It has been a long time in coming, but from March 2014, marriage will finally be opened up to same-sex couples in the way it has been enjoyed for so long by their opposite-sex counterparts.
Marriage is the institution through which our lives are defined: We are married, divorced, single, or widowed. It gives shape to our family relationships. Through marriage, we have access to the words for the closest connections in our lives, such as aunts and uncles, grandparents and step-children. Marriage is an internationally recognized institution that eases international travel and work for spouses. It formalizes a union using traditions we have built up and treasure. And marriage is the inspiration behind some of our greatest cultural highlights: Love poems and novels, films, music and songs.
Whether we choose to embrace or accept marriage ourselves, for same-sex couples to have been denied that choice is for them to have been denied a human right. Changes will occur as traditions adjust to accommodate new ceremonies, but as Sophie Ward points out in this poignant Short, the history of marriage is one of constant change over the centuries.
Drawing on her personal experience of both marriage and civil partnership, A Marriage Proposal is a moving exploration of what the opening up of marriage means for couples, their families and society as a whole. It sets out why the argument was settled in the right manner. Above all, it is a celebration of the institution of marriage, of its traditions and of the paramount importance for each and every one of us to be able to choose whether or not to say, with absolute equality, "I do".