This is being voted on tomorrow. It doesn’t matter if you are gay, straight, or somewhere in between: If you care about every citizen in this country having equal rights, I urge you to please forward (editing if necessary) this message onto your MP. It’s not too late.
Do take out the bit about Kate, though: she’s mine…
If you don’t know who your MP is, you can find out here: http://findyourmp.parliament.uk/
I am writing to you to make a plea for you to support the equal marriage bill being voted on tomorrow in Parliament. I understand that there has been a very vocal opposition to this bill from a small minority of people opposed to equal rights for all regardless of sexual orientation. I would please ask you not to be swayed by this minority and recognise that the majority of people, as many as seven in ten, according to recent Stonewall surveys support equal marriage. I would also urge you to consider that support for the bill among the younger generation is even higher. If the government fails to pass this new equal marriage bill then my generation and those younger than me will remember if the majority of your party fails to support equality.
The anti equality lobby will argue that marriage has always been the same and we shouldn’t try to change it. This is simply not true, marriage as we know it has gone through many incarnations to become what it is today. Men used to be able to marry multiple wives for example. It used to be extremely hard to get a divorce and most religions wouldn’t recognise second marriages. Marriages used to nearly always be arranged, a binding of families and not for love. Marital rape did not used to be recognised, with the law proclaiming that a husband had a ‘right’ to rape his wife whenever he wanted to.
It is also important to recognise that no one will be forced to have a same sex marriage if it is against their religion or they believe homosexuality is a sin. Nor, I believe will religious organisations be forced to conduct the marriages of same sex couples, if they do not support equality.
I am gay myself. I would love it if I was able to get married to my long term partner Kate in the future. Knowing that I have the choice to marry the person I love, to make that commitment to them in front of friends and family and to be recognised by law, that is what I ask for. The current civil partnerships are not equality, they are a segregation of how same sex and opposite sex couples are seen by society. Having different names and slightly different protections and rights accounted to them. Saying that civil partnerships are ‘good enough’ is basically saying that our love is some how different, it is supporting a hierarchy of relationships, that society doesn’t not think our relationships deserve the same validation or recognition.
I urge you to please support marriage equality in the vote tomorrow. I hope this email reaches you in time.
Full name and address