Comment: Happy Valentine’s Day, Melanie Phillips!

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

Happy Valentine’s Day to Daily Mail columnist Melanie Phillips, who used the romance of February 14th to urge against giving gay couples the right to marry.

Obviously struck by one of Cupid’s sharper arrows, she took the occasion to suggest that gay marriage could soon lead to people marrying their hamsters.

Having booted Jan Moir off the Twitter naughty chair with last month’s tirade about gays brainwashing children, she sets about trashing gay relationships.

It comes down to the same tired old argument – that it’s all about sex and procreation.

Forget about the many different kinds of relationships people have, the ways they choose to live, how they raise their children – or not – and even the fact that they have sex in different ways.

Usually, no one is quite crude enough to point out that straight people might be doing many of the same things as gay couples but in any case, what does it matter?

Melanie says: “The argument – that people with different sexual lifestyles must be treated identically – is exactly the same [as the argument for legalising bestiality]”.

She claims that in some parts of America, campaigns are underway for zoophiles’ sexual rights and the implication is clear that this must be a slippery slope.

To be fair, a disclaimer is included: “Before the hate mail starts, I’m not suggesting gays are on a moral par with zoophiles.” Clever, that.

Further down, she argues: “The sole reason marriage has universal value is that it is vital for the healthy nurture of the next generation. This is because children need to be brought up by the two people who created them.”

This argument conveniently sidesteps the thousands of children being brought up by loving gay parents and suggests – but fails to show how – future generations will be damaged by gay marriage.

And the fact that some married people are childless is not irrelevant. Old people, infertile people, terminally ill people and people who just don’t want sprogs marry, and their marriages are just as valid as any other.

But those demanding gay people, not content enough with “destroying moral and sexual norms”, want complete equality. And on this festival of amor!

Marriage would become a “meaningless joke” if Adam and Steve were permitted to stroll down the aisle, Mel writes, possibly envisioning the local church bedecked in a manner to make the Big Fat Gypsy Wedding girls nauseous.

“Truly, we are fast reaching the stage where upholding Biblical sexual standards will become the morality that dare not speak its name,” she fulminates, while jostling with Peter Hitchens for a spot at the front of the “silent majority”. respects the fact that Ms Phillips, unlike many who share her views, argued her points in front of an audience of gay men and women last year. But we say she’s wrong.

In previous articles, she has argued that it is “victim culture”, rather than homosexuality as a concept, which concerns her. It is certainly wrong to see LGBT people as victimised on the whole, but it was only a few decades ago that being gay was illegal and grounds for chemical castration. It’s not about turning back time, it’s about righting wrongs for the future.

It’s still not clear how exactly gay weddings will “erode” marriage anyway. Will a blushing bride-to-be ever tell her handsome groom, “I’m sorry darling, but it would be completely meaningless now that Will Young and Joe McElderry have formed a gay pop super-union.”

Trust me, it certainly won’t affect mine, if the boyfriend ever decides to put me out of the misery of my bizarre surname. Furthermore, in case anyone is still wondering, you definitely can’t catch gay. Lord knows I’ve tried but I’m still a boring hetero, as the estimable Simon Pegg recently put it.

You may reject all of the nonsense of Valentine’s Day but it’s still our national day of love.

I’ll leave it to the Rev Sharon Ferguson and her partner Franka Strietzel to say: “Like most people in this world, we were brought up to believe that one day we’d fall in love and get married. This is what we want to do and our sexual orientation should not be an impediment.” wishes all the very best of luck to everyone who popped the question to their significant others today. We sincerely hope you’ll have the choice of a marriage or a civil partnership when the time comes.

Good on the coalition but the plans are going to face serious opposition. Even if most British people are relaxed about the idea of gay marriage, religious leaders and some politicians won’t be.

David Cameron, some of his Tories and the Lib Dems seem genuine on this issue but yesterday’s leaking of the proposals gives the government some time to react to the inevitable anger. We’ll have to wait until the end of the week to get the real details and, of course, these are only proposals.

Back to Melanie Phillips – relax, old chum. You’ve got this issue well and truly between your teeth and are shaking it every which way like a dog with my old man’s walking boots. The sky is not going to fall in if gay couples wed. It’ll probably be far more tasteful that you imagine.

And Dave – please don’t jilt our readers at the altar.