Marriage (Same Sex Couples)

Memorandum submitted by George Curtis (MB 17)

Introduction.

I am a married heterosexual male aged over 70, and before I retired I worked in an environment that required the application of reason and logic.

My qualifications and my right to comment on this matter are embodied in the fact that I am British, and that I have children and grandchildren.

I am concerned about the future of my country, not just in a political sense but also in a social sense.

I see problems with this Bill that are of a logical and administrative nature.

I beg leave to make my views known to the committee.

Summary

Although the objectives of the Bill may be considered laudable it does raise far reaching administrative, legal and social problems which could adversely affect the entire population.

These problems resolve around the term ‘equal’, which may be a desirable word but it does not reflect the practical differences between the various states of marriage which are surely obvious to all.

The Bill aims at creating two states of marriage but in fact creates three states of marriage. These are:-

State 1, Traditional marriage between one man and one woman, entered into primarily because of love.

State 2, Same-sex homosexual marriage, also entered into primarily because of love.

State 3, Heterosexual same-sex marriage, entered into for reasons not related to love.

If all these three states of marriage are to be regarded as ‘equal’ then many problems arise, and these problems are described in the body of this submission.

The Problems

1) Heterosexual same-sex marriage.

It is not possible to restrict same-sex marriage to loving homosexuals. It follows that heterosexuals may also indulge in same-sex marriage for reasons related to the benefits that ensue from being in a marriage.

1.a Since heterosexual same-sex marriage would be entered into purely for short-term advantage it would not be taken seriously by the participants, this would degrade the meaning of ‘marriage’ for everyone.

1.b No future government would be able to give advantages to married couples without also offering those same inducements and rewards to casual heterosexual same-sex marriages, which may take place simply to acquire those benefits.

1.c It is possible to envisage many scenarios wherein heterosexual same-sex marriage could circumvent existing laws, or benefit from them. One example is of a male landlord marrying his male tenant; the rent he then received from his new ‘spouse’ would not be counted as income.

Recently announced changes to benefit rules regarding ‘spare rooms’ will no doubt encourage this form of abuse, wherein a man with a ‘spare room’ may well find a new ‘spouse’ to occupy it; the ‘spouse’ of course would make a ‘financial contribution’ to the new marriage.

Another example would involve heterosexual members of the armed services indulging in short-term same-sex marriage in order to obtain the entitlement to ‘married quarters’ and thus move out of the barracks to live in the freedom of a private house.

2) Sibling or close-relative same-sex marriage.

Since all same-sex unions are sterile there can be no objections to such unions on grounds of inbreeding, genetic degradation, or genealogy. The term ‘incest’ would not apply.

2.a Laws forbidding the same-sex marriage of close relatives can only be founded on grounds of bigotry and prejudice, which could be challenged in a court.

2.b Such laws envisaged in paragraph 2.a would be difficult to justify except on grounds of bigotry, but are essential. If same-sex marriage is to be permitted between close relatives, such as siblings or parent and adult child, then on grounds of equality that same privilege must be extended to traditional marriage. This would be unacceptable on genetic grounds.

2.c Heterosexual same-sex marriage between close relatives may be engaged in to circumvent or take advantage of state benefits and laws related to inheritance, property rights, tax, housing and other possibilities.

2.d Many people of a religious persuasion already find the proposed Bill offensive. If close relatives of the same sex were to be allowed to marry, the number of religious people objecting would increase. The government may regard religious objections as ‘bigoted’ but religious people are also citizens of this country and are entitled to their democratic view.

2.e The result of same-sex marriage between siblings and close relatives being made legal would be seen as possibly or probably encouraging real incest.

Conclusions

The government may hope that the provisions of the Bill will not be abused, but given human nature, such a hope will be in vain.

In order to counter all the possible abuses of the provisions of the Bill the whole corpus of law would need to be revised, and these revisions must necessarily affect all marriages equally, thus changing the existing state of marriage as well as the proposed states.

The end result will be a quagmire of new laws and confused morality.

Once this Bill has passed into law the changes will be irrevocable.

Marriage, both as it has been traditionally known and between loving homosexuals, will be tarnished for all time by the casual nature of heterosexual same-sex marriage along with a complex web of unjust and prejudicial laws that try in vain to counter the abuse, and in the end, the three states of marriage will never be truly ‘equal’. 

This Bill, though laudable in its intent, will actually make the word ‘marriage’ meaningless.

February 2013

Prepared 15th February 2013