We're still a long way from true marriage equality - Just ask straight women

The majority of articles published on equal marriage today will be illustrated by pictures of gay men, written by gay men about the effect it will have on gay men

Share
Related Topics

So despite the trembling concerns of many a Tory MP, same sex marriage legislation has passed and the British Isles have not crumbled into the sea. If my morning was anything to go by, South West trains seem a far bigger threat to our civilised society than two ladies getting hitched. We’re certainly one step closer to equality, but let’s not kid ourselves; we’re not there yet.

"It was Adam and Eve. It wasn't Adam and Steve" bellowed DUP MP David Simpson from the chamber during yesterday’s debate without a hint of irony. A hoary old slogan masquerading as a political point it may be, but it speaks of a wider problem both within and without the LGBT community - the argument for gay marriage very much revolves around gay men.

The majority of articles written about gay marriage today will be illustrated by pictures of gay men, written by gay men about the effect it will have on gay men. Even those who oppose marriage equality have focused their arguments around men marrying men, often with constant references to their inability to bear children.

Perhaps gay women have spoken to straight women and discovered that centuries of marriage got us diddly in term of equality, and decided to opt out? Some certainly regard it as a capitulation to conservative values and a sexist institution. More likely, though, it’s telling of the general focus on men that permeates society.

The marriage bill, aside from allowing women to marry other women, may have farther-reaching effects. It redefines marriage in such a way that oppressive gender roles are discarded, and disposes of the ridiculous notion that the sole purpose of marriage is procreation - both ideas that oppress female identity into a very small box. I personally hope that, whilst most importantly granting the most basic of rights to people in same sex relationships, this more inclusive definition will promote equality and diversity in opposite sex relationships too.

The bill is far from perfect. Trans people in particular have been let down - ‘stolen’ marriages due to compulsory annulments for the sake of differentiation between straight and same sex relationships, are not being reinstated. Same sex adultery will not be considered grounds for divorce, nor will failure to consummate- due to blushing legislators who couldn’t bear to assess what would qualify.

I hope this progress, no matter how major or minor you consider it, fuels us. I hope it will encourage us to push harder for equality and that LGBT organisations will take this opportunity in the spotlight not to congratulate but to highlight where we need to go next. We should not rest until we guarantee the rights and protections that LGBT people should expect as the very basics of human dignity - and now is the time to demand them. If we can legalise same sex marriage under a Conservative-led government, who knows what we can do next?

React Now

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

Teacher

£90 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: Supply teaching - A great w...

Training Programme Manager (Learning and Development)-London

£28000 - £32000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Training Programme Manage...

VB.Net Developer - £40k - Surrey - WANTED ASAP

£35000 - £40000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: .Mid Level V...

Digitakl Business Analyst, Slough

£40000 - £45000 per annum + Competitive Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: Dig...

Day In a Page

Read Next
'Our media are suffering a new experience: not fear of being called anti-Semitic'  

Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk
David Cameron (pictured) can't steal back my party's vote that easily, says Nigel Farage  

Cameron’s benefits pledge is designed to lure back Ukip voters. He’ll have to try harder

Nigel Farage
Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In grandfather's footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

Martha Stewart has flying robot

The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

The dining car makes a comeback

Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

Gallery rage

How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

Eye on the prize

Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

Women's rugby

Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup
Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices