Iain Dale: Trust civil servants to bugger up same-sex marriage by not including consummation

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

LBC presenter and Conservative Party commentator Iain Dale, who supports the introduction of same-sex marriage, worries that the Government is presenting a flawed bill to the House of Commons.

Apparently we are supposed to call it equal marriage, not gay marriage, but just as the Government makes clear it is determined to push ahead with legislation, we learn that the resulting marriages won’t be quite so equal after all. In fact, gay people who marry will have rather more rights that straight people. Trust civil servants to bugger the whole thing up, if you’ll pardon the phrase.

Apparently civil servants haven’t been able to come up with a definition for consummation for gay people as they don’t know how to define gay sex. So consummation won’t be a requirement for gay people in order for them to considered to be fully married. Well that’s a relief for all the ‘tops’ out there in the world of gaydom, I suppose. So, one up for the gays.

Secondly, and I suppose it flows from the above, if you can’t consummate, it therefore means you can’t commit adultery. So for gays it means that adultery can’t be cited as a reason to get divorced, This is madness. It therefore follows that if a straight married man has it away with a man, the wife can’t cite it as adultery, although to be fair I guess it would qualify as ‘unreasonable behaviour’.

It makes you wonder whether civil servants are purposely trying to make this as difficult as they can for the Government. I would happily advise them on what can be considered ‘gay sex’ if they really can’t work it out for themselves. I might draw the line at showing them though.

And all this is in addition to the fact that gay people will still be able to get civil partnerships but straight people won’t. I never used to think this was a real issue, as I thought registry office weddings were the equivalent, but apparently they are not. Other countries, including Holland, have civil partnerships for straight people, so I can’t see the issue in doing it here. And it would please Peter Tatchell. :).

Equal marriage really must mean equal marriage. The Bill as currently presented seems to deeply flawed and provides any MP even slightly sceptical of it with plenty of reasons to vote against. What an absolute travesty.

So, Maria Miller, what are you going to do about it?

Iain Dale blogs at IainDale.com