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

267 replies

StoicButStressed · 20/05/2013 15:28


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?

OP posts:
cory · 21/05/2013 12:21

"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 · 21/05/2013 12:23

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 · 21/05/2013 12:24

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marriage means that what all those couples agreed to no longer exists so some feel that this means "their" marriage is no longer valid.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 · 21/05/2013 12:29

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 · 21/05/2013 12:30

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 · 21/05/2013 12:30

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 · 21/05/2013 12:34

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 · 21/05/2013 12:35

against same-sex marriage, sorry!

Eostre · 21/05/2013 12:36

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 · 21/05/2013 14:00

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 · 21/05/2013 14:01

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

KittyLane1 · 21/05/2013 14:02

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?

Toadinthehole · 21/05/2013 19:49

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?
HorryIsUpduffed · 21/05/2013 20:00

The rights aren't the same though.


Binkybix · 21/05/2013 20:39

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 · 21/05/2013 20:47

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 · 21/05/2013 21:55

Actually I believe Cameron is very genuine about it.

Toadinthehole · 21/05/2013 23:03

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.

ExitPursuedByABear · 21/05/2013 23:09

The church has snaffled marriage Grin

Toadinthehole · 21/05/2013 23:14


Because skin colour is incidental to what makes a marriage.

Toadinthehole · 21/05/2013 23:22

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 · 22/05/2013 01:09

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 · 22/05/2013 01:14

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

lljkk · 22/05/2013 07:29

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.

Toadinthehole · 22/05/2013 08:25


No it isn't.

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