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The Same Sex/Equal Marriage Bill. There is no rational argument against it, is there?

(46 Posts)
Hobbitation Tue 05-Feb-13 17:33:32

MPs are debating the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill with a vote at 7pm.

KatieScarlett2833 Tue 05-Feb-13 17:34:55

No, none whatsoever.

KatieScarlett2833 Tue 05-Feb-13 17:34:55

No, none whatsoever.

No, as someone said on the radio today, what possible harm can it do?

Tortington Tue 05-Feb-13 17:37:33

no, i can't think of one.

i really can't

Trills Tue 05-Feb-13 17:38:21

No rational argument if you and I agree on our basic assumptions.

But some other people are starting from a different set of assumptions which, if they were correct, could lead to a different conclusion.

It's not necessarily about being rational or irrational, it's about the set of beliefs that you start from.

Hobbitation Tue 05-Feb-13 17:44:35

I don't count the faith reasons as rational. Whereas fact - being gay is legal, and that discrimination on the basis of sexuality is illegal, can only lead to the conclusion than marriage must be available to same sex couples.

StickEmUp Tue 05-Feb-13 18:36:36

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TiggyD Tue 05-Feb-13 19:39:43

400 yes! Good won!!! Yippeee! grin

JakeBullet Tue 05-Feb-13 19:40:13


Good news

perceptionreality Tue 05-Feb-13 22:08:07

I'm so glad this was supported.

Matsikula Tue 05-Feb-13 22:52:38

Sarah Teather apparently voted against it - what kind of Lib Dem is she?

GrowSomeCress Tue 05-Feb-13 23:00:25

A Catholic one by the sounds of it

Matsikula Tue 05-Feb-13 23:02:46

Hmm, have read her website on it - she says she sees it as the state entering personal and family relationships without any purpose as there are no significant legal differences to a civil partnership. But then surely it would be more logical to argue instead for the state to withdraw from marriage altogether and leave marriage as a religious rite.

I know the vote doesn't offer that choice, but why not abstain?

ProphetOfDoom Tue 05-Feb-13 23:11:20

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

somebloke123 Wed 06-Feb-13 10:26:59

I think one argument against it might be that the state should not be in the marriage business at all.

Any pair of people, heterosexual, homosexual, or indeed a couple of friends or siblings who have decided to live together in a non-sexual partnership, should be able to register with the state as civil partners and have equal rights but the state has no business asking about their sex life.

Anything else should be left to private conscience, churches or whatever.

What you call "marriage" is really a matter of language and not something to be legislated for. The meaning of a word (in English anyway as we have no equivalent of the French Academy) is defined by common usage, not by statute. When we elect our MPs we do not delegate to them custodianship of the English Dictionary.

tiggytape Wed 06-Feb-13 11:52:56

I don't count the faith reasons as rational. Whereas fact - being gay is legal, and that discrimination on the basis of sexuality is illegal, can only lead to the conclusion than marriage must be available to same sex couples.

Well a lot of people do count faith reasons as being rational and therefore valid so perhaps that is why it appears to you that there is no logical point of view except your own.

Being very religious is legal - fact. And discriminating against people on the grounds of very important (to them) religious values is illegal.
The conclusion some people draw is that the protected rights of both groups is incompatible i.e. a ban on gay marriages in churches will be challenged under equality laws (whatever the UK government says) and then it is a straight (no pun intended) contest between the rights of religious individuals not to have their beliefs trampled on and the rights of gay couples to not only get married but to get married in the same choice of service that heterosexual couples have i.e in a CofE church service if they choose.

I know that is the worry of some people – that by upholding the rights of one group, it may not be possible to protect the rights of other groups even though the law intends that this will happen. People who say faith reasons are invalid probably add to this worry.

Trills Wed 06-Feb-13 11:57:08

That's what I meant.

You start from different assumptions, progress in a perfectly logical manner, and arrive at different conclusions.

Because your starting point was different.

IThinkOfHappyWhenIThinkOfYou Wed 06-Feb-13 12:09:35

Polls have shown that Catholics are at least as much in favour of marriage equality as non Catholics. We are not all bigoted, nor or we all heterosexual. I am referring to independent polls rather than the massively biased ones with hugely leading questions, and to the laity rather than the clergy. I thought Margot James was rather marvellous on the issue. There were number of openly Christian MPs who stood up in the house to ay they were voting in favour

I think the problem with the faith arguement is the insistence that people can simply say 'due to my faith' or 'because of religious reasons' and have it mean something. It is a basis for a reason but not a reason in itself. There is a false insistence within the church that the teachings and interpretations of the text are 'constant and unchanging' whereas in reality the only thing that is constant and unchanging is the constant gradual changes. I haven't head a single faith based objection that stands up to any sort of scrutiny. I am in favour of religious freedom but this bill, with Maria Millers 'quadruple lock' does accommodate religious groups who don't want to opt in.

tiggytape Wed 06-Feb-13 12:24:32

There is a religious link acknowledged and that is why the law won't apply in Northern Ireland and why gay marriage ceremonies will not be allowed to take place in CofE and Church of Wales Churches. The religious link is very much acknowledge by the presentation of the Bill and the compromises it makes in these areas.

Of course that doesn’t mean every Catholic is anti gay marriage and every atheist is pro gay marriage or anything of the sort!
The quadruple lock exists though because it is recognised that there is a clear area of conflict here for many religious people (not just Catholics and not all religious people but some) and this is an attempt to ensure that neither side has their rights undermined. But there is concern that if the quadruple lock is not sufficient against wider use of equality laws then religious people could have their rights undermined and this is one worry.
The OP asked for an explanation of possible objections and the religious one is a valid one for many people but of course that doesn’t mean that all religious people have worries about it at all.

tribpot Wed 06-Feb-13 12:40:30

I have to say, I'm confused by the ban on gay marriages in CofE and CoW churches. Shouldn't this be left to the individual church or diocese to decide? Is there discretion already for marrying (or not) divorced people and non-believers?

I don't think there should be an imposition of marriages that are felt to be incompatible with the beliefs of the church upon said church but why ban it?

I think there is a real problem of language here. I have friends who sincerely believe that marriage is a Christian institution and so should be performed in accordance with its statutes. I understand the point of view, without sharing it, and I can even understand that the fact the head of state is also the governor of the CofE suggests that our laws should be broadly compatible with the Christian faith as well.

However, what is being legislated for is civil marriage. The concept of marriage predates Christianity, is common to all religions and has essentially always been a civil concept about property. I think there is an argument to say civil marriage and religious marriage are two concepts which have less in common than perhaps the vocabulary suggests.

Another test may present itself when polyamorous groups ask why they also cannot enjoy the rights - and rites - of marriage. I think we may find that the difference between two and three is far harder to accommodate (on a practical, not emotional) level than man-man and woman-woman.

Personally I still don't understand how people can argue that their faith prohibits this, based on a literal reading of some words in the Bible, whilst rejecting the need to literally interpret others. Leaving aside the question of whether faith itself is logical, this is not a logical argument.

zoez Wed 06-Feb-13 12:56:21

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

TheFallenNinja Wed 06-Feb-13 12:59:12

No, although I fear years of litigation while the inevitable loopholes get challenged.

I'd rather a law that just said anyone can marry anyone.

I suspect it's the venues that will cause the next raft of argument.

HoratiaWinwood Wed 06-Feb-13 13:01:23

A friend has commented that "humanity must prevail over etymology" which I think is spot on.

Marriage has fundamentally legally changed in the past 100 years - hey, in the last thirty years - so rejecting wake-sex marriage on the grounds of history is illogical.

DH is relatively homophobic - that is, he has that "I don't care what you do in private but I don't want to see it and I am afraid of other men's willies and I'd be disappointed if my sons turn out to be gay" homo-ickiness rather than tubthumping, mouth-foaming hatred that we have seen displayed recently.

But even he can't see a rational argument against same-sex marriage.

I was relatively uninterested in the debate until I realised how frothy and illogical the antis are, and how calm and reasoned the pros are. So I have to be pro, because they have actually put cogent arguments forward.

My MP voted against. I am disappointed. I shall write and tell him so, and see how he responds.

YouGov say that two thirds of the country, and four fifths of those under 50, ie those born since homosexuality was legalised, are in favour of gay marriage. It has to go ahead. It just has to.

HoratiaWinwood Wed 06-Feb-13 13:02:27

wake-sex marriage - same-sex marriage

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