I recently watched the film Lincoln at the cinema. Daniel Day-Lewis’s portrayal of Abraham Lincoln is superb.
The movie focuses on a few weeks in 1865 with Lincoln campaigning for the abolition of slavery.
The thought of emancipation of slaves divided the Republican and Democratic parties and the church. The church thought it was ‘ungodly’ and could lead to inter-racial marriage. Some politicians feared it would lead to ‘votes for women’!
Lincoln’s successful campaigning efforts led to him being shot dead.
The weakness of the film is that it doesn’t recognise the role of the thousands of slaves who fought for their own emancipation. But then again, history tends to be written by white men.
Fast forward 148 years to 2013 and we see similar arguments regarding ‘gay marriage’. The Tory party and the church are bitterly divided.
The ‘marriage bill’ was passed this month thanks to Labour and Lib-Dem MPs lining up alongside David Cameron loyalists.
I believe the majority of people in this country oppose racism, sexism and homophobia but, like the black people’s struggle against slavery and the woman who fought for the vote, the ‘marriage bill’ is also a victory for gay right activists who have campaigned for equality over many years.