COMMENT | Apathy – A Gay Disease?5th February 2013
So, here we are, facing a chance to get our elected representatives to give us the right to marry, one step closer to equality with heterosexual couples, same legal footing… and how many of us have bothered to write or cajole our MP?
On the social media sites, we see a lot of the so-called “politically correct” groups paying lip service to this item, some of the more radical individuals are there too – but, be honest, how many of you actually know who your MP is? or how to contact them? Believe me, I include myself in this too.
So, we’ve moved on from decriminalising our sexual act in the late 60s, narrowed the age of consent, obtained civil partnership rights… and now this.
Did we accept at some point that as long as we could shag, faux marry and do it younger, then it didn’t matter anymore? Or is it part of some larger issue? is it just us, as a sexual orientation that can’t be arsed anymore, or is it a case of the population at large are suffering this apathy too?
I know, I know – more questions than answers but keep up…
The site below gives you the turnout rates for every general election since 1945, and its a telling story – less than 60% of the eligible population turned out to vote in 2001, with only marginally more turning out in the next 2 elections. Is it because we now have little to differentiate between the parties? Instead of the clear differences between the Blue, Red and Yellow parties, we now have one big Brown mess?
The figures are similar in the US, with just over 50% of voters turning out in 2000, and a slight increase over the next 2 elections – despite Obama’s cute smile!
So why is this? For me, I just don’t care enough anymore. I used to be a passionate supporter of Labour, working class background, father a miner like his father before him, grew up during Thatcher’s reign, felt the effects, but at some point along the way, I lost that passion, that interest. I think its simply that it all became grey.
Is it that politics are boring? Can it ever be sexy and grab our interest? Is it the policies or the people? There are no interesting figures anymore. Cameron and Clegg are beige in the extreme – Miliband offers little new to entice people to vote. This is something Obama managed – he offered a fresh approach, a new way to think, some hope… and the new idea of a black president! Here, we have the same old stuff: referendum on the EU, are we European or not? Gay marriage? Well, why not? Throw them a bone now and again and they may vote for us next time?
So, why aren’t we as passionate as, say, the French? Thousands marching in Paris for and against their marriage law, coverage across the globe – whilst we sit here and tweet, update our status and moan.
Is it time to get up off our butts and do something? Shout from the rooftops about our support (or not) of this bill? Take time to email our MP regardless of the outcome of today’s vote? Maybe we feel we can’t make a difference but remember that we vote them in, and so get the government we deserve.
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Opinions expressed in this article may not reflect those of THEGAYUK, its management or editorial teams. If you'd like to comment or write a comment, opinion or blog piece, please click here.