TaraElla Themes 2017-18

A Moral Liberty
Contrary to popular (American) belief, real liberals are not Left (or Right), but pro-liberty.
The Ideas Lab is on a campaign to revive Moral Liberalism.
For more about Moral Liberalism, read TaraElla's book The Moral Libertarian Horizon.

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Sunday, September 8, 2013

An Olive Branch to Marriage Equality Opponents

Whilst I passionately fight for marriage equality because I believe in civil rights and equality under the law in every area, I really cannot be honest if I said my opponents are all homophobic bigots. There are indeed plenty of people who have a problem with 'marriage equality' but who otherwise would be decent towards gay couples.

The thing we should recognise is this - the whole struggle is based on a historical wrong. Power hungry governments assumed control of marriage in Europe, which then spread all around the world. The law should not have a definition of marriage at all - it did OK without one for many centuries. I totally respect that people can have different views on the definition of an institution, but now that it has come to this, those of us that demand civil rights equality must fight for our position. It's a fight that we should not need to have had, but circumstances made it necessary. So if anything, we should not blame the opponents, we should blame history.

I guess the Canadian Civil Marriage Act has the best answer. Whilst it legislated for marriage equality, it also states this: "For greater certainty, no person or organization shall be deprived of any benefit, or be subject to any obligation or sanction, under any law of the Parliament of Canada solely by reason of their exercise, in respect of marriage between persons of the same sex, of the freedom of conscience and religion guaranteed under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms or the expression of their beliefs in respect of marriage as the union of a man and woman to the exclusion of all others based on that guaranteed freedom." This, I believe, should be in every marriage act across the world, along with equal marriage rights.