I’m already married, Keith.
David Cameron has bared his compassionate conservative heart and declared that same-sex marriage is something that he believes in. Cameron is getting quite a reputation for his stubborn approach to controversial policies. His ruling style seems to be that of a bullying monarch rather than a public servant, and this enlightened titbit may be just a scrap to throw to the left to keep them on their toes.
One must question his motives, and whether anything will actually come from the governments consultation on the matter. As Cameron continues to shape his political narrative the same-sex marriage card is a strong character point to play. It’s a divisive idea, especially within his own party, but, it is only an idea - a toy for the children to fight over while Daddy Cameron gets on with the grown-up stuff.
One child, in particular, has been making a hell of a noise this week in the pages of the Telegraph and, this morning, on Radio 4’s Today programme. His name is Keith O’Brien.
If you strip away O’Brien’s usual scare tactic - the destruction of our world (a fate, coincidentally, that he and his fellow Christian’s encourage if it’s on Jesus’ terms) - then you are left with the defence of a word.
‘Can a word whose meaning has been clearly understood in every society throughout history suddenly be changed to mean something else?’
The fight for marriage equality is a fight for a word.
I’m a great fan of Jean Genet who, apart from being a thief of books and bread, formed a literary career from the theft of words. Being allowed no words of his own to express his thoughts or the beauties of his world, he stole the words of others and shaped them anew.
Thankfully, unlike Genet’s French, which has the added pressure of the Académie Française guarding its every definition, the English language is truly Darwinian. It evolves through the minds and mouths of its speakers to serve their needs, and the dictionaries that merely archive its use have to run to keep up.
Following Genet’s example, I have taken great pleasure in stealing words. I married my husband last year - I’ve stolen these words and I use them every day. They are real.
The government refers to my marriage as a civil partnership - that’s their problem and I’m happy to see them take steps to rectify this.
Thankfully, Keith O’Brien wasn’t invited on to the Today programme to promote his words, but to defend them. To listen to him, he could be speaking another language altogether.