Love and Marriage and Politics. Plenty To Get Into a Fuss About.
May I quote Jimi Hendrix and wish all of us a Happy New Year First of All.
You may recall that I commented in July 2014 about the debate whether the English Marriage certificate layout should be amended. Here is a link to that Blog.
The perceived problem was that, unlike the practice in Scotland, the present English Certificate does not contain any reference to the Mothers of the Bride or Groom and is thus lacking in useful information.
To my mind there are good arguments in favour of change. The Notarial mindset probably is prejudiced in favour of “the more information the better”. The better for certainty, completeness and clarity and also the better for future historians and analysts of English society in this century.
Put it another way:- If you imagine that the present Marriage certificate did already include information about the mothers of the marrying couple, can you think of any reason to make a change to remove that information? Me neither.
Those arguments, ironically, are not really being made.
Instead the proposers of change seem to be driven by a more emotional “gut-feeling”: that the present arrangement is sexist, and by nothing more.
One Labour MP Christina Rees has been reported to say “It is safe to extrapolate” [my query what does that say – does she mean “Perhaps”?] “that hundreds of thousands of marriages have taken place whilst the Government have, by failing to act, accorded second-class status to women. In a developed Country in the 21st Century that beggars belief”.
Perhaps the late and wonderful Michael Winner would have responded “Calm down Dear” but it is too much to hope that David Cameron will do so. He got into hot water for that in 2011.
There is nothing wrong with political correctness, when it is actually correct of course.
David Cameron appears to accept the arguments for change and is reported to have instructed the Home Office simply to amend the layout of the Marriage Certificate to make room for the additional information.
Now it is reported that the Home Office has considered the point and responded that the changes cannot simply be made at the request of a Prime Minister, instead that “Primary Legislation” – an Act of Parliament – will be required before the changes can be made.
There will in fact be Parliamentary debate on making the changes as early as next month.
But am I alone in thinking it ironic that the Home Office has now advised the Government and its MPs to vote against changes? Why? Because, say the Home Office, what about the offence caused to the children of same sex marriages if every certificate presumes a Male parent and a Female parent?
So, in Poker terms, I see your political correctness [feminism] and raise you my political correctness [gay rights].
It’s a wonder Richard Harrington can keep a straight face. Sorry, pun.
Well I suppose Parliament has nothing better to do than agonise about all this, what with the economy, migrant crisis and Heathrow extension all finally sorted out. Link to All Right Now.
For Notarial Certificates, feel free to include the names of your parents, do contact me or Louise. As ever, http://www.atkinsonnotary.com or phone on 0044 (0)113 8160116