The UK is set to expand its legal framework to acknowledge same-sex marriages at par with opposite-sex marriages. When the new legislation comes into effect (and it has always been a matter of when, and not if), same-sex couples will be awarded the same rights and responsibilities in marriage as their family and friends in opposite-sex relationships.
What will change in terms of legislation is probably but a sentence or two. It will make absolutely no difference to opposite-sex couples already in a loving marriage, nor will it in any way affect those planning to get married to their opposite-sex partner.
For same-sex couples, however, that sentence or two will change their lives.
Same-sex couples will go from a status of no or very limited recognition – and one where their relationship is not acknowledged fully by the state in which they live – to a status of full equality under the law.
And that is life-changing.
Marriage equality is about allowing everyone access to love and to a pursuit of happiness. It is about celebrating all forms of relationships and all forms of love on an equal level, without creating hierarchies that classify relationships on the basis of how worthy other people think they are.
Effectively, marriage equality makes a big difference to a minority of people while not at all affecting the majority.
The below 3 videos show creative clips made by different organisations working towards marriage equality. The first video is from marriagequality.ie (website, Twitter), working towards equality for same-sex relationships in Ireland.
This video makes lots of sense particularly in countries where it has been suggested that whether marriage equality legislation should be put into place or not should be a matter entrusted to the voting public through a referendum.
As the chap in the video shows us, nobody would ever think of asking the whole population of one’s town, let alone one’s country, to be allowed to marry a person.
Putting civil rights to a referendum and allowing people unaffected by the issue to decide for those who are directly affected is, frankly, rather ridiculous.
They are different in their structure, build-up and intended message, but I find both very meaningful.
The first video particularly gives me goosebumps towards the end every time I see it.