Last weekend, this leaflet dropped through the letterbox of my girlfriends place in Edinburgh.
Now, as you may imagine I was not best impressed. My girlfriend was offended by it, I was disgusted. But I decided to follow the advice handed out on the back, and contacted Margo MacDonald. Here’s what I sent.
I got this leaflet through the door at the weekend, and as you can see from the attached images of the front and back of the leaflet, it instructed me to contact Margo MacDonald about the subject of Marriage Redefinition. But I only live in Edinburgh on the weekends. During the week I live and work in West Lothian, so I’ve included Fiona Hyslop and Angela Constance, who I know are at least two of my MSP’s through this way.
I’ll begin by confirming that I am actually FOR Equal Marriage. Or Marriage 2.0 as it should be known. It’s an upgrade for the 21st century where we have a bit more respect and tolerance towards each other. This leaflet shows little of that. I thought about dissecting the entire leaflet and all the ways that I find it detestable, but I’m sure 5 good reasons to ignore the lobby group behind the leaflet, will suffice.
1. “Marriage is Under Threat.”
Really? Says who? I’d say it has been under threat for decades thanks to celebrities who marry and divorce when they need to generate some publicity or they get the option to flog pictures to some magazine. At this moment in time, I personally don’t want to get married, because I feel the very vows of matrimony have been cheapened and are given just lip service. More thought goes into the planning of the Wedding than the oath that people are about to take. I’m not going to kid myself that they’ll all be perfect, but I’d like to hope that same sex marriages will bring a few more loving couples to marriage and redress the balance just a bit.
2. “Kids need a Mum and a Dad.”
I think this should say “Kids need thoughtful loving parents.”
3. “when they people said ‘no’ they decided to ignore them”
I’ll ignore the huge error and go straight on to say, They* have a little graffix about this with the ’64precent’ magic number of theirs that they keep trotting out down the bottom of the page.
“64% of respondents to the public consultation were opposed”. And right there is a bit of truth, if a little bit warped. It was a consultation, not a referendum! I wasn’t even aware there was a consultation or I’d have firmly responded with a “Go right ahead and make Marriage Equal for every informed adult living in Scotland.”
However I am very aware that the Catholic Church made sure their congregants knew about it, and provided literature on how to respond along with suggestions of what to say. I have also heard tales from people of the Catholic faith saying that they were not given any options on how to respond if they favoured Equal Marriage. They do actually say later in the leaflet “Let’s be free to disagree.”, yet they don’t seem to be encouraging free thought amongst their congregants.
4. “Teachers who refuse to endorse equal marriage could be sacked.”
This would be very concerning to me. If there wasn’t a solution. Teachers don’t have to endorse equal marriage to keep their jobs. They just won’t be allowed to teach bigotry either. I was actually under the impression that we’d stopped that already after we got shot of Clause 28!
Teachers just have to say, anyone over the age of 18 can get married. Then go back to teaching maths and stuff. Simples.
5. “People could lose their jobs for backing traditional marriage”
Are they really trying to convince us that people can get sacked for having religious views? And these are religious views, right? Because if they are not then isn’t it illegal to promote hate speech? Or are homosexuals suddenly illegal again? Nope, fairly certain they are meant to have the same rights and privileges as anyone. So people can have their religious views, so long as they don’t force their views onto others. And that covers about half of the entire leaflet. Religion must never be allowed to directly influence democracy and the pursuit of a fairer, more equal society.
I think this whole leaflet is hooey. The idea that people will be sacked, sued or blacklisted as they say will happen to Foster carers, is just bonkers talk. Everyone is allowed their opinion. Just as much as the next person is allowed to disagree with that opinion. But the act of denying two people the option of getting married in a place of worship by an authorised minister who wishes to perform the ceremony, just because they are the same sex says plainly, that they are not seen as equals by law, when there are those that would say they are already seen as equals by God.
P.S. My girlfriend shares these views. It was her door the leaflet was pushed through and she found it highly offensive. So please count her as also supporting Marriage Equality in Scotland.
*I left the capital in “They” for sarcastic effect.