The passing of the same-sex marriage bill will allow what always should have been possible to at last become possible: a simple thing, the opportunity and the ability to be able to marry our consenting partners (one at a time), regardless of the combination of their chromosones. But the obstacles to doing so have been so complex and in place for so long that nice as it sounds, we have to be realistic – change is likely to be difficult, not just for the religious communities of this country and the heterosexual majority but for us gays ourselves.
It seems to have been generally assumed that gay men and women would ‘just get on with it’ but in spite of being all for it, I sense a little bit of ‘just a minute’, of timidity and caution on the part of the some gay men and women about how this radical change works out in practice.
A couple of years ago the daughter of a straight male friend of mine came out, started a relationship with another girl and the golden couple were crowned Couple of the Year at the end of year prom. She was seventeen and this was an average comprehensive school in far west Wales. I found this to be the definition of flabbergasting, that two teenagers could be confident enough, bold enough, feel that it was safe enough to do this. For those of us brought up in what we now presume was a different world entirely, this takes some getting your head around. Faced with stories of this new generation and their opportunities, I am sure I am not alone in feeling not just envy but a sense of having been silly to have given in to fear and a sense of guilt, of having unwittingly become a late starter.