Dear David Burrowes,
Until a few years ago, I was in your constituency and was fortunate to meet you a few times. You have always seemed to me to be a forthright and decent man and a solid Member of the Commons at a time when others were disgracing our historic Parliament.
But today, you blew it. In The Independent (of all the newspapers), you said (and I quote verbatim): “many colleagues are worried that it would fundamentally affect how marriage between a man and woman has historically been viewed in this country”. The ‘it’ you speak of is the queerly toxic and apparently gender-bending horror of ‘gay marriage’.
In the course of the interview, you invoked a range of pitiful and (colloquially) “gay” excuses. Aside from the bizarre war rhetoric (NB: I do struggle to see how it can be both a can of worms AND a minefield), you inadvertently hit the proverbial nail on its paradoxical little head. “This is too important an issue”, you blustered, “to decide in terms of where it positions our party”. Yes, David, equality should not be owned by any one party. Nor should it be so cynically seen as an electoral tool. Surely, equality is the ambition of all. And it is precisely equality that gay couples lack.
Whilst you’re grabbing column inches in pseudo-socialist faux-broadsheets, nattering on about gay marriage “opening up old wounds” amid “strong doubts that we need to go down this path”, you’re also advising the Commons about the decline of the family and the centrality of marriage.
At 10.22am on the 4 May 2011, you said in a Commons debate: “we see the need to support and strengthen the family, which at its core would provide a stronger community”. I’m a small-c conservative, and I quite agree with you, sir. In that same debate you said: “the most important element in any family is good relationships, which most likely involve having both a mother and father around and, the evidence shows us, the parents being married.” Now, try to ignore the bit I italicized as misguided nonsense and think about it.
In the year of its inception, over 18,000 couples entered into a civil partnership in an explosion of nuptial excitement, centuries of enforced constraint escaped by a lucky modern generation. The numbers have stayed consistently above 6,200 in each of the following six years. The number of 'proper' marriages (between a man and a woman) annually now stands at two-thirds the number in 1981, hitting a record low in 2009. Fundamentally affecting how marriage has "historically been viewed"? Its been happening without the gays for decades, Mr. Burrowes. And since 2005, with gay men and women now allowed to adopt children, “the evidence shows us” (David Burrowes, January 2012) that it is beneficial to the child for the parents to be married. Unless, of course, they are gay.
So, Mr. Burrowes, I put it to you: there are gay guys and there are gay girls who want to be married, who want to have families, who hold positive values, who love each other, who want to raise children and instil in their kids the same love and the same values that you instilled in all six of yours. And these gay couples – who can already adopt and who are adopting and who are instilling love and values in their children – they don’t want their love to be deromanticized by heterosexual politicians, to be squashed down to a miserable partnership, as though a pair of lawyers or accountants. And trust me: if you don't think it is "an issue people are hammering us on the doorstep to do something about", you'll see what will happen if you slam the door on Equality and Progress.
Is my love any different to yours? And do you really believe that the state can say it is so? If marriage is important enough for you and your kids, should it not be important enough for us and ours too?