A blog by Revd Dr Matthew Roberts, a co-author of the Greater Love Declaration
It was Nicola Sturgeon’s descent into transgender absurdity which brought her premiership to an abrupt end. The belief that women and men are interchangeable, and its necessary corollary, that women are a disposable category, foundered on the rocks of its total absurdity. Getting away from this should, if the SNP has any sense at all, be a top priority.
Which is why it needs Kate Forbes. Her opposition to gay “marriage” is not a quirk which should be tolerated. It is, on the contrary, the only possible position for anyone who does not wish also to affirm transgenderism. Because all of the absurd conclusions of transgenderism are already present in the belief in gay “marriage”; and it is a vain hope to think that we can have the latter without the former. Like Mare’s Tails growing in the garden, pulling up the Trans plant will do nothing to destroy the root. And while the root remains, the plant will simply grown back.
Why? Because Gay “marriage”, too, believes that women and men are interchangeable, and that women are disposable.
Let’s take the first of those: Gay “marriage” is about the belief that women and men are interchangeable. This should not be a controversial statement. The whole point of redefining marriage back in 2014 was that it matters not whether the two people making vows, and sharing a life, a family and a bed are men or women. As LGBTQ+ journalist Sam Dowler asked a Christian commentator recently on Talk TV, ‘What about a family with two mothers or two fathers? Is that not a family then? What’s the difference?’ That’s the issue: belief in gay “marriage” is a belief that there is no difference. There is nothing to distinguish between men and women. They are indistinguishable and interchangeable. Two mothers, two fathers, or one of each, is of no significance at all. Sex is meaningless.
Nowhere is the difference of the sexes more clear, more celebrated, more beautiful, and more constructive.
Marriage is, in fact, the place where the difference of the sexes finds its central significance. Even the word signifies the joining of the two in a way which implies compatibility which arises from intrinsic difference; reflected of course in the act of married bodily union, but reaching into every other area of life. It is in the marriage of the sexes that their inherent, beautiful difference results in the blessing and fruitfulness of children. Nowhere is the difference of the sexes more clear, more celebrated, more beautiful, and more constructive. To redefine marriage is to erase all the good and rich things in human life which arise from the difference between the sexes, and to replace them with a flat, grey uniformity. Neither man nor woman brings anything to family, to society, and to each other, which is distinct from what the other can bring. They are entirely interchangeable.
The consequence of this is often not recognised: this makes women (and men) disposable. It says that marriage does not require a woman in order to be a marriage; that two men will do just as well. The wife can be swapped for a husband, and nothing has changed. The cruelty of this becomes especially clear when we consider that marriage is all about children, and family: a marriage establishes a family as place where children are conceived, born and nurtured. The word marriage speaks of the combining of the two: a central part of this is how the flesh of the husband and wife are combined into one in the bodies of their children. Societies value marriage because of the inestimable value for every child of being brought up, if at all possible, by his or her own natural father and mother.
But redefine marriage so that two men can marry, and the mother can be disposed of. I wrote about this when the gay marriage legislation came into force, ironically, on Mothers’ Day weekend 2014: Dear Mum, Thanks, but it turns out I never needed you after all. To believe in gay “marriage” is to believe that mothers are unnecessary; that they bring nothing to a family, and to a child, which a man cannot. It is to say, in an astonishing insult to the mothers of us all, that there is nothing unique, nothing precious, nothing of distinct value in women. They are disposable. The same, of course, is true of fathers.
Redefine marriage to disregard sex, and you redefine sex out of existence.
And so it is that support for gay “marriage” in fact leads to the absurdities of transgenderism. The roots of the former lead to the invasive weeds of the latter. I wrote about this in that 2014 article, before Transgenderism was even really heard of by most people, suggesting that the logical next step would be if ‘the government also plans to redefine ‘childbirth’ so that we can say that men can give birth to children’. I had no idea how quickly that would prove true: transgenderism arrived in force only a year later, with Bruce Jenner’s very public announcement that he was ‘becoming’ a woman, Stonewall’s pivot to focusing on trans issues, and Mermaids’ establishment as a charity, all taking place in 2015. Even if many do not yet see the logical connection, society has a way of following logic even when individuals deny it. Redefine marriage to disregard sex, and you redefine sex out of existence.
Either sex is real, and both women and men are to be valued for their unique glory and beauty, or sex is a fiction and the women and men as categories, and therefore tragically as individuals, are malleable, interchangeable, and disposable. We can have gay marriage and transgenderism (with its awful implications), or we can have neither. But we cannot have one without the other.
Which is why Kate Forbes’ views on marriage, far from being a quirk which the SNP should tolerate, is in fact the only thing which can ultimately bring them back from the total dead-end of Sturgeon’s reluctance to say that a rapist is, in fact, a man. The Christian doctrine of marriage is no boneheaded throwback to an unenlightened age. It is a deep mercy to children in desperate need of a mother; to teenagers deceived into drastic self-harm in the pursuit of a supposed gender identity; and to women exposed to predatory men as a result of an absurd ideology. Men and Women are created in the image of God, gloriously different, for the glorious union of marriage, for the good of children and all of society. That is not a view to be cancelled, but celebrated. Kate Forbes deserves the support of all in the SNP, for she is (on this matter at least) exactly what they need.