Marriage isn’t enough

I’ve been asked recently by a lot of people whether I’m pleased that the new legislation has gone through allowing same-sex couples to get married. I am pleased, of course. I helped to work for it and I’m delighted to see happy smiling faces of couples I know who are now as hitched as anyone else.

However, to ask whether I am satisfied would get a different answer.

You see, I face direct and threatening discrimination at work if I marry. Couples who want to marry in churches like mine can’t do so. And in any case, it isn’t just about marriage anyway.

You see, marriage isn’t enough.

We want to be able to hold hands too.

Can you imagine being allowed to be able to go to the registrar to arrange your own marriage but be frightened to hold hands walking through George Square on your way to do so? Some people reading this will say yes to that question – most won’t even have thought of it.

Panti Bliss, the Irish drag queen is currently continuing the great tradition of drag queens telling the truth about discrimination.

Here she is, and if you’ve never worried about holding someone’s hand, do take a look.


  1. Thanks, Kelvin, for the remarkable video. Telling it ‘how it really is’, bravely and truthfully, is the only way to go. God loves us all, unconditionally. Deo gratias!

  2. Rosemary Hannah says

    She really is fabulous isn’t she? Nails it.

  3. Anne Peat says
  4. Think she’d come to the next Synod? Says it so well. Good find!

  5. Or after dinner speaker at Synod? Wow.

  6. How about all allies walk about holding hands with someone of their same sex? A sort of “we are all gay” demonstration?

    • I think that’s a great idea for demos. The trouble is, what Panti Bliss is wanting is for a world where no-one will notice and no-one will particularly care. She is talking about handholding being something that isn’t political.

  7. Lorna Bramley says

    Thank you for this. I haven’t watched the video, yet, but I expect it to be the usual top class act!
    I stopped in my tracks at your words, we want to hold hands.
    All my life I have held a loved ones hand. My mothers, my best friends, boyfriends, husbands, sons. It seems the most ordinary and natural thing to do. A right really, for all who love someone, this loving handclasp. I would feel bereft without my husbands hand in mine.
    I am no theologian, no fancy words, just a bum on a pew, but what I would like to see, is a Law passed, that allows ANY two people to hold hands in public, because my heart weeps for all who can’t.

    • Thanks Lorna

      To a certain extent we’ve got laws. Anyone abusing anyone for holding hands in public could already be guilty of an offense. However, that’s not really the point. It is, as the video makes clear, the little things that all add up – the small things like even wondering whether you can hold hands in public that are the consequences of living in a still homophobic society.

      I remember someone saying that they felt that they could hold hands with their partner in public in only a few hundred yards of the streets in Glasgow and only then at certain times and probably even so, knowing that they still were not free from the risk of trouble. Those few hundred yards might include a few streets of the Merchant City, Byers Road on a Saturday afternoon if you were feeling confident and the last hundred yards to St Mary’s on a Sunday morning.

  8. This has been said before by John & Paul:

    And when I touch you I feel happy inside
    It’s such a feeling that my love
    I can’t hide, I can’t hide, I can’t hide

    I wanna hold your hand

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