I am being forced into marriage by David Cameron. I don't want to be married, I'm quite happy to be in a civil partnership. I and my partner have been living together for over 43 years and 6 years ago we became civil partners in a legal ceremony at Oldway Mansions in Torbay. I am assuming that once David Cameron has his wicked way with the law of the land I and my partner will no longer civil partners but married. I am more or less against this change.
Now, if someone asks me if I am married I can say no. I don't leave it at that. I have been telling people for over 45 years I'm gay and I see no reason to stop now so I then add, I'm in a civil partnership. This immediately defines who I am, a gay man living with an other gay man in a long term relationship. It also saves the questioner any problems as to where to go next. It forestalls one of 3 questions that usually follow ' Are you married?' which are 'What's your wife's name?' 'What does your wife do?' and 'Do you have any children? The person I am talking to can then move on to other areas of small talk without having that awkward and slightly embarrassing moment of having made an incorrect assumption about me
If David Cameron goes ahead and changes the law I will become 'married' and I will have to answer yes to the question and then correct this unfortunate but understandable assumption that will be made about me. That I am married to a woman who's name might be of passing interest as will, briefly the possession of any offspring. I can see in a few years time it will become politically correct to ask, "Are you married?" and on receiving a yes go on to ask "Same sex or mixed sex." Being political correct can be so important.
An other reason why I don't want to be married is that in a marriage now there is a husband and a wife. This still has connotations that are regarded by some sections of society as very politically not correct. The husband goes out to work and the woman stays at home and looks after the house and children. This still in many (most?) peoples' minds suggests that marriage is not a partnership of equals but where one person is more important than the other. It depends to some extent what gender you are when you come to decide who is the more important, the bread winner or the child bearer. So far my partner and I have managed to avoid that view of marriage, we have never been asked which one is the husband and which one is the wife and God help the first person to do so. We are, as it says on the label, partners, not husband and wife. Being married suggests a serious change in peoples' view of our relationship that I find would be detrimental to gay relationships in the long term.
And finally, I am against the idea of changing civil partnerships into marriages on the grounds of cost. The Act of Parliament that brought in civil partnerships was over 120 pages long. The main wording of the act covered a page and a half of that, the rest of the pages were the product of a small hard working civil servants who had gone through tens of thousands of previous legislation that had anything to do with Marriage, divorce, widow, widower, legal separation and even single and add the word civil partner to that legislation. Now an other group of hard working diligent civil servants will have to go through the process all over again and remove civil partnerships from the pile of previous legislation and replace it with same sex marriage. They could be doing better things with their time I am sure.
I have a feeling there will be equal rights activist out there who will disagree with some, most or even all of the above but this is a democracy and we can all say how we feel; and this is how I feel.