DUNCAN BARKES Opposition to gay marriages is just intolerance

Does anyone really care if Danny and Dave or Felicity and Fiona tie the knot in church?

Last week a Conservative councillor got a kicking for posting a message on Twitter, the social networking site, regarding the subject of gay marriage.

His message read: ‘We may as well legalise marriage with animals’. Pretty brutal stuff, but why in modern Britain do some find the idea of gay marriage so offensive?

During his speech at the recent Conservative party conference the Prime Minister said he was in favour of gay marriage. As the cameras panned around the Manchester venue, there were some bulldog-chewing-a-wasp expressions and folded arms; clearly the idea did not sit well with some of the party faithful.

I am not the Coalition government’s biggest fan. However, I think this is something they have got right and I applaud their decision to launch an official consultation on the subject next year. Under the proposed reforms, faith centres such as churches and synagogues will be able to host same-sex civil partnership registration ceremonies. They will also be allowed to use religious music.

But unsurprisingly, certain religious representatives are not happy. The Catholic bishop of Arundel and Brighton has said the Prime Minister would not be given ‘an easy ride on this’.

He went on to say: “I think the church will have to do something. We cannot just let this slide by and say we are not interested.”

Further up the religious hierarchy, the archbishop of Southwark, one of the most senior Roman Catholics in the UK, is adamant that ‘marriage by its very nature is between a man and a woman and it is the essential foundation of family life’.

But religious leaders aside, what is the majority view of this controversial proposition? I’m not sure if people care about it at all.

To me it is perfectly simple: if two men or women want to marry in church with a few hymns, let them get on it with it.

It might not sit well with your viewpoint, but it doesn’t affect you personally, so what’s the gripe?

Homosexuality has been legal for more than 40 years now, although some of the comments I have read in opposition of gay marriage makes me wonder if we’re not actually still living in the Dark Ages.

There is enough hatred and intolerance in the world, much of it in the name of religion.

Weddings, be they in church, in a pub or on a beach, are rooted in love and faith.

Surely this is cause for celebration, irrespective of the sexuality of the happy couple?

* Cut out by the Demon Barber?

Mrs B has an odd crush.

Having seen (and raved about) Sweeney Todd at the Festival Theatre, she admits to fancying Michael Ball – but only when he’s in Demon Barber mode.

Tell me, dear reader, should I be worried?

** Do you agree with Duncan? Let us know YOUR views and join the debate.