Thursday, 3 May 2007

Do gays really want 'equality'?

[...] Before December 2005 and the passing of the civil partnerships bill, I had not had to ask of myself the questions straight people do in terms of their relationships. It is all very well thinking your union is as valid as your straight friends', but is it really? Are homosexuals more likely to have fleeting relationships because they are not biologically compelled by child-rearing?

Though as a political measure civil partnerships are one of Tony Blair's more radically society-shifting ideas, what has emerged in the aftermath of the bill is a sort of civil partnership angst. Because of the climate they grew up in, British gay men and women of a certain age are a nervous enough demographic. Throw the possibility of lifetime partnerships into the brew, and the part they play in society at large is put under a microscope. Excluded legally as children and teens, were we really going to institutionalise our relationships in a world that had previously restrained them? Read more

1 comment:

Blair said...

Hi again John,

thanks for blogging this - I wouldn't have come across Paul Flynn's article otherwise. I think he's honest about how things are. Interesting that he asks the "Are gays more likely to have fleeting relationships...?" question, having said that his own partnership is of 8 years' standing. And has this question been asked about straight couples who are, for whatever reason (including choice), without children?

I thought there were some interesting echoes of James Alison's homily from last Sunday's worship on Radio 4. I'm thinking of James's words (see the transcript) about gay people's stories being transformed so that their endings know neither fear nor shame, and of Paul Flynn saying, "If you had asked me a year ago about my feelings on civil partnerships, I would have talked up the possibility of a thing I never had in my life plan when acknowledging my sexuality as a suburban teen", and "Gayness itself hung in the air as a doom-laden signpost of exclusion". Paul Flynn points to a shift, rupture even, in what he could conceive of, and how discomfiting this possibility of a different story can be.

But out of interest, why the inverted commas in your headline?

in friendship, Blair