This week, I thought I would write a piece to support the (upcoming) Gaysi Podcast on marriage. These are obviously my views on the subject as a ‘married’ gay man. The UK is currently embroiled in one of the biggest controversies we’ve had in a long time. The Tory-Lib Dem coalition government has gone into consultation with the public to propose a change in the law around marriage to legalize same sex marriage. The Christian right wing is up in arms, the Church of England (CoE), who is generally not that right winged has come out with a homophobic scaremongering campaign. The CoE suggests that if gay marriage is legalized in the UK, then according to European Human rights law, the EU commission can file that religious premises must allow for same sex marriages, something that the CoE does not believe in. This is despite the proposed law explicitly stating that no religious organization needs to conduct a ‘gay’ marriage and that the state would do this in town halls.
It’s an interesting development considering many of the clergy in the UK are gay. My husband has a friend who is studying to be a priest (and who is gay). He told us that a large part of the CoE leadership is gay and there is a lot of politics in the CoE LGBT circle. However the CoE still continues to pander to the right wing (for example by not allowing gay bishops in the church) which is just outrageous!
Mitt Romney in the US has been campaigning that marriage is between one man and one woman. Rich, coming from a Mormon! On the other hand, David Cameron, the UK prime minister, has come out in active support of the LGBT community, when it was his party and the Thatcherite government that made it really difficult for the community here in the UK. Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, who has been right winged and perceived to be homophobic in the past, is baiting the pink vote in recent elections by trying to align himself with the gay community. I am even slightly skeptical about Obama! I deeply respect the man, but I am skeptical, I guess its my natural cynicism around politicians.
For me, at the end of the day, marriage is a philosophy, it is a state of mind. Many years ago, before going to bed one night, J said to me – ‘I love you, do you want to get married?’ It was not romantic, it was not extravagant and it was definitely not the way I had dreamt to be proposed to. Yet, it was the most special moment of my life, one I will not forget till I die. Marriage to me is about a commitment, a commitment that you will stand by each other no matter what, till the end of time. It has nothing to do with religion, nothing to do with anything actually. It has everything to do with the way you feel for someone and how you want to spend the rest of your life. I love living in Europe because call it marriage or partnership or civil union, governments have largely got the concept. I love the fact that I have ‘almost’ equal rights as a straight couple. And I say ‘almost’ only because in the UK it is a civil partnership and not marriage. J is on my health insurance, we own a house together and he can be named my next of kin. Where else in the world can you do that? However at the same time, it is not marriage, it is a civil partnership because according to some right winged, religious, politically selfish philosophy, it is only deemed a “marriage” if it is between a man and a woman! Bullshit! It is between two people who make a commitment to stand by each other, to support love and cherish each other. No matter what the law says today, the LGBT community deserves the right to be an equal citizen in this world today – especially considering we are outstanding citizens of the world.
After that rant, all that will give me comfort is my famous (and I say famous only because it is one of my signature dishes) Butternut Squash Soup! And as MJ has asked in the past, it is a super easy, super healthy option, best served with some fresh rosemary focaccia, if not Britannia bread!
My Comforting Butternut Squash Soup
You will need
1 large butternut squash peeled and cubed
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tablespoon corriander powder
2 fresh red chillies
2 pints of water
2 cubes of chicken stock
Salt and pepper to taste
1 table spoon vegetable oil
1 large red onion peeled and chopped
3 cloves of garlic
- Heat oil in a pot and add the cumin seeds. Cumin seeds burn very easily so be quick to chuck in the onions, chillies and garlic.
- When the onions start browning add the corriander powder and mix well. After a couple of minutes chuck in the butternut squash and coat with the spice mixture.
- Add the water and the stock cubes
- Cover the pot and let it boil for about 20 minutes.
- When the butternut is soft take it off the gas and puree with a hand blender. You should have a thickish soup.
- Season and serve into bowls. Add a dollop of fresh single cream in the center of the bowl and using a toothpick mess it up to get beautiful thin white lines on the orange soup. Top with a couple of leaves of fresh parsley