By Jingo, It's a Maze This Equality Game

Daily Mail (London), September 22, 2010 | Go to article overview

By Jingo, It's a Maze This Equality Game


Byline: QUENTIN LETTS on the minority merry-go-round

JUST when I was starting to despair of seeing my old transsexual acquaintance Jenny, up she popped in the traditional debate on sex/equality.

I say 'traditional' as in 'customary'. Yesterday's debate was all about allowing lesbian, gay and transgender people to be wed at ceremonies conducted by humanists/secularists/nonreligious bods.

So it had an untraditional approach towards supporting an admirably traditional idea, the noble institution of marriage. By jingo, it's a maze of minority interests, this equality game.

Acronyms flew through the air.

There was much talk yesterday of LBGT and DELGA and LDCF. Lord knows what they all signify. Matters were complicated even further when a chap in a wheelchair opposed the motion. Oh dear. That wasn't meant to happen. A clash of victimhoods.

So did another delegate, but not on anti-gay grounds. He argued that the motion was too pro-marriage and might depress Asian British women and Roman Catholics in loveless marriages.

A Northampton man called Church made a secularist speech. I do hope you are following all this.

Then up stepped a former prison chaplain who said that he had very happily befriended 'murderers, racists, arsonists and paedophiles - I doubt anyone here could be more inclusive', but he still couldn't quite swallow the thought of gay marriage.

He added that he had been a Liberal since the days of 'dear old Jeremy Thorpe', though I don't like to think what that had to do with things.

At last we heard from Jenny, whom I last encountered outside the hospital in Putney during an election campaign. She is well over 6ft, even in flatties, and has a voice not unlike the late Bernard Bresslaw.

As she strode to the lectern one was put in mind of Ian Botham heading out to bat.

She was arrayed in a large floral dress. Alas, her husky voice did not carry well to the rear of the hall, where the press seats were sited.

She talked about the experiences of 'my friend who is fully transitioned' and then explained that marriage in a church was not possible for her, Jenny, because the vicar still considered her to be a bloke. …

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