Marriage? Yes but not for Me

Author Narvel Annable writes about his feelings re-same-sex marriage: I’ll never get married but I’ll fight for the rights of other gay people to be wed
Responding to the Derby Telegraph Soapbox, December 31stLet’s hope for same-sex marriage progress in 2013, I received a letter from John.  It was challenging, thoughtful and a well constructed argument around speeches in the House of Commons on February 5th. I found his effort exhilarating, educating and clarifying.
 
‘Narvel!  What are you doing?  Why are you, of all people, campaigning for same-sex marriage?  Do you really want us to mimic that arcane institution?  I don’t want to be part of that ESTABLISHMENT which has suppressed us for centuries!  Your novels celebrate gay guys enjoying their sexuality and the freedom it confers.  You describe a Golden Age, the early days of gay liberation when we espoused our sexual freedom as our gift and privilege.  Do you really want us to join the dull, heterosexual sad, married and respectable, law abiding bigots?’
 
Terry and I have probably had the benefit of a more interesting and colourful life than the average heterosexual.  We are unlikely to get married.  ‘Forsaking all others’ is alien to my very being.  Accordingly, it seems a Civil Partnership is probably more suitable for Narvel who will always be naughty.  I make no apology for a pattern of behaviour imprinted by association with a 1950s secret-sect hiding away from the law and visceral abhorrence from an ignorant, smug, po-faced, so-called-respectable majority.
 
However, we had the privilege of dining with Councillor Ian Campbell, former Mayor of Retford and leading light of the gay community.  Having suffered horrendous homophobia, he has worked hard becoming an excellent role model for young gay people.  We were chatting about relationships when I revealed our partnership to be open.  Ian said, ‘I couldn’t cope with an open relationship,’ – but was careful not to express or imply any criticism of my conduct.
 
MP for Tottenham, David Lammy reminded us about 1950s laws of South African apartheid and life in racist Alabama.  Black people were restricted to their own water fountain, had to sit on Blacks-only benches, were ordered to the back of the bus, confined to live in a ghetto, attend Black schools etc.  ‘What are you complaining about!’ yelled the bigots.  ‘You are separate, but you are EQUAL.  Be satisfied!’  In that historic Commons debate, David told us – ‘Separate is never equal.’
You can see and hear the speech here.
Several MPs trotted out the old mantra – ‘What do we tell the children?’  Answer – stop telling children lies!  We tell our children we were wrong to discriminate which destroy homosexual lives.  We must undo damage caused over past generations.  We quote Nick Clegg – ‘Homosexuality is normal and safe.’  We should follow the example of Walthamstow; teach Gay History in our schools as we now teach Black History.  In so doing, we show how ignorance can inflict pain and suffering on minority groups.
 
Marriage is an institution in decline, rooted in inequality.  Notwithstanding, I have campaigned for same-sex marriage for people like Ian Campbell and all boys and girls, yet to be born, who, quite rightly, will insist on equality with heterosexuals.  I’ve enjoyed some of my life, but want a better life for those LGBT people who will come after me.
Printed in the Derby Telegraph, February 19th 2013
Also printed in the Worksop Guardian, February 15th 2013
On another note, Narvel’s battle with the Women’s Institute is played out on Central TV News here