Bigots launch coalition against gay marriage


by Sunny Hundal    
8:30 am - February 20th 2012

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The former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey wails in the Daily Mail today that allowing gay marriage will destroy this traditional institution and be the end of humanity as we know it.

More specifically, he says:

For thousands of years, the union of one man and one woman has been the bedrock of societies across cultures, all around the world. Marriage is now an integral part of the modern world not because of a government diktat, or a church decree, but because it has stood the test of time – and proved to be the fundamental building block for every stable society.

Now the Government, egged on by pressure groups and image advisers – not the general public, it is important to note – is pressing ahead with plans to rewrite the legal definition of marriage.

We know what will happen, for we have already had a taste of it – it will encourage religious discrimination. A marriage registrar from Islington believed in traditional marriage, and was disciplined by her employers for it. The elderly owners of a B&B believed in traditional marriage, and were successfully sued for it. Numerous Roman Catholic adoption agencies believed in traditional marriage, and were closed down for it.

These examples will be the thin end of the wedge if same-sex marriage is legalised.

I do not believe the British public wants any of this. The move to legalise same-sex marriage is undemocratic. That is why I am so pleased that a new organisation, the Coalition For Marriage, has been formed with the aim of forcing the Government to hold a proper debate on this issue.

Bizarrely enough, there isn’t an argument here on why letting gays marry will destroy society. There is only the argument that it will inconvenience some homophobes.

Let’s see how many MPs sign up to this rubbish – the site doesn’t work yet.

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About the author
Sunny Hundal is editor of LC. Also: on Twitter, at Pickled Politics and Guardian CIF.
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Reader comments


Are these not the same bigots that were being praised a couple of weeks ago for standing up to the government on the issue of the benefit cap, particularly for they’re emphasis on children and family? Motto of the story, don’t give loonies like this airtime, they’re prone to developing a god complex. Baddum baddum chh

2. So Much For Subtlety

That he does not spell out how it will destroy marriage is not proof that it won’t. We only have to look at those countries that have legalised Gay marriage to see such a radical re-definition has led to a collapse of the institution. Which most people would agree has seriously unfavourable social consequences.

It is not necessarily bigotry to oppose Gay marriage. Even when it is, it is not necessarily wrong.

It’s a serious issue but somehow there’s just something really hilarious about seeing homophobes all worked up over gay marriage. I don’t know why. It’s just, like, I don’t know, all these grown adults suddenly turn into immature fourteen year olds, going “but if gays can marry, people might marry trees. Sick, innit. Plus, like, you know, they never have before, so why should they now? I don’t like it so it shouldn’t happen, waa waa waa.”

Just makes me laugh to be honest.

“We only have to look at those countries that have legalised Gay marriage to see such a radical re-definition has led to a collapse of the institution.”

Is this a joke?

I am a Christian, and believe that two people who love each other and are committed to sharing their lives should be allowed to marry, regardless of gender.

They once said Rock n’ Roll was the end of the world and Punk Rock was the end of civilisation but thankfully that hasn’t come to pass because really it’s a lot of old bull. Gay marriage will not dismantle the institution of marriage because to people who love each other will make it work. It’s a lot better than two people getting married for the purpose of convenience which a lot of the upper and aristocratic people did or still do.

Marriage is about love not the state or the church.

@ Sunny

So given the above article, you must also agree that other faiths must also be forced to accept gay marriage? Or do you value one groups rights and freedoms over another? Do you think mosques or synagogues should be forced to perform gay marriages, or do you reserve that solely for the christian faith?

I’d be very interested to hear your views on this, but don’t expect to given that that this is a great example of the lefty “progressive” catch 22, when two equally favoured minority groups have diametrically opposing and mutually exclusive views.

Personally I don’t have aproblem with gay marriage, but given our secular society and the legal status of civil partnerships being equal to marriage, and my reluctance to impinge on other people’s beliefs and faith the status quo seems the most reasonable solution.

@7 I imagine a better solution would be to bring about gay marriage, but allow individual places of worship to opt out of performing them should they not wish to do so. That way registry offices and gay-friendly places of worship can still provide the services. Currently gay-friendly churches are banned from doing civil partnerships, which a number of them would like to do so.

With examples like that one can see why he’s been published in the Mail. Hilarious not only for the non-case he makes, but for the simple fact he still considers himself to be worth listening to.

10. Chaise Guevara

For a holy man, he’s a bit of a fibber, isn’t he?

“A marriage registrar from Islington believed in traditional marriage, and was disciplined by her employers for it. The elderly owners of a B&B believed in traditional marriage, and were successfully sued for it. Numerous Roman Catholic adoption agencies believed in traditional marriage, and were closed down for it.”

Three lies. The people in question were punished/sued for their actions, not their beliefs. You don’t get carte blanche to break the law just because you think the law is wrong.

And I note that yet AGAIN we’re seeing “religious discrimination” defined as “not discriminating in favour of my religion”. Muslims/Hindus/Pastafarians/Atheists don’t get immunity to laws they disapprove of, and nor are all laws based on the beliefs of those groups. The former Archbishop thinks that this should be a special honour reserved for Christians only… all to avoid discrimination, of course!

11. paul freeman

It’s not bizarre that Carey hasn’t marshalled an argument on why letting gays marry will destroy society, because there isn’t one

Nobody has yet be able to outline – let alone convince me – how exactly an ordinary hetrosexual couple’s marriage or life, is materially affected by either the prospect or the reality of gay mariage.
It appears that those who object to gay marriage seem to think that in some way their own marriage is undermined or devalued. Now that’s the bizarre disconnected thing.

@10. Chaise Guevara – Damnit stop discriminating against my discrimination.

13. Chaise Guevara

@ 11

“Nobody has yet be able to outline – let alone convince me – how exactly an ordinary hetrosexual couple’s marriage or life, is materially affected by either the prospect or the reality of gay mariage.”

Apparently having to share your rights with other people makes them that much less special.

Why is polygamy between consenting adults illegal?

15. Chaise Guevara

@ 12

Wot about BIGOT’S rights???!!!

It’s all perfectly simple – the government can conduct a completely non-religious ceremony between anyone and call it a marriage, but only if they adhere to any restrictions set down by the majority religion; what’s so difficult to understand about that? ;-)

I think it’s a generational thing. I’m pretty Tory as these things go (and a cultural Anglican to boot), and I have absolutely no problem with the concept of gay marriage. I agree with PJ O’Rourke – conservatives should support gay marriage, gay adoption and gay clergy.

I’m so conservative that I approve of San Francisco City Hall marriages, adoption by same-sex couples, and New Hampshire’s recently ordained Episcopal bishop. Gays want to get married, have children, and go to church. Next they’ll be advocating school vouchers, boycotting HBO, and voting Republican.

@14 Not really sure. Once we are able to figure out how to rewrite our legal framework (next of kin definitions, inheritance and so forth) to allow for polygamy, it should be legal.

As for Lord Carey on redefining marriage – that’s all we’ve ever done! Only twenty years ago, a man could rape his wife because marriage was defined as allowing permanent consent. When we changed the divorce laws, that redefined marriage and how it could be terminated. Marriage used to be used by the royal houses of Europe as a tool of diplomacy – Prince William marrying for love and not his third cousin for good trade relations? But, that’s what marriage has been for since we can remember! How dare marriage be redefined in such a way. Next you’ll be suggesting that my father can’t marry me off to the bank manager’s son in order to clear his mortgage.

Lastly, I’ll just leave this macro here… Traditional marriage everybody.

Seems fair enough to me, is it bigoted to deny jobseekers allowance to someone in full time work?

No one here seems to understand the case against gay marriage, hence all this hysterical over-reaction about ‘bigotry’ etc.

Egalitarians tend to see any difference in the way that people/institutions are treated as necessarily involving an injustice. Consequently, they tend to call for people to be treated the same (even when, in fact, they are different).

Non-egalitarians do not perceive all difference as necessarily involving injustice. Indeed, they think the chances of injustice are greater if people’s differences are airbrushed out and people who are, in fact, different are treated as if they were the same.

Religions, by and large, are not founded along egalitarian principles. They tend to have roles/customs/institutions that are reserved for certain sorts of people, matters deemed ‘sacred’ or special etc.

In some religions, for instance, priesthood was reserved for women (High Priestesses); in others the sacerdotal function was reserved to men. Indeed, in a notable instance, generally to single men.

This sometimes causes conflicts with egalitarians, within and without certain religions. The CofE, for instance, has witnessed upheaval on the issue whether women can be priests. (Though no such upheaval on whether men can be nuns.) This inconsistency is most probably attributable to perceptions of power-relations, which are culturally and temporally specific, and therefore irrelevant to foundational concerns.

Marriage, in most religions, is conceived of as highly specific: something relating to the particular form of union between a man and a women, and generally (but not exclusively) associated with the subsequent production and nurture of children. It is seen by some as special or sacramental. It is, in its nature, exclusive….. not a ‘right’ open to all. Only couples who meet certain criteria are eligible. (e.g. in some branches of Christianity, divorced people cannot re-marry.)

To re-brand marriage as something open to all – even to couples of the same sex, is bound to be perceived by those who hold it to be particular, special, only open to those who meet certain criteria, as an assault on the integrity of the institution itself.

So, not surprisingly, they oppose it.

The state can choose to keep its nose out of the whole thing, or go along with what larger, mainstream religions agree is an acceptable norm. But the state should not interfere with or provoke the mainstream religions. To propose a legal pastiche of a sacred institution will inevitably be viewed as a provocation.

Why do it? Why not guarantee equal rights to gay people in the civic sphere, and leave it at that? i.e. give gay couples the same secular, civic rights (taxation etc) as married couples, but call it something else.

20
Technically and ideologically, the state is intrinsically involved with the church, whether it be the monarch, who is head of state and church, but more pertinently, the state gives power and licence to those who can carry-out marriages and where such marriage can take place. Marriage is a public as well as private institution, it may be surrounded in specific religious beliefs or a civil ceremony of promise. Either way, it is statute that gives authority to church marriages.
Accordingly, the overiding power of the state should treat all equal, whether or not it suits everybody’s particular beliefs.

22. Chaise Guevara

@ 20 Flowerpower

How can the state “keep its nose out” when it’s the state than recognises marriage under law? I for one am fine with churches conducting religious marriages that are not legally binding with any restrictions they see fit. They can conduct polygamous marriage ceremonies too, come to that. The problem is that the secular institution of marriage under the law is currently contaminated by (mainly) religious bigotry. The people who are pushing their noses where they don’t belong are the homophobes who want to dictate who other people can and can’t marry, such as Lord Carey.

I’ll leave others to pick apart your idea that the nicest thing to do is pander to the prejudiced.

@ 8 Cylux

I don’t have any problem with your soluytion either. Indeed, I think people should be free to do as they please, as long as they don’t impinge on the freedoms of others or cause harm to others. Gay marriage does neither in my view so…

However, though this article is nominally about gay marriage, it’s subtext isn’t.

Notice how Sunny calls the Christians against gay marriage bigots. Maybe they are, but why isn’t he calling muslims against gay marriage bigots as well?

I’d guess at the answer: he views religious christians as right wing – and therefore not “his” people. Muslims however, are one of his precious left wing minorities. No matter that they can be at least as bigoted as their christian counterparts – they are never attacked on these pages, for tribal reasons.

So what we see is Sunny focusing on the faults of one group whilst ignoring the very same in another. Call it what you will, but I call it insipid hypocrisy.

The more these people bang on about what a successful institution marriage is, the more they undermine their own case. It’s like campaigning against wider availability of a new drug on the grounds that it’s been a runaway success in long-term trials.

@ Tyler (et al)

I don’t see that the church/state issue is terribly complex on this one. The state can sanction civil marriages for whomever it likes, and churches can sanction religious marriages for whomever they like. I don’t see why gay marriage should muddy the waters any more than, say, marriage of divorcees. (The state is happy for divorcees to marry, some churches aren’t, and as far as I know the two just don’t tread on one another’s toes. It’s up to each individual couple whether they abide by the teachings of a church that refuses to marry them, get married in a church that takes a different view, or go down the civil route.)

25. Chaise Guevara

@ 23 Tyler

“Notice how Sunny calls the Christians against gay marriage bigots. Maybe they are, but why isn’t he calling muslims against gay marriage bigots as well? ”

The topic of this post is a group that have formed to deny full marriage rights to gay people. Sunny is calling the members of that group bigots, which is completely fair. I don’t know whether the group is exclusively Christian or not, but either way, he’s calling them bigots for their bigoted views, not their religion. Demanding that he mention every single bigot in the land every single time he mentions bigotry is whataboutery.

“I’d guess at the answer: he views religious christians as right wing – and therefore not “his” people. ”

Having said all that, this is probably true, based on the general trend of articles on this site.

Chaise @ 22

How can the state “keep its nose out” when it’s the state than recognizes marriage under law?

In choosing the word ‘recognize’, you get straight to the heart of the matter.

Marriage is a religious social institution that antedates the modern state. It exists in nearly all cultures and locations and has done so since the dawn of recorded history (and probably before that too).

So, you are right. The role of the state is to ‘recognize’ it. NOT interfere with, adapt, seek to extend, modify etc. Essentially the religions have a sort of copyright on marriage (and, in my view the word itself). The state can dream up its own equivalents: Civil Partnerships, Civil Unions, Domestic Contracts, as its citizens allow. But it can no more make them ‘marriages’ by legislative fiat than turn a horse into a cow by the same means.

Flowerpower,

Religions, by and large, are not founded along egalitarian principles. They tend to have roles/customs/institutions that are reserved for certain sorts of people, matters deemed ‘sacred’ or special etc.

In some religions, for instance, priesthood was reserved for women (High Priestesses); in others the sacerdotal function was reserved to men. Indeed, in a notable instance, generally to single men.

No major religion has had positions of power (other than prophetess, a position which allows speaking truth but has no actual authority) for women, which is hardly surprising. Roles such as vestial virgin, or abbess (if well connected) in medieval Christianity, were ceremonial, and the power of the postholder was purely to do with who they were, not the office.

This is not surprising. Control of religion equates to control of a source of social power, and therefore the dominant social groups try to control religion – hence most religions are run by old men with beards. Those who transgress against the views of the elite (as set down in their interpretation of texts and the like) are therefore excluded – and homosexuals have been excluded by almost all religions for the last two millenia. By allowing homosexuality to access what is seen (by the religious) as a sacrament of religion (even outside the religion) the actual power of the religion and its teachings are threatened.

I see little difference in opposing female priests or gay marriage and imposing female seclusioin – these are all moves by the surprisingly similiar ruling castes of various religions to impose their will through constructing social norms through religion.

Virtually all the legal rights of marriage are already available to same sex couples through civil partnerships so there is no need to redefine marriage to include them. The President of the Family Division has even described civil partnerships as conferring ‘the benefits of marriage in all but name’.

Such a move would also inevitably lead to calls to open civil partnerships to opposite sex couples on the basis of ‘equality’. But marriage and civil partnerships have been designed for two very different types of relationship and should be kept distinct. It is not and should not be ‘one size fits all’.

@26 If marriage pre-dates recorded history, then it pre-dates all of our major religions. So the claim that said religions have a ‘sort-of’ copyright on marriage, is false. It’s like claiming Christmas has a copyright on robin redbreasts.

30. Chaise Guevara

@ 26 Flowerpower

“So, you are right. The role of the state is to ‘recognize’ it. NOT interfere with, adapt, seek to extend, modify etc.”

Equivocation. Marriage ceremonies and lawful marriage are two different things, albeit two things generally done at the same time (ish). One is a religious and/or symbolic event celebrating the union between two people (you may also think it has a real-world effect by keeping you on God’s good side or whatever, but that’s your business). The other is a formal legal contract, with attendant rights and responsibilities under the law.

I think the two should be kept separate. You’re the one who thinks that one should be allowed to interfere with the other.

I’m rather horrified, though, in this idea that the state should bow down before the religious definition of marriage. I assume that if a religion decides it wants to marry adults to children, you think the state should legalise that union?

“Essentially the religions have a sort of copyright on marriage (and, in my view the word itself). The state can dream up its own equivalents: Civil Partnerships, Civil Unions, Domestic Contracts, as its citizens allow. But it can no more make them ‘marriages’ by legislative fiat than turn a horse into a cow by the same means.”

Saying it don’t make it so, I’m afraid. Religions don’t have a copyright, or a sort of copyright, on marriage or the word “marriage”. Intellectual property is granted to the creator and, for a set period, their successors. You can’t permanently claim a concept in the name of a vague group called “religion”. But it’s nice to see where your cards lie: supporting religious oppression.

31. Chaise Guevara

@ 28 Peter Saunders

“Such a move would also inevitably lead to calls to open civil partnerships to opposite sex couples on the basis of ‘equality’.”

You know that putting scare quotes around the concept of equality doesn’t actually stop in being equality, right?

“But marriage and civil partnerships have been designed for two very different types of relationship and should be kept distinct.”

How are they different, in a way that is relevant to this topic?

“It is not and should not be ‘one size fits all’.”

Why not?

And Carey is the nasty little brownshirt who was so supportive of Prince Charles remarriage. Not a problem to have a future head of state as someone who divorced his wife.

The hypocrisy of these charlatans is amazing. The only threat to marriage comes from heterosexual bigots, like Carey, and Gingrich.

Don’t worry folks, Betty Bowers explains it all <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=OFkeKKszXTw&gl=GB"<here..

Don’t worry folks, Betty Bowers explains it all here.

Sorry, here’s the link.

Ffs , when is this comment system ever going to work properly? I done a repost with the correct link, it shows on the sidebar, but hasn’t yet appeared on the page itself – despite having cleared out all the cookies.

@ Chaise

….And Sally @ 32 goes on to prove my point.

Carey is mentioned in the article…but where does Newt Gingrich come into it? Sally has equated Christianity with Being right wing, in this case republican, and then tarred them all with the same brush calling them bigots.

Of course that in itself is incredibly bigoted, as are so many of her comments, but I doubt she’ll notice. Sunny does exactly the same thing, if not in quite a ridiculous fashion as Sally.

Because of course, lefties and progressives are the only decent people in the world, and only their ideas are compassionate and do good – whereas all those right wingers, including tories, republicans, tea-party types and now joined by Christians – well they are “brownshirts”, “vermin” or “scum” aren’t they.

I do wonder if some of the people on this site ever take a look at what they write, or think about just how disgusting and insidious the subtle hate-speak they peddle is.

@36 Well Gingrich has and does campaign against gay marriage on the terms in the op that it is a threat to marriage, whereas his own track regarding the sanctity of marriage is apparently not…

Thank you 37 for explaining to the troll the point of bringing Gingrich into this debate. He tells anyone who is stupid enough to listen to him that he is against gay marriage because he is for the sanctity of marriage. The fact that he has been married 3 times and he asked his second wife if he could have an open marriage, so he could have sex with his girlfriend seems to pass him by.

39. Chaise Guevara

@ 36 Tyler

If you’re going to take LibCon’s resident hate-troll as your yardstick for “left-wing opinion”, of COURSE we’re going to come off looking horribly unreasonable and biased.

And she’s not alone: I can think of a few people on here who maintain that right-wingers are irredeemable vermin. But then I can think of some right-wingers who say the same about left wingers – or repeat the standard passive-aggressive line about lefties being silly and naive, and that we’ll all grow out of it with some life experience.

Problem is, you’re doing the same thing as Sally here, although admittedly in a less egregious fashion: grouping everyone who disagrees with you into a homogenous group so you can smear them all with the failings of the worst.

Given the headline for the opening post, I guess that bringing up different points of view would be a waste of time. Fair enough.

I’m increasingly loosing patience with Dr. Carey and his bullshit.

Heard an account today by an American woman of First Nation / Native American heritage who was living in London a few years back and went to a Thanksgiving Service at the American Church on Knightsbridge, where Dr Carey had been invited to deliver one of the readings as part of the service.

He managed to literally reduce her to tears with his text selection, the very, very racist 1690 declaration of a Day of Thanks by the then-Governor of Virginia, describing her people as heathen and unwashed, bloodthirsty savages.

Charming man.

Worth mentioning:- the Anti-Gay Marriage lobby in the US, particularly as relating to the campaign to get Proposition 8 on the California ballot was spearheaded and overwhelmingly bankrolled not by evangelical Baptists or Episcopalians, but by Mormons, who are *really* threatened by any changes in the laws that describe marriage.

Which is why whenever you see the leading “sanctity of marriage” or “family first” advocates debate, they always phrase their rhetoric in the form “marriage is a unique social construct between the two halves of nature, the male and the female”, rather than saying “marriage is between one man and one woman and that’s the end of it”.

They are acutely aware of who’s paying the bills.

If the US Congress hands down further federal law stating that marriage can only legally exist between two people in the eyes of the state, the LDS has got itself a pretty serious problem and threat to their customs and way of life (even though polygamy is no longer – offically -sanctioned and practiced within the official LDS faith, they just keep relatively quiet about it.)

43. Jo Brew-Oldale

@ so much for subtle. The decline of the institution of marriage has nothing to do with gay people…. nothing at all. If you’re gonna blame anyone, blame me… I’m a woman with 3 children. I’m happily married, but if my man does me wrong – repeatedly – I now have the option to leave because I am financially independent. Maybe you’d also like a return to the days when women weren’t allowed to own property and played a much more subservient role? Sad thing is, if you’re writing that sort of bigotry about the gay population, you probably would. The demise of marriage is strictly the result of straight couples’ behaviour. I think it’s all about people being threatened by the demise of patriarchy. Don’t worry, it’s still thriving. And will continue to do so whether or not same sex couples marry or not. Btw straight/ gay… isn’t it just a continuum?

44. Jo Brew-Oldale

@ Flower Power……. how many married people are practising Christians? How many married people got married because it’s part of our mixed up, confused culture? It’s not a ‘sacred’ institution in modern Britain. It’s a wonderful tradition that gets people together and celebrates love and commitment. I’m pretty sure that if Jesus were here today he’d be turning over a few tables as we speak

45. So Much For Subtlety

4. LibertarianLou

Is this a joke?

No. Half of all births in the UK now are between couples who are not married. The Netherlands used to be very liberal in its law, but very conservative in its social practices. Then they legalised Gay marriage. Around that time, and perhaps it was causal, marriage collapsed and single parent families have been increasing ever since.

Either marriage is about the raising of children in a safe and secure environment, or it is about the selfish needs and wants of one or more individuals. We have chosen the latter. We may well live to regret it.

5. Peter Clack

I am a Christian, and believe that two people who love each other and are committed to sharing their lives should be allowed to marry, regardless of gender.

Good for you. In what sense are you a Christian?

6. Steven

They once said Rock n’ Roll was the end of the world and Punk Rock was the end of civilisation but thankfully that hasn’t come to pass because really it’s a lot of old bull.

On the contrary, they were clearly right about Rock and Roll if not Punk. As you might have noticed if you looked around.

Gay marriage will not dismantle the institution of marriage because to people who love each other will make it work. It’s a lot better than two people getting married for the purpose of convenience which a lot of the upper and aristocratic people did or still do.

All evidence suggests the contrary. Marriage is not really about two people who love each other. Love is missing from most marriages in the world. It has not exactly been universal in British history. Love is a fickle emotion that comes and goes. Well goes mostly. Especially once someone else has got fat or lost his job. Marriages need more than that if they are to raise children successfully. Two people getting married for purposes of convenience are far more likely to have a successful marriage – as Britain’s South Asian community show.

Marriage is about love not the state or the church.

That is such an absurd statement I hardly know what to say. Not for most people.

There is also a social justice issue here. The Middle Class loves to be all edgy and cool and stuff. But they pretty firmly avoid doing what they preach for others. Middle Class children are, by and large, the product of intact families. It is hard to raise a child to do well at A Levels and get into a good University without two involved parents. By encouraging women to have children without husbands as well as glorifying easy divorce, we are simply insuring the under class will remain under and the poor will get poorer. The best thing we could do as far as inequality goes is make marriage more common and harder to get out of. We don’t do that because that would be uncool. But the poor suffer.

46. So Much For Subtlety

43. Jo Brew-Oldale

The decline of the institution of marriage has nothing to do with gay people…. nothing at all.

How do you know? You don’t of course. You are making a theological statement not a scientific evidence-based one.

If you’re gonna blame anyone, blame me… I’m a woman with 3 children. I’m happily married, but if my man does me wrong – repeatedly – I now have the option to leave because I am financially independent. Maybe you’d also like a return to the days when women weren’t allowed to own property and played a much more subservient role? Sad thing is, if you’re writing that sort of bigotry about the gay population, you probably would.

I might. I might indeed. You have the option to leave because the State actively and repeatedly intervenes to punish men and protect you from the consequences of your own actions. If we had a more neutral State, or one that did not bother with marriage at all, we would be having a very different sort of conversation. So you are not really talking about marriage. You are talking about a system where the State works solely for one side in a relationship in order to skew the power balance against, well, reality.

The demise of marriage is strictly the result of straight couples’ behaviour.

I agree. Gay marriage is not something Gay people are taking. It is something that straight people are giving. They are giving it because we no longer take the institution seriously or care about its role or function. We have basically embraced extinction and as such have very confused thinking on a lot of subjects.

I think it’s all about people being threatened by the demise of patriarchy. Don’t worry, it’s still thriving. And will continue to do so whether or not same sex couples marry or not.

I am sure patriarchy, or reality as I like to call it, will survive. But I don’t think people are threatened by its decline. I think they are bemused by Western government’s continuing but ultimately futile struggle against it in the name of an ideology most of us do not share.

Btw straight/ gay… isn’t it just a continuum?

So people say. Well some people. Not a lot of Gays these days though.

@So Much For Subtlety
I am Christian in the sense that I try to treat other people the way I would like to be treated, and I have a possibly imaginary friend for comfort.

48. Chaise Guevara

@ SMFS

“Gay marriage is not something Gay people are taking. It is something that straight people are giving. They are giving it because we no longer take the institution seriously or care about its role or function.”

I think the presumption that marriage is ours to give is one of the founding flaws in the anti-gay-marriage argument.

“We have basically embraced extinction and as such have very confused thinking on a lot of subjects.”

Extinction for straight people? Care to explain?

@48 You must be bored if you think you’re gonna get anything approaching a serious argument out of comrade Subtlety, more spaghetti thrown at the wall is the most likely response.

50. Chaise Guevara

@ 49 Cylux

Well, yes.

Chaise @ 30

it’s nice to see where your cards lie: supporting religious oppression.

Actually, Reform Judaism doesn’t do oppression.

But your the flavour of your rhetoric does, I think, help make my case.

I have argued for tolerance, tact, civility and the respect for traditions (including traditions I’m not part of).

Your response?

To describe sensitivity/civility as pandering to bigots, and respect for conventions two millennia or more old as siding with oppression.

Just the kind of illiberal, hot-headed egalitarian extremism I was talking about.

If you don’t like the idea of gay marriage, then don’t have one. Its not mandatory.

If marriage is something godly then why care about the state? God will only recognise heterosexual marriages, the state will recognise all marriages.

If heterosexual marriage is the natural and proper way of things, then it should survive whatever the state does. If Lord Carey is so worried, maybe he’s not sure it is the natural and proper way of things.

@50 Heh, fair enough then ;)

54. Chaise Guevara

@ 51 Flowerpower

“I have argued for tolerance, tact, civility and the respect for traditions (including traditions I’m not part of).”

Ho ho ho. The guy who wants to dictate whether or not certain other people can get married pretends he’s on the side of tolerance. People fooled: self.

“Your response?

To describe sensitivity/civility as pandering to bigots, and respect for conventions two millennia or more old as siding with oppression.”

Or I could equally say that you’re describing pandering to bigots as sensitivity/civility, especially given that you spare no sensitivity or civility for gay people. Ditto old conventions and oppression.

Just because you like these particular bigots, and look with fondness upon the system of oppression, doesn’t mean that those failings vanish. And in the meantime, you’re supporting homophobes who presume to dictate how other people can live their lives.

“Just the kind of illiberal, hot-headed egalitarian extremism I was talking about.”

I really don’t think being anti-homophobic is “extreme”, but each to his own. Calling it “illiberal”, however, is utterly ridiculous. YOU are the one who wants to tell people they can’t get married just because of their choice of partner. So attend the beam in thine eye before you address the alleged mote in mine own.

Incidentally, there seems to be a developing trend on this site where people smile upon bigotry but call it rude or illiberal to call bigots out. Are you guy comparing notes?

55. Robin Levett

@SMFSA #45:

No. Half of all births in the UK now are between couples who are not married. The Netherlands used to be very liberal in its law, but very conservative in its social practices. Then they legalised Gay marriage. Around that time, and perhaps it was causal, marriage collapsed and single parent families have been increasing ever since.

We haven’t, yet, legalised gay marriage. Note the first sentence of your “argument” here, and consider whether there might just possibly be a flaw in said argument. Hint – comparing the examples of a society that hasn’t legalised gay marriage but has (on your account) >50% of children born out of wedlock, with a society that has legalised gay marriage but has only around 40% of children born out of wedlock, may not show what you want it to show.

As for the Dutch; some stats showing that marriage has “collapsed” over the last 11 years would be welcome. That evidence problem again.

Chaise @ 54

Chaise, whether you like it or not, there are millions, nay billions, of people in the world who are adherents to religions that hold that homosexual acts are morally wrong. You may not agree with them; I may not agree with them. But that does not mean they are ‘bigots’. Since their religions hold this position, it isn’t at all surprising that they would object to one of their own institutions/sacraments/whatever being appropriated by the gay rights lobby with a view to enacting into law a kind of pastiche of their institution/sacrament/whatever.

Only a provocative and illiberal person would try to brand their beliefs as prejudice and bigotry and try to rub their noses in it by hi-jacking the name of one of their cherished institutions/sacraments.

A tactful and generous-hearted gay couple might insist on having the same civic rights and privileges, but would not insist on calling their union a ‘marriage’.

That is the ‘good manners’ argument. But there is a philosophical argument too. You think that by legislation you can make a civil partnership a marriage, and that will make everyone equal. I say that you can legislate to rename your local boozer ‘the Royal Enclosure at Ascot’ but it ain’t going to make the folk who drink there equal to the toffs.

57. Chaise Guevara

@ 56 Flowerpower

“Chaise, whether you like it or not, there are millions, nay billions, of people in the world who are adherents to religions that hold that homosexual acts are morally wrong. You may not agree with them; I may not agree with them. But that does not mean they are ‘bigots’. Since their religions hold this position, it isn’t at all surprising that they would object to one of their own institutions/sacraments/whatever being appropriated by the gay rights lobby with a view to enacting into law a kind of pastiche of their institution/sacrament/whatever.”

You’re not arguing against them being bigots. You’re providing a reason for their bigotry. I’d go as far as to call it mitigating circumstances, but that doesn’t make the bigotry magically vanish.

“Only a provocative and illiberal person would try to brand their beliefs as prejudice and bigotry and try to rub their noses in it by hi-jacking the name of one of their cherished institutions/sacraments.”

Again, your version of “illiberal”, the one where it’s ok to repress people but not ok to criticise or even point out the bigotry behind said repression, is alien to me. And nobody’s hijacking anything; gay people have as much moral entitlement to marriage as straights, and ditto religious and non-religious people. Stop with the special pleading.

“A tactful and generous-hearted gay couple might insist on having the same civic rights and privileges, but would not insist on calling their union a ‘marriage’.

That is the ‘good manners’ argument.”

I’m sure it would be “good manners” for a black person to smile and nod while a white person talks about white power, too. And, this obviously hasn’t occurred to you, but just maybe it would be good manners not to legally force gay people not to get married? But wait, I forgot: in your world, religious people matter and gay people don’t, so upsetting religious people is worse than upsetting and oppressing gay people. Where do gay religious people fit into your human chain of priorities, out of interest?

“But there is a philosophical argument too. You think that by legislation you can make a civil partnership a marriage, and that will make everyone equal. ”

No I don’t, I’m not stupid. The name of the insitution is a small battle, and if we win it that won’t make prejudice vanish overnight. Anyway, perfection fallacy. A small improvement is still preferable to maintaining an inferior status quo.

It’s unfortunately telling that, unlike the Papacy, most Archbishops of Canterbury retire when they begin loosing their marbles, rather than dying in the saddle.

Instead, once they are too ga-ga and off their game to discuss matters of faith, morality and existentialism on a daily baisis, they go into politics.

Popes expect to ascend directly to heaven at the end of their tenure; Anglican Bishops ascend to the Lords.

Believing all these contortionistic Moebius loops of faith and seemingly contradictory logic and doublethink must be really exhausting, and tying yourself in daily knots to phrase and formulate dogma that appears even vaguely coherent or consistent with itself, scripture and your previous public positions on things must be very exhausting.

I think Douglas Adams had the right idea, once they give up the daily duties of the cloth and evangelising, the church should chip in and present them all personally with an electric monk to relieve the burden of having to believe in and substantiate all those trivial and tiresome things that they’re expected to care about enough to condemn philisophically.

Far better than having him write articles for the Mail on Sunday which make him look continually like the silly old fool he really is and just constantly embarrasses himself.

Chaise, whether you like it or not, there are millions, nay billions, of people in the world who are adherents to religions that hold that homosexual acts are morally wrong. You may not agree with them; I may not agree with them. But that does not mean they are ‘bigots’.

Eh? What is a ‘bigot’, then?

56/Flowerpower: Since their religions hold this position, it isn’t at all surprising that they would object to one of their own institutions/sacraments/whatever being appropriated by the gay rights lobby with a view to enacting into law a kind of pastiche of their institution/sacrament/whatever.

So, the secular festival of Pancake Day? An unpleasant appropriative pastiche of an older Christian tradition, or not? I’ve not heard anyone complaining about it, but I admit I’ve not particularly been looking.

Given that there are several Christian denominations, and other religions, where same-sex marriage is perfectly fine, and called “marriage”, and given legal weight where local laws allow, you’re not just arguing that religion should have the right to define marriage, but that particular branches of particular religions should have the right to define marriage for other religions and branches, despite those religions who oppose same-sex marriage not even having a consistent definition for which opposite-sex couples can marry and in what circumstances.

61. Chaise Guevara

@ 59

ukliberty

“Eh? What is a ‘bigot’, then?”

You have no IDEA how much fun I’ve been having with this very question on Lib Con of late. And by “fun”, I mean “agony of dealing with constant, point-dodging equivocation by apologists for bigotry”. Dip your toes into this water at your peril!

I’m surprisied this aspect hasn’t been raised earlier, but here we go…

The majority of gay people couldn’t care less about gay marriage. And I can’t really blame them.

Sure, the awareness of the issue and it’s relative importance is on the rise, but still consistently around 40% of self-identifying gay or lesbian people when surveyed consider it a serious issue. That number may be slowly creeping up towards 50%, but that’s only since the anti-gay marriage / militant family values lobby began pushing it to the top of the political agenda.

When you begin vocally denying a group a right that they never had before, the result is that you radicalise them and suddenly they begin wanting it and demanding it when it becomes clear they are being actively oppressed.

(For the record, I don’t think that two gay people have a “right” to marry, just as I don’t believe two straight people have a “right” to get married, it effects me not at all one jot, nor the way I think about them or their relationship. But any excuse for a disco is to be encouraged in my book, so by all means, fill yet boots and get than cake ordered.)

Quite frankly, even those gay people who lobbied hardest for equal recognition and legal protection under the law were for the most part happy and satisfied with that until a bunch of killjoy breeders came along and began telling them “Well, don’t go getting any ideas above your station, it’s not like you’re really married, after all….”

Gay people have had far more urgent and important things to worry about up til now, like violence, hate crime, negative stereotyping in the media, HIV, sex education, etc, etc. Marriage is way down the list; first you get people to stop killing you for what you are, then you go about getting people to accept you doing things that everyone else takes for granted.

That gay marriage is such a prominent issue at all now is directly attributable mainly to two things:- firstly, many of those more serious issues are well on their way to being solved (at least in Western urban culture, although there’s still much to be done)… And secondly, “family values” and Anti-Gay Marriage advocates pushing it onto the agenda.

It is a classic case – ironically – of The Streisand Effect.

@ 59 UKliberty @ 61 Chaise

A bigot, according to most dictionary definitions, is what you are being: “One who is strongly partial to one’s own group, religion, race, or politics and is intolerant of those who differ.”

Most of the religiously observant people I know are not bigots, because they are not intolerant of those who hold other views or belong to other traditions.

I’d guess all of my churchgoing CofE and Roman Catholic colleagues consider adultery a very grave sin, but that does not mean that they are intolerant of or hostile to people who have committed adultery. Indeed, on a daily basis, they tolerate, work with, socialize with and are on good terms with our finance director, who is a notorious and serial adulterer, and is proud of it.

You paint religious people as incapable of believing homosexuality to be objectively ‘disordered’ or wrong, without also being bigots. But that is not my experience. Without exception, all the religiously observant people I know, who belong to religions that outlaw homosexuality – - whether Orthodox Jewish, Christian or Muslim – are perfectly tolerant of, and nice to, the gay people in their workplaces or neighbourhoods.

I dare say there ARE bigots in the world, and count myself fortunate not to know any. But looking around our society, I can see no evidence that they account for more than a tiny minority of religious people.

It is instructive, I think, that where they have strongly held views, but do not try to force others to share them, you wish to force them to change their fundamental beliefs, and hold them up to insult and ridicule when their views are not congruent with your own.

So who are the bigots?

@63 How precisely is allowing Christian gay couples to get married in their gay friendly church forcing ‘not-bigotted’ religious people belonging to other denominations to change their fundamental beliefs?

@ 64 Cylux

It isn’t. And I didn’t say it was.

But the branding of this thread and the line taken by Chaise (and implicitly by others) shows a desire to demonize (as bigots) and de-legitimize those who have a moral objection to homosexuality, whatever their religion or denomination. It is as if holding such a belief were in itself a thought-crime, an attitude that must be expunged.

Such an agenda is manifest in the use of the (literally) meaningless coinage ‘homophobia’ (- an irrational fear of the same????) and its propagandist usage to imply that taking a moral position against homosexuality is equivalent to racism.

Flowerpower @63,

A bigot, according to most dictionary definitions, is what you are being: “One who is strongly partial to one’s own group, religion, race, or politics and is intolerant of those who differ.”

You paint religious people as incapable of believing homosexuality to be objectively ‘disordered’ or wrong, without also being bigots…..
… you wish to force them to change their fundamental beliefs…

At the time of you writing your comment @63, I had made one comment to this thread, which was where I asked “What is a bigot, then?”

And you’re saying in response that I’m painting religious people as incapable etc and wishing to force them to change their fundamental beliefs etc.

What?

67. Chaise Guevara

@ 63 Flowerpower

“A bigot, according to most dictionary definitions, is what you are being: “One who is strongly partial to one’s own group, religion, race, or politics and is intolerant of those who differ.””

That’s not most dictionaries, that’s the Concise OED. I’m not going into this one in depth because I’ve just done it in another thread (it’s weird that bigotry has been discussed regularly on this site forever, and suddenly now we have three people waving the Concise OED definition around).

Suffice it to say, when I say “bigot” I mean someone who is prejudiced and/or intolerant of other demographics, and that’s what I mean here. From context, I suspect that’s what the OP and UKLiberty mean as well. If you don’t like this definition, fine; feel free to mentally substitute “prejudice” for “bigotry” each time you see me write it.

“You paint religious people as incapable of believing homosexuality to be objectively ‘disordered’ or wrong, without also being bigots. But that is not my experience. Without exception, all the religiously observant people I know, who belong to religions that outlaw homosexuality – – whether Orthodox Jewish, Christian or Muslim – are perfectly tolerant of, and nice to, the gay people in their workplaces or neighbourhoods.”

In that case, I assume that these people you know are not against the right of gay people to be married? If so, fair play and more power to them. If not, it seems obvious that they’re tolerant and nice to gay people’s faces (and no doubt the faces of straight people who find homophobia offensive), but not when their backs are turned.

“But looking around our society, I can see no evidence that they account for more than a tiny minority of religious people.”

The amount of opposition to gay marriage suggests otherwise. Not that you have to be religious to be homophobic, of course, but it does seem to be the main driver of that particular prejudice these days.

Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t an attack on believers. I’m not saying they’re more likely in general to be bigoted than non-believers.

“It is instructive, I think, that where they have strongly held views, but do not try to force others to share them, you wish to force them to change their fundamental beliefs, and hold them up to insult and ridicule when their views are not congruent with your own.

So who are the bigots?”

Those guys who want gay marriage to remain illegal, remember? How can you possibly stand there with a straight face and claim that they don’t want to force other people to share their views when they by definition want their views LEGALLY forced upon other people’s lifestyle choices?

@ 66 UKliberty

I read your snarky “Eh what is a bigot then?” juxtaposed with my quotation as evincing precisely the mindset described in my answer to Cylux @65 above.

Did I read the tone/substance wrong? Happy to withdraw, if so.

69. Robin Levett

@Flowerpower #65:

But the branding of this thread and the line taken by Chaise (and implicitly by others) shows a desire to demonize (as bigots) and de-legitimize those who have a moral objection to homosexuality, whatever their religion or denomination.

“Moral objection to homosexuality”? No; the concern is those who on the basis of religious diktat seek to deny to others that which they themselves enjoy – the right to marry. Morality doesn’t enter into it.

70. Chaise Guevara

@ 65 Flowerpower

“It is as if holding such a belief were in itself a thought-crime, an attitude that must be expunged.”

I’m sorry, but this is just incredibly dishonest. I’m not condemning anyone purely for their thoughts, and I don’t see anyone else doing so either. How would we even know? I’m condemning people FOR PUSHING THEIR MARRIAGE PREFERENCES ONTO OTHER PEOPLE. Do you get it now? Why even bother to argue with me if you’re just going to throw ridiculous straw men around in an attempt to make liberality look like an Orwellian nightmare?

Oh, and homophobia *is* morally similar to racism, if we’re talking about the applied forms of those philosophies. The fact that the etymology of the word is admittedly weird has literally no bearing on the issue itself.

For the record, I could care less what consenting adults get up to; if they want a ceremony to affirm to each other and demonstrate to the world their commitment to their relationship, fine, and if they want to call it “marriage”, fine.

If a group of people thinks consenting adults should not be so free and are contributing to those adults not being so free, then that group of people are infringing on the freedom of those consenting adults. That is what people who are opposed to “gay marriage” and are politically powerful enough to prevent it are doing: infringing on the freedom of others.

Whatever we can legitimately call that group of people or that particular kind of infringement, I believe it is wrong to so infringe on the freedom of consenting adults. They can think whatever they like, just don’t infringe on the freedom of consenting adults.

If that makes me a bigot I guess I am also bigotted against people who support other kinds of infringements on freedoms and rights. I will get over it eventually.

Such an agenda is manifest in the use of the (literally) meaningless coinage ‘homophobia’ (- an irrational fear of the same????) and its propagandist usage to imply that taking a moral position against homosexuality is equivalent to racism.

Well there is the Gay panic defence which still gets rolled out every now and then to try and justify the murder of my people. Plus it wasn’t all that long ago (over a decade or so) that heading down the gay scene in gangs to hospitalise lone guys on the streets (who might have not even been gay, just in the wrong place at the wrong time) was thought of as an acceptable way to finish off a nights drinking. While anecdotes are poor evidence I must admit to being quite surprised to hear that at my workplace, the previous owner, who is the current owners father, fired a bloke because “all the lads think yer a woofter”. Luckily I joined 7 years after the business had been handed down.
Frankly, if you think ‘homophobia’ is just a propaganda term and not something that is a lived experience like racism, you’re wrong.

@62 Spike1138: What you say is largely true, though gay marriage in the US has a general greater importance than over here due to the more widespread, well, homophobia (as evidenced by Mitt, Newt and Santorum, the main three republican candidates for President of the United States deciding that bashing gays was key to ensuring core support, Mittens is STILL regarded as being too pro-gay as well!) and the more insidious effects this has on gay couples. It’s not unusual for the partner of a gay man (following a serious incapacitating illness or accident) to be turned away from seeing his beloved in hospital on the basis that he is not next of kin, and the family that disowned his lover (another insidious effect right there) instead being invited to his bedside, regardless of any legal steps that have been taken to ensure that he can in fact see his partner or has power of attorney. It’s not always due to an unthinking bureaucratic ‘hospital policy’ either.
Gay marriage eliminates that bullshit at a stroke, (or at least allows for big whopping easy to win court cases against hospitals that try it) hence why it’s campaigned for a lot more strongly over there.

@73

I appreciate that problem, but Britain is not America. For one thing, atheism is socially acceptable in all areas of the country, whereas many American communities (Utah, the Bible belt) are characterised by and have their regional identity defined by a particular denomination that settled in that area to practice their creed. Britain is not that way, even though we do have an established church.

Our problems and our culture is not Americas. And any presidential candidate who is viable has to have broad national appeal. Obama was widely criticised for not campaigning in 2008 during the Primaries in North Carolina, one of the former heartlands of white supremacy and slavery; what is less often recognised is that he did so by shoring up his Mormon support by working his Mormon organizers overtime in Nevada and Utah, because those people command BIG money and because Mormons traditionally believe that black people are cut off from God and possibly have no souls – more of an electoral impediment than being the son of a Kenyan in the Carolinas, even. But also why he hasn’t spoken out on the issue in his first term (Mormons fearing any new federal legislation defining the nature of marriage), but that will likely change if he is re-elected.

Ron Paul’s name is often a dirty word on these boards and I can understand why; I do have respect for the man as someone who talks the talk as well as walks the walk, but I almost think the worst and most unforgivable thing Sacha Baron Coen has ever done in his career was to catch Ron Paul on camera in Brüno calling him a queer.

As it is, Romney is a Mormon, with Mormon views on gays, Newt is a hater in every sense of non-WASPs (see his remarks on Palestinians) with no principles and Santorum… ’nuff said.

All of them could carry the South and maybe the mid-West – the East Coast and California? No way. Ron Paul might… But only if he were in the race or on the ticket.

75. So Much For Subtlety

48. Chaise Guevara

I think the presumption that marriage is ours to give is one of the founding flaws in the anti-gay-marriage argument.

Really? Let’s see. Two Gay people can love each other. Two Gay people can decide they want to mark this love. Two Gay people can decide to have a nice ceremony overseen by someone in a suit. Two Gay people can invite all their friends to said ceremony. Two Gay people can exchange rings in front of all their friends. Two Gay people can say they are married.

So far, no need for a change in the law. As we all agree they can do all these things. And always have been.

What they cannot do is insist on everyone else treating their marriage like a marriage. They cannot call on the power of the State to punish people for not recognising their marriage as a marriage. That is basically what they want.

I am interested, how do you think this is not something for us to give?

Extinction for straight people? Care to explain?

No. Extinction for First World people. We have decided not to have children and hand the future over to those who will.

71. ukliberty

For the record, I could care less what consenting adults get up to; if they want a ceremony to affirm to each other and demonstrate to the world their commitment to their relationship, fine, and if they want to call it “marriage”, fine.

By all means. I agree completely.

If a group of people thinks consenting adults should not be so free and are contributing to those adults not being so free, then that group of people are infringing on the freedom of those consenting adults. That is what people who are opposed to “gay marriage” and are politically powerful enough to prevent it are doing: infringing on the freedom of others.

Except it is a strawman. That is not the argument. No one is denying Gay people the right to affirm each other or even to call it a marriage. Not even a “marriage” if it comes down to it. Not a single person in this debate is doing so.

The argument is about whether Gay people can hold such a ceremony and then use the power of the State to make everyone else call it a marriage. The question here is whether or not the State ought to be sending the police around and putting people in prison – to push the argument to its extreme – because they are not willing to consider a Gay marriage a marriage. Arguably that does infringe the rights of others. I certainly think it is the right of every B&B owner to reject any customer they do not like – although I suspect you don’t – so other people’s rights are being infringed already.

Although that would still not be my main objection. Which would be a more traditionally conservative one that the re-definition of marriage has an impact on the whole of society. A negative impact. And a sufficiently serious negative impact that it is worth banning Gay marriage. We have already seen that when we make what we think are small changes, we end up not only radically changing society, but we radically re-define what society considers right and proper. That is a momentus step that we should at least think about before doing. I doubt that homosexuality would have been legalised if people realised it would lead to B&B owners being charged for refusing Gay people service.

You may not agree with the anti-Gay-marriage case, but you should at least respect it enough to get it right.

76. So Much For Subtlety

74. Spike1138

I appreciate that problem, but Britain is not America. For one thing, atheism is socially acceptable in all areas of the country, whereas many American communities (Utah, the Bible belt) are characterised by and have their regional identity defined by a particular denomination that settled in that area to practice their creed. Britain is not that way, even though we do have an established church.

Britain is not marked by regional identities defined by a particular denomination is it? So there is definitely no link between England and, say, the Church of England? None between urban areas like Manchester and the Methodists? None between Wales and the Chapels? None between Scotland and several dour forms of Calvinism? None between the Highlands and reminants of Catholicism for that matter?

Even if it is a matter of settlement and links to a particular denomination, you are really arguing that this does not typify Northern Ireland?

My God you hear some rubbish sometimes.

77. Yeah, but am i bovered?

@ 75 “The question here is whether or not the State ought to be sending the police around and putting people in prison – to push the argument to its extreme – because they are not willing to consider a Gay marriage a marriage.”

Rather beyond the extreme, actually. Generally speaking, the Police aren’t used to enforce civil law.

” Arguably that does infringe the rights of others. I certainly think it is the right of every B&B owner to reject any customer they do not like – although I suspect you don’t – so other people’s rights are being infringed already.”

Really? I mean, really? I’ll go and tell that nice Mr and Mrs Von Racist who own the B & B down the road that they can put those “No pets, blacks, asians or jews” signs back up, shall I? Is this a right that you believe should only extend to B & B owners or would you include, say, shop and restaurant proprietors, banks, employers etc etc etc? Before I go any further, could you remind me where the fundamental right of all human beings to discriminate against groups they take a dislike to comes from?

78. Yeah, but am i bovered?

@ 75 “You may not agree with the anti-Gay-marriage case, but you should at least respect it enough to get it right.”

Well, no, not really. You see, it’s a myth that everyone’s viewpoint/opinion deserves respect. Some viewpoints are bigoted, some are just stupid. Yours is both.

79. paul freeman

65. Flowerpower

@ 64 Cylux

I feel you are demonizing yourself, to some extent here. Flowerpower:
Cylux’s vision of a gay-friendly church, happy to marry couples of the same gender would ultimately represent a division little different to the many others which exist between the various denominations in the UK today. I was brought up a Methodist who (apart from having the best hymn tunes by a country mile) have had women in the pulpit for.. well, certainly all of my 62 years and a century longer than that for all I know. When the CofE moved in the same direction the sky was in danger of falling in. Although it ultimately didn’t, it did caused a schism in some places. those who violently disagree with this change (some would say this progress) are accommodated elsewhere within the broad spectrum of religion in this country which spans from the the rigid and unbending Catholics at one end to the much more pliant (I would say go-ahead and progressive, but that might be deemed to be too partisan) churches like – say – Unitarians (to pick one at random). To a staunch catholic, many of the customs and practices in even the high end of the CofE are beyond the pale. No catholic would take communion in a C of E church for example. My point being that same-sex marriage will fit in and be acceped as perfectly normal in some places, and absolutely not in others, and we’ll all learn to live with it: the sky won’t fall in, or rain frogs.

So enough with the demonizing.

It has been my experience that there are two distinct types of offence which can be generally encountered. The first could be called passively available offence. Characterised as being something offensive which you could happen upon accidentally, like a newspaper article, a billboard photo, a radio show, a pre-watershed tv programme. The second would therefore be actively available offence. Into this catagory I would put films, books, theatre performances or anything else where you have to go out of your way to encounter it and therefore be offended. In almost every case those who are offended by material in the second catagory have gone out of their way specifically to be offended. I have no patience with this group whatsoever. And I can’t help feeling those who are complaining about same-sex marriages being forced upon them, or made to change their fundamental beliefs (or whatever the phrase used was: I’m too tired to keep zapping up and down the page to check) are like the man on the phone-in who says ” I don’t know what the subject is, but I wish to complain about it in the strongest possible terms”. To all intents and purposes it’s never going to affect you, so why should you care.
If you are antithetical to the idea of same-sex marriage, and you are as one with your church, then I hardly think that particular church will ever change its view. To all intents and purposes it’s never going to affect you, so why should you care?
If your church is not in accord with your views, then I think you have bigger problems than two matching morning suits covered in confetti. I fear the time has come for you to change pews.

There are many things in this world which I find offensive, but if they don’t impinge on my life directly what right have I got to say they should be banned?

So one whom holds to a viewpoint and has the courage of their convictions and refuses to change their point of view is “a bigot?”

What does that make those whom are both strong and active in proposing their view that gay marriage is normal and not deviant in any way? Surely according to the dictiionarys definition they are “a bigot.”

The problem is that two sets of people have the conviction they are right and neither is for yielding, though their viewpont on the same topic is opposite are they both correct and if so whom is the bigot?
Surely using Sunny Hundal deductive reasoning, both must be.

Sadly in todays society and I assert it is the fault of a “worldly” church, individuals like myself whom hold to strong Christian bible principals are at best marginalised and worst demonised. I say this as one whom is without a bigoted bone in his body….

SMFS,

No one is denying Gay people the right to affirm each other or even to call it a marriage. Not even a “marriage” if it comes down to it. Not a single person in this debate is doing so.

Um, yes they are, e.g. Flowerpower @20 and Lord Carey in the Daily Mail.

You may not agree with the anti-Gay-marriage case, but you should at least respect it enough to get it right.

Try reading the article linked in the OP and the comments in this thread.

I certainly think it is the right of every B&B owner to reject any customer they do not like – although I suspect you don’t – so other people’s rights are being infringed already.

I am conflicted / fence-sitting about B&B owners.

82. paul freeman

@ So Much for Subtlety

Care to furnish so real examples of this negative impact to justify this somewhat sweeping generalisation? The perception of its danger must surely be based on past experiences if it is as serious as you claim.

Again, a few examples wouldn’t go amiss to bolster your argument.
And who exactly are the ‘we’ who are imposing these small but crucial changes? We are society aren’t we? Surely the majority of changes we’ve witnessed since the war have percolated up from ‘society’ to the law rather than being imposed on us from above?

We’re in danger of running round a mobius loop here.

83. paul freeman

@ So Much for Subtlety

Although that would still not be my main objection. Which would be a more traditionally conservative one that the re-definition of marriage has an impact on the whole of society. A negative impact. And a sufficiently serious negative impact that it is worth banning Gay marriage.

Care to furnish so real examples of this negative impact to justify this somewhat sweeping generalisation? The perception of its danger must surely be based on past experiences if it is as serious as you claim.

We have already seen that when we make what we think are small changes, we end up not only radically changing society, but we radically re-define what society considers right and proper.

Again, a few examples wouldn’t go amiss to bolster your argument.
And who exactly are the ‘we’ who are imposing these small but crucial changes? We are society aren’t we? Surely the majority of changes we’ve witnessed since the war have percolated up from ‘society’ to the law rather than being imposed on us from above?

We’re in danger of running round a mobius loop here.

84. So Much For Subtlety

77. Yeah, but am i bovered?

Rather beyond the extreme, actually. Generally speaking, the Police aren’t used to enforce civil law.

Well yes they are actually. But no matter. They are used to enforce, for instance, bigamy laws. Which did not apply to Gays but which soon may.

Really? I mean, really? I’ll go and tell that nice Mr and Mrs Von Racist who own the B & B down the road that they can put those “No pets, blacks, asians or jews” signs back up, shall I? Is this a right that you believe should only extend to B & B owners or would you include, say, shop and restaurant proprietors, banks, employers etc etc etc? Before I go any further, could you remind me where the fundamental right of all human beings to discriminate against groups they take a dislike to comes from?

Yes, why not? I think that anyone has a right to express their bigotry if they so feel. What is more the cure is worse than the problem in the first place. I would happily extend it to shops and banks – in the full knowledge that such behaviour would be punished by the market and would not last.

The government has no right interfering in consentual activities between adults. I thought we all agreed on that? Thus if one party does not like another party, for whatever reason, the State has no reason to step in to force the first party to pretend it is consenting.

Yeah, but am i bovered?

Well, no, not really. You see, it’s a myth that everyone’s viewpoint/opinion deserves respect. Some viewpoints are bigoted, some are just stupid. Yours is both.

Good for you. Did you manage that all by yourself? You may be right. Or you may not be. Either way, before you can make that statement you need to actually understand the argument before you. To judge it before understanding it would be, what is the word?, bigotry. Which is kind of my point, no?

paul freeman

Cylux’s vision of a gay-friendly church, happy to marry couples of the same gender would ultimately represent a division little different to the many others which exist between the various denominations in the UK today. I was brought up a Methodist who (apart from having the best hymn tunes by a country mile) have had women in the pulpit for.. well, certainly all of my 62 years and a century longer than that for all I know. When the CofE moved in the same direction the sky was in danger of falling in.

The more liberal Churches become, the more their membership collapses. We can debate the whys of this, but it is a clearly observable fact. The only Churches that show any signs of retaining members are those who stand firm against liberal values. Thus the Evangelicals and Charismatics are growing. As are Muslim congregations. The Ultra-Orthodox. But not Liberal Jews. Not the Methodists. And not the Church of England. To be honest it was probably not Gay rights that did in the CoE but women priests. The sky has fallen in for them, they are just waiting out the elderly and habit-bound.

My point being that same-sex marriage will fit in and be acceped as perfectly normal in some places, and absolutely not in others, and we’ll all learn to live with it: the sky won’t fall in, or rain frogs.

That is nice but it is not the point. The pro-marriage lobby is not arguing for a live-and-let-live approach. They do not want some corner of British life where they can get married. They want to drive out anyone who objects. The aim is not to make Gay marriage a tolerated part of British life, but to make objecting to it an un-tolerated part. Which is why people get hauled up in front of Courts. Why Gay activists go under cover to “expose” therapists they do not like and so on.

In almost every case those who are offended by material in the second catagory have gone out of their way specifically to be offended. I have no patience with this group whatsoever.

Like the Gay activists who go out of their way to expose what they call bigotry?

To all intents and purposes it’s never going to affect you, so why should you care.

Vilification and discrimination laws do affect everyone. As everyone knows.

85. So Much For Subtlety

81. ukliberty

Um, yes they are, e.g. Flowerpower @20 and Lord Carey in the Daily Mail.

I have re-read Flowerpower although I can’t be bothered with Carey and I can’t see a single place where he asserts that Gay people can’t set up a marquee and call themselves married. No one is contesting this right.

He is saying the Churches should not be forced to do something they do not want to do. But that is kind of the point isn’t it?

I am conflicted / fence-sitting about B&B owners.

Why?

paul freeman

Care to furnish so real examples of this negative impact to justify this somewhat sweeping generalisation? The perception of its danger must surely be based on past experiences if it is as serious as you claim.

I think I have already – the more we move down the path to a more liberal world, the more that things like marriage become despised and the more people avoid them. This has bad social consequences.

Although I do not think the onus is on me to prove anything. Those people who want to change society need to explain why they are sure it will not have bad side effects.

And who exactly are the ‘we’ who are imposing these small but crucial changes? We are society aren’t we? Surely the majority of changes we’ve witnessed since the war have percolated up from ‘society’ to the law rather than being imposed on us from above?

I disagree. The majority of social changes have been imposed on people who either did not care or actively opposed them. Like the abolition of the death penalty. They are invariably the work of a small number of activists. Who are part of society I suppose. But not all of it or even a representative part of it.

SMFS: “The more liberal Churches become, the more their membership collapses.”

This is obviously a compelling and robust case for burning heretics and apostates at the stake again, just like they used to in the good old days when Biblical authority went unquestioned by the multitude.

I suspect the rot really started with the printing of the King James version of the Bible in English translation in 1611, which meant anyone with sufficient literacy to read could access the Bible and read it for themselves. After all, keeping the Bible and the mass in Latin helped to sustain the mystery of religion. Transparency generated scepticism because that enabled wicked people like Tom Paine to produce books like the Age of Reason:
http://www.deism.com/images/theageofreason1794.pdf

87. Yeah, but am i bovered?

@84 “Yes, why not?”

Are you a complete moron?

” I think that anyone has a right to express their bigotry if they so feel. What is more the cure is worse than the problem in the first place. I would happily extend it to shops and banks – in the full knowledge that such behaviour would be punished by the market and would not last.”

Ah, I see that you are. “The market” doesn’t, generally, end bigotry, it entrenches it. That may be why segregation in the southern states of the US ended after a huge civil rights campaign rather than as a result of a price adjustment in the commodities markets. It may well be why various minorities are better off in the UK now that we have legislation in this area than they were 40 years ago when we didn’t. On a related note, exactly what market mechanism would we rely on to change the behaviour of public bodies, the Police for example? Idiot.

“Well yes they are actually. But no matter. They are used to enforce, for instance, bigamy laws. Which did not apply to Gays but which soon may.”

So, you think bigamy isn’t a crime? Idiot.

“Good for you. Did you manage that all by yourself? You may be right. Or you may not be. Either way, before you can make that statement you need to actually understand the argument before you. To judge it before understanding it would be, what is the word?, bigotry. Which is kind of my point, no?”

What kind of idiot ends a sentence with the word “no” and a question mark? Anyway, I’m judging your statements (not statement) having fully understood them. And they’re both stupid and bigoted.

@76

Britain is not marked by regional identities defined by a particular denomination is it? So there is definitely no link between England and, say, the Church of England? None between urban areas like Manchester and the Methodists? None between Wales and the Chapels? None between Scotland and several dour forms of Calvinism? None between the Highlands and reminants of Catholicism for that matter?

My fault, sorry, wasn’t being clear enough.

Yes, England has ties of faith with the Church of England. But most people in England do not consider themselves to *be* Church of England, at least to the extent that they regularly attend Chuch.

Nor, if they did, would they vote according to an endorsement from the pulpit. Some might, most wouldn’t. The church (any church) is not an electoral force in Britain in the same way it is in the States – if you piss off the Mormons, you can’t contest Utah in a Presidential race, nor is Nevada likely, so you have to allow a national strategy that picks up electoral votes elsewhere. Likewise, if you alienate the Baptists in the Bible belt, much of the South is out of play.

No-one in Britain in this century can become Prime Minister or gains majority by pandering to the clergy, since British worshipers by and large keep their political judgements and their faith separate.

What you say about Northern Ireland is partly true, but again, not as simple as that, since community identity (though strongly incorporating denominational difference) is more tribal than anything, so it’s far more complex than that.

And Northern Ireland policy has never been a decisive issue in mainland politics at a General Election since around Sunningdale, so it’s influence in determining the balance of power in Westminster is negated.

89. So Much For Subtlety

86. Bob B

This is obviously a compelling and robust case for burning heretics and apostates at the stake again, just like they used to in the good old days when Biblical authority went unquestioned by the multitude.

Absolutely. If your aim is higher Church attendance. If you would prefer a more liberal society but with organised religion, then that religion needs to stand for something – and stand up for something – not bend with the times. Even if they do not go the Full Spanish Inquisition.

I suspect the rot really started with the printing of the King James version of the Bible in English translation in 1611

Preaching to the Choir Bob.

87. Yeah, but am i bovered?

Are you a complete moron?

So no, you can’t think of a reason.

Ah, I see that you are. “The market” doesn’t, generally, end bigotry, it entrenches it. That may be why segregation in the southern states of the US ended after a huge civil rights campaign rather than as a result of a price adjustment in the commodities markets.

Actually no. The market was not allowed to operate in the South. Segregation was enforced by State law. Federal law sometimes too. Where it was left to the market, people integrated. It was usually because people were integrating on their own that people lobbied for the government to step in to stop it. Markets punish bigotry. They push people towards tolerance.

It may well be why various minorities are better off in the UK now that we have legislation in this area than they were 40 years ago when we didn’t.

It may but it is not likely.

So, you think bigamy isn’t a crime? Idiot.

You know, it is probably a mistake to be criminally stupid and rude at the same time. Bigamy is a crime. But it only applies to married people. Gay people, up to now, have not been allowed to marry. Thus the law has not, up to now, applied to them. Once Gay marriage is the law of the land, laws on bigamy will apply to them. Thus a Gay person committing bigamy has a very small chance of, as I said if you had been noticing you fool, being arrested by the police and going to prison. Now any six year old with half a brain would have been able to work out what I clearly said. Why don’t you grow up?

88. Spike1138

My fault, sorry, wasn’t being clear enough.

I am sorry that this comes after I have dealt with a weapons-grade cock end, but no, you weren’t being unclear. You were wrong. Difference.

Yes, England has ties of faith with the Church of England. But most people in England do not consider themselves to *be* Church of England, at least to the extent that they regularly attend Chuch.

Most Americans do not regularly attend Church. Nor, I suspect, do most Scots who go to Rangers’ games and engage in a little light sectarian baiting. I notice you pick the weakest of the four nations in the UK.

Nor, if they did, would they vote according to an endorsement from the pulpit.

Nor do they in America.

The church (any church) is not an electoral force in Britain in the same way it is in the States – if you piss off the Mormons, you can’t contest Utah in a Presidential race, nor is Nevada likely, so you have to allow a national strategy that picks up electoral votes elsewhere. Likewise, if you alienate the Baptists in the Bible belt, much of the South is out of play.

Yeah but that is not because of the Churches. That is because people don’t like people who don’t like them. You smear Mormons, or Liberals for that matter, and they won’t vote for you.

No-one in Britain in this century can become Prime Minister or gains majority by pandering to the clergy, since British worshipers by and large keep their political judgements and their faith separate.

Nor can they in America.

What you say about Northern Ireland is partly true, but again, not as simple as that, since community identity (though strongly incorporating denominational difference) is more tribal than anything, so it’s far more complex than that.

You’re quibbling. It is entirely true of Northern Ireland. More so than in the South of America – which shares cultural ties to Northern Ireland.

And Northern Ireland policy has never been a decisive issue in mainland politics at a General Election since around Sunningdale, so it’s influence in determining the balance of power in Westminster is negated.

Nor have Mormon votes ever mattered a damn in US elections.

SMFS: “Absolutely. If your aim is higher Church attendance. If you would prefer a more liberal society but with organised religion, then that religion needs to stand for something – and stand up for something – not bend with the times.”

When do we restart the schedule for killing unchaste damsels and adulterers as commanded in Deuteronomy 22?

In the B&B example one could have an owner state that they don’t recognise gay marriage as “marriage” and therefore won’t offer them double rooms. Provided they apply this criteria to everyone can it be classed as discrimination against gay couples?

The flaw here is in regard to why the state should intervene. It’s because this owner is getting to define the term marriage for themselves. If we allow people to do this how far can it go? Extending to the absurd could I murder someone and then claim I didn’t because my definition of “murder” doesn’t cover that particular action? Can I claim I’m not discriminating against someone because of the colour of their skin because colour is only a perception and not a quality and there’s no concrete evidence that we all perceive colour the same way? Ridiculous!

As regards tradition; excellent let’s go back to tradition – men should marry at 30 to girls of 16 (as per Greek tradition) said marriages of course being arranged by their parents (as per Roman tradition). If you just want to stick to Christianity (and why should that have the monopoly?) perhaps the services could be returned to accommodate same-sex marriages as they were between the 8th and 18th centuries. But no shhh pretend that never happened and it’s always been between one man and one woman (unless you’re a Mormon or Muslim).

92. Chaise Guevara

@ 75 SMFS

“Really? Let’s see. Two Gay people can love each other. Two Gay people can decide they want to mark this love. Two Gay people can decide to have a nice ceremony overseen by someone in a suit. Two Gay people can invite all their friends to said ceremony. Two Gay people can exchange rings in front of all their friends. Two Gay people can say they are married.”

You can’t wave away a double-standard by listing all the places in which there isn’t a double-standard.

“So far, no need for a change in the law. As we all agree they can do all these things. And always have been.

What they cannot do is insist on everyone else treating their marriage like a marriage. They cannot call on the power of the State to punish people for not recognising their marriage as a marriage. That is basically what they want.”

If the right to have a recognised marriage means “insisting on everyone else treating it like a marriage” and letting the state “punish people for not recognising it” (which I think is pushing it), then straight people already have this right. Are you going to demand that straight marriages no longer be recognised as marriage under law to reverse this awful tyranny? Or do you think that straight people deserve more than gay people, and if so, why?

“I am interested, how do you think this is not something for us to give?”

Because that suggests that we have some special claim to it in the first place. Which isn’t the same as it having historically be limited to us; I wouldn’t say that voting rights for women had been “men’s to give” either

“No. Extinction for First World people. We have decided not to have children and hand the future over to those who will.”

Ok, that’s slightly more sensible, although you really should investigate the difference between “becoming extinct” and “becoming a smaller minority”.

93. Chaise Guevara

@ SMFS

Regarding the B&B case, it’s worth noting that the owners failed to warn the couple in question that they would refuse to serve same-sex couples until they arrived. So what they actually did was fail to hold up their end of the deal.

Now, even if they had bothered to inform people of their policy, I would still back the decision, for the same reason that I’m happy for it to be illegal to run a pub with a “no blacks, no Irish” policy. But the issue would have been a lot less clear-cut, and I would have had a lot more sympathy for the owners.

SMFS,

I have re-read Flowerpower although I can’t be bothered with Carey and I can’t see a single place where he asserts that Gay people can’t set up a marquee and call themselves married. No one is contesting this right.

So when you say, “No one is denying Gay people the right to affirm each other or even to call it a marriage. Not even a “marriage” if it comes down to it. Not a single person in this debate is doing so.” what you mean is that you are not aware of anyone doing so. OK.

Among other things, Flowerpower wrote, “Why not guarantee equal rights to gay people in the civic sphere, and leave it at that? i.e. give gay couples the same secular, civic rights (taxation etc) as married couples, but call it something else.”

Call it something else.

Also, “Only a provocative and illiberal person would try to brand their beliefs as prejudice and bigotry and try to rub their noses in it by hi-jacking the name of one of their cherished institutions/sacraments [marriage].”

And “A tactful and generous-hearted gay couple might insist on having the same civic rights and privileges, but would not insist on calling their union a ‘marriage’.”

Further that religious institutions not the state are the only things entitled to call something “marriage”.

I am conflicted / fence-sitting about B&B owners.

Why?

Because on the one hand I believe that B&B owners should have the right to refuse people entry to their premises for whatever reason and there are plenty of B&B owners that aren’t prejudiced. But on the other hand I dislike that someone offering a service be allowed to refuse access to it on the grounds of race or sexual orientation.

If pushed off the fence today I would fall on the side of the right to refuse for whatever reason – not least because there are other B&B owners that aren’t prejudiced, so the offended holidaymaker can easily take his business elsewhere. In different circumstances I might fall the other way.

@86

The market was not allowed to operate in the South.  Segregation was enforced by State law.  Federal law sometimes too.  Where it was left to the market, people integrated.  It was usually because people were integrating on their own that people lobbied for the government to step in to stop it.  Markets punish bigotry.  They push people towards tolerance.

Ah, the Barry Goldwater defence.

Barry Goldwater did indeed vote against the 1964 Civil Rights Act in the same year that he intended to run for President. He did so specifically because of the section within it requiring owners of private businesses not to discriminate against their customers or deny service on the basis of race. His belief was that enforcing change created more problems (as in the instance of school bussing) than letting people come to a solution on their own terms and in their own time. And, he felt it violated the Constitution as an interference with private property rights by the federal government.

It was a brave thing to do. It cost him the election. I believe he was sincere, and having read his speeches and interviews and read up on his background, I don’t believe he was a racist or condoned racism or intolerance. And he argued his case well, persuasively and coherently.

You Sir, are no Barry Goldwater.

SMFS,

Where it was left to the market, people integrated. It was usually because people were integrating on their own that people lobbied for the government to step in to stop it. Markets punish bigotry. They push people towards tolerance.

It’s ‘funny’ you say that, as I was reading about this experiment today on my commute:

We study race in the labor market by sending ?ctitious resumes to help-wanted ads in Boston and Chicago newspapers. To manipulate perceived race, resumes are randomly assigned African American or White sounding names. White names receive 50 percent more callbacks for interviews. Callbacks are also more responsive to resume quality for White names than for African American ones. The racial gap is uniform across occupation, industry, and employer size. We also ?nd little evidence that employers are inferring social class from the names. Di?erential treatment by race still appears to still be prominent in the U.S. labor market.
http://www.economics.harvard.edu/faculty/mullainathan/files/emilygreg.pdf

Chaise @93, good point.

“…let me stress again, that these are my views.

For contrary to common newspaper usage, I am not the Catholic candidate for President.

I am the Democratic Party’s candidate for President who happens also to be a Catholic.

I do not speak for my church on public matters; and the church does not speak for me. Whatever issue may come before me as President, if I should be elected, on birth control, divorce, censorship, gambling or any other subject, I will make my decision in accordance with these views — in accordance with what my conscience tells me to be in the national interest, and without regard to outside religious pressure or dictates. And no power or threat of punishment could cause me to decide otherwise.

But if the time should ever come — and I do not concede any conflict to be remotely possible — when my office would require me to either violate my conscience or violate the national interest, then I would resign the office; and I hope any conscientious public servant would do likewise.

But I do not intend to apologize for these views to my critics of either Catholic or Protestant faith; nor do I intend to disavow either my views or my church in order to win this election.”

Senator John F Kennedy, Address to the Greater Houston Ministerial Association

Delivered 12 September 1960 at the Rice Hotel in Houston, TX

Try this news report about Barry Goldwater and Gay Rights:

At 85, after a life in politics spanning five decades (he retired from the Senate in 1987), Mr. Conservative has found himself an unlikely new career: as a gay rights activist. While that’s not his sole pursuit – he returned to Capitol Hill yesterday to testify in favor of scenic overflights of the Grand Canyon – in recent years he’s championed homosexuals serving in the military and has worked locally to stop businesses in Phoenix from hiring on the basis of sexual orientation.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/daily/may98/goldwater072894.htm

@99

Bob, thanks for thank you for that. Couldn’t have topped it off more perfectly than that.

The man coined the term and wrote the book (literally) on the “Conscience of a Conservative”.

Thankfully, unlike many of those who appropriated and misinterpreted his ideas and his rhetoric over the years since, Goldwater actually *had* a conscience.

And he wanted Government (and more especially The Church) to stay out of people’s private lives.

That’s admirable.

One more to add to the pile :- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rrE7V-56las

@95 Spike1138 – Sometimes the public leads and the government plays catch-up; but sometimes it’s up to the government to take the lead.

This isn’t a case of positive discrimination, which can indeed do more harm than good to those groups it’s supposed to help; this is a case of ensuring equality.

Sure the market does not like equality and thrives on competition, but at the same time we’ve seen how that can lead to monopolistic behaviour.

Society is not a market determined by public trends. If I find people don’t like my products I can choose to make something else; if people don’t like my sexual orientation it’s hardly something I can change.

Just as the government sets rules to prevent a market monopoly it has to do the same for society.

103. Michael Swann

I can only assume that the divorcee Nadine Dorries has abstained from signing the petition due to it’s definition of marriage as a union “for life”.
I

@102

Sometimes the public leads and the government plays catch-up; but sometimes it’s up to the government to take the lead.

I completely agree with you.

Sorry, I should have made that clear – I absolutely do think that gay marriage is a good thing and that good government is about leading and not following and setting an example and sometimes taking the country and the culture where some people might not yet be ready to go.

This country legalised consensual homosexual acts in 1968, 6 full years ahead of it coming off the DSM-IV schedule of mental illnesses. We were ahead of the curve and ahead of the science and something for which this country should rightfully be proud.

I also think that the 1964 Civil Rights Act in America was absolutely the right thing for central government to do.

There are certain things The Market cannot decide. The Market has no moral compass and no emotions. People do, and they behave irrationally, selfishly and self-destructively. People can’t be expected to do the right thing in certain self-interested situations unless forced to. We have good evidence that when given a free choice and a free market, people rarely do the right thing.

I was just highlighting with those remarks a rhettorical inconsistency in the comments of others here – this site attracts it’s fair share of Libertarians, for one thing.

Those on the Right can broadly be divided into Libertarians and tories (small “t”) – tories are typically resistant to all forms of change and say no to everything. Libertarians are more radical, with Randian-Adam Smith inspired notions about the empowering effect of The Market to raise all boats with the rising tide.

I don’t have much time for tories, because by and large, they have no ideology. Libertarians, say what you like about them, at least it’s an ethos.

There is no Libertarian arguement against Gay Marriage or Gay Rights in any form – the Libertarian position, strictly speaking, should call for the state to get out of ALL forms of marriage and just leave that up to the Churches (which is fine as far as I’m concerned – lets make them ALL Civil Partnerships and have done with it).

But there is no Libertarian (conservative) arguement against it – only a Little Englandler, Daily Mail, CofE tory one, which amounts largely to “Why should we change it now? We don’t WANT to change it!!”

As for the arguements for it, the Left is largely for it and at least half the Right, much of the centre don’t really care, so eventually it should happen.

Just might take a few more years.

@104

There is no Libertarian arguement against Gay Marriage or Gay Rights in any form – the Libertarian position, strictly speaking, should call for the state to get out of ALL forms of marriage and just leave that up to the Churches (which is fine as far as I’m concerned – lets make them ALL Civil Partnerships and have done with it).

I have noticed that while Libertarians are fairly consistent in calling for government to get out of the marriage business, (or at least have been since the Lawrence v. Texas ruling) they don’t have much in the way of campaign groups to achieve this goal. Certainly not any big high-profile one’s they link to regularly. Indeed if I were a suspicious man I’d conclude that the argument is only advanced so that they can wash their hands of the matter and allow inequality to continue unhindered from their quarter.

106. Chaise Guevara

@ 105 Cylux

To be honest, I think it’s about who they want to get into bed with. A lot of libertarians talk about “the left” as a bogeyman (odd really, because from where I’m sitting they have more in common with us than the traditional right), so they might not feel comfortable standing next to socialists waving placards. Pretty normal behaviour, really.

@105

You might be right, but Ocam’s Razor moves me to believe instead that they actually just don’t care enough to waste political capital on it when there’s bigger fish to fry.

If you want to blame anyone, blame President Clinton; he enthusiastically signed the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and publicly stated his belief that marriage was strictly and solely between a man and a woman. Wouldn’t have vetoed it even if he felt it was the right thing to do.

This would have been mid-1996 or so… Around about the height of his stationary cupboard antics with Monica, while he was getting ready to play Hunt the Cigar while his wife was in another part of the building or off raising funds for his reelection.

Just sayin’.

@106

Reminds me of Tony Benn’s friendship with Enoch Powell and then later Ted Heath (although not at the same social occasions).

They all fought in a war to preserve democracy and lived for nothing else after that, even if they totally disagreed on nearly everything else. And they had an ideology. They had ideas. You could debate them.

Benn always used to say in his diaries how he would always go over in the lobby to talk to Enoch, as everyone on his own side turned their backs on him, even the ones who secretly agreed with him. Benn found this attitude disgraceful and contemptible and found he experienced much the same treatment from the Kinnockites and the Blairites on the right of the Labour party, who had disdain for him.

I’m also listening to Mark Kermode’s autobiography at the moment, speaking for the love he had for his one friend who had “Peace through NATO” emblazoned on his car in the early 80s, whilst all others had hammers, sickles and various CND logos hanging off various shabby donkey jackets.

I can relate to that.

Give me a radical any day. Even if they’re dead wrong on everything most of the time.

109. Chaise Guevara

@ 108 Spike

I’m honestly really divided on this. On one hand, I have a lot of respect for people who stand up for what they believe in, even when they know they’ll be ostracised for it. On the other, I find people with a solid ideology to be prone to being subjectively stupid, holding onto their cause even in situations where it doesn’t make sense. They can be too deontological.

I think I share with you a grudging respect for libertarians. I disagree with them on many counts (mainly because they’re too rigid, focused on one philosophy at the expense of all other considerations), but at least their philosophy makes sense, it’s something an intelligent person could at least consider. Much better than small-c conservatives with their attitude of “I don’t like that, so let’s ban it”.

Heading back on topic – sure the government should get out of the marriage business if we define marriage as being a opposite-sex partnership conducted under the auspices of religion.

But if we take it out of the government’s hands then it shouldn’t be defined in law which means it won’t be recognised as a civil partnership and such won’t have any legal standing.

The simplest method then would be to declare that “marriage” would be given the same legal status as a civil partnership.

However consider if I started my own religion that recognised same-sex partnerships; what would be the reaction from the established religions if I referred to it as a “marriage”?

From a legal standpoint there would be no definition of exactly what a “marriage” was so such partnerships would be considered marriage with full legal backing simply because I declare it to be one.

What if we keep/add a definition of marriage into law? Well it would have to follow the same precepts of every other law and be non-discriminatory. As such it wouldn’t be able to state that marriage was exclusively between the opposite sex just as it wouldn’t be able to state that is was between whites-only.

Simple choice really – remove the definition or equalise it, because as it stands I’m sure it violates various other laws.

Anyone who says that legalising gay marriage will make teaching in schools difficult is a fool. There was a time when teachers taught that Jews were inferior; there was a time when teachers taught that blacks were inferior to whites, that slavery was right, when teachers taught that only men should have the vote…. Literature did the same thing. When we changed our policies-at least openly, all this had to change. The same with gay marriage. Change happens. The Catholic Church just wants to closet itself (so to speak) in the past, and drag the rest of Britain along with themselves, not seeming to care that a lot of us do not believe in God, so their definition of marraige is null and void to us.
Gays have suffered for centuries with prejudice, no legal rights, physical abuse, outspoken hatred etc. This is their chance to be openly seen as the equals that they clearly and truely are to heterosexual humans like me. If the Catholic Church, and the countless other bigots with their prejudice can’t accept their equality, then they should stick to their own turf.
Many people do not marry in church, so I would like to challenge the A of C by asking him how gay marriage would affect him if gays chose wisely not to marry in an atmosphere of hatred.
He claims that legalisation of marriage for gays would ‘shame the UK in the eyes of the world.’ An extremely homophobic comment to make, and yet semingly acceptable from a religious figure! And who is this world? Norway, Canada, The Netherlands, several states in the USA amoungst other countries have legalised it with hardly any of the upheaval that this tyrannical crackpot has prophesied! So with the same authority, would the A of C say that giving black people equal oppurtunity in all areas would shame the UK in the eyes of the world? Clearly he is talking about a different world to the one where people are treated with repspect regardless of their sexuality, race, beliefs etc.
Whilst I agree that Christians are often treated badly where politics are concerned, here they have gone too far.


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. Martin Coxall

    Bigots launch coalition against gay marriage http://t.co/Dhzy4ZcH

  2. Steve Hynd

    Bigots launch coalition against gay marriage http://t.co/Dhzy4ZcH

  3. Patron Press - #P2

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  5. Seema Chandwani

    Bigots launch coalition against gay marriage. Let's see how many MPs sign up http://t.co/e1Ic2Rl5

  6. Soho Politico

    George Carey cannot grasp the concept of a decision he disagrees with being democratic. http://t.co/jVQVY3dc

  7. Paul Hunter

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  8. The Tweets of March

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  9. Louise Hazan

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  10. Kat F

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  11. Mikhaela McCullough

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  12. that'd be me

    “@sunny_hundal: Bigots launch coalition against gay marriage. Let's see how many MPs sign up http://t.co/JfVGt11R” #Equality #religion

  13. BevR

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  14. sara

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  15. BevR

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  16. mellonicoley

    Stupid bigots. Straight people are destroying marriage all fine on their own! ;) http://t.co/7TcwX1hc via @libcon

  17. House Of Twits

    RT @sunny_hundal Bigots launch coalition against gay marriage. Let's see how many MPs sign up http://t.co/bQQPk1GW

  18. sean bastable

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  19. Saggydaddy

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  20. John Turner

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  21. Mohammad Faisal

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  22. Matthew Railton

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  23. qq

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  24. Adam White

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  25. amonthofMAIL

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  26. Cromarty

    Bigots launch coalition against gay marriage. Let's see how many MPs sign up http://t.co/e1Ic2Rl5

  27. Philip Marshall

    I expect many christians will be speaking out against this bigotry lest they be accused of giving tacit support http://t.co/Ae1XEGWr

  28. The Unknown James

    Truly great how far the CofE have come since ditching this reactionary tool… Coalition of Bigots indeed… http://t.co/yixlGx5C

  29. Sir Oblong of Orange

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  30. St Mungo's LGBT

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  32. Mike Pennell

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  33. get_her_groove

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  34. Dave Trew

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  35. fabsternation

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  36. John Havery Samuel

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  37. Geoffrey Paterson

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  38. Andy Sweetmore

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  39. Dan Price

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  40. Naveed Akhtar

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  41. ?Helen?

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  43. leftlinks

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  44. Mark Rowe

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  45. TinaHG

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  46. Owen Jones

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  47. Liza Harding

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  48. Inclusive Employers

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  49. Panda

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  50. Seán Kelly

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  51. fizzycyst

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  52. James Hoddy

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  53. Ben Phillips

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  54. Chris Thody

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  55. Helena Murphy

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  57. Simon King

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  58. jcobban

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  59. Roy Noon

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  60. Matthew Sheldon

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  61. Perry Morton

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  62. Richard Harris

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  63. LucyFrank

    If people don't like gay marriage, they're not obliged to have one http://t.co/EEv3XxS2

  64. Stephen Budden

    Bigots launch coalition against gay marriage | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/bI37LuvR via @libcon

  65. Barbara Wilson

    Bigots launch coalition against gay marriage | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/bI37LuvR via @libcon

  66. Janet Graham

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  67. Liz McShane

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  68. Chris Hardy

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  69. Spinny

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  70. Jake

    If people don't like gay marriage, they're not obliged to have one http://t.co/EEv3XxS2

  71. David Griffiths

    http://t.co/7ttFBtuO Lord Carey claims allowing gay marriage will destroy this traditional institution. Good God I hope so!

  72. Max Bailey

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  73. Chris

    If people don't like gay marriage, they're not obliged to have one http://t.co/EEv3XxS2

  74. Sarah May

    In attacking gay marriage former Archbishop Lord Carey makes disgraceful defence of homophobia http://t.co/xPzeocL1

  75. Malice Driven

    Wtf, former Arbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey? http://t.co/tY8bKNWh

  76. Brad M

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  77. Ryan Boxall

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  78. Nicola Reynolds

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  79. Ivan

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  80. Ivan

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  81. Omar Phoenix Khan

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  82. Amber

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  83. Holger Kroll

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  84. TheCreativeCrip

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  85. Will Deeley

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  86. Gareth Winchester

    Man in House of Lords due to state-religion says "The move to legalise same-sex marriage is undemocratic" http://t.co/Wa6XgYOD via @libcon

  87. Why Gay People Want to Get Married « Fidlerten Place

    [...] Bigots launch coalition against gay marriage (liberalconspiracy.org) [...]

  88. Luke Farley

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  89. Arun Mehta

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  90. David Kemp

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  91. Delroy Booth

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  92. Cath Hancox

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  93. Niall McCloskey

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  94. HaywoodsLocalVoice

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  95. David Horner

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  96. Stephen Gee

    In attacking gay marriage former Archbishop Lord Carey makes disgraceful defence of homophobia http://t.co/xPzeocL1

  97. Ryan Mann

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  98. Chris Delderfield

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  101. TEDx Hackney

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  103. Chris Bowden-Smith

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  104. Outrage: Oxford Uni hosts event by homophobes | Liberal Conspiracy

    [...] Williams is also behind the Coalition for Marriage – the recently launched campaign to oppose marriage equality for [...]

  105. Everyone will lose if the same sex marriage debate continues to be insensitive and shrill | Dani News

    [...] O’Brien’s comparison of same sex marriages to slavery was, I would argue, on a par with counter-accusations from reformers that leading clergy with deeply held concerns over the proposal were [...]





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