Thursday, October 05, 2006

I see my friends, Dave surprises me a little

Watching the Conservative Party conference, we've been on the lookout for a friend of ours. Will the camera flash to her applauding the speaker (or perhaps scowling at some policy pronouncement she disagrees with). And we finally saw her last night, sitting on the dais (along with about 50 others) behind Tory Party leader David Cameron as he made his speech last night. We saw her and someone else we know. I had begun to worry that she might not have made it into the conference hall, after all the trouble they've been having with security passes.

David Cameron said a lot of things in his speech, but one of the things I didn't expect to hear was this:

But I also believe that marriage is a great institution, and we should support it.

I'm not naïve in thinking that somehow the state can engineer happy families with this policy or that tax break.

All I can tell you is what I think. And what I think is this.

There's something special about marriage.

It's not about religion. It's not about morality. It's about commitment.

When you stand up there, in front of your friends and your family, in front of the world, whether it's in a church or anywhere else, what you're doing really means something.

Pledging yourself to another means doing something brave and important.

You are making a commitment. You are publicly saying: it's not just about me, me me anymore. It is about we - together, the two of us, through thick and thin. That really matters.

And by the way, it means something whether you're a man and a woman, a woman and a woman or a man and another man.


And this is what Iain Dale, big time Conservative blogger and parliamentary candidate a-lister has to say about this:

Somehow I just feel I have been legitimised. It may mean little to most people who read this blog, but to gay and lesbian people all this country it will mean a lot. Assuming they get to hear about it

Well, Iain, I'm not gay - I'm in a heterosexual marriage and have been for a long time, but it means a lot to me. I feel that support for the institution of marriage is important - and that support of marriage for gays and lesbians strengthens marriage. (Incidentially, that is why I support straight-up gay marriage over not-quite-marriage contracts like civil partnerships.)

For too long under New Labour, marriage has been under assualt. In fact, the civil partnership thing was the only thing they did which was kinda in support of marriage. They got rid of the marriage tax credit and there's an attitude that marriage is antiquated an old-fashioned. Too many of the Labour chatterati are opposed to marriage on some kind of bizarre cultural grounds. In long term relationships, they don't get married when they get a mortgage and they don't get married when they have kids. They mistake the fact that they are able to maintain longterm relationships without contracts for the idea that marriage has no value and doesn't support stability in our society. I believe that marriage does make a difference.


Anonymous said...

Well said. VolMom

Sam said...

Once again, Britain shows us the way. Now watch us, both Democrats and Republicans, turn our backs on the obvious.

Vol-in-Law said...

I think if you believe in family values and aren't wholly committed to the idea of homosexuality as sinful per se, you need to support gay marriage. Even if you don't particularly approve of homosexuality, and fairness arguments re tax etc don't appeal, the fact is that marriage is a powerful weapon against promiscuity. Inculcating a culture of faithfulness and monoandry amongst gay men seems like a very worthwhile goal to me; for health as well as moral reasons.