Marriage (Same Sex Couples)

Memorandum submitted by Brian H T Weller (MB 10)

Summary:

This relates to the proposed redefinition of marriage now before Parliament.

1. Definitions

2. Procreation

3. Redefinition clouds its essential component

4. Redefinition ignores personal experience

5. Confusion between equality and fitness

6. Redefinition lacks effective power

7. Redefinition will prove to be detrimental to society

8. Redefinition damages respect for marriage.

1. Words are important. They have specific meaning and import. Marriage has from time immemorial denoted the union of a man and a woman for life, to the exclusion of all others. Resulting from this union the woman is recognised to be the wife; the man, the husband. They become spouses’. Within marriage, this union is consummated when the gender division between them is dissolved as they become one flesh, for which there are many biblical authorities whose historicity indicates that it is from ancient times before state or church came into being. Two ‘shall become one flesh’ Genesis 2:24, also quoted in the New Testament I Cor.6:16 and Eph.5:31. Consequently marriage is the bedrock of society regulating the approved and universally acknowledged means for male and female to express their full potential.

2. The procreation of children resulting from the union of husband and wife preserves the human race. The two become three, or more, and children grow up within the love and discipline of their parents. Then the man is acknowledged to be the children’s father as well as a husband; the woman becomes identified as a mother as well as a wife. Words over which there is no dispute about meaning and significance. This is so irrespective of life’s tragedies or the parties’ fitness and behaviour. Furthermore, the ancient definition of marriage contains within it the right and expectation that every child will benefit from the loving example and experience of a mother and a father.

3. Within this natural order adjectives are universally understood …man, woman, marriage, husband, wife, spouse, child, father, and mother. Any attempt to turn same-sex partnerships into marriage creates confusion because no union across the gender divide is possible to the parties within a Civil Partnership – they are biologically unfitted for it, however equal they are under the Law. Procreation is not the intent of the parties, whereas in marriage it is clearly intended. The basis for marriage is attraction, commitment, love and loyalty between the sexes. Everyone recognises this because without our parents union we would not exist. Furthermore, divorce becomes possible when the sexual activity of one party extends to third parties and for lack of consummation. So sexual difference between the parties to a marriage is and has always been the essential component.

4. The proposal to redefine marriage cuts across every aspect of human affinity. It damages relations between people. It will create disharmony and dislocation because the God given fulfilment within marriage is absent for parties within Civil Partnerships and brings unwanted strains between these same parties and their respective families. The Law cannot deal with such strains because everyone understands that without parents they would never have been born. This knowledge of what is expected from a marriage will never be extinguished because it is self evident to us all.

5. If Equality is to mean anything, citizens should be able to choose between Civil Partnerships and Marriage. This Bill fails to provide for transition between these two states in either direction. It seeks only to move from the lesser to the greater. It cannot facilitate progress from marriage to civil partnership because it cannot change a party’s gender. Therefore it is self evident that what is under discussion is not equality but fitness to contract either union. Physiology and sexuality determines the appropriate choice and the law cannot change this.

6. Civil Partnerships provide the legal framework for two people to live together in a loving caring relationship, but the law enshrining this construct, poses difficulties and strains for relatives. Parties who wish their relationship to be equated to marriage cannot live as married people because they do not chose a partner of the opposite sex. It is acknowledged that they wish to be treated as if they were married, but this Bill cannot make them fit to be so treated. They want to abandon ancient definitions not realising all the implications: the confusion and ambiguity it creates.

7. For example, have you Mother, thought about your daughter or granddaughter playing the role of a husband or father, or you Father, thought about your son or grandson playing the role of a wife or mother in this proposed ‘new marriage’? Being contrary to nature it simply highlights the sexual ambiguity it would introduce. Additionally the passing of this Bill will confuse the public about what is good and right ‘legal’ behaviour within marriage and what will be the means to dissolve it. (As between homosexual and heterosexual partners it will mean different things.) It follows that for those living together outside of marriage and outside of civil partnerships this is, even now, of little consequence. In these circumstances it is impossible to promote good healthy relationships and whatever the law says, the outcome will be detrimental for society. Civil partnerships inevitably lead to the extinction of a family line. The new marriage cannot address this defect and for all the above reasons the result will have a detrimental effect upon society.

8. The progress of partners from civil partnership to marriage cannot provide them with the titles husband and wife. They will continue to be known as partners. The impossibility of naming them husband and wife, reveals these ancient descriptions of relationship to be fixed. Others may be added, but they cannot be removed. Ancient ‘boundaries’ are moved at society’s peril. Marriage was given because the human race is composed of two sexes and unless male and female unite in marriage and other behaviours acknowledged to be inferior, our race is doomed. When the key sexual aspects of marriage are downgraded, all manner of questionable behaviours result and civilised society weakened. Respect for others, treating others as one wants to be treated is paramount, but the Bill being scrutinised fails to give marriage its true significance and is therefore both contrary to marriage and antagonistic to it.

February 2013

Prepared 15th February 2013