I’m getting the impression that our Lords and Masters have got themselves confused again.
Things are interconnected you see? Bit like that Blairite abolition of the position of Lord Chancellor. Suddenly vast parts of the law just didn’t work, for the system developed over the centuries assuming that there would always be a Lord Chancellor. So by the afternoon of abolishing the position of Lord Chancellor they had to reinvent it.
And it seems that gay marriage is running into the same sorts of problems. Not whether it’s a good idea or not (my views have been known for some time. One form of civil marriage for any two consenting adults and what religions do after that is up to them) but that it’s all interconnected.
What, for example, is consummation of a marriage? There is an important difference here: a non-consummated marriage can be annulled. A consumated one (yes, more often in the breach but still) cannot, can only be divorced. Although I admit, I don’t know whether that’s a religious distinction only or a legal one as well.
And what is adultery?
Sure, we all know what we mean here. But this is the law. These things must be defined. And how do we do that?
We might, among men, say that bringing to ejaculation is adultery. But is it? I actually don’t know: is a heterosexual hand job adultery? Looking sat it from the other definitions of sex we have, say the rape laws, it’s not “sex sex” is it? For which we need penetration of one of three orifices.
I’ve no idea what the answers are or even should be. Could be even. But it is all a bit more complicated than it at first seems, isn’t it?