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Gay marriage

(33 Posts)
meditrina Wed 05-Oct-11 16:00:22

Cameron has just pledged support - consultation beginning - noting commitment and stability as core Tory values.

So I suppose likely to happen now.

What would this mean for civil partnerships?

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 05-Oct-11 16:53:35

Maybe a civil wedding would be the norm for everyone, gay or straight.

LeninGrad Wed 05-Oct-11 17:01:43

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BadgersPaws Wed 05-Oct-11 17:14:20

"What would this mean for civil partnerships?"

Hopefully they'll be stopped and anyone who loves their partner can just get married to them without all these silly distinctions and divisions that we apply purely on the basis of whether or not that person likes bottoms of the same or the opposite sex.

Civil partnerships were always just a silly compromise.

But what about those who already have civil partnerships? Well I suspect we should leave them in place but allow any couple who wants to change their relationship to be allowed to re-register the partnership as a marriage without having to pay any extra fee.

"Has never seemed right to me that siblings or friends who live together have to sell up to pay inheritance tax and all that either."

Well they don't.

If this goes ahead, and I hope that it does, than any couple (no matter what sort of bottom they like) that wants certain legal protections applied to their partnership could just go ahead and get married.

LeninGrad Wed 05-Oct-11 17:35:30

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 05-Oct-11 17:39:28

I think, whatever happens and whatever sexual orientation you are, you'll never be allowed to marry your own sibling.

wamster Wed 05-Oct-11 17:41:46

Although I whole-heartedly agree that homosexual people should have same rights as heterosexual people when it comes to marriage, I don't know what the heck all the fuss is about and think Cameron is -perhaps deliberately?- wasting his time with this.

My rationale is that there is no difference between a wedding that takes place in a non-religious setting between heterosexual couples and a civil partnership between gay people. They are exactly the same. They have to be else it would be discriminating against gay people.

Civil partnerships are already legally the same as civil marriages.
The only difference is that gay people cannot get married in some religious settings, but if a religion is anti-homosexual marriage (I am an atheist so no axe to grind here), I don't see how he can force those religions to accept gay marriage.

If this went ahead, there would be FOUR formal arrangements couples could make:
1, marriage for heterosexuals
2, marraige for homosexuals
3, civil partnerships for heterosexuals
4, civil partnerships for homosexuals.

ALL of them would legally mean the same thing, and, as marriage, is ultimately what the couple make of it, what the heck is the point of having a four-tiered system? confused

BadgersPaws Wed 05-Oct-11 18:00:43

"Civil partnerships are already legally the same as civil marriages."

No they're not, not quite. For example civil partnerships cannot be dissolved due to adultery, but yes the differences are ridiculously slight.

And my point is that seeing as they are pretty much the same why bother with the other name, let's just be grown up about this and call everything "marriage" and be done with it.

"If this went ahead, there would be FOUR formal arrangements couples could make:"

No, that's not my understanding.

If this went ahead there would be one formal arrangement, marriage, that couples could make. You might have a religious marriage ceremony or a civil one but in the end it would be the same thing, marriage.

So it would become a one tier system that operated the same regardless of what sort of bottom tickled your fancy.

wamster Wed 05-Oct-11 20:20:39

OK, so essentially, instead of calling them civil partnerships they'd know be called marriage? Fair enough, I don't see how certain religions can be forced to conduct gay marriages, though. No axe to grind here-I'm an atheist, but I don't think that they can be forced to if gay marriage is against their beliefs.

If so, nothing will have changed. That is, gay and heterosexual people can make the same legal arrangements as regards their relationships in civil ceremonies (as they can already) and only those religions that accept gay marriage can conduct them. But isn't this the case already confused?

Instead of all this faffing about, they should have just called civil partnerships marriage and allowed certain religions to marry gay people if that is what they (the religion) agreed with.
They didn't do it to avoid enraging traditionalists.

Civil partnerships/marriage are essentially the same thing legally, anyway, and marriage is what people make it so I still don't see the fuss.

BadgersPaws Wed 05-Oct-11 21:57:47

"Civil partnerships/marriage are essentially the same thing legally"

But as I've tried to explain they're not. From how they begin (you can have religious content in a civil partnership ceremony) through to how they end (there's no explicit allowance for adultery to end a civil partnership) there are constant and slight legal differences between marriage and a civil partnership. The fact that there even has to be a separate piece of legislation is probably the biggest, most pointless and most offensive difference.

So they're not the same thing.

"I don't see how certain religions can be forced to conduct gay marriages"

I don't think anyone's saying that.

What seems to be being proposed is that gay people will be allowed a marriage in exactly the same way and on exactly the same terms as straight people. And that includes an allowance for Churches to deny a church wedding for what might appear to be biased or prejudiced reasons (begin divorced or being a woman who likes women's bottoms).

So stripping away a whole parallel set of pointless legislation that there's really no need for just because at the time they, as you correctly say, wanted to "avoid enraging traditionalists".

I mean really can you possibly understand why on earth we've had to come up with a completely new set of laws, terms and definitions when they could have just allowed gay couples to marry and the whole thing would have been dealt with.

This is just about treating people the same and applying the same laws to them.

Why should you be able to have a hymn in your civil ceremony if you're gay but not if you're straight?

Why should you be able to divorce your partner just because they've been unfaithful if you're straight but not if you're gay?

Why do we need a completely separate set of laws when one, correctly amended, will do the trick just fine?

meditrina Thu 06-Oct-11 07:29:46

I thought this might mean the end of civil partnerships, as they would be essentially redundant if marriage were extended to homosexual couples.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 06-Oct-11 08:02:32

I think you'd be right meditrina There's one heterosexual couple that has been in the news arguing they should be allowed a civil partnership because they don't want a civil wedding, but I don't fully understand their objection beyond some idea that 'marriage' as a word and as an institution has historical connotations of female oppression. I don't think they're typical, however

LydiaWickham Thu 06-Oct-11 08:18:13

I really think if CPs ended and gay couples could have a civil marriage, this would only be a good thing, if you choose to spend your life with someone and commit to them, the law shouldn't make judgements about the validity those relationships - which CPs basically did. In practice, CPs are viewed as the same as marriage, it was only pandering to homophobia that stopped them being called marriage too.

The religious asspect of not liking gay marriage was always something of a straw man - catholic churches and some other churches won't marry people who are divorced, the law doesn't say therefore divorced people can't marry, they can have a civil wedding ceremony (or get married in a church that will accept them). It still will be up to individual churches to decide who they will and won't marry, that is up to them, they shouldn't be forced to carry out gay weddings any more than they should be forced to carry out weddings for unchristened people or people who aren't members of the church etc. But that is no reason for saying gay marriage shouldn't be legally possible.

The interesting thing would be how other countries reacted to it - currently, many countries have a stanse that if a marriage was legal in the country it took place - even if the same ceremony wouldn't be in their country, then they will recognise it. It could cause headaches for many countries who don't have gay marriage having to recognise the marriages as legal...

AMumInScotland Thu 06-Oct-11 09:15:30

There is certainly a difference between civil marriages and civil partnerships - same sex partners are not in law called spouses, and their relationship is not called a marriage. All through my work's terms and conditions, there are long unwieldy sentences about dependants where they talk about "spouse or civil partner" etc. It's all fair, and politely done, but it leaves you in no doubt that they are not counted as "married" in the eyes of the law.

And I reckon the law should have been changed to allow them to marry in civil ceremonies the same as anyone else, rather than give them something nearly-but-not-quite the same.

Churches can choose whether or not to allow them to have a religious ceremony, same as they do now for people who do not fall into that church's set of rules. As mentioned earlier, the law allows divorced people to marry but churches aren't forced to allow them to marry in church. If the law can be clear enough to cover that, there's no reason it can't cover same sex couples too.

Andrewofgg Sat 08-Oct-11 18:21:44

Some same-sex couples reject marriage so the c.p. option should be left open.

The religious bodies must be given cast-iron assurances against being sued for refusing to carry out same-sex marriage: the law should say in terms that such a refusal is not a breach of their human rights.

And one other detail: if in a will made before the law changes there is a reference to marriage it should mean "traditional" marriage - even if the same-sex marriage occurs or the testator dies (or both) after the law is changed.

Cover those points and go full steam ahead!

BadgersPaws Sat 08-Oct-11 19:39:56

"Some same-sex couples reject marriage so the c.p. option should be left open."

There's no need, "civil partnership" and "marriage" are barring a few and insulting legal differences pretty much the same thing. There's no need to keep two sets of legislation in place just because some people disagree with the name of something.

If another set of people disagree with both the labels "civil partnership" and "marriage" do we then duplicate the laws again under yet another name?

"if in a will made before the law changes there is a reference to marriage it should mean "traditional" marriage - even if the same-sex marriage occurs or the testator dies (or both) after the law is changed."

What's the issue here? A genuine question, I can't quite see what the problem you're getting at is.

Andrewofgg Sat 08-Oct-11 22:41:27

BadgersPaws If a testator has left money to such of his/her grandchildren as are married when s/he dies (which sometimes happens) then if the will is made under the present law "married" should mean "married to somebody of the opposite gender" - even if a grandchild marries same-sex and the testator dies after the law is changed: because that is what it meant when the will was made.

On the other point: I don't see why same-sex couples should not have the choice of c.p. or marriage. What does it matter to you or to me?

BadgersPaws Sun 09-Oct-11 00:02:43

"I don't see why same-sex couples should not have the choice of c.p. or marriage. What does it matter to you or to me?"

Part of my objection to Civil Partnerships is the pointless creation of what is, barring a few differences, pretty much a carbon copy of marriage but under a different name to avoid offending a few people.

For the same reason I don't agree with the pointless creation of what would be pretty much a carbon copy of marriage but under a different name to avoid offending those people who have trouble with the word "marriage". Why bother?

I can see an argument for their being recognition of other alternate forms of relationship, but that's not what is meant when people usually say when they ask for civil partnership to be opened up to heterosexuals.

As to the will, I'm not sure if such a thing would be allowed, I'm certainly not sure that I agree with it. After all I couldn't imagine a will saying "I leave money to my grandchildren as long as they're not dating someone black" and surviving unchallenged in a court.

KatharineClifton Sun 09-Oct-11 00:08:13

I hope they are both available to everyone. I wouldn't consider marriage, but would a cp.

BadgersPaws Sun 09-Oct-11 00:12:56

"I wouldn't consider marriage, but would a cp."

At the risk of derailing the thread why?

As said above marriage and civil partnership are pretty much the same thing, other than the name what does one do for you that the other doesn't?

Why do we need two pieces of legislation, two legal definitions and two different labels for what is basically the same thing?

KatharineClifton Sun 09-Oct-11 00:15:24

Because I don't want to 'be married' and I don't want to be a 'spouse'.

SheCutOffTheirTails Sun 09-Oct-11 00:16:10

Yay for the end of an embarrassing compromise to avoid offending the determined to be offended.

All the couples I know who have Civil Partnerships describe themselves as being married and had weddings to celebrate.

The only people I ever hear talking about how great CPs are, are straight people bitching about how they never want to be married, but who clearly do actually want to be married because they want to have all the legal rights and responsibilities that marriage confers.

SheCutOffTheirTails Sun 09-Oct-11 00:18:47

Either legally register you relationship or don't.

The rest of us couldn't give a fuck whether you want to be a "spouse" or not.

What kind of permanent adolescence do you inhabit where you think the name of something matters more than the reality?

If you want to be legally recognised as someone's partner, then you want to be their "spouse".

KatharineClifton Sun 09-Oct-11 00:20:03

I was answering BadgerPaws' question. Maybe you should leave off the drink a bit SheCutOffTheirTails.

LaydeeC Sun 09-Oct-11 00:20:45

BadgersPaws 'Why should you be able to have a hymn in your civil ceremony if you're gay but not if you're straight?'

You can't. I'm a registrar and I can categorically say that there can be no religious content (hymns, readings, poetry, vows) in either a Civil Partnership Ceremony or a Marriage.

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