So, it looks likely that on the sixteenth of August, when Mark and I get married, we’ll become husband and husband instead of “civil partner” and “civil partner”. Yesterday the House of Commons passed a bill, 400 to 175, to change the law to allow for same-sex marriage.
Naturally, both me and Mark kept half an ear directed toward the telly and the radio while the debate went on, and while we thought the measure would pass, none of us really dared hope that the majority would be so overwhelming.
I honestly thought that Labour would take the chance to throw some spanners into the works of the coalition government. They’ve done that before, for instance with the reformation of the House of Lords. Instead of going along with the Liberal Democrat proposal that Labour actually supported, the party decided that it wanted to give the government a kicking instead and scuppered that reform.
So, when this measure came up, I half expected Labour to find some technicality to not support the measure. There could have been many angles that allowed them to do so, while still maintaining some sort of support for the idea.
But that didn’t happen, and the bill passed through with that kind of majority. A majority that, if what I’m reading, should ease the passage through the House of Lords considerably. The Lords are wary of going against bills that are passed with that big a majority.
After the bill passed through, and after me and Mark had jumped around and cheered a lot, we just sat there basking in the idea that when we get married in August, we will become husband and husband. Not “Civil partner” and “civil partner”. The distinction is important to us. We will not be in a second-rate legal relationship. We will be married.
Another thing that happened is that the skeleton they dug up in Leicester apparently turned out to be Richard III. You can imagine the chatter that this has brought up in history-class. Everyone and their uncle have opinions about Richard.
The class seem divided into loyalists that champion the “Tudor propagandist” Shakespeare’s picture of Richard. Then you have the opponents that deify Richard as the last true king of England. Then you have us that sit and scratch our heads about why a king that’s been dead for five hundred years, and who wasn’t king for long, and whose court language probably was French, inspire so much passion.
Still, since that era fascinate me like no other era because the Plantagenet branch had such an impact on the language, culture and legal principles in this country, I’ve been gobbling up everything. I mean, the concept of legal aid for people that couldn’t afford lawyers, as well as the concept of bonds – principles that feel natural and essential to any justice system – was introduced by Richard III.
The only bad thing is that the press conference from Leicester University was chopped to bits by everyone that thought that the details of the find were boring.