X

Create an account to continue reading.

Registered readers have access to our blogs and a limited number of magazine articles
For unlimited access to The Spectator, subscribe below

Registered readers have access to our blogs and a limited number of magazine articles

Sign in to continue

Already have an account?

What's my subscriber number?

Subscribe now from £1 a week

Online

Unlimited access to The Spectator including the full archive from 1828

Print

Weekly delivery of the magazine

App

Phone & tablet edition of the magazine

Spectator Club

Subscriber-only offers, events and discounts
 
View subscription offers

Already a subscriber?

or

Subscribe now for unlimited access

ALL FROM JUST £1 A WEEK

View subscription offers

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating an account – Your subscriber number was not recognised though. To link your subscription visit the My Account page

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

X

Login

Don't have an account? Sign up
X

Subscription expired

Your subscription has expired. Please go to My Account to renew it or view subscription offers.

X

Forgot Password

Please check your email

If the email address you entered is associated with a web account on our system, you will receive an email from us with instructions for resetting your password.

If you don't receive this email, please check your junk mail folder.

X

It's time to subscribe.

You've read all your free Spectator magazine articles for this month.

Subscribe now for unlimited access – from just £1 a week

You've read all your free Spectator magazine articles for this month.

Subscribe now for unlimited access

Online

Unlimited access to The Spectator including the full archive from 1828

Print

Weekly delivery of the magazine

App

Phone & tablet edition of the magazine

Spectator Club

Subscriber-only offers, events and discounts
X

Sign up

What's my subscriber number? Already have an account?

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating an account – Your subscriber number was not recognised though. To link your subscription visit the My Account page

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

X

Your subscriber number is the 8 digit number printed above your name on the address sheet sent with your magazine each week. If you receive it, you’ll also find your subscriber number at the top of our weekly highlights email.

Entering your subscriber number will enable full access to all magazine articles on the site.

If you cannot find your subscriber number then please contact us on customerhelp@subscriptions.spectator.co.uk or call 0330 333 0050. If you’ve only just subscribed, you may not yet have been issued with a subscriber number. In this case you can use the temporary web ID number, included in your email order confirmation.

You can create an account in the meantime and link your subscription at a later time. Simply visit the My Account page, enter your subscriber number in the relevant field and click 'submit changes'.

If you have any difficulties creating an account or logging in please take a look at our FAQs page.

Blogs Coffee House

Gay marriage is a triumph for our arrogant political class

29 March 2014

2:55 PM

29 March 2014

2:55 PM

Well, Peter and David, John and Bernado, Sean and Sinclair are now married and the happy husbands have the further benefit of the unanimous blessing of our political class.

David Cameron said the move sent a message that people were now equal ‘whether gay or straight. It says we are a country that will continue to honour its proud traditions of respect, tolerance and equal worth.’ For good measure, he added that the law change would encourage young people unsure of their sexuality. Really? You mean a few more teenagers hovering between being gay or straight might go for the gay option on the back of the prospect of a wedding? And that’s a good thing?

Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg said ‘Britain will be a different place’ as a result:

“If our change to the law means a single young man or young woman who wants to come out, but who is scared of what the world will say, now feels safer, stronger, taller – well, for me, getting into coalition government will have been worth it just for that.”

Well, Britain is a different place all right but not necessarily a better one. What we’ve been reminded of is the arrogance of our political class who drove through a change for which there was, at the beginning of this parliament, no popular demand and certainly no mandate from the electorate.

[Alt-Text]


If David Cameron was so convinced of the necessity of gay marriage, perhaps he could have taken the trouble to put it in the manifesto…because an awful lot of people who did vote for him wouldn’t have done so if they’d only known. He was responding to opinion in his own milieu, at least that of his own generation – by all accounts he couldn’t convince his own mother. But he knew best, and railroaded his own party – with only partial success – into it. And at a stroke, the fundamental character of marriage – grounded in the difference of the sexes, necessary for its procreative aspect, more or less the same over human history – has been obliterated. Burke would have known what to make of it.

Certainly popular opinion has changed over the course of the debate but that’s not least because of the coverage of all this by the broadcast media, which has presented the gay marriage as a nice good news option, not as a calculated reworking of the most important social institution there is. There was rather little space given to the working class view, sotto voce, view that it’s not really natural. But that’s represented in the awkward response to polls asking whether gay and straight marriage is on a par: 44 per cent of people do not.

It seems not to occur to the BBC that ordinary people, not particularly religious, might find the prospect of gay weddings not wholly inviting, and not because they’re religious. But broadcasters have expressed opposition as the preserve of ‘religious groups’  and ‘some’ Tory MPs. There’s more out there, you know.

Naturally Labour leader Ed Miliband congratulated the gay spouses:

‘This is an incredibly happy time for so many gay couples and lesbian couples who will be getting married, but it’s an incredibly proud time for our country as well, recognising equal marriage in law’.

The bright side is that it’s lovely that Ed Miliband has got round to appreciating the signal importance of matrimony, given that he only hastily and belatedly married Justine after becoming party leader (Though that pales by comparison with the performance of Francois Hollande, who pushed through same sex marriage despite his unwillingness ever to engage in it himself.) Indeed the importance of marriage seems only really to figure for him in extending it to gay people.

What all this goes to show is that there is indeed a remarkable homogeneity in our political class. Tolerant — in some ways — certainly; arrogant, without question.

Give something clever this Christmas – a year’s subscription to The Spectator for just £75. And we’ll give you a free bottle of champagne. Click here.


Show comments
Close