Le Nozze di Pieman
I've just had the pleasure of bumping into Dr D&C in the corridors of our hallowed institution. Long time, no see, as they say. We went for a coffee and a chat; and, for a little while, I might well not have been trapped in the hospital on call. Sadly he is not as unemcumbered with work this weekend as I and had to return to his labours promptly, leaving me at a loose end again.
Another friend of mine also provided me with some happy news this week. The Pieman has finally desisted in the riduculous charade that was his denying that his marriage to his very long-term girlfriend was not an immenent inevitability; he has gone and got himself engaged. About bloody time is all I have to say on the matter. I am already relishing the thought of the bachannalia that will be his stag do. In fact, I have little doubt that most of our friends reacted to the good news by formulating plans to pour the maximum amount of booze down the Pieman's neck (and, indeed, I am partly convinced that it is this very fact that has delayed their engagement for such a long time)! My sole advice, Pieman, would be to make sure the stag do is sufficiently separated from the wedding so as to accomadate a short stay in hospital and a protracted and painful recovery without any disruption to the happy plans.
Speaking of marriage, I stumbled upon an American, right-wing blog called Opinionnation Times yesterday which reminded me that England has been surprisingly progressive in adopting the civil partnership. Over in loony land, the religious right are still getting all het up about the alledged debasement of the sanctity of marriage that would occur if two poofs were afforded the legal rights of married couples. Apparently the very greatness of America is set to crumble because of it. Honestly! The melodramatics of the right never cease to amaze.
Stripped of its religiosity, the core of marriage is a public avowal of commitment. With this pubic avowal come state-protected rights that have important implications for gay couples, legally, financially and socially. It is not fair to deny people these rights on the basis of outmoded prejudice concerning the acceptability of homosexuality as a lifestyle. In the end, it is to the benefit of society as a whole if people - gay or straight - are encouraged to enter into lasting, meaningful relationship and a legal bond is a excellent way of cementing that relationship and preventing people just walking away after the slightest hiccough. For once, England and the current government ought to be proud of itself for its forward thinking on this one.