I'm not a sandwich connoisseur
like Andrew, but I like to think I am making a quiet contribution, particularly in the field of cheese. That beetroot, dijon and strong cheddar on black bread I just scoffed was delish.
Andrew is also the author of the brilliant piece Danger, Danger; Gay Marriage
which I'm currently seeing linked all over the place. He points out that all sorts of countries manage to have equal rights for gay and straight people with respect to marriage, without their civilisations crumbling. I wish I could say I lived in one of them.
Of course, Britain has the civil partnership. As a bisexual woman, if I legally tie myself to a man, then I can get married. If I do the same with a woman, then I can get civil partnershipped. (Yes, people are using it as a verb!) Why the difference?? It would feel the same to me, the desire to commit to the person I loved. This segregation allows the State to give rights to one group and not to the other; maybe not now, but maybe in the future in less tolerant times. (Anyone who doesn't think retrograde steps get taken in civil rights, take a look at Maine and California). Making the distinction for those gays tacitly says to homophobes that it is okay to regard marriage as just for their kind, as if there is something wrong with queers wanting to get married. Just infuriating.
This is probably more outspoken/personal than I've been in my journal in about a million years, but this has been festering for a while, so better out than in. I want to say now that if I was engaged to a woman instead of a man, I totally would sign up for a civil partnership - better some legal rights than none. I'm not disregarding the effort that it took to get this far either, and more positively, I'm pleased to see people signing up for them, because it is making commonplace the notion of queer people loving and committing to each other, instead of being Others that aren't like Us. Even if most of the papers mention it in the kind of coy tones maiden aunts use when discussing swearwords. I guess I'm just saying that I don't think we're quite there yet.
ETA: Liberty's 2003 response
to the government proposals for anyone who's interested in their queer history.