In being really really REALLY pissed off at those trying to stop same-sex marriage bill going through?

(268 Posts)
StoicButStressed Mon 20-May-13 15:28:21


My eldest DS is gay, I genuinely have NO concept or understanding of how anyone thinks he (or the other pretty significant % of our population who also happen to have been born gay?) should in any way be denied the same right as his two brothers have to be able to get married.

AIBU? Or is there something I am simply missing?

TheCatIsUpTheDuff Mon 20-May-13 15:37:17

I agree with you, and I have no personal involvement. In fact I got into a heated discussion with the bloke next door last night - he says gay people shouldn't be allowed to get married or raise children because it's "just wrong." Oh, except for Susie down the road, it's ok for her to bring up her children with her female partner, because she was with a man when she had the children. Logic? Not finding any.

Sallyingforth Mon 20-May-13 15:37:39

Difficult one.
I can understand and sympathise with how he and you feel.
But there are many people who have got married with the understanding that marriage was between a man and a woman, and they feel that their concept of marriage been changed to something else.
Whatever happens, a lot of people will be hurt.

Vivacia Mon 20-May-13 15:40:10

That's a point of view I hadn't come across before Sally, thank you for stating it.

gordyslovesheep Mon 20-May-13 15:40:33

How will it hurt married straight people ...I am on and it had flip all impact on me!

Vivacia Mon 20-May-13 15:41:19

(Mind you, the same people might be a bit upset when they hear that some people think sex isn't just for procreation).

ParsingFancy Mon 20-May-13 15:44:06

And even more upset when they discover people are allowed to divorce, Vivacia.shock

ll31 Mon 20-May-13 15:45:54

I think yanbu to feel the way you do, but yabu in being pissed off that other people shouldn't be allowed to express and lobby for their views. People who disagree with same sex marriage are as entitled as you to their opinions.

Binkybix Mon 20-May-13 15:46:11

I just don't understand the argument about it changing marriage for those already married. How does it? Less special because you have to share? I just think that's ridiculous. Would be interested to hear someone's pov who thinks this, to help me understand.

Sallyingforth Mon 20-May-13 15:47:27

Well I live in sin am not married, so it doesn't affect me. But it's always good to try and understand the other view even if you don't agree with it.

Binkybix Mon 20-May-13 15:49:42

Yes, that's why I'd like someone to explain why they feel that way, rather than just saying they do. Obviously I respect their right to have a different view, but that's not the same as having to respect the view they hold.

YANBU. It makes me utterly furious. I had an argument with someone I used to consider a friend because he said that children born to gay parents are psychologically damaged by only having one gender example in the house. FFS...and breathe. God it makes me so furious.

ll31 Mon 20-May-13 15:50:23

I don't understand that view either but presume it relates to religious,maybe biblically defined view of marriage? Never get people trying to impose their religious views on others really...

KneeDeepInDaisies Mon 20-May-13 15:51:03

I haven't heard that POV either Sally, thanks for sharing it.

I do think its bollocks though. I'm married and it wouldn't change anything for me.

Lots of people get married who have different views on relationships, fidelity,etc to DH and I. It doesn't change how I view my marriage at all.

AnyFucker Mon 20-May-13 15:51:25

I have no personal investment in this but have been pretty confused at all the airtime being taken up (and expensive parliamentary debates etc) when there is so much else wrong in the world to get het up about

I have absolutely no objection to same sex marriages. People getting married uses local businesses, boosts church attendance, boosts the economy etc etc etc. I think same sex couples should have the same rights as everyone else

I just don't see the objection at all. I am married and don't see how it diminishes my own vows in any way.

KneeDeepInDaisies Mon 20-May-13 15:51:45

Oh and OP YADNBU!!!

Cooroo Mon 20-May-13 15:52:47

If you're missing something, so am I. Having been married once, I'm not sure why anyone would want to do it! But that said, if you're going to have marriage then it should be open to all. I think it's a hangover from days when it was all about possessions, handing over your daughter etc, and I'd be happy to see the whole thing replaced with civil partnerships for all, and a religious ceremony for those who still believe in it.

ephemeralfairy Mon 20-May-13 15:52:53

I really, really, REALLY don't understand the 'preciousness' around marriage. Who says it's between a man and a woman? I was never taught that at school or at home. Does it come from the Bible? In which case, do all the people shouting against same-sex marriage adhere to the other teachings in the Bible? I doubt it somehow.

But there are many people who have got married with the understanding that marriage was between a man and a woman, and they feel that their concept of marriage been changed to something else.

Maybe so, but why does their potential upset trump the rights of others? Equality is equality is equality, you can't pick and choose. 30-odd years ago a lot of people were violently opposed to mixed-race marriages, now quite rightly most people don't care. I think in ten years all but the most hard-line bigots will have forgotten what made them stamp their feet so much.

Merrow Mon 20-May-13 15:57:13

I am personally invested, in that I'm having a Civil Partnership this summer, and my partner and I had many discussions about whether we should go ahead or wait for marriage to be extended to same sex couples.

I can see the point of view of people who believe that marriage is a purely religious ceremony, but they have coped with straight atheists getting married I don't see a non-religious marriage between gay people as any different.

ll31 Mon 20-May-13 15:59:39

I think it's religiously based-most religions probably,- and I do think there's an element of child 'protection ' fears too from some people,possibly also religiously based. Also I suppose it's a change to something,marriage, which hasn't changed in years so people might fear unforeseen consequences.
Don't think any of above are reasons not to legislate for gay marriage by the way

JustinBiebermakesmevom Mon 20-May-13 16:02:13

Sally - I understand you're just putting another point of view across (not necessarily your own) to balance the argument and like you I have been living blissfully in sin for 12 yrs.

If a heterosexual married couple objected to gay marriage on the grounds that it somehow devalued or took the shine off their marriage then I'd laugh in their face.

Whatever happened to minding our own bloody business....Another person's actions or marital status has absolutely no bearing on my personal happiness or the health of my relationship. It's all nonsense to me....If we're talking about two adults in love wanting to get married then I really fail to see what all the fuss is about. And I'm Catholic...

jacks365 Mon 20-May-13 16:02:45

I don't agree with the view but I do understand it.

The LEGAL definition of marriage is between a man and a woman therefore to make marriage legal for same sex couples the legal definition has to be changed and its that change that is upsetting some people because it then belittles the vows they made.

Asheth Mon 20-May-13 16:02:51

Yanbu. I hate the argument 'it's just wrong'. Why? And as for the whole 'it diminishes the marriage between a man and a woman' argument. Again, why? A marriage between a man and woman where one of them is abusing the other diminishes marriage. A marriage where one of them is unfaithful diminishes marriage. A marriage between two people who love and respect each other does not.

ll31 Mon 20-May-13 16:03:46

Agree with justinbieberetc..

Tee2072 Mon 20-May-13 16:03:49

The 'it will change straight marriage' argument is so full of holes it's like swiss cheese.

It no more changes straight marriage than so called slebs who marry on Tuesday and divorce on Wednesday. Sanctity of marriage my fucking arse.

It's small minded people who do what they are told by the religious right and can't think for themselves who seem to be against it. For no other reason than the church says so.

KneeDeepInDaisies Mon 20-May-13 16:04:14

I think the religious thing is a bit of bollocks too.

I know plenty of weddings conducted in a church where neither the bride or groom were religious. Are we saying its ok for straight people to do that but not gay people?

Zalen Mon 20-May-13 16:07:32

People who don't believe in same sex marriage are perfectly entitled not to marry someone of the same sex, they just shouldn't have the right to stop someone else having a same sex marriage if that's what they want. I think some people are being rather precious if they truly believe that allowing same sex couples to marry will in any way devalue their own marriage.

IThinkOfHappyWhenIThinkOfYou Mon 20-May-13 16:13:08

As you may be aware, English Catholics have been encouraged by our Parish Priests to write to our MPs stating our views on equal marriage. This is an extract from one such letter which, point by point, states the objections. (it's not my letter - I stole it from a Catholic blogger and have highlighted the objections)

"Vincent Nichols, Roman Catholic Archbishop of Westminster, has urged the Catholics of England and Wales to write to our Members of Parliament on the subject of gay marriage, and the government’s proposed legislation. As a committed Catholic, active in two parishes (one in *** in your constituency, the other in********, in the heart of Archbishop Nichols’ diocese), and as a father and grandfather, I am delighted to comply. I strongly urge you to disregard the objections of Archbishop Nichols and the other bishops, and instead to support the proposals of your colleagues in government, to introduce equal marriage, as soon as reasonably feasible. Many of the claims made in opposition to government proposals, are simply false, or misleading.

It is claimed that as these plans were not included in party manifestos, the government has “no mandate”. This is a half – truth at best: if not included in the formal manifestos, the subject was widely discussed and supported by several leading politicians. Mr Cameron himself specifically promised to “look into” the subject. Since then, every opinion poll that has specifically asked about equal marriage and the law has shown strong public support. The most recent of these furthermore showed a dramatic increase in support since the public consultation began. The opposition has made their case – and decisively lost the argument, in the court of public opinion.

It is not the government that lacks a mandate, but the Catholic bishops themselves, who are not elected by British Catholics, but appointed from Rome. They may lead the Catholic Church, but do not in any sense represent it. This is particularly true in matters of sex and marriage. As priests who have chosen voluntary celibacy for themselves, their pronouncements on the subject have no basis whatsoever in any real life experience. Catholic doctrine includes numerous prohibitions on a wide range of sexual matters – which are routinely ignored by most Catholics, from contraception to cohabitation before marriage. In the USA, where public opinion polls are frequent, these have routinely shown that Catholics in general support marriage equality, to a greater degree than the public at large. There is no reason to suppose that British Catholics are any different in this respect.

It is claimed that government has no right to “redefine” marriage. This ignores the historical facts that the Christian church for over half its history had no interest in marriage, leaving its regulation entirely to secular authority, and that the Church’s own understanding of marriage has been constantly redefined. It also ignores the fact that from historical and cross-cultural perspectives, there is not and never has been any single definition of marriage which is universally applicable.

It is claimed that the “purpose” of marriage is the procreation of children, and so should be reserved to opposite – sex couples. But this is contradicted by the facts: in the UK today, the majority of marriages are contracted after conception of the first child – but before the birth. The value of marriage is not in making children, but in protecting them and providing for them after birth. The hundreds of thousands of British children currently being raised by same –sex couples also deserve the protections that marriage brings to families.

It is claimed that same – sex couples do not “need” marriage, because the civil partnership laws already provide all the legal benefits of marriage. But marriage is much more than a simple matter of a legal contract. Words matter, and separate is not equal.

It is claimed that same – sex marriage is contrary to Catholic and Christian belief. This is contradicted by some Catholic theologians and groups, individual Church of England bishops, and entire religious denominations that argue that there exists a strong religious case in support of equal marriage, required by the Gospel insistence on equality and inclusion for all.

It is claimed that introducing equal marriage will somehow interfere with religious freedom. This is nonsense, and has been adequately covered by your colleague, Minister Maria Miller, with her “quadruple lock” to protect such freedom. The interests of religious freedom require that equal marriage should be possible for those denominations that see it as a religious obligation – and for those outside the faith communities, who do not wish to be constrained by the religious beliefs of particular groups.

It is claimed, on the basis of a single Comres poll, that 70% of voters believe that marriage “should continue to be defined as a life-long exclusive commitment between one man and one woman”. But this proposition concerns an ideal about marriage, not its treatment in law. The same finding could equally be used to argue for and end to legal divorce, or to the criminalization of adultery. If it is not appropriate to apply it to divorce or adultery, it is also inappropriate to apply it to equal marriage."

Sariah Mon 20-May-13 16:15:43

Marriage is and has always been about a man and a woman. Why change that? Why not call it something else if you want to bring in a new institution or practice. Society for a long time have deemed that a marriage between a man and a woman is the basis for a family unit and the best environment to bring up a child. It is there to protect children and to strengthen and give them the best start to life. A mother and a Father bring different qualities and attributes to the table. Whether you believe in God or Nature it is the way it has been designed. Why do gay people want to be part of an institution that is fundamentally hetrosexual and which has been for eons and which was established to protect the children of the offspring and to give a solid basis to society. Why dont they call it something else?

Why will it change man/woman marriage? and I cannot understand why it would upset them and belittle their vows. As I understand Marriage is about love and committment is nt it, so why cant gay people have the same?

Cockadoodlequack Mon 20-May-13 16:16:42

Could someone put the difference between a marriage and a civil partnership in a nutshell for me?

Obviously I believe that no one should be denied any right afforded to anyone else due to their sexual orientation. I couldn't give a monkeys about anyone's sex life or marital status, and look forward to a world where this is not an issue <hopeful look>. But when in a recent discussion with friends (one of which is gay) , out of ignorance and interest on my part I asked the above question and whether the difference was terminology, legal rights or religion or something else I got shouted down and could not get a straight answer! Apparently it's sooo much more than just terminology and I how dare I question anyone's 'right' to be married (in so many words)...

Sooo, anyone? Thanks.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Mon 20-May-13 16:17:10

I try to respect religious belief, but I have not heard any kind of satisfactory explanation for why gay marriage undermines heterosexual marriage.

Basically there is none - it simply boils down to "we think homosexuality is wrong"

JamieandtheMagicTorch Mon 20-May-13 16:17:35

Great Post IThinkofHappy

Latara Mon 20-May-13 16:18:31


I see no reason why gay people should not have the same right to marriage as straight people.

Tee2072 Mon 20-May-13 16:19:03

"Why change that?"

Why not change it? And if I only have children through adoption, as a gay couple might or might not, does that mean my marriage doesn't or shouldn't count, if it's just about protecting children? Gay people can have children, you know, even biological ones.

Why should they call it something else? They aren't looking for special treatment. They are looking for equal treatment.

Why should they be denied that, Sariah?

AnyFucker Mon 20-May-13 16:20:04

two different people bring different qualities and attributes to the table, no matter what sex they are

to say it can only be one man and one woman that do that is inherently sexist

mrswishywashy Mon 20-May-13 16:23:58

I'm having a civil union in New Zealand August 10th this year, our date was already booked before NZ bought in the marriage equality law. We then hope to get married before we fly back but may be pushed for time.

Thankfully all ny friends and family have been supportive. I just have not seen any coherent reason why marriage equality should not be passed.

I understand that some religious organizations don't want to he forced to marry same sex couples it is not the case in NZ.

As for it ruining the sacracy well I think its the short term marriages and the celebrity marriages that are for attention that harm the meaning of marriage more than two same sex people who love each other.

Sariah Mon 20-May-13 16:24:13

Not its not. Of course a woman brings different qualities. We are equal but different. Is it sexist to say a man can't get pregnant or carry a child? Ever read the book men are from mars women are from venus or ready any studies on the different make up of men and women.

Wishiwasanheiress Mon 20-May-13 16:24:50

I would like to see more people able to marry as I think uniting your relationship under god or to whomever and promising death do you part has deep meaning.

I care not a jot if your same or opposite sex. I think LOVE is more important. My personal god (who starts off c of e but shoots off in wildly different directions at points) would agree with me I'm sure.

I have a bad feeling many people's god wouldn't. I guess it's religion trumping law or people here.....? That makes me sad.

Be the same people that vetoed women as vicars etc recently, surely? Another travesty.

Sariah Mon 20-May-13 16:25:14

Tee2072 because marriage is what hetrosexual people do - thats what it is!!!!!

Merrow Mon 20-May-13 16:26:37

Having looked into it a bit I think, broadly, in terms of the rights you gain after the ceremony there are few legal differences, with the main important one being how pensions are calculated.

For the ceremony itself there can be no religious music or any reference, no matter how slight.

The main difference is the name. Some people feel that this shouldn't matter, but personally I feel that history has shown that "separate but equal" generally misses out the "equal" part.

AnyFucker Mon 20-May-13 16:26:38

"Men are from Mars" is a pile of sexist crap

MrsSparkles Mon 20-May-13 16:26:54

I'm going to start out by saying I have no problem at all with gay marriage (I have been to several civil partnerships) - but like many others I'm horrified about the amount of time that is being spent on debating this issue when there are so many other more important things going on!

I don't think the religious thing is rubbish, marriage in the eyes of God is described as being between a man and a woman for the procreation of children - that is a fact.

I though it was awful when I first read about the law because I thought it was going to force churches to perform same sex marriages, not because I personally am against it but its against the churches beliefs and to me that was putting the rights of gay people above the rights of those in the church. I think a lot of people don't realise churches are specially exempt.

However it will still make it illegal for Christian registrars to refuse to marry gay people, and I am still uncomfortable with that as although I'm not especially religious we are not a secular country and we have a state religion, and surely that deserves rights too?

I think what I'd like to see is gay marriage allowed but if a person is against it for religious beliefs they should have the choice not to perform the marriage.

Mintyy Mon 20-May-13 16:26:57

I cannot believe anyone is seriously trying to say gay marriage shouldn't be allowed because the heterosexual marrieds would feel "cheated" in some way!?!?

Not really? Come on!

AnyFucker Mon 20-May-13 16:27:25

Sariah...what do you say to a married female/male partnership that are voluntarily childfree ?

bisley Mon 20-May-13 16:27:40

The argument is so circular. Only a man and a woman can get married so marriage is only for a man and a woman I just don't get it!

The legal wording in the marriage ceremony made me distinctly uncomfortable. I didn't chime with my beliefs at all.

IThinkOfHappyWhenIThinkOfYou Mon 20-May-13 16:27:40

Sariah because we can't have equality until we all have equality. You don't have to understand why gay people might want to get married because it's not about individuals understanding. It's about extending the same rights and protections to the whole of society. Lots of people don't understand why anyone would want to be married but they aren't lobbying parliament to ban marriage in general, just the type of marriage that brings equality to a group that is already marginalised.

JustinBiebermakesmevom Mon 20-May-13 16:29:00

Can someone please explain to me exactly what "protection" a mother and father give a child that cannot also be given by two women or two women in a loving, committed relationship ?

Sariah Mon 20-May-13 16:32:04

Equal Rights certainly. Equal Status also. But you can do that and call it something else. Marriage is between a man and a woman. I dont understand why gay people want to be part of something that is hetrosexual. Leave marriage as it is and always has been. If gay people want to do their own thing then let them but dont call it marriage cause its not.

jacks365 Mon 20-May-13 16:32:18

Marriage is a contract between two people, a man and a woman as defined by the state. If an employer wanted to change your employment contract you'd need to agree it. Changing the legal definition of marriage means that what all those couples agreed to no longer exists so some feel that this means "their" marriage is no longer valid. Their views are as valid as anyone elses. Do I think gays shouldn't be able to marry because of it? No but I do think it needs careful handling. Please note religion does not come into this view at all.

PatPig Mon 20-May-13 16:32:35

I don't care particularly, but it's irksome that this the priority of the Conservative party at the moment.


PatPig Mon 20-May-13 16:33:18

The priority being 'making gay marriage' law, I mean, specifically, I know that some individual Conservatives are opposing it.

Wishiwasanheiress Mon 20-May-13 16:34:15

Cockadoodle, I may be wildly off base but I think marriage is religious and covers legalities. Civil just covers legalities. In very bare terms.

I think that's part of the problem, its very bare. Many people see the sickness /health and death do you part of marriage vows and feel there is emotionally more to marriage, than a civil partnership which does sort of sound akin to a corporate merger.

I definitely do not know this for sure, just my take on reading stuff. I'd also love someone who it actually affects to explain.

AnyFucker Mon 20-May-13 16:34:29

Indeed, PP

It looks like a diversionary tactic to me.

Although CallMeDave is getting a bit of a battering, so it's not all bad. Even though this is one of the few times I have ever agreed with him.

Maryz Mon 20-May-13 16:34:31

If you don't like same-sex marriage, that's fine - you don't have to marry someone who is the same sex as you.

But what gives people the right to stop others doing so?

On the other thread I suggested we should ban civil marriage for everyone.

If you go by the currently rolled out definition no woman should be allowed to get "married" after the age of, say 48, no-one could have a second or subsequent marriage, older or ill people should have to prove they are physically able to consummate their marriages etc etc.

It's ridiculous.

Binkybix Mon 20-May-13 16:34:48

That's what it is as defined by law now. That can change.

Also, studies look at average psychological attributes of sexes - different individuals do not necessarily fit the average. I refute 'men are from mars etc' as a reference.

Marriage is and has always been about a man and a woman.

Marriage used to be about a man owning a woman, we changed that.
It used t be between a two people of the same race, we changed that.
It used to be between an adult and a child/young teenager, we changed that.
It used to be about never getting divorced, we changed that.

Why can't we change this?

Why not call it something else if you want to bring in a new institution or practice.

Black people were never stopped from drinking from water fountains, they just had to use their water fountains. Separate and equal is not equal.

Society for a long time have deemed that a marriage between a man and a woman is the basis for a family unit and the best environment to bring up a child. It is there to protect children and to strengthen and give them the best start to life.A mother and a Father bring different qualities and attributes to the table.

Irrelevant, sterile people and the elderly get married, parents who aren't married can raise a child just as well as two parents who aren't married. Society doesn't get to decide what is and isn't a family, neither do homophobes.

Why do gay people want to be part of an institution that is fundamentally hetrosexual and which has been for eons and which was established to protect the children of the offspring and to give a solid basis to society.

Marriage was created as way to build ties between different tribes and had diddly squat to do with children, you need to educate yourself.

Why dont they call it something else?

As I said, separate but equal is not equal.

Sariah - and if two men are allowed to get married, it will be what Teh Gayz do too. Obviously.

Marriage isn't just a framework for having sex any more. You can get married if you can't have children, or if you're not interested in having children at all, or committed to bringing up children that aren't biologically yours. Same-sex couples can fall under any of those headings, and more.

ApocalypseThen Mon 20-May-13 16:35:24

I'm going to get married soon and I'm deeply offended by the insinuation that my respect for my vows depends on my gay friends and relatives being unable to marry.

Binkybix Mon 20-May-13 16:36:03

Sorry - last post was for sariah. Slow typing!

*two parents who aren't married can raise a child as well as two parents who ARE married.

Its only `just` between a man and a woman because that is currently law, when it changes, and it will at some point in the future then it will be between two loving people, as it should be.

cherhorowitz Mon 20-May-13 16:36:20

To me it's like if men were able to carry and birth children it wouldn't make my children any less special so why would a same sex couple marrying make my love and legal declaration for my husband any less special or meaningful?

I have a bisexual sister who has been in a long term relationship with her female partner for eight years but she has a daughter from a previous relationship with a man. Both her father and my sister's partner help to parent her and my sister has said while a civil partnership is great for the legalities of marriage, she'd love to be able to be seen as married in the eyes of the law just like our mum and dad and her friends are.

I don't see my sister marrying her partner as making my marriage to my opposite sex partner any less special. If I'm honest after growing up in a world where gay people had to fight for the right to be recognised as human beings and still do to some people I think it makes it more special.

Wishiwasanheiress Mon 20-May-13 16:36:37

Ithinkofhappy that article was fascinating. Thank you

Marriage until 1992 (?) included a man's right to have sex with his wife whenever he felt like it, regardless of her consent.

The legal definition of marriage changes. Thank fuck.

Zalen Mon 20-May-13 16:37:36

because marriage is what hetrosexual people do - thats what it is!!!!!

So nothing should ever change, after all voting is what men do!

AnyFucker Mon 20-May-13 16:39:23

yes, "because this is how it's always been done" is a very poor argument

it's akin to "because I said so"

Sariah reminds me of this Zalen, traditional people for the preservation of the traditional definition of all things traditional.

Maryz Mon 20-May-13 16:40:56

Gawd, I'm beginning to wonder why gay people or anyone else would want to get married these days, what with the narrow and bigoted definition of what it is [sigh]

If we keep going then everyone will end up EQUAL and what will we do then?

AnyFucker Mon 20-May-13 16:42:29


Dawndonna Mon 20-May-13 16:42:46

don't call it marriage because it's not
Hopefully it will be. Now please take your very obvious prejudice elsewhere.

Wishiwasanheiress Mon 20-May-13 16:44:33

It had never occurred to me to think of marriage as just a contract between man/woman so that I should be now horrified to find that altered.

Makes zero sense. I get the religious arguments. I don't like them but I at least understand them. That one was illuminating but beyond my simple brain. I think I prefer the religious nuttery.....

Maryz Mon 20-May-13 16:45:42

To be fair, I suspect the majority of marriages these days aren't really marriages. Because using the narrow definition we would have to exclude all those that are

(a) second or subsequent marriages
(b) where one or other partner had been unfaithful
(c) where there is no intention of having children
(d) where there is (sadly) no ability to have children
(e) where they (in the distant future) might look for a divorce
(f) where they didn't make the right sort of vows in the right sort of church in front of the right sort of clergyman grin

How many are left then?

Don't forget interracial marriages, Maryz.

ephemeralfairy Mon 20-May-13 16:48:07

Sariah are you ACTUALLY invoking Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus as serious gender research??

<pisses self laughing>

jacks365 Mon 20-May-13 16:49:11

I'd always assumed it was all religion based until a married atheist I know said he had a problem with it and explained why.

As far as I'm concerned everyone has the right to married life irrespective of sexual orientation and the sooner the law is changed the better.

Sariah Mon 20-May-13 16:51:30

No Ephemeralfairy I was just trying to think of something that AF could relate to smile

Cockadoodlequack Mon 20-May-13 16:52:03

Thanks Merrow. So, for a couple getting 'hitched' smile in a non religious setting, they would be able to choose whether it was a marriage or a cp, or would there be no difference any more?

I've been to a civil partnership ceremony which was very close to the line if indeed no mention of religion is allowed. I felt for them as they are both heavily involved with the church as were many of the guests (although not me) and would've loved to have the church recognise their commitment and celebrate in the way and with the music which comes naturally to them on these occassions (to be fair, they made up for it at the reception!)

Polyethyl Mon 20-May-13 16:52:22

Because I do not believe the politicians' promises that the church of England will not be sued. The established church has a duty to marry people within their parish. And sometime very soon after this law is passed some gay couple will take a challenge to the European Court of human rights trying to force a church of England church to marry them - and then the promised religious exemption will not be worth the paper it is written on.

Please note - I am not talking about Roman Catholic churches or mosques or any other religion - because they do not have any legal duties to marry people.

This law leaves the church of England wide open to being taken to court - and the politicians are lying when they say the church will be legally protected.

Binkybix Mon 20-May-13 16:53:09

Half watching the debate now. David Burrowes is such a tool.

jacks365 Mon 20-May-13 16:54:52

Civil partnerships are same sex couples only, marriage is a man and a woman. Whether you have a religious or civil ceremony is irrelevant.

Maryz Mon 20-May-13 16:55:47

Oh yes craps. And inter-church marriages. And inter-religious marriages shock

I like your video grin

Tee2072 Mon 20-May-13 16:55:48

Are you kidding me that this isn't important?

That's like saying feminism isn't important.

It's about equality for everyone.

There is nothing more important. Without it? We can't do anything else.

cory Mon 20-May-13 16:57:02

jacks365 Mon 20-May-13 16:32:18
"Marriage is a contract between two people, a man and a woman as defined by the state. If an employer wanted to change your employment contract you'd need to agree it. Changing the legal definition of marriage means that what all those couples agreed to no longer exists so some feel that this means "their" marriage is no longer valid."

Does that not imply that nobody should ever be able to enter a different employment contract from the one I hold because that would change the definition of my contract?

If a woman got married promising in the oldfashioned way to obey her husband, would she feel she had a right to dictate that everybody else had to get married according to the same formula because otherwise it would invalidate her marriage?

I know exactly what my marriage vows were about. Somebody else getting married in a different setting, on different terms won't change that one iota.

LadyClariceCannockMonty Mon 20-May-13 16:57:50

'But there are many people who have got married with the understanding that marriage was between a man and a woman, and they feel that their concept of marriage been changed to something else. Whatever happens, a lot of people will be hurt.'

Does anyone seriously think that anyone who is already married, invested and settled in their marriage, and with their rights as a married couple protected by law, will feel that new legislation will change their own marriage?

'It no more changes straight marriage than so called slebs who marry on Tuesday and divorce on Wednesday. Sanctity of marriage my fucking arse.' Agree with this too.

Why should Churches be exempt anyway? I doubt gay people are going to want get married in a Church that is homophobic, doesn't exactly make for a happy day, does it? And there are Churches that WANT to marry gay people, but now can't.

Basically we shouldn't have equality, again, because it steps on the toes of homophobes, well boo-fucking-woo.

jacks365 Mon 20-May-13 16:58:40

Cory I don't agree with the view I was just trying to explain why some people feel it undermines their marriages.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Mon 20-May-13 16:59:03

AFAIR civil partnerships can't be annulled on the ground of non-consummation, nor can couple split up a civil partnership on the grounds of adultery, unlike marriage

This is because "sexual intercourse" hasn't been defined, for the purposes of civil partnerships

Binkybix Mon 20-May-13 17:02:02

I think the Bill has been changed so churches that want to will be able to conduct gay marriages now.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Mon 20-May-13 17:02:51


I am talking rubbish

CPs can be split up on the ground of Unreasonable behaviour, one element of which could be sexual unfaithfulness

Binkybix so basically people are worried that gay people will want to get married in Churches that are homophobic? hmm

I don't actually give a fuck. The country is going to hell in a handcart and too much time is being wasted on this topic imo.

Merrow Mon 20-May-13 17:04:45

Cockadoodlequack One of the debates they're having at the moment is whether to extend civil partnerships to straight couples.

So, at the moment:
If you're gay, you have a civil partnership.
If you're straight, you can have a civil or religious marriage.

I've honestly lost track of what they are trying to achieve now. I think it's civil partnerships for straight & gay, and marriage for straight & gay with opt-outs available for religious groups that wish it.

As for mentions of religion, maybe it depends on how much the registrar is willing to overlook? We have to submit copies of all the readings and songs were are planning to use in advance to make sure they are suitable. Quoting directly from the email:

"Please ensure that you do not incorporate anything of a religious nature or any religious connotations. For example, the words, "…to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, till death do us part" are from the Church of England Common Book of Prayer, so therefore cannot be included in a civil ceremony as they stand."

Binkybix Mon 20-May-13 17:05:35

Sorry - I'm not sure I understand your last post bears.

As I understand it, churches can choose either to be exempt or to conduct marriages now. By churches I mean different sects, rather than individual churches within a single denomination.

BusStopWanker Mon 20-May-13 17:06:04

But there are many people who have got married with the understanding that marriage was between a man and a woman, and they feel that their concept of marriage been changed to something else.

Why does Joe and Jane Blogg's marriage which happened years ago have any bearing on whether Jane and Jane want to get married today? Genuine question? confused What possible effect could 2 men getting married to each other, or 2 women getting married to each other have on a man and woman marrying each other? Whether it happened 50 years ago, 10 years ago or has yet to happen? Seriously?

MrsSparkles Mon 20-May-13 17:06:21

Craps, I think that's an awful view. As much as gay people have the right to get married, people should also have the right to say no I don't like it. One persons views are no more valid than the next persons just because you disagree with them.

Although I support gay marriage - even in a church if the minister agrees - I would be furious if churches were forced by law to perform gay marriages.

AMR73 Mon 20-May-13 17:06:44

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

Binkybix Mon 20-May-13 17:07:49

I think that for most the amendment re straight civil partnerships is seen as a delaying tactic for the whole Bill.

Dawndonna Mon 20-May-13 17:07:57

Tell me you are not for real AMR73. Post reported, either way.

Tee2072 Mon 20-May-13 17:09:04

Why did you report her post? She's a twat, sure, but didn't break any rules.

I'd rather posts like that not be reported or deleted. So I know which posters to avoid even trying to talk to.

Binkybix Mon 20-May-13 17:10:44

Well reasoned argument ARM. I think you've changed my mind.

Chiggers Mon 20-May-13 17:12:05

I wouldn't feel 'cheated' or 'undermined' if marriage was afforded to gay people as well. my vows to DH, and vice versa, were specific and tailor-made to each other as we constructed our own vows. I didn't like the one-size-fits-all approach that a religious marriage would have me say to DH.

Because DH and I made our own vows, there is no change to any marriage bill that would undermine what DH and I have.

MrsSparkles I never said I wanted to force them to perform gay marriages, I want there to be an option for COE Priests to marry gay people if they want to do it.

cory Mon 20-May-13 17:12:37

So if this bill goes through will I wake up one morning and find I am no longer married to dh but to some woman instead? hmm

Or how exactly is is supposed to affect my marriage?

AMR73 Mon 20-May-13 17:12:56

Dawndonnw and Tee2072- what's your problem?

Biologically impossible for homos to consumate a marriage

Because obviously anything that's not PIV, isn't sex. What a shit sex life you must have. hmm

xylem8 Mon 20-May-13 17:14:49

marriage is traditionally a means oe tying up sex with blood lines ie parents both taking responsibility for the children they created together. I an not sure how this applies to homo sexual couples because only one is a biological parent and there is always a third party involved.

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

Xylem What about straight couples that need to use a sperm donor or an egg donor? hmm

Cockadoodlequack Mon 20-May-13 17:17:12

AMR73... Homos? I take it you are refering to other Homo sapiens like you and me, differing only in sexual preferences to the majority of the population? Just to be clear..?

What has incest got to do with it, ffs?

cory Mon 20-May-13 17:17:12

So what about hetero parents who adopt, xylem? Does this dissolve their marriage since it involves a third and a fourth party?

jacks365 Mon 20-May-13 17:18:29

Cory It doesn't but some people believe it will. People used to believe the earth was flat it doesn't make it true. Being wrong doesn't alter the fact that some people feel that way.

MrsSparkles Mon 20-May-13 17:20:25

Craps I think if they weren't exempt they could be, as if a gay couple wanted to marry in church and the minister said no I assume they could be prosecuted? Or have I totally got it wrong?

Dawndonna Mon 20-May-13 17:20:40

Sorry. Shock at how awful it was, Tee

cory Mon 20-May-13 17:21:14

Very true, jacks.

NC78 Mon 20-May-13 17:21:57

I don't believe anyone has a reasonable argument against gay marriage. It does not affect my marriage at all, that argument is homophobia dressed up to look like it's not homophobia. Reminds me of I'm not racist but... If someone froths about gay marriage to the point where they have to go out and campaign against it, they are a fucking great homo phobe.

The religious arguments don't wash either - most people in this country do not go to church on a regular basis, so I don't see how churchmen should get to influence our democracy.

It really, really irritates me that people try to impose their beliefs on others. If you don't agree with gay marriage, don't bloody well marry someone of your own gender!

meglet Mon 20-May-13 17:22:43


I was watching the news clips of the MP's marching up to No.10 to speak to Cameron about it (or was it hand in a petition?) and I just thought what a bunch of bigots they were.

Binkybix Mon 20-May-13 17:23:06

Jacks - agree they can feel that way, but it doesn't mean that their feelings should dictate what others can do. I still can't follow their logic though!

For example, it's someone's right to believe that homosexuality is wrong, but it doesn't mean that legalising it was wrong.

[MrsSparkles] This article may clear it up;

^A quadruple lock, which protects the Church of England as the state religion, states no religious organization or minister will be compelled to marry gay couples.

It also will be unlawful for an individual to marry a gay couple if their organization has not ‘opted in’, the Equality Act will be amended so no discrimination claim can be brought in and the legislation will explicitly state it will be illegal for the Church of England and the Church in Wales to marry same-sex couples.^

EcoRI Mon 20-May-13 17:23:40

OP, I don't think you are being unreasonable.
You can redefine marriage to whatever you like. It won't change the sanctity and validity of my own marriage so I disagree with that particular argument.

Perhaps IABU but I can't get worked up about this debate. I think that we have real problems in this country that need addressing and gay marriage (or the lack thereof) is not one of them at the moment. Our education system is fucked. The NHS is fucked. The economy is fucked and as a result, many of our children's prospects will be fucked. These things matter to me right now and it annoys me that the wankers who are supposed to be dealing with it all are arguing about stuff that frankly could be dealt with afterwards.

Sorry if that all sounds a bit harsh.

AMR73 Mon 20-May-13 17:23:52

Crapswithbears- your aggressive, ill informed comments are doing nothing to persuade me to change my mind.


Because calling people 'homos' and claiming they can consumate a marriage is just SO well informed and passive.

You couldn't open your mind would be a crowbar, sweetie.

*can't consummate

JamieandtheMagicTorch Mon 20-May-13 17:26:20

More and more, I'm coming round to the idea that everyone should have a civil partnership.

Then a blessing in a religious place of their choosing if they want one.

(of course, that assumes that gay people will have a choice - mind you, I don't think I'd want to be blessed by a religion that doesn't welcome me)

That would put paid to all those hypocrites who get married in a church with no religious belief

Tee2072 Mon 20-May-13 17:31:08

Nothing shocks me any more Dawn.

And my problem, AMR is you.

ApocalypseThen Mon 20-May-13 17:35:54

Can't agree that the idea that all views are of equal worth. Some are bigoted, racist, poorly informed and based on prejudice. I don't think it's right to give those views respect and deny the freedom of others out if deference to them. Where would that end?

Wossname Mon 20-May-13 17:40:31

I read these threads just so I can identify the incredibly stupid and small minded. Only one or two so far, but thanks guys!

Binkybix Mon 20-May-13 17:40:46

It's really annoying me during the debate that people keep talking about profoundly held religious beliefs, as though these beliefs should have more weight than others just because they're based on religion.

Binkybix Mon 20-May-13 17:42:05

Also, can I just be crystal clear that was being sarcastic when I said ARM had convinced me!

jacks365 Mon 20-May-13 17:45:48

Everyone is entitled to their view and everyone is entitled to be treated with respect but no policy should never be based on peoples views.

BlingLoving Mon 20-May-13 17:52:06

Whoever posted the link to the article about why CP and marriage is different, thank you! I now have much clearer and more articulate reasons for completely agreeing with the OP. Emotionally, I have been shocked at the lack of support for gay marriage. Now I feel justified intellectually too.

What scares me is how many people think it's just okay to continue discriminating. Even the non religious ones think its okay to discriminate because supposedly there's a religious element to marriage. I am married. I got married in a church. I'm not religious. And clearly the difference between CP and marriage is more than just religion. But putting all that aside, why is religious discrimination okay in this instance? I think we'd all agree that female circumcision - supposedly an element of religious/cultural tradition - is not acceptable? What about forced marriage - surely we all agree that just because a religion supposedly supports it doesn't mean it's acceptable? So why is gay marriage suddenly one that we are all suposed to be respectful of? Especially when the people affected may not even necessarily be a member of this relgion!?

EduCated Mon 20-May-13 17:54:29

I believe in equality. If I ever get married, it will be tainted by knowing it is a discriminatory practice. I believe marriage is a precious contract - one between two people in love. Everyday I try to live my life according to my beliefs in equality and fairness. I am horrified to live in a society where this isn't an automatic right.

Why are my beliefs not as important as ones claimed to be of a religious nature?

ApocalypseThen Mon 20-May-13 17:56:54

Religious people are used to their beliefs trumping every other consideration and are struggling to adjust to how irrelevant they really are.

SuffolkNWhat Mon 20-May-13 18:02:22

This pretty much sums it up for me (make sure you watch all the way to the end)

grimbletart Mon 20-May-13 18:02:57

The sooner this is law goes through the better. DH and I will be celebrating our golden wedding in a couple of years and I can assure those who think gay marriage is undermining the meaning of marriage that it certainly doesn't make my marriage feel less meaningful or changed in any way. In fact I feel quite insulted that there are people who insinuate that it might.

As an aside it is interesting though to note that if the law goes through it will actually mean inequality for heterosexuals as gays will now the right to marriage and civil partnerships whereas heterosexuals will have only the right to marriage. So, if equality for all is the aim, the next step has to be civil partnerships for heterosexuals. Not all heterosexuals want to be married, but would quite like the recognition and legal protection afforded by civil partnerships.

Lazyjaney Mon 20-May-13 18:06:53

"Everyone is entitled to their view and everyone is entitled to be treated with respect but no policy should never be based on peoples views"

Unless they are the right views?

I'm in favour of Gay marriage but I'm also in favour of it's opponents being able to put it to a vote, as I think showing that the majority are for it will stop the carping.

And if the majority is against it, then I must accept that too. It's democracy, innit?

Chipstick10 Mon 20-May-13 18:09:22

No church will be forced to conduct gay marriage, I can't understand what the problem is. It's just giving equal rights if gay couples feel they want to marry and I know there are many who do not want to, but no one is being forced to do anything so why the big kurfuffle.?

Binkybix Mon 20-May-13 18:09:43

It's going for a vote in parliament, as is the norm. It is not the norm, or legal requirement, for legislation to go for a referendum, even if it was not in a manifesto. Why should there be a referendum on this topic, and not many others that occur during a parliament that were not in a manifesto?

ApocalypseThen Mon 20-May-13 18:10:33

And if the majority is against it, then I must accept that too. It's democracy, innit?

We, no. That the majority doesn't like it is not a good reason to deny people their civil rights.

Chipstick10 Mon 20-May-13 18:16:39

I was under the impression that the majority of the public are in favour.

LastTangoInDevonshire Mon 20-May-13 18:19:40

Once this goes through (and go through it will), will I be given the equal opportunity to have a Civil Partnership at some point?

Wouldn't it be easier to have all marriages as CPs with a blessing in the eyes of God for those that want?

jacks365 Mon 20-May-13 18:34:48

It should go through irrespective of the majority view because equality isn't about views but what is right.

Maryz Mon 20-May-13 18:37:54

Well, if the majority of people in the UK were black and voted to not allow white people to marry would that be ok? Or vice versa? Because they are the majority, you see?

The right of all people to equality should be above the bigoted view of even the majority. Obviously in a civilised society you would hope the majority wouldn't be bigoted, but if they are they are still wrong.

And if the majority is against it, then I must accept that too. It's democracy, innit?

If the majority view was that interracial marriage should be criminalized or divorce criminalized or child abuse legalized, would you support them? It's democracy, innit.

EstelleGetty Mon 20-May-13 18:41:28

I like to think of myself as being open to respecting all sides of an argument, but that goes out the window when it comes to equal marriage. Being against it is ludicrous. There are

EstelleGetty Mon 20-May-13 18:50:02

Sorry, posted too soon. There are plenty straight people who give the 'sanctity' of marriage a bad name with no help from the gay community. The debate makes me think of this story:

Basically, it's the story of an American couple who became figureheads for the civil rights movement after they were arrested for their mixed (he was white, she was black) marriage in Virginia. Reading about it now, it sounds ludicrous that laws like that ever existed. I hope that, in the not too distant future, we will look back on the prohibition of gay marriage with the same disbelief. This is everybody's world, you live in it, so deal with it.

caroldecker Mon 20-May-13 19:10:57

I personally fully support gay marriage - the only argument against it that has made even a modicum of sense to me was as follows.

If we allow marriage to consenting adults who may follow sexual practices different to hetro-sexual sex, then why ban incestuous marriage or multiple partners in a marriage?

It didn't convince me but I found the logic hard to argue with.

Dawndonna Mon 20-May-13 19:14:37

Gay sex is not going to produce children with for example, haemophilia, as incest can.
Multiple partners, don't know the answer to that one.

Binkybix Mon 20-May-13 19:14:42

The logic is only valid if you equate homosexual relationships more closely with incest or multiple partner marriages than you would heterosexual marriage...

Lazyjaney Mon 20-May-13 19:34:12

"It should go through irrespective of the majority view because equality isn't about views but what is right"

But who decides what is "right"? And what is their authority based on, if it's not based on the will of the people?

Why is believing in the views of, say, a cadre of Civil Rights intellectuals any more valid than those of a long standing religion, or a cultural tradition, for example?

ApocalypseThen Mon 20-May-13 19:35:56

Because it's not based on an imaginary old man in the sky, for starters.

jacks365 Mon 20-May-13 19:42:37

Because its based on equal rights for all. If you treat any person as less deserving of equal rights than another then its no longer equal.

Sallyingforth Mon 20-May-13 19:43:18

That's an interesting idea, Apocalypse.
I don't know anyone who believes in an imaginary old man in the sky. Do you?

Dawndonna Mon 20-May-13 19:44:25

1) The will of the majority would state (in this country) that we should bring back hanging. The moral philosophers have pointed out that it is wrong, ergo we no longer hang.
This is the intellectual cadre of bods doing the right thing.
Same applies to this.
The sooner we disentangle the state and religion, the better.

SconeRhymesWithGone Mon 20-May-13 19:57:49

"It should go through irrespective of the majority view because equality isn't about views but what is right"

But who decides what is "right"? And what is their authority based on, if it's not based on the will of the people?

In the case of Loving v. Virginia mentioned earlier, the US Supreme Court was the authority, based on the Bill of Rights in the US Constitution. One of the principles in the Bill of Rights is that there can be a tyranny of the majority, and so there must be safeguards in the form of equal protection and due process principles.

thebody Mon 20-May-13 20:06:16

I can't understand the panic either. Live and let live I think, the more love and commitment the better.

Why do people always want to interfere with others choices?

There are a hell if a lot more pressing problems in the world than this.

Maryz Mon 20-May-13 20:06:41

Good point Dawndonna smile

"The will of the majority" would lead to a horrendous situation with vigilantism, people taking the law into their own hands and Rule by Daily Fail, if you were to believe most of the papers.

JustinBiebermakesmevom Mon 20-May-13 22:24:28

I commented on the first or second page of this thread and have skimmed through the rest...seem to have missed quite a lot. Who the f*ck is comparing same sex marriages to incest ?!

Maryz Mon 20-May-13 22:35:48

The same people who compare homosexuality to paedophilia probably [sigh]

caroldecker Mon 20-May-13 23:31:56

sorry being devil's advocate - why is same sex relations any different from incest - all done by consenting adults.

Paedophilia is different as no consent.

cherhorowitz Mon 20-May-13 23:52:47

Because incest is between members of family of which there are legal and biological implications should the sex create a child.

Same sex relations are two consenting people of (hopefully) no relation who love each other and express that love as such.

mymatemax Mon 20-May-13 23:56:08

i just dont see why it should be such a big politcal debate. Any two consenting adults regardless of gender should be able to marry.
I dont think politics should interfer
I would rather they debate issues that really effect the country.

ComposHat Tue 21-May-13 00:43:30

It is a load of bollocks, they are petty minded, prudish homophobes, hiding behind mealy mouthed religious platitudes to give their vile views a veneer of respectability.

There principle objections are absolute tosh:

1) 'Marriage is a union between a man and a woman.' Only if you define it so. Marriage in England was a purely religious affair, until the 1830s civil marriages were introduced, thus radically altering the meaning of marriage.

2) 'That marriage is meant for producing children.' On that basis no one who is over the age of 45 should be allowed to marry and everyone else must have their fertility checked.

3) A gay/lesbian marriage can't be consummated. Exactly how many marriages are annulled for non-consummation and how would you prove non-consummation in the 21st century, when pre-marital sex is the norm. Funny how the most vocal critics of equal marriage take such an obsessive interest over what happens in gay people's bedrooms?

Anyway I don't normally like Ad hominem attacks but in this case I think it is justified. I know for a fact that one of the leading opponents of equal marriage, who has just been on the radio, complaining about 'militant homosexuals' is so committed to the sanctity marriage that he was shagging he is kids' nanny behind his wife's back in the 1980s. Now the hypocrite has the gall to cast himself as a defender of traditional marriage.

caroldecker Tue 21-May-13 01:10:30

cherhorowitz why should the 2 consenting adults be unrelated? Are you showing your prejudice for a sexual act you dislike and should be banned? Forget children, make it 2 brothers, or 50 year old father and 20 year old son.

"Marriage" is just a term. Gay couples can already access the same civil rights by entering a civil union. They just want to share the term.

If heterosexual couples invent a new term to describe their relationships, will the gay lobby get it banned?

lljkk Tue 21-May-13 04:16:21

it's more than that, Quakers & several other valid recognised faiths want the right to bless same-sex unions; to vote against this bill was to deprive them of what they saw as valid religious practice. This for me is the crux of the matter, away from equality for specific groups.

Had a nice letter back from Norman Lamb about this smile.

If an atheist woman and a divorced Muslim man turn up demanding to be wed by an orthodox Jewish Rabbi, the Rabbi won't be obliged, he'll still have discretion. Nothing is being forced on anyone (except under the traditional view of marriage system where Quakers etc. weren't allowed to practice their faith as they would like).

then why ban incestuous marriage or multiple partners in a marriage?

I hate the comparison with incest; Incest is obviously yucky, gay sex (or gay romantic love, anyway) is not yucky, or no more so than hetero sex/love.

Tax shelter situation gets too complicated with multiple partners, the whole picture of traditional marriage rights gets complicated, though it's not impossible (see Muslim traditions), but it's jolly tricky. That's why we mostly see multiple partners as a bit yucky, too.

Binkybix Tue 21-May-13 07:27:03

Ok carol decker. Say it was a brother and sister where the sister had been through the menopause? That's heterosexual with no children involved. Should we not allow heterosexual marriage then?

It's a pointless straw man argument and pretty insulting to say that a consenting, non-incestuous homosexual relationship is closer to incest than a heterosexual one.

Dawndonna - what a hypocrite he is in that case!

Binkybix Tue 21-May-13 07:28:17

Sorry, it was composhat who said about the nanny shagging!

Badvoc Tue 21-May-13 07:35:21

I am straight married person.
How on earth will gay marriage affect my own? If my concept of what my marriage means to me?
Don't understand that logic at all.

Badvoc Tue 21-May-13 07:36:28

And...others are gay Christians who I am sure would love to be married "in the eyes of god".

Lazyjaney Tue 21-May-13 07:36:40

"they are petty minded, prudish homophobes, hiding behind mealy mouthed religious platitudes to give their vile views a veneer of respectability"

Being a Bigot is treating someone with hate and contempt because of their views.

Just sayin....

Dawndonna Tue 21-May-13 07:39:25

There are times when their views are contemptible. You would allow someone to talk about racism in that way, I'm sure.

Lazyjaney Tue 21-May-13 07:41:02

"In the case of Loving v. Virginia mentioned earlier, the US Supreme Court was the authority, based on the Bill of Rights in the US Constitution"

But that is within a democratic system, most of the EU Human Rights decisions are not.

I am in favour of Gay Marriage fwiw, but I am getting worried about this unthinking replacement of one unelected authority with another non democratic one, as there is lots of historical evidence that doesn't end well.

Lazyjaney Tue 21-May-13 07:44:26

"There are times when their views are contemptible. You would allow someone to talk about racism in that way, I'm sure"

The point is that the definition of a Bigot is not the person whose views you find contemptible, but the person who treats another with contempt because of their views.

AliceinSlumberland Tue 21-May-13 07:58:07

What frustrates me is seeing people say 'the heterosexual married family is the best environment to bring up a child'. This is simply not true. Consistently, all the psychological research has absolutely no difference in the outcomes of children brought up by homosexual and heterosexual parents. In fact in some studies, the children of lesbian parents actually do better. If this is truly about the best environment for children then we should all be lesbians.

trockodile Tue 21-May-13 08:30:13

I am totally in favour of equal marriage and have absolutely no idea why it would devalue mine-which was between me and my husband and no one else!

It strikes me that most religous people who oppose it have very shaky ideas of the biblical definition of marriage (Adam and Eve? Jacob with 2 wives and 2 concubines- not to mention impregnating his daughter in law? King David with 8 wives (including 1 through adultery and murder) and 10 concubines? In the NT most of the disciples who were married seemed to travel alone. Paul said that it was better to stay unmarried but it you couldn't then marriage was the best option.) None of these have much relevance to our modern day idea of marriage.

Incidentally I just read that marriage between one man and one woman has only been enshrined in law for 40 years or so, before that it was not actually stated! The definition of marriage has been fluid and changing for 1000s of years.

Registrars/vicars etc are not asked to judge the morality or life style choices of heterosexual couples, they have no need to judge or personally approve gay couples-all they are asked to do is perform a ceremony/legal contract according to the law. Why should this affect their own beliefs-no one is being forced to have a same sex marriage?

As for the argument that it is taking up to much time in parliament-a)gay people/parents/relatives/friends etc are tax payers and citizens and have as much right to the legislative process as anyone else and b)let us stop trying to derail the bill and waste time and money and just get on with passing it so that we can move on to these 'more important' things!

This is all just me jotting down some ideas in the midst of making breakfast so is not very coherent. But being tolerant cannot IMO extend to tolerating bigotry because by definition the bigots are attempting to curtail the human and equal rights of others. It's been said before-but if you don't agree with same sex marriage, don't marry someone of the same sex! And until the gov't try to outlaw heterosexual marriage then you are not being oppressed!

Dawndonna Tue 21-May-13 08:34:05

The tu quoque logical fallacy Lazy
Not working.

Maryz Tue 21-May-13 08:40:29

Well anyone who refuses to allow someone to marry because they are gay is treating someone "with contempt because of their views", surely?

MTBMummy Tue 21-May-13 08:48:20

This may have already been said but I saw the best line on FB regarding this.

"No man who has ever masturbated or got off to two women making out is allowed to be opposed to gay marriage"

I cannot see the whole upset about this, it's two people in love, why does it matter what colour, religion or sex they are?

Correct lljk.

It is supremely ironic that the only people who gain from this bill being enacted are in fact all religious. They are gay Christians who want to have their unions recognised as part of a traditional Christian institution and appropriately blessed by the Church.

As for the rest, who form the vast, vast majority, it is really about nothing but the right to use a term. It provides no additional civil rights. So, it is about more than wanting equal rights - it is about wanting society to adopt a sort of wilful blindness about the fact that certain relationships are M-M or F-F rather than F-M.


Anyway, I don't see what the US Constitution has to do with this debate. If law is used to determine what is morally right and wrong (and as a lawyer I reckon that's a bloody stupid idea), well, in the UK, that is Parliament's job, as the UK is not a gerontocracy even if it is becoming an oligarchy.

Zalen Tue 21-May-13 09:41:19

As much as gay people have the right to get married, people should also have the right to say no I don't like it.

Absolutely people should have the right to say they don't like it, they just shouldn't have the right to prevent it, it's absolutely nothing to do with them.

LouiseSmith Tue 21-May-13 10:56:02

I think it is down right ridiculous. If you don't like gay marriage don't have one. To be honest I know a gay couple who have survived longer than any straight couples I know, married or not. Does it affect you if two men, or two women get married. No. It matters not what someone does behind closed doors, in there own home.

I think all this time energy and bitching would be better off focusing on topics which have victims and destroy lives. Like child abuse, which the church seems more than happy to advocate!

Rant over.

slug Tue 21-May-13 10:57:36

It's worth reposting this speech by a Conservative MP in NZ about the subject.

slug Tue 21-May-13 11:09:08

And this made me laugh. The hashtag all over twitter yesterday was #aggressivehomosexual

BlingLoving Tue 21-May-13 11:27:59

"As for the rest, who form the vast, vast majority, it is really about nothing but the right to use a term. It provides no additional civil rights. So, it is about more than wanting equal rights - it is about wanting society to adopt a sort of wilful blindness about the fact that certain relationships are M-M or F-F rather than F-M"

Actually - someone posted an interesting link yesterday that shows it is more than just the term. Marriage gives more legal rights to those in it, including post death pension. And it affects how people are able to travel together or be treated in other countries. And then there are the more subtle issues of how marriage vs CP are perceived.

If the argument that "it's just a term" was valid, then all all those words we consider offensive should be allowed to be used by anyone. Perhaps we should all just accept that "wench", "bitch", "cunt" are just words and don't actually affect us as women? Or perhaps we could start using words like, "Spick", "Chink" "nigger" to describe people of different races?

Jan49 Tue 21-May-13 11:38:58

The first time I read the suggestion that allowing same sex couples to marry would change the meaning of the term 'marriage' and affect people who are married already, I thought what a strange thing it was to say. It didn't make sense and appeared to be something you'd say in an attempt to find an objection when your real objection was that you just didn't like the idea of same sex relationships or same sex marriage. I'm amazed to hear the same 'argument' used over and over since then.
AFAICS it's not a valid argument. It's just a piece of nonsense used by people who can't think of a valid argument.

Thanks for that excellent link, SuffolkNWhat. grin grin Every time I hear people argue against same sex marriage, I think that the same arguments must have been used in the past against divorce and against marriage where the couple come from different racial backgrounds. If someone thinks their own marriage will be damaged by allowing same sex couples to marry, then surely they must think their marriage is damaged by couples who divorce, couples who marry in a drunken moment a day after meeting, couples who marry for money or status and not love, couples who have open marriages. Marriages for reasons other than love having been going on since marriage has existed, and in fact the ideal a lot of people have as marriage for love lasting 50 years til death is the unusual thing.

Caroldecker, regarding incest, well as it's illegal it makes sense that a marriage where sex between the 2 parties would be incestuous would be illegal too. Multiple partners to a marriage might make sense though. Same sex marriage is being introduced because there are people that want it. If enough people wanted the right to multiple partners in a marriage, then they could lobby parliament for that.

Anniegetyourgun Tue 21-May-13 11:41:48

The thin end of the wedge argument, "if we agree to same sex marriages then next thing we'll be agreeing to incest/polygamy" is a non argument really. There is no logical reason why agreeing to one thing is going to automatically lead to another. I'm old enough to remember the official age of adulthood being lowered to 18. A dangerous move, because what was there to stop it being moved to 16? 14? 12? It could still happen! But it hasn't. Because there is no particular interest in making it happen. If there were it would be a whole new debate.

There's actually nothing stopping anyone pushing right now to legalise incest or polygamy - hell, there's been a mad old bat of a lawyer advocating lowering the age of consent to 13 so that dirty old perverts won't be prosecuted - but legalising marriage for gay couples is not going to make any difference to any of those, because they are separate issues with separate arguments and each initiative for change must stand on its own merits.

I, for example, passed my driving test at 18 (many, many moons ago) and was immediately allowed to drive my dad's car on the open road. What, then, stopped my 15-year-old sister from doing the same? How soon before my 6-year-old brother was allowed to drive a Chieftain tank with loaded 120mm down Oxford Street? WHERE WILL IT ALL END???

Anniegetyourgun Tue 21-May-13 11:43:19

Or, I could have just waited for Jan49 to say the same thing smile

somebloke123 Tue 21-May-13 11:54:25


But it does change the meaning of the term "marriage".

Since time immemorial the term has been understood to mean an enduring (in theory) union between a man and a woman. It is a social institution, not IMHO a state or even a religious one, though both the state and organised religion try to get in on the act.

Although it has not automatically involved the raising of children, quite probably the institution would not exist were it not for the fact that to bring up a human child is a big and long job, taking well over a decade.

I personally would like to see the state get out of marriage, and just stick with civil partnerships, whether hetero os homo sexual, with equal legal rights.

In fact I would extend this so that (to give an example that I know of) two aged sisters who have never married and now live together, could specify themselves as a civil partnership with all the legal safeguards that this entails.

I think what pisses people off is not the matter giving various couples legal safeguards, but the fact that the government is presuming to rewrite the english dictionary and impose the new usage on everyone by statute, even though it is at odds with all previous usage, even among people who were gay themselves or totally sympathetic.

Jan49 Tue 21-May-13 11:56:46

gringrin @ Annie

EduCated Tue 21-May-13 12:04:04

You know the dictionary gets re-written pretty much yearly, don't you?

Vajazzle, anyone?

BlingLoving Tue 21-May-13 12:07:40

somebloke: Well, it might have usually meant between a man and a woman, yes. But it also used to mean "a woman now belongs to her husband instead of her father" or "A woman must obey her husband in all things". And we changed that. I would argue that changing the concept of marriage so that it's no longer about ownership was a far more significant step than changing the concept of marriage so that it's not just about gender will be.

The "traditional" concept of marriage was based on religious views about children, men and women and their respective places and so on. I see no reason to challenge all of the concepts rather than just picking the ones some people like.

KhaosandKalamity Tue 21-May-13 12:07:46

YANBU especially with the massive deal being made of it. It recently came up for debate in my country, and I was honestly shocked that it wasn't already legal, as were many of my friends. We had all grown up assuming that gay marriage was legal, why wouldn't it be? I am so happy GLAD to be able to say the law was passed, and future generations that grow up just assuming that it is legal will actually be correct.

BlingLoving Tue 21-May-13 12:08:25

Also, let's be clear - we're talking about changing a legal definition. Not a dictionary defintion. Yes, the dictionary definition may change as a result, but the core change here is the legal one.

somebloke123 Tue 21-May-13 12:10:40

No that's not true. Slang terms yes - they do come and go like froth. But basic standard english has remained remarkably constant.

Of course the power relationships within a marriage have changed. In the past the wife was pretty much a chattel, unable for example to sign legal contracts off her own bat, and there were all sorts of oppressive behaviours that are rightly regarded as unacceptable today.

But I think the long term man-woman union is pretty entrenched and not to be changed by state diktat.

Times have moved on, and rightly so. Gay men & Lesbians should have the same rights as everyone else to legally marry their partner.
I don't get why the church doesn't agree to disagree, as I'm sure some of them are gay themselves or even have gay family members.

Unfortunately some people haven't moved on from homophobia, it's time they got their heads out of the sand and realised that gays exist and are people.

Although I very much hope this goes through, I do think this is Cameron's way of getting brownie points.

slug Tue 21-May-13 12:20:51


"In fact I would extend this so that (to give an example that I know of) two aged sisters who have never married and now live together, could specify themselves as a civil partnership with all the legal safeguards that this entails."

Have you been reading Norman Tebbit again?

cory Tue 21-May-13 12:21:57

"Since time immemorial the term has been understood to mean an enduring (in theory) union between a man and a woman."

Not true.

In many eras it has also been used for the union between a man and several women. This is clearly what it means in the Old Testament. And in many parts of Africa. And to some extent in old Germanic society too.

This is now illegal in the UK because public opinion is against it.

In Tibet they had polyandry instead; this was primarily about a man's brothers being obliged to take over his widow- a practice which was illegal in Britain until modern times.

In medieval Britain marrying your child's godmother was regarded as incest. In ancient Egypt marrying your siblings was permitted and sometimes obligatory.

The laws on marriage are about what any one society considers acceptable. Often for good reasons. Our modern laws about incest are partly about genetical health, partly about protecting potentially vulnerable people from exploitation. Which is why it is illegal even if you are infertile or using contraception.

Jan49 Tue 21-May-13 12:23:49

Well in a literal sense it does change the meaning of the term 'marriage' if it's described ATM as a 'legal union between one man and one woman'. But that isn't a logical reason for objecting to same sex marriage. When people use it as an argument against same sex marriage, they are saying that it's unacceptable to change the meaning because it somehow changes their marriage. That makes no sense at all. And of course the meaning of words changes constantly.

niceguy2 Tue 21-May-13 12:24:40

Marriage is a contract between two people, a man and a woman as defined by the state. If an employer wanted to change your employment contract you'd need to agree it. Changing the legal definition of marriage means that what all those couples agreed to no longer exists so some feel that this means "their" marriage is no longer valid.

I disagree. Your marriage contract is valid at the time you signed it. Just in the same way I signed an employment contract when I joined my company but those joining after me may well have different pay & conditions. It doesn't change the fact I am still employed nor has it devalued my employment in any way.

Personally I thought that in a free society that anyone is free to do anything unless it harms another person. In that context I cannot see how two blokes getting married hurts me or anyone else. Does it mean I feel less like marrying my fiancee later this year? No. Do I lose any money? No. Will I feel any less special being married cos Bill & Bob got married? No.

I just can't think of any rational or logical argument against it. Ergo it should be allowed.

cory Tue 21-May-13 12:29:11

If my marriage contract could be invalidated by somebody else's different contract, how come it has survived for decades in a world where many countries allow polygamy and where for some other women, not me, their contracts will be giving them status as one of several wives? Only to crumble in the face of something that looks far more like dh's and my marriage, only with different individuals in it?

Peevish Tue 21-May-13 12:30:30

I am too impatient with some of the tired old hat to read the entire thread, but is anyone pointing out, in relation to the Marriage is Between One Man and One Woman Since Time Immemorial stuff, that in somewhere in the region of 50 countries polygamous (one man, more than ine woman) marriages are currently legal, and many societies have practised polyandry (one woman marrying more than one man) - still practised in parts of China, Nepal, India, and among some ethnic groups in Africa and South America...?

Marriage is as time- and culture-specific as most other human institutions.

Eostre Tue 21-May-13 12:30:45

Right - I am married (to someone of the opposite gender). We were not married in church and my marriage had no religious element. My parents marriage was also entirely non-religious. Therefore, marriage isn't a fundamentally religious institution - some people may have a religious element to their marriage, and more power to them. But the idea of non-religious marriage (not civil partnership) isn't exactly new.
Therefore, all the religious arguments against marriage are a bit of a red herring.
The principle of equality is fundamentally important to everyone in the UK - even if you aren't gay, what if your child/sibling/parent/friend were? This really isn't a minority issue, and I think that anything that gets us further towards equality is worth the time spent in parliament.
And for what it's worth, I was "very upset" at having to have that rubbish about "marriage is between one man and one woman" in my own wedding ceremony. I had been brought up to believe that marriage was for two people who were in love and wanted that to be acknowledged by society. I never really thought about what combination of genitals that required.

jacks365 Tue 21-May-13 12:34:59

Some people feel that way for that reason. I tried to explain how they felt nothing more. I personally do not believe it I was just trying to explain the concept.

As far as I'm concerned the sooner same sex marriage comes in the better.

Eostre Tue 21-May-13 12:35:06

against same-sex marriage, sorry!

Eostre Tue 21-May-13 12:36:36

FFS. Try again: what I meant to say, second paragraph:
"Therefore, all the religious arguments against same-sex marriage are a bit of a red herring." blush

NC78 Tue 21-May-13 14:00:08

and if we are looking at this from a religious perspective, haven't heterosexual couples totally undermined the sanctity of marriage with all the adultery and domestic violence that goes on all too frequently? We don't need gays to make a mockery of the institution of marriage, as heterosexuals have been doing it since the dawn of time. Obviously, I don't think gay marriage undermines heterosexual ones - that's just the argument the religious lot seem to be using.

adverbial Tue 21-May-13 14:01:18

No, of course you're not being unreasonable OP. I quite agree.

KittyLane1 Tue 21-May-13 14:02:38

But gay people CAN get married.

Just look at Hollywood, good old JT is married and gay

WS and JPS are married and gay

Can't think of a British example of the top of my head but its basically the same. A gay person can get married, it may not be for love but its still marriage all the same.

Exactly like how a straight couple can get married for a visa, or because their family insists on it, or because she is pregnant. It's not for love, or for religion or for baby making, but it is still a legal marriage contract. Do these example diminish your vows or is it only gay people who do that?

Unless you're religious, what is actually wrong with

- marriage for heterosexual couples and
- civil unions for homosexual couples?

given that the rights attaching to both are same?

The rights aren't the same though.


Binkybix Tue 21-May-13 20:39:18

This question was addressed earlier on in the thread by a few posters - separate but 'equal' is not the same as equal, and some non-religious gay people do feel it's important, so what's the argument against it?

I'm married and not religious - the church has snaffled it as their own, but I don't feel as if my marriage is endorsed or 'owned' by the church in any way.

SconeRhymesWithGone Tue 21-May-13 20:47:19

And even assuming for the sake of argument that the rights are the same, on what basis is it defensible to have two separate civil forms with different names, whose application depends on one’s sexual orientation? Would it be acceptable to have "marriage" for same race couples but something called "inter-racial unions" but with the same rights for others?

Chipstick10 Tue 21-May-13 21:55:53

Actually I believe Cameron is very genuine about it.

What rights are civil partners denied?

This isn't about rights at all. It is about acceptance - the assumption being that marriage is still seen as the gold standard in society, something I doubt.

The church has snaffled marriage grin


Because skin colour is incidental to what makes a marriage.

Sorry, that wasn't very clear. I mean that skin colour is incidental to a marriage, so introducing such a term would be discriminatory.

caroldecker Wed 22-May-13 01:09:24

lljkk I hate the comparison with incest; Incest is obviously yucky, gay sex (or gay romantic love, anyway) is not yucky, or no more so than hetero sex/love.

Maybe some people feel the same about homosexuality as you do about incest.

Remember not my views, but logically a reasonable argument.

jacks365 Wed 22-May-13 01:14:20

Toadinthehole not allowing same sex couples to get married is discriminatory too

lljkk Wed 22-May-13 07:29:28

then why don't they just say "Being gay is yucky!" Would be more honest. Though I'd still take exception to implying it's just as yucky as incest (in their minds). Or instead talking about "the sanctity of a God-given institution" (their God, not mine). Why let atheists get married, then? I would find it refreshing if folk said "It's too gross". Though I'd still smirk coz you know, heterosexual sex is all flowery perfume & elegance, isn't it. wink.

Incest/paedophilia: there's a huge innate likelihood indeed certainty of imbalance of power, institutionalised exploitation rather than protection, I think that's the other reason we find them repellent. But I can't articulate that as well.


No it isn't.

Dawndonna Wed 22-May-13 08:46:46

Yes it is. Why would you think otherwise?

xylem8 Wed 22-May-13 08:52:53

I hate the comparison with incest; Incest is obviously yucky, gay sex (or gay romantic love, anyway) is not yucky,

why is incest more or less yucky than gay sex?? That is just your opinion

Binkybix Wed 22-May-13 09:05:15

It seems things are getting a but ridiculous here, but by way of comparison, it could also just be opinion that heterosexual sex is less icky than incest. What's your point? That because some people find it icky it should be banned?

As another poster said, at least if people were honset and said they didn't agree with gay marriage because they think being gay is wrong, rather than the weasly words and explanations we are hearing, we'd know where people stand.

There's good evidence that incest that leads to reproduction has a deleterious effect on offspring (mental and physical), which is one of the leading theories for why we find it icky.

xylem8 Wed 22-May-13 09:17:00

Incest is commonplace in the animal kingdom.
And why bring reproduction into it? If you are talking about sex for reproduction then there would be no gay sex!!

Binkybix Wed 22-May-13 09:30:44

I brought reproduction into it to explain a strong theory of why there is a taboo against incest and why people consider it icky. I'm not denying that incest might happen in a number different species. That doesn't mean it does not hold a higher chance of deleterious effects as compared to non incestuous reproduction, and therefore why we might have an aversion to it.

I wasn't the one who started talking about incest, but was responding to another poster. Believe me, I think it's a ridiculous point to have to be addressing in a discussion about gay humans being able to marry if they choose.

somebloke123 Wed 22-May-13 11:05:54


"In many eras it has also been used for the union between a man and several women. This is clearly what it means in the Old Testament. And in many parts of Africa. And to some extent in old Germanic society too. "

Well I'm not sure that polygamy and polyandry are exceptions.

Even then, marriage has still been a union between one man and one woman. But if a man had, say, 3 wives it's just that there were 3 marriages, not one group marriage. My understanding is (and I'm not an anthropologist so I may be wrong) that in a polygamous system (as distinct from, say, a harem) the women are kept separate.

By the way I'm all in favour of people having equal rights. Civil partnerships do this. It's whether when we elect a parliament we also entrust the English dictionary to them to change at will. I don't think we do.

Restricting the term "marriage" to heterosexual couples is not a matter of restricting rights, it's just preserving the language from brutal change.

The question "Should two people of the same sex be allowed to marry each other?" sounds like a similar question to "Should women be allowed into the Long Room at Lords" but they are totally different. In the latter case, there is no change in the language.

Of course if people in real life do start and continue to use the "term "marriage" to refer also to same-sex couples then eventually the usage will stick and the language will have changed.

In this country, where we don't have any equivalent authority to the Academie Française, that's the way language evolves.

Binkybix Wed 22-May-13 11:13:04

They're not changing the dictionary, they're changing the law. That's exactly what Parliament does. Language may follow that. Why do you care if it does?

somebloke123 Wed 22-May-13 11:16:34

I don't care at all as long as they don't expect me to change my usage and there are no complaints if people continue to use the term in the traditional way.

Binkybix Wed 22-May-13 11:46:00

Well that's all fine then! You can say it and take it to mean between a man an a woman, and others will take it to mean both. There may be misunderstandings and obviously some people will disagree with your stance on it, but it sounds as though you're live and let live about it.

Binkybix Wed 22-May-13 11:47:04

Obvs you will be incorrect in the legal sense though.

BlingLoving Wed 22-May-13 13:18:16

Somebloke, I honestly think you're being purposfully obtuse. You're upset because a dictionary definition might change? In which case, I assume you spend a lot of time going through the dictionery and campaigning every time the meaning of words change.

Also, as has been pointed out on this thread repeatedly, in fact, civil partnerships do not give the people involved the same rights. This is a key, indisputable fact. And therefore, it's not just about changing the meaning of a word.

EduCated Wed 22-May-13 13:20:25

Why does it matter if the meaning of the word marriage changes anyway?

somebloke123 Wed 22-May-13 13:44:00


Whether I am obtuse is for others to judge. I promise I don't do it on purpose though ...

I'm not at all upset that dictionary definitions change. Common usage does change over time (but often slowly) and new editions of dictionaries will reflect that.

What I do have an issue with however is for a definition to be changed by government fiat, with the inevitable consequence - as sure as night follow day - that we are all expected to jump to it and adopt the new definition for fear of being labelled bigot or worse.

For example, I am not one of those tedious people who object to the word "gay" for homosexual, by insisting that it really means bright or cheerful. I will freely use either word in conversation and quite rightly the dictionaries include this relatively recent meaning. If however some government back in the 1970s had passed a "Homosexual description Bill" which decreed that they should henceforth be referred to as "gay" and any deviation from this usage would be counted as a hate crime, then I would have a problem with that.

If civil partnerships do not give people the same rights as marriage - and I'll take your word for that -they damn well ought to.

As far as I'm concerned anyone should be able to specify one "significant other" - a sexual partner of either sex or a non-sexual relationship e.g. siblings - and they should have exactly the same rights as far as inheritance and tax and all the rest.

Keep the state out of our bedrooms and out of our dictionaries.

SconeRhymesWithGone Wed 22-May-13 15:35:56

Speaking of dictionaries, I assume you know the meaning of "fiat" and "diktat," (which you used earlier). As to government fiat or dikatat, the House of Commons represents the people, does it not? A vote of a representative body in a democracy is the means by which laws are enacted, and hopefully, the will of the people expressed.

I understand that polls indicate that a majority of people in the UK (I recognize that this law will apply only to a part of the UK) support marriage equality. If this is true, then the Commons is reflecting the popular will. That a minority object, on whatever grounds, does not turn democratic process into "diktat."


Explain to me why continuing to deny same-sex couples the use of the word "marriage" is discriminatory.

Someone mentioned polygamy upthread.

No idea what UK law is in this regard, but in substance polygamy (and in theory polyandry too although I expect it happens rarely) are already recognised in NZ law. No, you can't ask a registrar to conduct a marriage ceremony if you're already married. However, on separation, marital property and custody rights will be considered just the same.

Coming Soon to a Country Near You.

Dawndonna Wed 22-May-13 20:12:46

Toadinthehole not allowing same sex couples to get married is discriminatory too
No it isn't.*
Yes it is. Why would you think otherwise?
So, what are you after now?

MrsRickyMartin Wed 22-May-13 20:16:46

I happen to know gay people who are opposed to gay marriage. [shocked]

shockers Wed 22-May-13 20:17:30

I'm a Christian and I'm of the opinion that if I'm 'Loving my neighbour as myself', then they are just as entitled to benefit from a secure, loving marriage as I am.

jacks365 Wed 22-May-13 21:38:27

Toad stopping two people who love each other and wish to confirm that love in a marriage because they are the same sex is discrimination.

Stopping anyone from doing something that you would allow someone else to do unless it is to protect them ie children is discrimination, I really struggle to see how anyone could dispute that so please explain why you believe it isn't.

somebloke123 Thu 23-May-13 10:40:14


Point taken. (It was not in any party's manifesto though.)

trockodile Thu 23-May-13 12:11:33

Somebloke-this is taken from the Conservative Party Manifesto 2010 - A Contract for Equalities (page 14), where it states:
We support civil partnerships and will
recognise civil partnerships in the tax system.
our plans to end the couple penalty in the
tax credits system and to introduce a new
system of flexible parental leave will apply
to all couples, regardless of whether they are
heterosexual or same sex couples.
We will also consider the case for changing the
law to allow civil partnerships to be called and
classified as marriage.

slug Thu 23-May-13 12:14:25

The polagmy exception in NZ only refers to members of polagymous marriages that were contracted in countries where such unions are legal them emigrated to NZ.

If you are talking of an informal arrangement between 3 or more people where the financial contributions of all parties are recognised after the union dissolves and men are expected to provide for their offspring, then I really don't know what you are objecting to.

somebloke123 Thu 23-May-13 13:10:36


Thanks for that - but it hardly counts as a manifesto commitment!

And I still don't think a government has the authority to change the language, whatever the opinion polls may say on any particular issue.

Of course constitutionally it can pass whatever acts it likes. It could create a law saying that all goats will from now on be referred to as sheep. But that doesn't justify it or make it true.

They change legal definitions all the time, and absolutely have the authority to do so.

Sometimes language in common use follows suit, sometimes language leads change. Many "civil partners" reasonably refer to each other as "husband" or "wife" already without the English language imploding.

I'm probably not the first one to say it, but aside from the religion argument all objections so far can be shown to be transparent excuses for the real motive. What does it say about a person or group who put forward other flimsy reasons to avoid admitting the real reason they can't stand the idea.

If 'gay marriage could lead to incestuous/multiple marriage' then so could heterosexual marriage. So that's a nonsensical objection. Especially as the god of the OT (not the modern replacement) is ok with both.

'Spending too much time on it in parliament?' It would be quicker if not being fought every step of the way and when was the last time the same people posted complaining about other uses of parliament's time?

If 'civil partnership is the same thing' then why object to gay marriage. Clearly someone making that argument doesn't genuinely believe they are the same.

I loved the dictionary argument btw. A dictionary is a constantly updated description of how we use words. It never was a rule book.

There is a kind of twisted human rights argument that I've seen here and in other (usually religious) threads that is hard to describe.

Imagine Fred saying to his neighbour. "but Tom, I should have the same say in what books you read as you have in what books you read".
It doesn't make any sense unless book reading affects neighbours.

Fred wants to choose his own books without interference and have an equal vote on what others read, and he tries to call that equality.

somebloke123 Thu 23-May-13 13:19:58

No that's not the way the english language develops.

Your second sentence is true. Some same-sex couples do refer to each other as husband and wife. This seems odd to me and I would say it is wrong. However if they continue to do this and persuade enough others to follow suit then it will become accepted as correct and the language will have changed, and the rest of us will just have to accept it. But it evolves, it doesn't change by statute.

Like "gay" to mean homosexual. It changed due to the extent of its usage, not be act of parliament.

Binkybix Thu 23-May-13 13:24:41

A government does have the authority to change the law, which is what it is doing. Then the legal definition of marriage will change - in that sense it will be true. That's different to just changing the word for something, because it's conferring new rights. Your example doesn't seem very relevant for these reasons.

For the majority of people, when they say marriage they will mean the legal definition too. If you don't you might have to qualify any comment about marriage you make with the fact you mean a straight marriage. But, you know, tough!

Legally, something does not have to have been in a manifesto to be passed as law, and I think that a number of things have been passed that were also not in either manifesto (in fact, neither party's manifesto was elected with a majority, if you want to take the argument down that road).

Binkybix Thu 23-May-13 13:30:41

I would argue that the religious arguments are still a cover for basically not considering gay people as equal, the difference being the argument is that one thinks this because one has been told to, rather than coming to the conclusion through some other means.

Obviously I know not all religious people think this , as evidenced by many on this thread.

If the government changes the rules by which you can get a visa does that change the meaning of the word visa and is it therefore wrong for the government to do so?

somebloke123 Thu 23-May-13 13:55:20

BackOnlyBriefly (as indeed am I)

I'll just have one more go and I think I'll have to leave it at that.

No I don't think it changes the meaning of the word "visa". It would if the government redefined "visa" as the document in which you specify who you leave your money to when you die. But not if it's just modifying terms and conditions.

Of course in the constitutional sense a government can make or repeal any law it likes, whether or not it was in a manifesto.

It can redefine goats as sheep and declare the former word to be obsolete, as the Newspeak dictionary in 1984 declared the word "freedom" to be obsolete.

It can pass a law saying that 2 + 2 shall equal 5 when the moon is full.

It can repeal the Government of India Act and declare Boris Johnson to be the new Viceroy.

But whether these things affect reality is a different matter.

What I would maintain is that the word "marriage" to mean an enduring union between a man and a woman is a very deeply entrenched aspect of language, and not just english. This is largely because it represents a fundamental social institution which has stood the test of time in providing a stable environment for the rearing of children. Of course we don't consider a relationship to be not marriage if it doesn't produce children, but the 10+ year labour-intensive project which child-rearing is is greatly helped by such stability.

If the definition is to be changed to encompass same-sex partnerships then we have no word left to uniquely refer to this time-honoured social institution.

If governments do try to alter the language by statute in this way it does all become quite Orwellian - the abolition of an idea not by a direct ban but by the removal of the language necessary to express it.

Binkybix Thu 23-May-13 14:07:29

You could try using the term a 'straight marriage'. That would seem to do the trick quite simply without the need to continue to disallow something that doesn't harm anyone else, doesn't compel anyone to have a gay marriage, and the majority of people want.

The better example re visas would be if the availability of visas were extended to a new group of people who had previously been excluded.

I think you have made your point clear, but it is all just modifying terms and conditions. You are drawing a line between changes that matter and those that don't and that's a personal choice which you are entitled to. However the line you draw only exists for you. It's not of itself an argument against it.

As others have pointed out they altered it when they let black people marry white. I'll assume you are ok with that, but imagine being faced with someone from that time who said it was a step too far. How would you convince them? What argument would you offer them to make them see they were wrong. Just pointing to where you draw the line wouldn't work as they would have drawn their own line.

SDeuchars Thu 23-May-13 14:26:52

the word "marriage" ... represents a fundamental social institution which has stood the test of time in providing a stable environment for the rearing of children. ... If the definition is to be changed to encompass same-sex partnerships then we have no word left to uniquely refer to this time-honoured social institution.

Are you suggesting that you do not expect marriages between gay people to provide a stable environment for the rearing of children? Or that co-habiting parents are married?

It is a fallacy to inextricably bind marriage with child-rearing (particularly in a society in which large numbers of people with children divorce or do not enter into a legally recognised partnership).

cory Thu 23-May-13 14:36:05

"What I would maintain is that the word "marriage" to mean an enduring union between a man and a woman is a very deeply entrenched aspect of language, and not just english. This is largely because it represents a fundamental social institution which has stood the test of time in providing a stable environment for the rearing of children. Of course we don't consider a relationship to be not marriage if it doesn't produce children, but the 10+ year labour-intensive project which child-rearing is is greatly helped by such stability.

If the definition is to be changed to encompass same-sex partnerships then we have no word left to uniquely refer to this time-honoured social institution."

If you had asked a medieval churchman he would have told you quite clearly that a marriage is a consummated union between a man and woman, and that a ceremony which is not (for reasons of impotence, disability etc) followed by consummation (=penetrative sex) cannot be counted as a marriage.

You could get the ceremony part of it out the way earlier but if it was revealed that the consummation had not taken place once both parties were of age, then the marriage was declared null, i.e. it was recognised that there had never been a marriage.

This as far as the church was concerned was the time honoured institution of marriage.

Time honoured usually only means "what my generation can remember as the norm".

BlingLoving Fri 24-May-13 10:25:09

I have to come back. I still can't understand this ridiculous concern about governments changing the meaning of words. I'd like to see a dictionary from 1900 and look up the verb, "to vote" or perhaps the noun, "parliament". These are just examples, but I can imagine they used to specificy men only. Now they don't.

Certain words in the English language are, by definition, legal terms. The legislature of the country in which those words are used, can therefore make changes. Seems pretty simple and obvious to me. homosexuality used to be illegal. It is not any more. It therefore changed the meaning of the word.

Binkybix Fri 24-May-13 13:32:46

Bling has said what I have been trying to say far more succinctly and clearly.

I can't help but think that the convoluted language argument is just another one of those intricate arguments designed to try to rationalise the fact that people just think it's wrong to allow gay people to share marriage, just because it is.

StoicButStressed Sat 25-May-13 14:15:18


Am trying to cut down on MN time, and having just read the above, am seriously glad have not been on here. As genuinley think could/would have exploded - with UTTER rage ans sheer incomprehension at some of the trite (thank God in the minority it appears) spouted here.

The notion that gay people being married in ANY way 'de-values' your own marriage vows is - bluntly - utter bullshit.

Ditto the equally trite 'argument' that 'marriage' is solely for a man and woman to 'raise children in'. Out of my 3 sons, the one that happens to have been born gay is actually the one who is THE most suited to parenting - he has love, empathy, compassion, boundaries and ALL a child would need to be raised in a secure/safe/loving home. And DEF a home which beats the SHITE out of being left in 'care' - a system of which the end product is a massively disproprtionate % of males from 'Care' being imprisoned, and females having teenage pregnancies. How the FUCK is that 'better' for ANY child than being raised within a loving parent? Whether that is an LP, a same sex couple, or someone who happens to be gay AND is alone but is willing to provide a home and that stability to those children who MOST people will not touch with a barge pole.

And here - for what it's worth and for those who trot out the 'children best in marriage' line:

I (very successful career bod) was married (to an equally successful career bod). The kind of man you - YOU - would look at and 'know' what a great Dad he was. As I TOO thought he was.angry

Until 2007 when my eldest DS1 (yep, the one who happended to have been born gay..) finally confided that he and DS2 had been systematically and secretly physically abused by that man for 2 years - IE, the 'man' in the marriage of a man and a woman that you assert without a fraction of doubt is the 'best' way to raise a child.

Tell that to my DS's1&2 - one of whom attempted suicide; was in the Priory for 9 WEEKS; and the other DS's just traumatised beyond words due to his 'Father's' 'parenting' within that best place of marriage to raise a child'. As you are so far off the shore of reality overall, that you are on an island named 'ignorant' & seemingly way past any choice you can/could make of getting back to planet Sanity.

THAT is my polite response to some of the - truly jaw-dropping - comments above.

Oh - and if you ARE 'of religion' and de facto Christian; do PLEASE look at today's news story from Russia and the - ferociously brave - people who went on a Pride march whilst knowing they WOULD be arrested; probably roughed up a bit; and did it anyway simply to try and ensure the BASIC right to be able to live their lives WITHOUT getting the shit kicked out of them on a daily basis ... And simply as they have a different chromosone make-up to 'normal' people.

So yes - my son will (WILL, as that is his plan) be an INCREDIBLE Father; but the 'man' I 'married (along with so so many others), has tranpsired to be the worst kind of 'Father' possible. Please at least TRY to remember that before you spout such obviously nonsensical stuff, it really is simply NOT TRUE.

And if your marriage is so fragile that you believe others being entitled to the same vows as you will somehow 'damage' yours; then it's Relate you should be heading to - NOT spouting straw man arguements about why ALL of us should NOT have the same rights...

...When what you actually mean - so why not just say it? - is that you are, fundamentally, simply homophobic. And that my son who simpy happens to be gay, is* - to you -*not worthy of the same rights that his brothers have.* Even though he may well contribute to society WAY more than YOU do.


StoicButStressed Sat 25-May-13 14:18:48

To those of you who have pointed out the ludicrousness of all of this, and who have posted rational, logical, arguements as to WHY - thank you.

Is impossible though to NOT see that those entrenched with their own, strange/offensive/outdated, views, do NOT seem to have actually ANSWERED your questions and points though?

Which kinda says it all.angrysadangry


You've missed the point. Members of a civil partnership have the same legal rights as a married couple. The question is why it is discriminatory to deny same-sex couples the use of a word.


If you re-read my post you will see that I said polygamous unions are in substance recognised in NZ.

My point is that, to quote you, an informal arrangement between 3 or more people is in substance treated the same way as a marriage, when separation takes place. Whether or not this is desirable is a matter for debate, but my view is that there should at least be one.

Stoic, I understand the rage, but these threads do achieve something and so in a way do those arguing against equality. They demonstrate to all those looking on that there is no good reason to be opposed. If there were valid reasons they would have come out by now, but all they really have is excuses. Casting around for a way to object without saying "but I hate/am scared of/ gay people"

To those saying civil partnerships are the same as a marriage or saying 'it's just a word' why then are you so opposed?

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