I’m a gay man and I wasn’t convinced by equal marriage either. Now I am.

It's taken me a while to convince myself of the arguments for marriage, but as MPs vote today on historic proposals to legalise gay marriage, I'm more convinced than ever

Related Topics

The case for gay marriage is clear and unambiguous. It derives from the definition of equality, which is unchanging, rather than that of marriage, which changes with surprising regularity. Equality: the state of being equal in status, rights and opportunities.

I would think that. After all, I’m a gay man. But I am not the only LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) person who needed a little persuading that gay marriage was for us.

All my adult life I have been a convinced atheist with strong libertarian instincts. I didn’t need the state, far less the church, to validate me for who I was.

Marriage struck me as flawed institution at the best of times. We were gay, we’d broken the rules, we had our freedom, why should we bind ourselves into an institution designed for the straight world? And one whose rules most of them struggled to obey.

There was a touch of Oscar Wilde about it. “Not only would I never want to belong to any club that would have me for a member – if elected I would wear street shoes on the squash court.”

If we were loved, surrounded by friends, protected from discrimination at work and in our everyday lives, who needed marriage?

I was even a little agnostic about civil partnerships. I supported them absolutely in principle, but it took me a while to get round to it myself. My partner James and I have been together 16 years. We had our civil partnership in 2008, fours years after the legislation was passed. We thought it was a good idea for inheritance purposes really. And then something happened.

We loved it. Surrounded by our families and friends, it became a genuine and meaningful celebration of our love for each other. The only question that floored me was from my 12-year-old nephew. “Why did we call James ‘Uncle James’ even when you weren’t in a civil partnership?”

I’m now Executive Director of an international LGBT human rights charity, the Kaleidoscope Trust. In the 80 or more jurisdictions around the world where homosexual acts are still illegal, and sometimes even punishable by death, there are few calls for gay marriage. Being able to live without the constant fear of being attacked, arrested or killed would be progress.

What that work has convinced me of, however, is that equality is the only benchmark for justice. We are equal in all things or we are not equal at all. So now I passionately want – no, demand - to be a member of the club however flawed its current members may be. Just so long as I can wear whatever shoes I want to the ceremony.   

Lance Price is Executive Director of the Kaleidoscope Trust

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Sauce Recruitment: Retail Planning Manager - Home Entertainment UK

salary equal to £40K pro-rata: Sauce Recruitment: Are you available to start a...

Ashdown Group: Front-End Developer - London - up to £40,000

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Creative Front-End Developer - Claph...

Recruitment Genius: Product Quality Assurance Technologist - Hardline & Electric

£18000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The role in this successful eco...

Ashdown Group: QA Tester - London - £30,000

£28000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: QA Tester - London - £30,000 QA Tes...

Day In a Page

Read Next

CPAC 2015: What I learnt from the US — and what the US could learn from Ukip

Nigel Farage

If I were Prime Minister: I would create a government that actually reflects its people

Kaliya Franklin
HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower