Gay Marriage in UK

by Michael Sean Winters

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This morning's Washington Post has an article on the debate in the UK about gay marriage, specifically the fact that the issue is being pushed by Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron.

“I don’t support gay marriage despite being a Conservative. I support gay marriage because I am a Conservative," Cameron recently said explaining his position. Those are words one is unlikely to hear from, say, Rick Santorum or other U.S. conservatives anytime soon.

But, what jumped out at me was the fact that some gay and lesbian leaders in the UK are questioning the push for gay marriage. They note that the previous government already passed civil unions granting gay and lesbian couples the same rights as married couples, and they wonder why more attention is not being paid to other concerns facing the gay community. I have wondered this, too, about the debate in the U.S. It would seem to me that passing the Employment Non-Discrimination Act would do more to improve the lives of more people than passing gay marriage. And, it has been profoundly sad, and worse than sad, to see the affluent, mostly white, leadership of gay political organizations largely abandon the fight for increased funding to combat HIV. But, it does not surprise. People may argue for a policy but they will fight for a symbol.

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