Order the Confetti! But is Homophobia a Vote-Winner Anymore?

February 8, 2013

in Extracts

SO! Same sex marriage! Second Reading! 400 votes to 175! Today is a truly great day for LGBT people in Britain. The last form of de jure discrimination is falling.

It’s been less of a great day for David Cameron, who saw more Tory MPs vote against the bill than vote for it. And that is quite sad, really. It’s sad because it means that a majority of the Tory Party believes that it has an electoral winning strategy based on discrimination and enforcing inequality. UKIP has recently been trying very hard to reinforce this notion and drag David Cameron away from just one more game of Fruit Ninja or face the mass haemorrhage of disgruntled Tories to Nigel Farage’s grinning arms. Their most recent tactic is to try to capitalise on the outrage among religious conservatives at the introduction of gay marriage. And that’s even more sad, because at least when Liberal Democrat MP Sarah Teather disgracefully voted against the bill, she at least did so on grounds of conscience, rather than blatant political opportunism.

My feed was filled with comments recently from friends shocked that 500,000 people turned out to protest the same sex marriage proposal by President Hollande in France. While I am disappointed that so many people turned out on a social issue yet had nothing to say about rampant economic inequality, I can’t bring myself to think badly of people who just want to stick to marriage-as-baby-incubator model that we’ve had in Europe for a very, very long time, John Boswell’s research on medieval gay marriages notwithstanding. I can understand people being uncomfortable by same sex marriage on grounds of tradition, rather than homophobia, though I don’t agree.

I used to agree, actually.

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