the assertions I have made are at least reasonable. This is my effort - tweaked a bit here and there, because I am never satisfied:
There is no distinction in our country's law between civil and religious marriage. It is simply marriage. Any reference to these two things as distinct legal realities is false and misleading.

Marriage, which predates the state and any organised religion, has an intrinsic nature. No one, including the state, has the competence to redefine it in order to extend it beyond its natural meaning.

The unalterable core of its nature is the exchange, by a man and woman, of the right to share with one another the procreative act. (This does not depend on the couple's fertility, but on their being capable of the act.) Since only a man and a woman are physically capable of this, any attempt by the law to extend marriage to persons of the same sex would be void.

At the conclusion of any such attempted marriage ceremony, even if permitted by the law of the land, the parties concerned would remain as they were; whatever that law decreed, they would not in reality be married.
"The unalterable core of its nature is the exchange, by a man and woman, of the right to share with one another the procreative act." It was when I was composing this sentence, that the enormity of the Government's latest proposal - to remove the requirement for the consummation of marriage, in order to accommodate same-sex partners - was brought home to me most forcefully. They think they can remove the very core of marriage; but it can't be done. Details can be found in the Reverend Nick Donnelly's blog, Protect the Pope.

Please feel free to lift anything from this for your own contribution if you would find it useful. I wish I could have said it more concisely, but I have said pretty much what I wanted to say. They probably won’t read it anyway; still, it’s the effort that counts. I think the important thing is to contribute to the total number of those responding.

As the same Prime Minister and his Chancellor like to say, “We’re all in this together.”


Anonymous said...

Excellent, if I may say so. Thank you.

Dorothy B said...

How kind, Father!