Humanists to become equal marriage celebrants

Credit; BHA

Credit; BHA

“Over the last few days thousands of people have written to their MPs to support the legalisation of humanist marriage, which is due to be voted on tomorrow or on Tuesday. Have you joined them yet?” – British Humanist Association. We are one of the most active organisations promoting marriage equality in the UK and around the world. We hope to one day be the best, and importantly, least prejudice provider of marriage services in the UK upon recognition. Marriage is for all, and no religious organisation should try to have a monopoly on the expression of love on the grounds of their particular tribal values, and sadly more often than not, their prejudices.

To highlight this, 500 Imams representing some Muslims in almost all UK cities are against equality, and diversity in marriage. It seems their faith, and need to position religious standards over treating people as equals is more important but then, that has always been the case. It would be interesting to see what would happen if pressed to go into detail about Islamic family values, and the rules around marriage to justify their position, especially in the UK where much of what is in the Quran and Sharia (a complicated hodgepodge with no true interpretation) run contrary to law. This is the problem when a nation allows multicultural sensitivity to over-rule the actual aim of bridge building, and in effect allow communities to keep the drawbridges up, when surely we should be achieving diversity under one fair (as much as possible) legal standard. Many Christians are no better in this regard, seeing homosexuals as deviant and anyone that enables their union as complicit in their sin – think “we hate fags and fag enablers,” a slogan from The Westboro Baptist church, although thankfully these particular believers are a small minority. Whether these opinions are in the majority or minority, I would hope we could condemn them in principle.

Do these groups seem like they promote equality od choice? I think not. Homosexuality is no more a choice than the colour of one’s skin, and as such is not a topic up for debate. The opinions that people choose, such as their beliefs, are up for debate, and can also be factually wrong and morally repugnant, that’s the good thing about thinking for yourself, you get to learn and change your mind. Even if being gay were a choice, this wouldn’t be a reason not to respect LGBT peoples’ harmless personal choice to love who they want in a free society, they’re not exactly asking you to join in. Regressive cults with billions of followers should not be able to return us to a dark age mentality just because they’re particularly loud, dominant in society, or claim they are somehow victims of prejudice themselves when change occurs on such issues. Our critical faculties, and understanding of what it is to try and treat each other as equals of the same species, are too hard won to let such reversal happen. Marriage equality doesn’t effect anyone apart from those who are given the opportunity to express their love through it. It isn’t cheapened by allowing homosexuals to get married, nor by allowing others to provide the ceremony.

If you feel passionately about this issue please write to your local MP, a template letter can be found HERE. And for an informative as well as passionate breakdown of the common arguments against marriage equality more generally I would recommend reading this informative article. I hope you will identify that the mouth flapping it identifies is entirely incoherent, at least in an intellectually maturing society (we hope) like the UK. And, that’s the beauty of being a non-believer, you don’t, in principle, have a doctrine that gives you a reason to dislike anyone … until they do something to deserve it that is. So why shouldn’t a group, composed of people who are happy to deliver such services do so, it’s not as if they’re founding the Church of the Clam Lapper Day Saints now is it?

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About glencarrigan

Glen Carrigan is a Neuropsychology Postgraduate Researcher and Senior Research Assistant in Clinical Practice at The University of Central Lancashire. Glen is a public speaker, humanist, science presenter, ex-soldier, and social and political activist with an interest in all things related to equality, science, education, and politics.

Posted on May 19, 2013, in Humanism and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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