When homosexual couples complained they lacked the legal rights married couples have, the Government created civil partnerships, described as marriage in all but name.
Some homosexuals are not satisfied, and want to be allowed to marry. The Government has promised to allow it.
Homosexuals have a variety of arguments in favour of same-sex marriage. Their arguments miss the point. One of their arguments is that homosexual couples are being discriminated against. Not so.
As Bill Muehlenberg points out, a lot of people are not allowed to marry. A five-year-old boy cannot marry. Three people cannot get married to each other. A man cannot get married who is married already. A father cannot marry his daughter. And a girl cannot marry her pet goldfish, no matter how much she might love it.
Are they being discriminated against too?
Equalities Minister Lynne Featherstone, writing in the Telegraph, says "This is not a battle between gay rights and religious beliefs. This is about the underlying principles of family, society and personal freedoms."
She says the church does not own marriage. By doing so, she infers the church has no right to say who can marry and who can't. There is something she should realise. Neither does the Government.
The principles of marriage were laid down thousands of years ago, and recorded in the first book of the Bible. "It is not good that man should be alone: I will make him a helper comparable to him." "Male and female he created them." "God said to them, 'Be fruitful and multiply.'" "A man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh."
Allow one change to the legal basis for marriage, and it's certain other demands for change will follow.
The present Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, made his view known in a speech this week. He said the law has no right to legalise same-sex marriage.
The petition asking for marriage law to remain unchanged has attracted 94,451 signatures in less than two weeks. You can sign the petition at www.c4m.org.uk.