Why are our ministers suddenly so passionate about same-sex marriage?

This question is particularly puzzling because every answer hitherto provided fails to convince. After all, there’s every indication that this perverse bill was concocted recently and all of a sudden – with nary a hint of it in the Tory electoral manifesto.

So why this sudden outburst of enthusiasm? Why would even such a reasonably intelligent man as Education Secretary Michael Gove turn into a blithering idiot when the subject comes up?

He himself is happily married, Gove explains in The Mail, which proves that marriage is good. This is the short summation of several emetic paragraphs pitched at a level that would embarrass even an average writer of soap operas.

In a bit of a non sequitur, Gove concludes that hence allowing homosexuals to marry would uphold the goodness of this institution. Therefore, he writes, ‘I believe that marriage should be defended, supported and promoted in every way.’

In every way, Michael? How about allowing inter-species marriage? Or one between siblings? Mother and son? Surely Gove is intelligent enough to realise he’s talking nonsense. Before ascending to government, he would have known that, rather than upholding the institution of marriage, this outrage is destroying it. One gets a sneaky suspicion that Gove takes his cue from Dave’s Iago whispering in that poisonous way of his, ‘Want to stay on the front bench, Othello?’

But why has Dave himself suddenly jumped on this hobby horse? One explanation being bandied about is that homomarriage is for Dave a matter of conscience, of deep inner conviction. This is frankly risible.

On any other political issue Dave’s conscience is entirely shaped by focus groups – which is another way of saying he hasn’t got one. But in this instance, not just focus groups but also desperate pleas from Tory chairmen all over the country show that the bill is going to rend the party asunder. At least 20 percent of traditional Tory voters are now saying they’ll switch as a result; at least 180 Tory MPs will, according to The Telegraph, refuse to vote in favour.

Given the mood of the country, the state of the economy and his standing in the polls, Dave’s touting of homomarriage suggests a craving for political suicide, a tendency our power-hungry PM has never manifested before. So why is he pushing his party in this counterproductive direction? Is it perhaps – and this is pure conjecture – because someone is pushing him?

To shift gears, as it were, two years ago HMG was seriously mooting the possibility of increasing our motorway speed limit to 80 mph. After a brisk and unresolved debate in the press, the idea faded away. But why did it come up in the first place? After all, the measure is sensible, which fact alone ought to have nipped it in the bud, long before any public discussion.

It occurred to me then that the only reason HMG wasted its valuable time on this proposal was that it wished to harmonise UK speed limits with those on the continent, where they are generally higher than ours. In other words, it was the EU that put this, uncharacteristically sensible, idea into Dave’s shell-like.

Could it be that Dave’s newly found passion for destroying the institution Michael Gove holds so dear also has the same origin? Please say it’s not so, Dave. Please say the EU can’t yet tell a British PM to commit political hara-kiri (and do untold damage to his country in the process) just like that.

Alas, both the nature of the bill and its timing lead inexorably to this melancholy conclusion. After all, the same bill was introduced in France just two months ago. That brought hundreds of thousands of protesters to the streets of Paris, but we don’t do this sort of thing – we’re much too civilised for that. We just bend over and take it… oops, wrong phrase, sorry.

In Germany, same-sex couples enjoy every right of marriage, including that to adoption, and in Hamburg homomarriage is already legal. Belgium, Holland, Iceland, Norway, Spain, Sweden allow homomarriage, and most other EU members are inexorably moving that way.

I’m guessing here, but could it be that Dave’s sudden and otherwise inexplicable change of heart was dictated by Brussels? The EU already provides 80 percent of our new legislation, so why not this one? No reason at all.

Another bit of circumstantial evidence comes from German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle, on whose silly article in The Times I commented this week. Guido is in a didactic mood these days, and Britain isn’t the only country he feels he has to hector.

The other day he attacked the Russian ambassador to Germany Vladimir Grinin over Russia’s proposed bill to outlaw homosexual propaganda. Germany, pontificated Guido, feels that the offensive legislation would aggravate European-Russian relations and would also damage Russia’s image in Europe.

I’d suggest that if this criminal state still enjoys a good image in Europe, and Guido is a self-declared friend of Russia, then something is wrong with Europe. Routine murders of political opponents, a police force that not so much fights crime as perpetrates it, widespread torture, corruption from top to bottom, international money-laundering on an epic scale, abject poverty of most people, curtailed freedom of the press – surely these should already have got Russia into Europe’s bad books?

But no – it’s Russia’s attempt to ban Gay Day parades that has piqued Guido’s ire and, it has to be said, led him to a most undiplomatic outburst. One may detect a personal animus there, and one wouldn’t be wrong.

Like Michael Gove, Guido is a happily married man, the difference being that he is married to another man, Gove’s namesake Michael Mronz. One just wonders how he introduces his other half at diplomatic receptions. ‘This is my husband’? ‘This is my wife?’ ‘This is the love of my life?’ I’m sure his Saudi and Iranian counterparts would be all smiles.

But such prurient musings aside, it’s clear that the EU is in the middle of a homomarriage offensive. Itself a convoluted contrivance, it naturally detests, and wishes to compromise, all institutions that predate the Treaty of Rome. And if Germany sees fit to lecture a country lying outside EU jurisdiction, it’s not hard to imagine how the arms of EU members are being twisted all over the place.

Is this what lurks behind Dave’s favourite bill? I don’t know. But it’s highly likely, wouldn’t you say?



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