Last week Stephen Fry, a 57 year old British comedian and television personality, married Elliot Spencer, a fellow comedian known for being 30 years Fry's junior. From the jump neither Fry nor Spencer made much of an effort to conceal the nature of their relationship from the public, and the pair quickly made headlines for their significant age gap.
“This was the week celebrities and politicians from all over the free world linked arms in defence of a Paris magazine’s right to give gratuitous offence to Muslims,” wrote Tom Utley for The Daily Mail. “OK, nobody is going to shoot me. But how many of them, I wonder, would show the same solidarity with a paper that showed similar disrespect for Mr Fry’s nuptial arrangements?”
In Utley’s piece, he openly admits to having reservations about Fry and Spencer’s relationship. Primary among his concerns is the couple’s significant age differential, and the implicit disparity between the men in terms of their ability to make long-lasting decisions involving their romantic lives.
To their credit, Fry’s account of his newlywed status to Spencer is anything but difficult. The couple have purportedly received the blessings of the Clooneys, J.K Rowling, and David Cameron. As Utley’s piece goes on, however, the more homophobic elements of his argument begin to surface.
“I entreat you not to misunderstand me, “ he begins. “It would break my heart if any son of mine felt I was such a bigot that he couldn’t tell me he was gay, or thought that I’d love him any the less for it. I’d also like it on record that I came round long ago to civil partnerships, and I’m a little ashamed of my initial opposition to them.”
“But as I understand marriage, it’s an institution for child-rearing and mutual support between the sexes, which means the real thing can only be between a man and a woman….I strongly suspect, too, that some of my other objections to the Fry-Spencer match will have occurred to many, if not most, parents of 27-year-olds.”