It appears that the anti-politically correct brigade have got themselves into a jam. The Home Office has a plan to update marriage certificates so that instead of just having places for the name of the father of the bride and the father of the groom, there will also be a space to put the names of the mothers of each of the partners as well. Only there have been some who see this step to modernise the marriage certificate as well, anti-modern. Because, of course, some people these days are raised by two men, thus making the space in question awkward. I could raise the point here that some people are raised by two women, thus making the current licence arrangement extra-awkward, but I’ll digress on that for the time being. Trust me, this is like a political correctness mind bender.
Colin Hart, director of the Coalition for Marraige, told the Daily Telegraph:
“For most ordinary people naming the mother and father on a marriage certificate is an obvious thing to do and they could see no reason why the whole proposal should be vetoed because of a tiny proportion of children born into other relationships. This is political correctness defying commonsense. This is a small change but one which makes a huge difference to a large number of people and it is being denied because of concerns about offending people in a same sex marriage.”
What I love about the quote above is that people like the Coalition for Marriage are precisely the types that would be complaining about putting mothers’ names on marriage certificates even a few years ago; who would have surely labelled it “political correctness gone mad”. It seems like rights for women aren’t as egregious as rights for gay people as a general rule in the traditionalist camp, but perhaps I’m being overly cynical.
What’s great about this whole debate is how archaic it is to its very roots, if you stop and think about it for even two seconds. How do we solve the problem of having gendered parental roles on a marriage certificate in an age where more and more people fall outside of it? I’ve got the perfect solution: how about we admit that it’s 2015 and just realise that we don’t really need to put the names of any of our parents on a certificate that is the very definition of being an adult? That the only reason the father’s names are there now is due to long outdated patriarchal ideas that placing the mothers there as well won’t ameliorate?
Perhaps this suggestion of mine is “political correctness gone mad” as well. I could point out, however, that the concept of having more than two people raise a child is even more traditionalist than all of this, so in a way I’m being the most Toryish on the subject. But that would be disingenuous of me. I’m only trying to view this from the most pragmatic perspective possible, which would be a good way to solve the problem.