I’ve been procrastinating about the last Dutch document change recently. Not because I don’t want to do it, but just because there is so much else going on that it was always “I’ll get around to it”. Well, I almost got around to it last weekend (I know what I have to do now, just have to buy an envelope - well many, but that is a different story! - to do it).
One thing that struck me was a link to the Gender Recognition Panel, something that will come in a few years so I thought I would take a look and see if there was anything there that would come in useful in the future. Well… What I found is that I hope to be Dutch before I need their help!
You see, the UK is a little backwards in its attitude to marriage as far as I am concerned. In that it’s a man and a woman and nothing else. Now I can see that churches complain and say that they do not want to have to perform same sex marriages as it goes against their teachings. Honestly I couldn’t care less, I do not want to force the churches to do anything – that’s internal housekeeping as far as I am concerned; as long as they are not teaching hate (that makes my blood boil!).
But there is no reason why you should not be able to get married in a registry office to whomever you wish (as long as you are both of age, and both consenting). That has zero impact on religion – I have never understood how one person’s marriage can be so affected by someone else’s that they feel they have to campaign against it (it doesn’t say much for the foundation of their marriage really, does it?). To be honest I think that Holland has it about right. If you want to get married you go to the town hall and get married. If you want a church wedding you can do that too. After the town hall. And as an aside if you can’t afford it they even have days where it’s free!
And in a town hall you can have same sex marriages. So my changing gender should not be an issue (OK, getting the certificate changed is still something that I have to try, we’ll see if it’s really an issue once I have the town hall information changed).
But… It is in the UK – I just read that as long as you are married that they would not give you the certificate, even though I live in a country where it doesn’t matter. How ridiculous is that?
So… I guess I am going to have a choice. Get divorced for the certificate or live without it.
As I never intend to live in the UK again I think I know which way that decision is likely to fall.