Charles Moore

Gay divorce

Gay divorce
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It has already been announced that there will be no provision for adultery as grounds for single-sex divorce, for the obvious reason (though it was only belatedly obvious to the legislators) that same-sex intercourse, having no procreative purpose, cannot have any definition of consummation, and therefore cannot be adulterated. Now it turns out, however, that if someone in a single-sex marriage has intercourse with a member of the opposite sex, this will be grounds for divorce. Since such intercourse will presumably be unwelcome to most homosexuals, and yet useful in divorce proceedings, one can foresee a return to the pre-war system, satirised by A.P. Herbert in Holy Deadlock. A husband seeking divorce on grounds of adultery would take a hotel room in Brighton, enter it with a woman paid for the task and make sure he was observed by a chambermaid having breakfast in bed with her. This was all that the law required: he did not actually have to sleep with her.

This is an extract from Charles Moore's Spectator's Notes in this week's magazine. Click here to subscribe from just £1/week.