To find myself suddenly struggling to welcome gay marriage?

(188 Posts)
grovel Tue 11-Dec-12 13:44:50

My initial reaction was "fine". As I think about it, I become rather sad that we are losing a distinctive quality in the meaning of marriage - namely that it celebrates how men and women complement each other (not only for purposes of procreation).

In every way I want equal recognition of partnerships be they straight or gay. Why then am I sad about changing the meaning of a word?

Caerlaverock Tue 11-Dec-12 13:46:46

Yabu

Alliwantisaroomsomewhere Tue 11-Dec-12 13:47:06

Because you are not in fact "fine" about gay people marrying. Clearly you are homophobic.

YABVVU!

gordyslovesheep Tue 11-Dec-12 13:47:25

no idea - if marriage is so very special I don't see why it should be denied to some people

MooncupGoddess Tue 11-Dec-12 13:48:11

What do you mean about men and women complementing each other?

I know various couples (straight and gay) where the two partners complement each other, and it is a nice thing to see - but I don't get why you think this is specific to men and women?

Ephiny Tue 11-Dec-12 13:48:13

Why can't a same-sex couple complement each other? I wasn't aware that was an intrinsic part of marriage anyway. DH and I are actually very similar in terms of personality type and strengths/weaknesses, despite being different genders.

WorraLorraTurkey Tue 11-Dec-12 13:48:17

Because you don't know any gay people who are deeply in love and committed to each other for the rest of their lives maybe?

If you could see my cousin and his lovely partner, I don't think you could be anything other than over the moon...or maybe that's just me.

I don't know.

ArielTheBahHumbugMermaid Tue 11-Dec-12 13:48:25

Er...why are we losing it? Are you telling me that the gays can marry and normal people can't?

Who'd a thunk it?

Ephiny Tue 11-Dec-12 13:49:04

Anyway this is not replacing marriage between men and women, that's still going to exist the same as it always did confused. I don't see how we're 'losing' anything.

Ephiny Tue 11-Dec-12 13:49:41

Or what Ariel said smile

AnyaKnowIt Tue 11-Dec-12 13:51:02

What I don't understand is why some people care so much about one adult who wants to marry another adult.

lljkk Tue 11-Dec-12 13:52:28

Maybe you need to expand your ability to see complementary aspects of different people.

It must be nice to have such a romantic vision of marriage (I'm too cynical).

Marriage is about two people making a public committment to each other. They will complement each other, making a partnership that is stronger then either partner on their own.

The gender of the two people involved doesn't change that in any way, beyond making it fair when it currently isn't.

I think you have feelings that same-sex relationships simply cannot be as "good" as heterosexual ones, if you think that the complementary nature of any positive relationship requires specific genders.

Oh and "fine" isn't a very positive emotion is it? My own feelings were more "About bloody time".

shinyrobot Tue 11-Dec-12 13:54:38

Wow...
I'm married and I cannot imagine how gay people being married too can possibly change any quality of my marriage, real or perceived.
I have no idea what you mean when you say it celebrates how men and women complement each other (not only for purposes of procreation) What does that mean exactly? Can a man not complement another man for instance, they are not all the same after all. Please expand on what you mean.

Rollmops Tue 11-Dec-12 13:55:27

''Because you are not in fact "fine" about gay people marrying. Clearly you are homophobic.''

Aha, didn't take long for pitchforks to come out.
What happened to free speech and such? I see, it's only allowed when people agree with you.

shinyrobot Tue 11-Dec-12 13:55:58

'My own feelings were more "About bloody time"'
Absolutely!

EasilyBored Tue 11-Dec-12 13:56:20

I don't see how anyone else getting married impacts on your own marriage? It just doesn't.

I think this is a massive step forward and I look forward to the day when I can go to my best friend's wedding and know that her marriage is on an equal legal footing as mine.

gordyslovesheep Tue 11-Dec-12 13:56:49

oh Rollmops you seem to have a pitchfork of your own there - freedom of speech - works BOTH ways smile

LondonElfInFestiveCheerBoots Tue 11-Dec-12 13:56:51

YABU, but I can see academically where you are coming from, I just think you are wrong in your preservation of what 'marriage' means, or 'has always meant'

Marriage changes with society. You read the bible? Men could have as many wives as he could afford/wanted, and were under no obligation to be faithful to their wives. It was exclusive only for women, that has changed. It was also a 'desecration of marriage' and 'making a mockery of the covenant' for blacks to marry whites, that changed too.

I am also having a hard time understanding what you mean by 'compliment each other' - that is down to people's personalities, not being male and female. My parent' personalities compliment each other's, they are a good team. My aunt and uncle do not compliment each other, they are miserable and divorced and it was horrible for everyone involved. My friend and his boyfriend have complimentary personalities, their relationship works. My ex girlfriend and I had a horrible relationship because we were not right together, but my male DF and I work because we work. It has nothing to do with gender. If I have misunderstood your meaning, please correct do my interpretation.

I think marriage is a contract between two people, that they have entered into fully, to love and support one another, regardless of gender.

BillyBollyBrandy Tue 11-Dec-12 13:56:59

I thought a marriage was what happened in a church and a civil partnership was what happened in a registry office until I got married.

But why shouldn't it be? Because actually the name used means nothing. What matters is two peopel publically showing their love for each other. Really doesn't matter where it happens or what it is called.

My 2 friends are married. The law may call it a civil partnership but it is a marriage as far as I am conbcerned.

MissCellania Tue 11-Dec-12 13:57:19

Thats just meaningless drivel to cover up homophobic posturing, if we're being honest here, isn't it?

AnyaKnowIt Tue 11-Dec-12 13:57:29

Pitchforks? Get a grip

StackOverflow Tue 11-Dec-12 13:57:34

I've always felt that my marriage (to a man) is actually devalued by the current exclusive definition.

IMO it means that I currently find myself engaging in a discriminatory practice which excludes, among others, my lovely BFF since childhood and her brilliant partner. This makes me feel worse about my marriage, not better.

lljkk Tue 11-Dec-12 13:58:18

I don't think you deserve such a pasting, OP.

I reckon if you examine closely what you sense as the unique nature of hetero marriage that you will find that those special attributes or something similar enough also exists in gay marriage. They aren't that different after all.

CarlingBlackMabel Tue 11-Dec-12 13:59:13

Men and women don't complement each other simply by definition of being men and women - see the Relationship, Feminism and most of AIBU for evidence of that!

They complement each other when they are best friends, in love and fancy each other. Just like same sex couples.

Marriage is a partnership between tow people who complement each other as described above.

You are either extremely precious - a MrsZilla about your wish to be in a narrow exclusive category, or homophobic. Or religious in a way that does not recognise marriage excpet in the eyes of a god who does not, apparantly, bless same sex couples.

And that is where the problem lies. I actually think religions should carry on as they like, as long as they don't break the law and as ling as the rest of us don't have to be bound by their beliefs. Maybe all cuples, gay and straight, should have Civil Partnerships, or Civil Marriage if you like, and leave the reiigious version of marriage to the religious bodies as a religious rather than legal ceremony.

I am sick of those who have it all their way already (in being able to marry) whining 'but what about meeeeeee?'

CarlingBlackMabel Tue 11-Dec-12 14:00:32

StackOverflow - good post.

Icelollycraving Tue 11-Dec-12 14:00:34

Yabu.

Rollmops Tue 11-Dec-12 14:00:39

gordysheep, what are you on about?

Yes it makes me sad too that a gay couple can have exactly the same rights to have their relationship recognised as me, a straight person, someone elses marriage is, of course, going to absolutely impact on my relationship with my DH. hmm

EasilyBored Tue 11-Dec-12 14:01:15

I think, actually, the name is everything. Everyone should be able to get married, and those people that then feel the need could have some special blessing in a church. So we can all get married, and people can be married but also 'blessed by x church' or whatever if they so choose.

Marriage has be redefined countless times over history, it's about time it caught up again.

manticlimactic Tue 11-Dec-12 14:01:30

I'm single. Am I incomplete ? hmm

KenLeeeeeeeInnaSantaHat Tue 11-Dec-12 14:03:09

YABU.

In a world filled with so much hate, why can't we embrace love in all its forms?

Proudnscaryvirginmary Tue 11-Dec-12 14:04:49

YABU

MisForMumNotMaid Tue 11-Dec-12 14:06:38

I'm all for people showing commitment to each other regardless of gender. I truely don't understand why gay marriage is an issue. As a society we are stronger if we are able to commit to things. I think I understand why marriage in any institution isn't going to be compulsory because as a non-church attendee many churches wouldn't have married me.

I wonder if your issues do go deeper than the word? I think it's a little strong to suggest you're homophobic because you question a feeling of sadness you've experienced. Change to things that are familiar can make us almost grieve for the familiar past. That doesn't mean we can't also celebrate the present and future.

GreenPetals Tue 11-Dec-12 14:08:04

Not sure why the OP got such pasting.

I am sure this is a feeling lots of people are struggling with.
The reason, as I see it, is because when we grew up, marriage meant heterosexual relationship and babies, who had been procreated by both parents in the couple.

Since the 1970/1980, things ahve changed a lot and we can now have sperm donors, egg donors etc... to gay couple and being a couple doesn't just means being heterosexual.
Some people (usually because they know some gay couples) have adapted to it fast.
Some people (usually because they don't really have any experience of gay couples) find it more difficult to align their reality, the 'outside' reality ad what they have been taught it should be.

I reckon OP that this is the reason why you feel it's OK and at the same 'it's not just quite right'

ArkadyRose Tue 11-Dec-12 14:08:26

It isn't "gay marriage", it's equal marriage - which is what it ought to have been all along. It's allowing everyone's relationships to have an equal legal standing instead of offering a paltry second-best to people who don't match the heteronormative. It's putting a stop to the appalling inequalities that still plague trans people - for instance, did you know that under current legislation if one partner in a marriage transitions to the opposite gender and wishes to have this legally recognised by a Gender Recognition Certificate, the couple must divorce - even if they wanted to stay together? And that the only option to them to have their partnership legally recognised, i.e. Civil Partnership, has no legal standing anywhere else other than the UK? Once we have Equal Marriage then there will be no two-tier system where one marriage is recognised internationally but the other isn't, regardless of the gender status of either partner.

To not want this is not only homophobic, it's also transphobic. You're basically saying the only people who deserve "real" marriage are people like you, and looking down your long nose of privilege at anyone who isn't the same.

gordyslovesheep Tue 11-Dec-12 14:09:39

blimey I am not using code grin

TheSecretSantaDNCOP Tue 11-Dec-12 14:10:11

Gay marriage is wrong.

The correct phrase is "marriage".

"Gay couples" don't go for gay walks, they don't go for gay drives in the car, they don't go gay shopping. So if a couple wants to get married they should be able to whatever sexual persuasion they are.

ArielTheBahHumbugMermaid Tue 11-Dec-12 14:12:58

I disagree that when we were growing up marriage meant men and women and babies. There were lots of couple who just wanted to be together who did not have children.

But why is so difficult for people to change even a little bit? Personally I don't know any gay couples and I have no problem accepting it.

Why are people so egocentric that they think other peoples' private choices impact on them in some way?

LessMissAbs Tue 11-Dec-12 14:13:21

I kind of see where you are coming from. My perspective is a bit hmmn about marriage anyway. Its a funny idea when you think about it, but most people don't think. More and more I think the function of marriage is to regulate society and make people traverse through life in a certain way. Its a way of controlling and organising people, a bit like religion. Although it also has stablising benefits, it does seem increasingly outmoded when there is more equality between the sexes now.

Although looking at it that way makes me think why should gay people be denied the ability to be controlled and regulated?

TreeDecoratingAndPresents Tue 11-Dec-12 14:13:59

You're overthinking it.

I think what you are going for is that marriage is not between "man" and "woman", it has been between "a man" and "a woman" in the past. The celebration is of how their individual traits complement one another. Many of those traits will be unrelated to their genders, so actually, extending the term marriage to cover any partnership is actually fine and not an issue at all.

FrothyOM Tue 11-Dec-12 14:14:02

YABU It's all about equality (as arkadyrose explained really well)

CarlingBlackMabel Tue 11-Dec-12 14:14:15

GreenPetals - do you have difficulty adapting to the idea of heterosexual married couples using egg-donors, sperm donors, or adoption? People who marry but don't want children?

TeeElfOnTeeShelf Tue 11-Dec-12 14:15:27

Well said SSDNCOP.

Also, look at this: 60 pictures from Seattle's marriage ceremonies performed this past weekend. How can all that love be wrong? Or any different than your wedding?

grovel Tue 11-Dec-12 14:19:15

Thank you, GreenPetals. You are probably right in your analysis. Thank you too for recognising that I used the word "welcome" rather than "accept". If I was in Parliament I would be voting for the law changes. I was simply mulling over why I was less happy than I would expect to be.

I regret the OP because it was a question I had not fully thought through. I got a pasting and have learned a lesson.

trockodile Tue 11-Dec-12 14:21:19

TeeElf -was just about to post that! It is amazingly beautiful.
Op-YABU , all love is worth celebrating and living in a country which supports equality is a privelege.
And I am thrilled to hear today's news and am just hoping that everything goes through smoothly and quickly so people can realise that it will only change the lives of these who want it to.

Tee those photos made me well up.

gordyslovesheep Tue 11-Dec-12 14:23:51

Tee those pics are beautiful x

TeeElfOnTeeShelf Tue 11-Dec-12 14:27:44

I've now cried at those pictures twice.

One of my oldest friend's mothers finally got to get married last year. They've been together 40+ years.

Pootles2010 Tue 11-Dec-12 14:28:45

Tee you absolute bugger, now sat at my desk in tears! How lovely. Thank you for sharing those smile

WholeLottaRosie Tue 11-Dec-12 14:33:38

The look on the guy's face in number eleven...how can that be wrong?

WildWorld2004 Tue 11-Dec-12 14:36:39

The only question i have about allowing 'gay' marriage is are they going to force churches and other religious places of worship into marrying couples? This i think would be wrong because religions have believes and as much as i dislike religions i dont think they should be forced into this.

There shouldnt be an arguement about whether people of the same sex should be allowed to get married. Yes of course they should be allowed.

ChristmasIsForPlutocrats Tue 11-Dec-12 14:39:37

I think this government's decision to push the issue of gay marriage is just posturing to distract us. I can't believe the Tories as a party really believe in this (maybe the LibDems), but it's got (some) people discussing something besides the state of the economy and cuts to welfare, cuts to working rights, etc.

trockodile Tue 11-Dec-12 14:43:13

No body is going to be forced to marry anyone-afaik there have been no cases of "forced marrying" in any of the other countries which allow equal marriage.

TeeElfOnTeeShelf Tue 11-Dec-12 14:44:01

I know. I'm a stinker. grin

trockodile Tue 11-Dec-12 14:44:17

Some religions want to marry gay couples-liberal Jews, Unitarians, Quakers -that is also religious freedom.

loopylou6 Tue 11-Dec-12 14:45:14

Yabvu. Marriage is about two people who love each other and want to announce their love to the world. It doesn't matter what genitals they have.

KenLeeeeeeeInnaSantaHat Tue 11-Dec-12 14:51:51

Those pictures are beautiful. I am very weepy now.

AcidTurkishBath Tue 11-Dec-12 14:53:42
toomanydaisies Tue 11-Dec-12 14:55:00

YANBU. You can think this through in your own way. Isn't it great that we have freedom of thought and speech?!

I think you've had an unfair pasting.

TeeElfOnTeeShelf Tue 11-Dec-12 14:57:48

sniff Acid.

WholeLottaRosie Tue 11-Dec-12 15:02:42

Actually on those photographs lots of the couples don't just complement each other they actually look like each other, no?

WildWorld - they are going to be very careful with the wording so that organisations which do not want to perform same-sex weddings do not have to. Which I think should be easy enough - the CofE already has an opt-out that says they don't have to marry anyone who is divorced (where their ex is still living) even though they can legally be married in England and would otherwise be entitled to be married in their parish church. And that has been working fine for many years, so I don't see any reason why same-sex marriages can't have the same opt-out, for religious organisations.

Cozy9 Tue 11-Dec-12 15:04:21

I'm sick of hearing about it.

MrsTerrysChocolateOrange Tue 11-Dec-12 15:04:54

Can I vote for number 18, with the closed eyes?

I think it only makes marriage better. Now I'm happy to say my friends can do it too.

Labootin Tue 11-Dec-12 15:07:36

Awwww that made me well up @ tees link

Tbh I simply can't understand why it has taken so long

AcidTurkishBath Tue 11-Dec-12 15:08:02

Rosie Yes - the matching beards!

MrsTerrysChocolateOrange Tue 11-Dec-12 15:10:08

I've posted Tee's link on FB and am making others cry. Mwahaha.

Divorce statistics would suggest that men and women don't compliment each other all that well, actually.

YABVU.

HullyEastergully Tue 11-Dec-12 15:22:04

Right I've had enough.

The word is complEment ok?

Whether or not they complIment each other is to be hoped for, but irrelevant.

huh

grovel Tue 11-Dec-12 15:25:25

At least the OP spelt it properly.

The rest of her post was crap.

HullyEastergully Tue 11-Dec-12 15:26:50

that's true

MrsTerrysChocolateOrange Tue 11-Dec-12 15:27:03

It's not irrelevant Hully. One of reasons DH and I are still together is that he compliments me. Especially my cooking.

HullyEastergully Tue 11-Dec-12 15:27:21

Usually grovel you are a snesible poster, but this op was sadly ill-judged.

<shs>

grovel Tue 11-Dec-12 15:27:42

Thanks, Hully!

MrsTerrysChocolateOrange Tue 11-Dec-12 15:28:38

It just is true that anyone who comments on grammar or spelling will immediately spell something wrong. It is a MN rule. <Sniggers at snesible>

HullyEastergully Tue 11-Dec-12 15:29:01

You do realise that no one is going to read the bit where you go, Oh soz, I was an arse and just keep calling you a right cunt for 1000 posts don't you?

Crinkle77 Tue 11-Dec-12 15:29:32

I can't understand why so many people are against same sex marriage and why it will undermine the sanctity of marriage. There are lots of heterosexual married people who undermine the institution of marriage everyday through their behaviour (affairs, physical/mental abuse against their partner for example) so that argument is flawed to me.

HullyEastergully Tue 11-Dec-12 15:29:37

It is hardly my fault if you don't know the word "snesible" is it?

valiumredhead Tue 11-Dec-12 15:29:55

Eh? I am very confused OP you are calling your own post crap?

You must have a heart of stone not to be moved by this pics <sniff>

grovel Tue 11-Dec-12 15:30:27

I do, Hully.

I'll open some wine and have a quiet weep.

grovel Tue 11-Dec-12 15:31:48

Valium, I said on page 2 that I regretted the OP.

Davsmum Tue 11-Dec-12 15:33:35

Being sad about it does not mean you are homophobic.

I am not bothered whether gay people get married or not - any more than I am bothered whether heterosexual people get married - TBH I often wonder why people feel the need to be married at all.

valiumredhead Tue 11-Dec-12 15:33:36

Oh well that will teach you - I rarely read the whole thread wink

OwlLady Tue 11-Dec-12 15:34:49

op, you are a cnut

<sniggers>

HullyEastergully Tue 11-Dec-12 15:35:22

A Right Cnut

Were you talking to me then, HULLY?

If so, tell it to my iPod spellchecker you fucking bungle.

OwlLady Tue 11-Dec-12 15:36:04

and a snesible cnut on the left

GreenPetals Tue 11-Dec-12 15:36:14

But that's also the reason why there is never a need to come down on an OP like if she was the most awful, stupid person in the world and first take time to explain.

The problem as hully said is that no one is going to notice your post in the middle of all nearly 100 posts now.

HullyEastergully Tue 11-Dec-12 15:37:07

Not just you Bunting and Cnutcakes

I'mma still gonna kick you in the minge.

lostconfusedwhatnext Tue 11-Dec-12 15:38:34

Ok this might the wrong thread for this now but I would honestly-and-for-true like someone who believes it to tell me how the institution of marriage can be "damaged" or something by being extended to people they don't think should have it.

If you are a Christian and for you marriage is a sacrament, how does the power go out of it by it being extended to other people whom you would not marry? It isn't like a knighthood or something where it is all about honour and reputation - if they gave 90% of the population knighthoods suddenly I can see how it might take the shine off one you got a few years back. But marriage is not like that, it is more like.... an MOT. suppose your car passed its MOT on the old rules, and you are feeling safe and secure in your car, and then they passed a new rule that said they won't check the lights, cars without lights can pass MOTs (I am not suggesting btw that gay marriage is analogous to cars without lights just trying to think my way into this) - your MOT is no worse, because it is a factual thing that happened to your car, and it is as good as it ever was. the reputation of the MOT might be lowered in your eyes but Christian marriage is not about reputation it is about a sacrament that has happened or not....

Does anyone understand? can anyone help me?

grovel Tue 11-Dec-12 15:38:38

Cnut thought he could reverse the tide.

Not on here I can't.

HullyEastergully Tue 11-Dec-12 15:39:37

<guards minge>

OwlLady Tue 11-Dec-12 15:39:43

I thought that was Moses, unless you are suggesting Moses is cnut

MrsTerrysChocolateOrange Tue 11-Dec-12 15:39:57

It's a good chance to update the 'who doesn't read the thread' spreadsheet. Luckily I am a snesible cnut who does.

MrsTerrysChocolateOrange Tue 11-Dec-12 15:40:41
HullyEastergully Tue 11-Dec-12 15:40:49

Christians believe that the sacrament of marriage (a therefore holy thing) can only be made between a man and a woman.

hth

HullyEastergully Tue 11-Dec-12 15:41:37

Snesible Cnuts will inherit the earth

PostBellumBugsy Tue 11-Dec-12 15:41:55

I also subscribe to the view that it is really silly to be referring to it as "gay marriage" and I'm not having a go at snesible grovel but at the media generally. It is inclusive marriage - marriage for all couples, regardless of how they are made up.
I'm so glad it is happening. It is like another nail in the coffin for all those awful restrictive views that marriage is primarily designed for procreation. Love & commitment are good things to recognise world over - so hurrah for inclusive marriage! grin

Labootin Tue 11-Dec-12 15:42:45

Arf at kick in minge

OP you could stand Nekkid in the middle of Trafalgar square with a microphone bellowing I've changed my mind I was a complete utter twat and I'll wager 90% of MN would still post you were DISCUSTING.

HullyEastergully Tue 11-Dec-12 15:43:05

yy I did like gay driving etc

I must say I have noticed that the gays do drive a bit funny

lostconfusedwhatnext Tue 11-Dec-12 15:46:02

Hully, was that supposed to help me? but how? How does an "invalid" marriage (not what I believe) damage a "valid" one?
On that basis marriage would be fucked already by abuse by bigamists, for instance.

SnesibleCnut Tue 11-Dec-12 15:46:24

Look at my beautiful new NN. I am the snesible cnut.

HullyEastergully Tue 11-Dec-12 15:47:56

How pretty you look!

DrinkFeckArseGirls Tue 11-Dec-12 15:48:22

Cause it's not speshul anymore, i.e. exclusive. Which means it will be now inclusive.

PostBellumBugsy Tue 11-Dec-12 15:48:31

Arf at SnesibleCnut - inspired name. But please don't take up Labootin on her suggestion!!!!!
Hully don't most laydies drive a bit funny too? I've heard blondes are even worse. wink

HullyEastergully Tue 11-Dec-12 15:48:31

That's not the point lost. If you are a Christian you believe (see above)

lostconfusedwhatnext Tue 11-Dec-12 15:52:54

Actually Hully they are saying that is the point.

www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b01pbp3x/Newsnight_07_12_2012/

See "anglican mainstream" bishop on newsnight, segment starts about 17 mins in

the whole point is that they believe the whole institution is damaged if it is opened

lostconfusedwhatnext Tue 11-Dec-12 15:53:30

Clearly you don't understand it, I don't know why I am bothering with you

AmberSocks Tue 11-Dec-12 15:54:23

I think they should just abolish marriage tbh,for men and women,its all a load of rubbish.

DrinkFeckArseGirls Tue 11-Dec-12 16:01:19

Good for the OP to come back many many pages earlier.

The thing is, not all Christians believe that. Me for one grin. But there will always be Christians who are more interested in excluding than including, and who don't think there is any room for saying "That was a cultural attitude. Times change and hopefully our attitudes improve" about stuff like same-sex relationships.

PostBellumBugsy Tue 11-Dec-12 16:05:16

lost, I think most of us understand that religious groups don't want gay people to be able to celebrate marriage in a relgious setting - but we disagree with that view.
The Catholic Church is never going to be able to formally agree with the marriage of gay people, under its current doctrine, because it absolutely decrees that marriage is about the procreation of children. Lots of people disagree with that view though and don't think that marriage, as an institution will be damaged by that - because they don't think that marriage is about procreation!

OwlLady Tue 11-Dec-12 16:05:35

and those relationships between goats must surely be equal too
and badgers

jeanvaljean Tue 11-Dec-12 16:08:27

I'm not in the least bit homophobic and have been raised a very right-on liberal person, but I can't help feeling a bit rolly-eyed about gay marriage. The way in which traditional institutions are forced to "get with the times" is very wearing. I feel gay marriage is like demanding a Buddhist Pope, or female Imans, or an elected Queen, or a Spanish British Prime Minister. While we're on the equality warpath why don't we demand these things too? It's nonsensical.

I cannot understand the driver behind this. Now that gay people have the same legal rights via civil partnerships there is no requirement for marriage, other than a crazed modernising imperative. Why can't these institutions be left to exercise their own rules? I feel saddened that we have to bow to this ridiculousness in the name of being liberal.

This is before you even address the fact that as religions are stridently heterosexual (in order to conceive the next generation of believing supporters) it begs the question why it's so important to gay people to be part of this religious tradition. In a way I suspect that many don't, but rather see it as another blow against "tradition" and the apparent homophobia they see within it.

All rather tiresome. And I say all this as an atheist.

ClaireDeTamble Tue 11-Dec-12 16:13:48

Feeling that allowing people who are gay to marry is wrong is just a subconscious reaction to change - for years being gay has been 'wrong', 'different', 'unnatural'. It may be 45 years since homosexuality was legalised but it has only been 12 years since the age of consent was brought into line with heterosexual age of consent.

It's probably only been 15 years or so since the tipping point from the majority of people thinking it was wrong and shameful to the majority being OK with it and the debate around marriage shows that being gay is still not fully accepted by society. It is therefore not really a surprise that on a subconscious level you are not totally at ease with the idea and that is where the sadness comes from.

What is important is that you agree with it on a conscious level and are not able to form conscious arguments against it.

It did make me smile that a number of the people laying into you continually referred to 'gay marriage' and in one case said 'gays can marry and normal people can't' - which kind of proves my point - that poster was utterly indignant at you yet managed to suggest that being gay was somehow 'abnormal'.

At least you had the guts to face your feelings on the subject and explore them so that they could be overcome - I fear others who are so vociferously right-on in their support of people who are gay marrying may continue to make tjose same people appear as 'other' for some time to come, because they are too busy trying to be politically correct to actually reconcile their conscious agreement with their subconscious societal conditioning.

* Gets off soap box *

PostBellumBugsy Tue 11-Dec-12 16:15:04

jean do you not think there might be religious gay people who'd like to have a marriage ceremony in the church that they belong to?
To be honest, I don't get it myself. Why would you want to celebrate your union in an institution that generally condemns gays as unnatural? However, I think that the fact they legally can't at the moment, is discriminatory.

HullyEastergully Tue 11-Dec-12 16:15:24

lost you are very rude (as usual), and I really can't imagine why I am bothering with YOU, but the fact is that "marriage" is regarded as a religious sacrament between a man and a woman and therefore cannot be conducted between two people of the same sex. The institution is "damaged" because it changes the meaning.

HullyEastergully Tue 11-Dec-12 16:16:54

The way in which traditional institutions are forced to "get with the times" is very wearing.

I AGREE. Bring back female subservience like the good old days. And slavery.

All this tiresome modernising nonsense. Oh and the cane in schools.

lostconfusedwhatnext Tue 11-Dec-12 16:20:01

I am Christian btw, I support marriage for all who want it, ex-Catholic, understand doctrinally all the stuff about sacraments etc, (but am not a very sacramental person - for me the whole business of a priest bestowing magic is a minor part of the whole thing, hence I suppose not being Catholic)

Jean I used to think "why do they even bother trying to fit in within an institution that actively hates them? good on them for trying but.... why?" about activists for female or gay equality in the church. Now I don't because when I thought that I wasn't in a church and (subconsiously) hated it, now I am less "pure" and am a member of a church that is wrong on a lot of things, but I can see completley why people would rather try to change it than be pushed out by bigots.

ClaireDeTamble Tue 11-Dec-12 16:22:28

It's more than a religious argument.

Take religion out of the equation for a moment why is it that when a heterosexual couple go to the registry office they can get 'married' but when a gay couple go to the registry office they can only have a civil partnership when registry office ceremonies have nothing to do with religion.

Equally, why can't a heterosexual couple who have issues with the religious and ownership connotations of marriage have a civil partnership instead - giving them all of the same rights as a married couple but without the baggage that is attached to the idea of marriage?

As people quite rightly point out, after a ceremony in a registry office, gay couples with a civil partnership certificate have exactly the same rights as a straight couple with a marriage certificate - what then was the reason for calling it something different in the first place? Presumably so that legal necessities could be met, while ensuring that those pesky gay people were still labelled as 'other'.

'Gay Marriage' is just fixing what wasn't done right the first time round.

Paiviaso Tue 11-Dec-12 16:24:29

YABU

And it doesn't mean a change in the word for everyone. I have never thought of marriage as being a religious ceremony (I know you didn't mention that OP, but others did) nor as being a celebration of men and women complimenting each other.

jeanvaljean Tue 11-Dec-12 16:25:59

Hully - we have civil partnerships. Gays have equal legal rights. You cannot compare demanding to be married in a Church with votes for women, or slavery. Why can't I get married in Buckingham Palace or your house? Isn't it discriminatory? I should be able to get married where I like surely? I demand an inquiry, a European court ruling, a Royal Commission!

This is an extension of people thinking they have a right to whatever they like, and has NOTHING to do with human emancipation.

PostBellumBugsy - yes I suppose there are religious gays who want the validation of their Church, but I'd rather think they ought to read the book on which their religion is founded on and realise that there is no basis for it. I don't have a lot of sympathy for them, as I feel if you're going to subscribe to religion it's a bit rich to pick and choose the bits you support.

HullyEastergully Tue 11-Dec-12 16:28:25

jean Why don't they call it "marriage" then? If it's the same thing?

jeanvaljean none of the current legal changes is about "these institutions" if by that you mean religions. It is about civic society naming officially-recognised same sex relationships with the same words "Marriage/Spouse/etc" as they do for hetero couples.

At the moment, same-sex couples do not have quite the same legal rights - they cannot have a wedding ceremony, and the "equivalent" civil partnership ceremony is not recognised in other coutries, whereas "marriage" would be (in some at least).

All the current debate is about is levelling the legal civic playing field.

There is a minor additional debate about whether religious organisations should be allowed (NB not forced) into conducting these same-sex weddings.

lostconfusedwhatnext Tue 11-Dec-12 16:31:00

Hully thank you so much for your input but I don't think you understand the question - you just keep repeating the same thing. It's like this:

"I have now decided to include staples in the category of paperclips"
"But that stops my paperclip being a paperclip! you have changed the meaning!"
"how does it stop your paperclip from being a paperclip? You can say this staple is not a paperclip, but me calling it one doesn't stop your paperclip being a paperclip"

You are like the person who, thinking they are explaining, just keeps shouting "HE THINKS HIS PAPERCLIP WON'T BE A PAPERCLIP ANY MORE"

HullyEastergully Tue 11-Dec-12 16:32:02

You have understood it perfectly. That is absolutely right.

If you want logic to the thinking, I suggest you look in places other than those of the religious.

ClaireDeTamble Tue 11-Dec-12 16:32:16

we have civil partnerships. Gays have equal legal rights.

Yes, black people have equal legal rights to white people - does that mean that we should stop legislating against racist behaviour? Women have equal legal rights to men - perhaps we should forget all about feminism, I mean who cares about disproportionate domestic violence, sexual exploitation or unequal pay - the legal rights are all equal, the other stuff isn't important right? hmm

It's not about equal legal rights, it's about social equality, which can't happen while gay unions have to have a different label to straight unions because it marks them out as 'other' for no good reason whatsoever other than fear and bigotry.

PanickingIdiot Tue 11-Dec-12 16:33:10

+I feel gay marriage is like demanding a Buddhist Pope, or female Imans, or an elected Queen, or a Spanish British Prime Minister. While we're on the equality warpath why don't we demand these things too? It's nonsensical.+

You may be interested to know that very few of the British royals are actually British. Queen Sofia of Spain is Greek, and former French President Sarkozy was (well, is) Hungarian. Cameron's wife is Spanish.

The female bishops thing is widely supported (though it was voted down, somewhat embarrassingly).

And let's not go into what the Pope actually is *shudder*.

YAB massively U.

If you don't like gay marriage, don't get gay married. Simples.

StackOverflow Tue 11-Dec-12 16:34:44

I completely agree, jean, this egalitarian modernization craze is completely insane!

I mean, once upon a time, marriage meant that a husband rightfully owned a woman! If only those pesky commie Satan worshipping feminazi atheist puppy killer progressives hadn't forced this evil modernization crap we could still be living in such blissful times!

</sarcasm>

Hobbitation Tue 11-Dec-12 16:36:39

I think religious folk worry it's the start of closing all of their legal loopholes by which they are allowed to unfairly discriminate against people. And they are right. Good.

DoingitOnTheRoofTopWithSanta Tue 11-Dec-12 16:37:16

I find it more offensive to marriage when people lie cheat and abuse their partners. It still no has bearing on my marriage though.

YABU wtf do you care what two other people do? Why is your own marriage so weak you feel something is lost by two people getting hitched?

"if you're going to subscribe to religion it's a bit rich to pick and choose the bits you support"

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Why do people who don't follow a religion have this weird idea that there is one absolute set of rules which every Christian has to follow, or else they are doing some "Pick & Mix" which means they really aren't a Christian in the least?

I follow what Christ taught. I read the New testament, and think about which parts of it were intended to be followed "in all times and places" and which bits were culturally-conditioned and applied only to a certain world-view which was prevalent 2000 years ago.

I wear poly-cotton shirts while eating cheeseburgers. I think that if Jesus came back in person today he would approve of same-sex couples being given the same rights as everyone else.

This is not picking and choosing. This is Christianity. It is also what a lot of Christian denominations teach.

PostBellumBugsy Tue 11-Dec-12 16:40:35

AMum, which Christian denominations teach that the marriage of gay people is ok?

shinyrobot Tue 11-Dec-12 16:44:07

as I feel if you're going to subscribe to religion it's a bit rich to pick and choose the bits you support.

That comment is either hilarious or scary, I cannot decide which grin

I would be quite concerned if someone I knew was living one of the holy books that I have any knowledge of to the T shock

SomeTiggyPudding Tue 11-Dec-12 16:46:53

What would Jesus think? Or his Dad? If they hate poofs, why would you want to worship them?

Marriage equals equality.

Churches can do whatever they want to if it doesn't interfere with anybody else. What the church does is for the church to decide. So long as they don't have official state backing like, ooh... giving them unelected seats in parliament or something.

lostconfusedwhatnext Tue 11-Dec-12 16:47:41

AMum, I was one of those "you can't pick and choose" people, but only because I thought that if enough people left the church and said why, things might change.
Now I have decided not to be so hard on people like me who need a church to go to but don't think that gaity is wrong.

My dc1 is three and a half and I have loved so much telling her the Christmas story this year, the first year I have made any attempt to flesh out who Jesus was and what it means that he came and why we celebrate his birthday so happily. I love it.

PostBellumBugsy Tue 11-Dec-12 16:48:02

For most Christian faiths, it is a fairly fundamental aspect of their doctrine that marriage is about procreation and the mutual support between husband & wife shinyrobot.
I think this is part of the problem, that many modern Christians in liberal countries do pick & mix and are quite happy with that approach. It does often mean that they are at odds with the fundamental teachings of their own religion!

Whatiswitnit Tue 11-Dec-12 16:50:25

My six year old twins ask me now and then if boys can marry boys and girls can marry girls. It is so nice to be able to say yes, you can marry whoever you fall in love with. Marriage is for everyone, and that makes me happy, not sad.

The Quakers specifically want to be able to celebrate same-sex marriages.

trockodile Tue 11-Dec-12 16:52:28

This letter was posted roosterza.blogspot.de/2012/12/why-i-believe-firmly-in-equal-marriage.html?spref=tw
By someone I follow on twitter-he addresses lots of the points raised better than I could, is an ordained C of E vicar and in a civil partnership.

I was asked by a contact at the Portsmouth News to respond to some comments made about the government's Equal Marriage proposals (article here). Here is the letter I sent. I don't know if it'll be used, but I wanted to include it in my blog, to keep the coversation going. Equality needs a voice.

Dear Sir / Madam

I am saddened by the response of many Christians and churches to the government’s consultation on Equal Marriage. As an ordained member of the Church of England clergy, I stand wholeheartedly behind the Prime Minister’s stance on Equal Marriage.

My understanding of the proposal is that it will aim to allow loving same-sex couples to enter into loving, long-term, committed marriages, with the full legal protection that marriage offers. No more of the strange terminology of attempting to say that someone is “civilly partnered” to someone else, and no more of the differentiation in society where a Civil Partnership is somehow less than a marriage.

If I could look at some of the arguments against Equal Marriage:

Those who argue against Equal Marriage, stating that Civil Partnership is the legal equivalent of marriage, but with a different name, don’t understand the legal complexities and the differences between the two. The fact is that Civil Partners don’t enjoy the same legal protection and provision as married couples.
Those who state that Equal Marriage is against their faith, need to understand that it is against THEIR INTERPRETATION of their faith (or someone else’s interpretation passed along to them). There are other ways of reading Scripture, other ways of interpreting tradition, and other ways of being Christian. The existence of the Lesbian & Gay Christian Movement, Accepting Evangelicals, Two:23, Courage UK, Inclusive Church and other groups in the UK – not to mention International groups are evidence of that.
I also really struggle with people of faith, who state that they accept the LGBT community, but then label their loving relationships as a perversion of family values, with catastrophic consequences for the future. In statements like that, it won’t be the message of acceptance that the LGBT community hears, and it certainly won’t instill (& hasn’t instilled-) in them the desire to explore faith.
Those who try to panic people into believing that the proposed changes will result in churches being forced to conduct same-sex marriages have either not read – or not understood – the proposals, and haven’t looked at history.
There are churches the whole world over that won’t perform marriage ceremonies for people who are divorced, as a matter of conscience. They have the freedom to do so, and the divorced couples seek another church. This matter is no different. The consultation was simply looking at whether or not some faith communities should be allowed to opt in, if they wish, the same way some choose to remarry divorcees.
Finally, I struggle with those that play the numbers game; that state that the LGBT community should not be allowed Equal Marriage, because they are in the minority? I thought the purpose of Equality legislation was precisely to protect minority groups. The majority already have a voice, and already enjoy a privileged place in society by virtue of being the majority. We should be concerned with ensuring that minority groups are treated as equal, and allowed to be full, contributing, equal & fully human members of society.

It is because of my faith that I strongly believe in extending marriage to same sex couples, in order to affirm in them the possibility of knowing the fullness of love and expressing that to each other and their community. To me, that’s more in line with my faith and the love of God, than any message of exclusion could be.

I also firmly believe that Equal Marriage will strengthen our communities and our families, and make sure that those families that are currently viewed as inferior & hidden, are able to flourish.

With kind regards

Hobbitation Tue 11-Dec-12 16:52:39

AMum, which Christian denominations teach that the marriage of gay people is ok?

Episcopalians, Evangelical Lutherans, Presbyterians just from a quick Google.

Panicking
You may be interested to know that very few of the British royals are actually British. Queen Sofia of Spain is Greek, and former French President Sarkozy was (well, is) Hungarian. Cameron's wife is Spanish.

Sarkozy was born in France so surely he is French it is his father who is Hungarian. Would you argue that Ed Milliband is Polish not British? Arguably Elizabeth ii is British what with having been born here and her parents and her grandparents. (Prince Philip on the other hand!)

CatWithKittens Tue 11-Dec-12 16:58:10

Since a marriage has to be consummated if it is to cease to be liable to being declared a nullity, presumably someone is going to have to define what constituted consummation for same sex unions of men and women. I don't envy the draftsman. And presumably the same sort of sexual union will have to be deemed to be consummation for heterosexual marriages too? Those who say that same-sex marriage will inevitably change its meaning may therefore have a point.

HullyEastergully Tue 11-Dec-12 16:59:07

yy cat - did you see how all the civil servants are pulling their hair out trying to come up with a definition?

hahahaha

PanickingIdiot Tue 11-Dec-12 16:59:22

Chaz, the point was that those things aren't set in stone either, people change nationalities and move around and born into mixed marriages etc. and it doesn't mean you can't be prime minister or queen or pope. It's not "nonsensical" as jeanvaljean claimed, quite the contrary.

sudaname Tue 11-Dec-12 17:00:07

As far as l know the law calls it civil partnership and it's still only heterosexual 'unions' that are called marriage. So how have you lost anything ? Why would you even care if it was called the same thing and you lost your exclusiveness along with all the other millions of heterosexual people that have ever got married hmm.

PostBellumBugsy Tue 11-Dec-12 17:04:09

Hobbitation I thought episcopalians had agreed to same sex blessings? I think that is different to marriage.
I also thought the general assembly of presbyterians this year had rejected the proposal to recognise marriage between two people, rather than a man & woman.
Have to confess I don't know about lutherans.
With regard to Quakers, they themselves describe themselves as "post-Christian", so I'm not quite sure they subscribe to the same doctrines as most of the larger Christian churches.

jeanvaljean Tue 11-Dec-12 17:06:42

AMum - the reason atheists/agnostics would like to hold the religious to the words in their holy books is because religious people use their "interpretations" of their texts to weasel their way out of rational argument. So all the miracles/mystic guff become just parables etc, and you even get some Christians saying they of course don't believe Christ really rose from the dead - thus missing the point entirely of their religion.

PanickingIdiot - all my examples stand. Sarkozy was born in France, Queen Sofia is a Consort, SamCam does not hold electoral office, being Monarch is a hereditary position. These things are and most likely will be ever thus.

Hully - marriage as practised in our Churches is a religious sacrament. So I see no reason why they can't be the final arbiters on who gets to "do" marriage. If heterosexuals and gays must have the same term applied to them in the name of equality then we ought to invent some new institution rather than forcing the Church to change. And in fact I think it would be much more suitable if the Civil Partnerships Act were extended to heterosexuals. Then we can leave marriage to the religious only.

CaHoHoHootz Tue 11-Dec-12 17:07:27

YAB very very U

I find it really wierd that people care so much what other people do. Your reasons for being sad about it are extremely odd. confused and sad
I find it unpleasant that you think it is OK to say you don't welcome gay marriage as much as non-gay weddings. Very judgey of you.

MyLittleAprilSunshine Tue 11-Dec-12 17:08:11

YANBU to think about it, but you'd be VU if you went around telling gay people they shouldn't marry, there is a difference.

We are entitled to our own opinions, no? I have friends in same sex partnerships and I have no problem with them getting married--as much as I don't mind my opposite sex coupled friends getting married. As long as they love and care for eachother I don't mind. But that's me and that's an opinion I'm allowed to have.

Why slander someone for a different opinion, it's not like she's going about saying how awful gay people are.

Not like that person on 5Live last night or this morning, can't remember which it was (pregnancy hormones make me confused as usual) said that all gay people should be celibate, now that's just wrong on so many levels. But hey, if she wants to think that, more power to her.

Zalen Tue 11-Dec-12 17:13:46

jeanvaljean - this 'Then we can leave marriage to the religious only.' seems to preclude the possibility of religious, gay people which seems a little narrow-minded, but that's just my opinion.

grovel Tue 11-Dec-12 17:14:17

I'm the OP.

On page 2 of this thread I said I regretted the original post. Flame me by all means but don't feel that I have not thought further on the subject.

PostBellumBugsy Tue 11-Dec-12 17:19:09

grovel, you are going to have to stand nekkid in trafalgar square after all! wink

*jeanvaljean" But nobody is forcing the church (any church) to change. The law which allows for civil marriage to be available to same sex couples is not going to require any religious organisation to change its own rules. It is going to have specific wording which says categorically that religious organisations do not have to celebrate them, or allow their premises to be used for them.

If you look long enough back, churches didn't even do weddings - they were an entirely civil matter. When they started having any involvement, they did them in the church porch at first, because they really didn't want to get involved.

grovel - grin The trouble is so many people read the OP and then react - nobody is seeing the fact that you've now said it was badly worded and you have rethought your position.

You could shout it every ten posts or so....

MrsTerrysChocolateOrange Tue 11-Dec-12 17:22:15

grovel it's not about YOU. Stop being so me, me, me. <rolls eyes>

grin

AcidTurkishBath Tue 11-Dec-12 17:37:17

Why can't these institutions be left to exercise their own rules? Jean - that is the whole nature of the current legislation being proposed. It would allow churches to marry same-sex couples, but would not force any. The Church of England, for example, would be allowed to continue being discriminatory. But Quakers, liberal Judaism and the other religions who are welcoming religions would be allowed to follow their doctrines and marry same-sex couples. It would also allow marriages to be conducted in registrar's offices, just as many opposite-sex marriages are, which would give gay couples the same marital rights as the rest of society.

It isn't about attacking the church and forcing them to do something they object to. It is about not allowing the bigoted churches to prevent other churches doing something they are in favour of.

Anniegetyourgun Tue 11-Dec-12 17:37:59

Someone tried that argument about "now we're going to have to find a different definition of consummation" a few weeks ago, on a rather heated thread which I think may have been in Feminism? Anyway, we trotted off to have a look at the current Marriage Act and blow me down, there isn't a definition of heterosexual consummation in there. So am waiting to see why all of a sudden we need one. (It's all very well to say "well it's obvious innit, one of these has to go in one of those to a depth of x", but we seem to have managed thus far without enshrining it in law.)

ps Non consummation is considered as valid grounds for anullment (have I spelt that right?), but does not automatically invalidate a marriage. If that were so you'd need Marriage Inspectors making sure everyone consummated their marriage at least once, otherwise their licence would be taken away from them.

Anniegetyourgun Tue 11-Dec-12 17:41:32

Oh, btw, historically the Monarch argument doesn't hold water, as more than a few times in history there have been disputes, lack of direct heirs etc and we've gone and borrowed one from eg Scotland (then a separate country) or Holland, or squirrelled around for indirect heirs with enough backing to make it stick. Things do change and it's just as well, really.

Hobbitation Tue 11-Dec-12 18:07:13

AMum - the reason atheists/agnostics would like to hold the religious to the words in their holy books is because religious people use their "interpretations" of their texts to weasel their way out of rational argument. So all the miracles/mystic guff become just parables etc, and you even get some Christians saying they of course don't believe Christ really rose from the dead - thus missing the point entirely of their religion.

TBH I find atheists rabidly questioning people about their beliefs and being all "Aha! So you're not a proper Christian then!" often more annoying than someone being evangelical about their religion. I'm agnostic for what it's worth - I do pick and choose. A bit of Christianity, a sprinkling of Buddhism, a lot of humanism. Definitely the tooth fairy and Father Christmas.

CatWithKittens Tue 11-Dec-12 18:13:01

Annie - You are absolutely right the Act does not define consummation and, as you say, an unconsummated marriage is voidable not void. The failure of the Act to give a definition is simply because, just like ecclesiastical law before it, the common law provides one so there was no need for the Act to do so. Current law requires penetrative sexual intercourse for consummation. The clear requirement for and definition of consummation is therefore enshrined in law. The consultation document does not deal with this at all simply suggesting that the Courts will have to determine what constitutes consummation for same sex marriages. I suspect that the heterosexual male judges who sit in the House of Lords may well foresee some difficulty with that and want it defined by Parliament

AcidTurkishBath Tue 11-Dec-12 18:15:08

Everybody picks and chooses part of their religions. For example, one of the passages against homosexuality in the bible is right before a rule about cross-breeding. Do Christians object to labradoodles (or most flowers nowadays) on the whole?

changeforthebetterforObama Tue 11-Dec-12 18:23:37

Umm, you do realise that no one is going to force you (or anyone else who is straight) to marry a gay member of your sex. 'Special meaning of marriage'?? Sorry, I think that the failure rate of more than 1 in 3 marriages points to a status in trouble. I really can't see how two men or two women getting married will undermine heterosexual marriage, but then I am not homophobic.

I imagine the gay weddings will be either achingly tasteful or wonderfully camp. grin

Alisvolatpropiis Tue 11-Dec-12 18:33:32

YABU,but you've admitted it.

PackingIdiot the Royal family were all born in Britain, except the Duke of Edinburgh therefore...they are British.

Blu Tue 11-Dec-12 19:44:45

FAIR DO, OP, GLAD YOU HAVE THOUGHT IT THROUGH!

<<demonstrates that I have read the thread>>

I hate it when people march into a thread and start spouting irrelevant bollocks because they haven't read the thread.

jeanvaljean - it isn't about being in some sort of spurious 'equality warpath' for the sake of it. Look at the people flocking to actually get married in those Seatttle pics, and the average age of them. I would say older than the average age of heterosexual newlyweds. The number who talk of having been together more than 20 years - this marriage, on the same terms and with the same term, is important to them. Marriage has huge ceremonial weight. Imagine being told that men (or white people) can be 'Members of the Library', but women (or black people) must apply for a licence to borrow books, instead. The needless distinction would be outrageous.

Some religious people have a particular take on marriage, but I do not see why the rest of us should have to observe that. Marriage is an institution that exists beyond religious contexts.

(and I am a marriage refusenik)

ComposHat Tue 11-Dec-12 20:08:09

I really can't see how anyone can object to gay marriage.

Really what is the fuss about? What do they think will happen if/when gay people can get married? The high heavens will fall in? Plagues of locusts will roam the earth?

It isn't like they are making gay marriage compulsory, if you don't want to marry someone of your own gender no one will make you.

suburbophobe Tue 11-Dec-12 20:19:43

Haven't read the whole thread.

But (gay) marriage is about a lot more than a "white wedding in a church".

It's about the legality. That you can be considered next-of-kin and have your partner inherit etc. and all the rest.

Rather than the parents and family who threw you out when they couldn't deal with it....

They pay their taxes, why on earth should they not have the same rights?!

ArielTheBahHumbugMermaid Tue 11-Dec-12 22:09:09

Am watching the Lords on the news at the moment.

I just cannot understand why some people are so bothered about it, I really can't.

sashh Wed 12-Dec-12 00:36:01

Er...why are we losing it? Are you telling me that the gays can marry and normal people can't?

Er...................

Gay isn't normal?

whois Wed 12-Dec-12 00:43:07

I can't get worked up about this for or against.

Devora Wed 12-Dec-12 01:23:38

Well, I'm getting just slightly fed up with all those posters who come on these threads to roll their eyes and complain about how very tedious it is for them, how bored they are with having to let this trivial little topic flit across their frontal lobes.

This isn't for your entertainment, last time I checked. It's for equality in the eyes of the law, which some of us have been campaigning for for many, many years (30 years in my case). It's so my children don't have to learn that their parents are not considered less equal or important than their friends' parents. It's for religious freedom, so that the Quakers and the Liberal Jews can marry members of their congregations as they want to. It's so trans people don't HAVE to get divorced when they transition. It's because it's the right thing to do.

I have seen a lot of progress in my lifetime, from the strongly condemnatory attitudes of most of society when I was a gay teen, to today when these threads demonstrate the empathy, integrity and warmth of most MNetters. But those of you who feel your boredom or lack of understanding is in any way relevant, or who imagine yourselves somehow ahead of the curve in being a bit oh-excuse-me-while-I-yawn-they're-discussing-gays-again, please understand that lesbians and gays are not just for Christmas, not only deserving of respect when we're doing something that's interesting to you.

Anniegetyourgun Wed 12-Dec-12 01:31:58

Lots of people don't care about things that don't directly affect them. I can't see that it's anything to be proud of, though.

Anniegetyourgun Wed 12-Dec-12 01:39:34

CatWithKittens, I don't understand that comment at all. How does common law come about without legislation? Is it not through usage and case law? Surely that means a definition of consummation of same sex marriage will develop over time just as the other thing did. Thus no need to legislate specially, just as there was no need to legislate specially for heterosexual consummation. After all, it's not as if homosexuality is exactly a new thing. It's been going as long as there has been sex of any other kind, unless you believe literally that once upon a time there was only one man and one woman in the whole world.

Kytti Wed 12-Dec-12 03:47:14

I kinda agree with the others in that marriage is a contract between two people to love, care for and look after each other and all that other good stuff. I understand in some way what you mean about the change, (NO! DON'T HUNT ME DOWN!) but it's just change. Some of us were brought up in a time when being gay was sadly illegal, you're simply reflecting on how things have changed. I think.

The marriage, relationship and love between two people is what is important. No matter who they are.

jidelgin Wed 12-Dec-12 08:27:11

I am sure there is a UK equivalent of this list (see below) somewhere.
godlesscommie.com/?p=566
my personal fave "the sanctity of the Britney Spears 55 hour just for fun marriage" laugh laugh !
Don't be gaycist - let me put a ring on it! wine

Anniegetyourgun Wed 12-Dec-12 10:08:32

Oh, further to my late-night comment, it occurred to me that there used to be definitions of what people weren't allowed to do with each other, so all they have to do is adopt that and say right, when they've done this they've consummated! But really, the whole thing is a red herring nowadays. Marriages are relatively easy to dissolve once they have irretrievably broken down, and if one partner's saying "we never did it" while the other's saying "oh yes we did", that in itself is proof their relationship is not exactly rock solid. There really is no need to go down the route of "if you did (or failed to do) this you can say the marriage never happened, whilst if you did (or didn't do) that it did happen but you can now end it". It's quite unnecessarily intrusive. I don't know whether a court of law goes into much detail of who put what where and whether they waggled it about or not when deciding to annul marriages between men and women these days, but if they do, it's time they stopped.

So when you get one of those hotels like the one which wouldn't allow gay guests because it insisted on "married couples only", presumably they'd need to watch a couple at it so they can be sure they did the right things to make them really married and can't go and get an annulment the next day. Er, I don't see it, do you?

CatWithKittens Wed 12-Dec-12 11:44:28

Annie - sorry I was getting a bit technical; it comes of having studied law for my sins. This post is going to be a bit off topic but perhaps I ought to send it as an act of penitence for being too legalistic! Common law is really just the same as case law - it derives from decisions made by judges in the past, sometimes a very long time ago, sometimes more recently. (Henry II sent judges out on Assize to try to bring unity of law to the whole Kingdom because until then there were fairly widespread differences of approach in different parts of the country.) Much of our basic law derives from this source - especially the law of negligence or contract. However in nearly every area of the law there is now an interaction between common law or case law, statute law made by Parliament, often now incorporating EEC law into English law. Even now though the Supreme Court, replacing the House of Lords as the highest Court in the land, still makes law, and from time to time changes it if it is felt that is necessary. For instance they changed the law which used to say that barristers could not be sued for professional negligence and the very old law which prevented husbands being accused or convicted of rape of their wives.

CatWithKittens Wed 12-Dec-12 11:50:52

Pressed the return button too son. I was going to add that the whole process of the development of common law can lead to considerable uncertainty during that development, especially in the early stages. That is true of compensation for psychiatric injury at the moment. I would have thought that to have such uncertainty as to whether or not a marriage was voidable or not was not very satisfactory and that Parliament will either have to abolish nullity as a concept and alter the law so that unconsummated marriages are still marriages or define consummation for same sex marriages. In either case it will be changing marriage, some will say for the better, some will say not, but change there will have to be.

GreatUncleEddie Wed 12-Dec-12 12:52:55

BUt there already is equality in the eyes of the law.. Civil partnership gives exactly the same rights in relation to divorce, adoption, inheritance, tax.

Marriage in the heterosexual sense has to be consummated by PIV sex, no one knows how consummation and annulment will work in a gay marriage where obviously there will be no PIV sex. I don't understand why we have to pretend the relationships are the same when they physically aren't, and the emotional commitment is already equally recognised.

trockodile Wed 12-Dec-12 13:05:07

So hands up all these people who have had someone round to check whether your marriage has been consummated? It is not really that relevant or a reason to deny equality.

Civil partnership does not give all the same rights as marriage particularly in terms of international recognition.

trockodile Wed 12-Dec-12 13:11:13

Would also like to add that if people have a death bed marriage (for example) and (presumably) cannot have PIV, no one goes around saying that they weren't married and demanding annulments.

CatWithKittens Wed 12-Dec-12 17:48:31

I fear some poster are missing my point - probably my fault. Those in favour of the proposed change are saying that marriage for heterosexuals will not be changed by the proposals. I am saying that either it will have to be changed or same-sex marriage will still not be subject to the same legal considerations as hetero-sexual marriage. Of course nobody actually comes and checks on consummation but non-consummation of a hetero-sexual marriage leaves it open to annulment; will there be an equivalent rule for same-sex marriage? If so, what will the rule be? If not there will certainly be unequal and different principles applying depending on the type of marriage but, in the detail, the rules will obviously have to be different anyway. Rules designed for what happens in this area between husband and wife clearly cannot apply between to wives or two husbands or whatever term is to be applied to those in same- sex marriages.

Devora Thu 13-Dec-12 11:12:08

Our laws are full of historical anomalies, most of which we are happy to leave undisturbed till they become problematic - then we get rid of them. Doubtless that will happen with the consumnation issue.

It keeps being raised in these threads and I don't understand why - it is completely trivial - feels like grasping at straws to prove that gays can't really be married in the full sense.

CatWithKittens Thu 13-Dec-12 12:04:19

Devora - That is not the point. It is not whether or not we can put up with historic anomalies or whether the law can be changed to permit same sex marriage but whether that change will actually create the level playing field that is being claimed or will itself create anomalies and inequalities. all I am saying is that it is inevitable either that the law will have to be changed for hetero-sexual marriage to abolish the possibility of annulment for non-consummation or that there will still not be equality of treatment unless the law also condescends to define consummation for same-sex marriage and to give the opportunity of annulment if there is non-consummation. You may say that such inequality does not matter or is acceptable but you cannot pretend that, if it is to exist, it must tend to work against the idea that everybody is to have exactly the same legal rights and form of relationship. Equally you must recognize that if annulment for non-consummation is to be abolished that does in fact change the nature of marriage for hetero-sexuals in altering the current legal concept of marriage as a civil or Anglican ceremony which is to be followed by consummation.

Devora Thu 13-Dec-12 12:12:32

I completely understand your point, Cat, but disagree that it is as significant as you believe. Removing the legal requirement for consummation for heterosexual marriage will make not the slightest difference to 99.9% of the population.

What it may do is provide another lever for clearer, more rational separation of church and state in marriage as in other public institutions. That is far more significant.

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