Thursday, 6 June 2013

Same-sex marriage - the poison of 'conscience'

It looks certain now that same-sex marriage will become legal in the UK very soon.  This is a huge step forward for equality and should also give less ammunition to those who will continue to insist that same-sex relationships are inferior or wicked.  

However.. there will be legal protection, it is said, for those who don't wish to teach about same-sex relationships or perform marriage ceremonies on the basis of conscience.  This sounds reasonable, but it really isn't.  If the purpose of the new laws on same-sex marriage will be to give equality to same-sex relationships then there is no excuse for providing support for those who reject such equality.  'Conscience' is no justification for rejecting equality.  In the past, there has been rejection of rights for women and support for racist views on the basis of conscience.  There would be no acceptance of conscience-based racism these days.  

One of the justifications for same-sex marriage is to help reduce bigotry, and yet some of the most poisonous bigotry comes from those who denounce same-sex relationships as wicked.  It's the 'consciences' of such people that is a real problem.

There is either equality or there is not.  Equality except for protection of those who reject equality for religious reasons is not true equality. 

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