Tracey Emin joins our campaign for same-sex marriage by calling on the Church to open up

The artist says that though she has never married, and may never marry, she sometimes fantasises about it. And gay people should be allowed to do that too

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The Independent Online

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I was lucky – I was born with a great deal of faith. It wasn’t taught to me, it wasn’t dictated. It is part of me, part of my blood, my soul.

I believe in the past, present and future – a meeting place of parallel worlds. I believe in a greater presence that joins all and I truly believe in an afterworld.

Not so much an afterlife but another place, another existence – something we become – a particle of light, a drop in the ocean, a blade of grass, maybe a distant star. But in my heart of hearts I cannot believe in a heaven or hell. I do not believe in a Judgement Day. The only judgement is our conscience that takes us through this world. When I was a child I forced myself to stop masturbating because I was convinced that if I continued God wouldn’t love me any more. I thought I was on the outside. I thought I was one of the unloved. How can the all-encompassing, the be-all-and-everything, the almighty, reject any one?

I’m not religious but there is always a time for God, a time for prayer. “Please God I promise I will never do it again” - usually when I’m purging my soul down a lavatory pan after a hard night drinking.

Or on a serious note when my father died or when I have been very ill. Or when I have felt very alone and isolated. But at all times, I never felt excluded by a greater presence. No one should be excluded.

On this argument I would say that all adults should be allowed to marry in church in the eyes of God – regardless of sex or gender – love should transcend all – the greater union, the promise of devotion to another, to love and honour, for better or worse, in sickness and health.

I recently shared this view with a number of my friends, gay and straight. The majority were not keen on the idea of gay marriage in church. Most of my friends who are gay said they had always been outside of Christianity and never accepted. Why would they want to get married in a religious sense? They were more than happy with civil partnership.

I said yes but what if you are gay and Christian? Your love is being rejected by the Church. But everyone I spoke to was emphatic that Church and State should never interfere with each other. There was much conversation on gay priests and lesbian nuns and the total denial of homosexuality within in the Catholic Church.

But what about the Church of England? Had Henry VIII thrown in a quick law about same sex marriage at the same time as divorce the world could now be such a different place.

But then came the argument of procreation – marriage in the eyes of God is for the purpose of procreation. But then I recently spoke to some friends who have a considerable age gap between them. She is over thirty years older. At the time of their marriage they could never have had children. But they dearly love each other. Is their marriage wrong?

The truth is the Church marries hundreds and thousands of gay people – every day more and more people are committing themselves to a life long lie.

She, jumping at every opportunity for a threesome, as long as it’s with another woman – and He constantly taking the dog for a walk – jumping in and out of bushes – hanging outside of public toilets waiting for the signal.

Or maybe they are more than happy to have an open relationship but does this make the Church happy?

There is no need for gay people to marry in Church, no need for the law to change. But there is a great need for the Church to change its perception on homosexuality. Being gay does not exclude you from Love, or the greater love of all.

The Church should be more kind and understanding to young people coming out. Christians should behave Christian.

I have never been married, probably never will be married. But sometimes I fantasise. The fantasy either takes me up the aisle in my local Church, Christ Church Spitalfields – or on a really big ego-inflated day, St. Paul’s. But either way, if there is no chance for a man and man or woman and woman, I guess there is no chance for woman and a cat.

I will just have to meet Docket in the next world.

Independent Voices has launched a campaign to legalise same-sex marriage. To read more about our Equal Partners campaign and sign the petition, click here.

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