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8:20am Thursday 12th April 2012 in Letters
Sir – ‘Dearly beloved, we are gathered together here in the sight of God, and in the face of this congregation, to join together this man and this woman in holy matrimony, which is an honourable estate . . .’ So runs the preamble to the Church of England’s Solemnization of Matrimony and according to my hazy recollection of Latin lessons years ago, the word matrimony derives from ‘mater’ meaning ‘mother’. It follows by implication, therefore, that two basic and essential ingredients of marriage are a man and a woman.
But no! We are assured by the humorless commissars who are the self-appointed guardians of cultural orthodoxy in modern Britain that a marriage between Frankie and Johnny, for example, is every bit as valid as one between Frankie and Barbara.
Writing as one who has never myself entered into holy matrimony and has no objection whatever to two men cohabiting as partners under the same roof, (the example of Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson springs to mind), there is one fundamental flaw in the concept of an all-male ‘marriage’.
The final injunction of God to Adam and Eve, when he banished them from the Garden of Eden, was: ‘Go forth and multiply’. Traditional marriage is ordained, if possible, for the procreation of children, so that each child can play his/her part, however small, in preserving the human race and maintaining the human show on the road.
A partnership between two men, however and undoubtedly loving, sincere and devoted, is incapable of reproduction and biologically sterile.
I am glad to see that the present Bishop of Oxford, who seems to take the line of least resistance on almost all contemporary issues, is at least robust on this one (Report, March 15).
Robert Triggs, Oxford