Sorry Cardinal O’Brien, but reality is redefining itself


12:22 pm - March 4th 2012

by Dave Osler    


      Share on Tumblr

If you are still unpersuaded of the need for secularism to prevail in politics, then consider the latest religious intervention. Britain’s most senior Catholic is dominating the news agenda today with a hyperbole-laden polemic against the prospect of men being allowed to marry men and women being allowed to marry women.

Cardinal Keith O’Brien starts, of course, from the theological premises set down in the Vatican’s 1975 Declaration on Sexual Ethics. Same sex attraction may be unavoidable, but is nevertheless ‘a serious depravity’; to act on that attraction is ‘intrinsically disordered’.

O’Brien is as entitled as any other citizen to express an opinion on gay marriage. The question is exactly how much extra weight his stance should carry by virtue of his position within an unelected hierarchy.

The Catholic church is a voluntary organisation, and is entitled to make whatever stipulations for its adherents its teaching appears to dictate. Obviously it would be wrong for the state to compel it to conduct gay marriage services.

But the same logic runs the other way; its authority extends exclusively to those who chose to accept it, which works out at around 8% of the population. It cannot be accorded a veto over policies that impact on the remaining 92% of us.

Moreover, the very credibility of its pronouncements on matters sexual is surely tainted by decades in which its leadership in many countries was knowingly complicit in child abuse on a mass scale.

On reading the O’Brien’s piece, I was also amused to see Catholicism posing as the brave defender of heretics and those who dissent from imposed orthodoxy. Get a history book, Cardinal.

The article contains more arguments than can conveniently be examined in the space of a blog post. Some of them are quite obviously tenuous. For instance, the idea that civil partnership is harmful to the physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing of those involved is asserted without even an attempt at substantiation.

But one principal claim appears to be that marriage has existed at all times and places, and has only ever meant the legal union of one man and one woman. The government is trying to change that definition to include same sex unions, and is therefore guilty of attempting to redefine reality.

While my knowledge of anthropology is sketchy, the Cardinal seems to be on shaky ground here. As far as I am aware, human societies have always displayed a vast diversity of sexual set ups. One to one straight marriage has been dominant, but scarcely universal.

Even in the Bible, we read in in 1 Kings 11:3 that Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines. Polygamy was nothing out of the ordinary in the Old Testament (Deut. 21:15), and Abraham himself engaged in divinely-sanctioned bigamy.

But the truth is not that the government that is redefining reality, but that reality is redefining itself. Committed gay relationships have surely been around as long as committed straight relationships, but it is only thanks to the social changes seen in the last 50 years that they have become both commonplace and open.

If the Coalition recognises that and allows LGBT couples that wish to do so to walk down the aisle, then that ultimate increases rather than diminishes the standing of marriage as an institution. Those that favour marriage should have no complaints about that.

 

    Share on Tumblr   submit to reddit  


About the author
Dave Osler is a regular contributor. He is a British journalist and author, ex-punk and ex-Trot. Also at: Dave's Part
· Other posts by


Story Filed Under: Blog ,Equality ,Religion

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.


Reader comments


To be fair on the chap, his organisation’s own rulebook has been quite clear about homosexuality:

Leviticus 18 “Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable.”

but unfortunately just a few verses later (Leviticus 19:19) : “Do not wear clothing woven of two kinds of material”

An even handed approach would require the Cardinal to be equally outspoken about those brides who have silk and lace outfits to wear, or grooms with polycotton socks. In fact I expect the Cardinal breaches this law, every time he has a church service:
http://www.almy.com/Product/5661/category/ChasublesAndStoles/parent/ChurchVestments

Funnily enough, I have never heard anyone from any church being outspoken on the matter of materials made of more than one fibre, so despite being told they must “Keep my decrees” one must conclude the church and its adherents have been selective in which morals they want to be outspoken about.

2. Paul Newman

I agree with gay marriage on balance although it is not altogether logical. I think demanding the Church stay out of politics is a horrible idea. The total Trade Union membership is about 11% of the population and yet they buy the opposition leader and openly purchase Policy commitments when they are not ruining the Olympics and destroying the Nations finances for the good of their feather bedded Public Sector parasite gang.
I invite Osler to condemn Labour candidate for London`s Mayor, the well known tax avoider Livingstone , for sharing a platform with, and defending, Dr Yusuf al-Qaradawi for the sake of his London flock`s votes The good Doctor had this to say about the gayers .

“Muslim jurists hold different opinions concerning the punishment for this abominable practice. Should it be the same as the punishment for fornication, or should both the active and passive participants be put to death?”
He then defends that view by adding:
“While such punishments may seem cruel, they have been suggested to maintain the purity of the Islamic society and to keep it clean of perverted elements.”

That political input seems to be ok
OK it is quite clear that the Trade Union`s have a historical grip on power that has to be diminished but I do not think that excluding any sub state group the progressive left happen to dislike follows . Religious groups have been much closer to the changing view so the Public on abortion for demand, such as is practised in this country, and the tendency of the Political class to close ranks on such subjects as Britain, Europe Crime only reinforces they need for a plurality of power and voices

I thought Newmania was banned. Anyway, it’s delightful to see that even the mad and incoherent wing of Tory commenters have been drilled with the latest bullshit talking points on Ken.

Dave is, obviously, right. If I were a religious type, I’d be embarrassed at the sheer weakness of O’Brien’s article – hell, I could write a better justification than he’s managed. The bit where he raises the spectre of *shock horror* consensual troilist marriages as the END OF SLIPPERY SLOPE WORST THING EVER is just… odd. At least bring in livestock or kids or something that’s actually, y’know, *a bad thing*…

I completely agree.

If I were part of the hierarchy of an organisation with their record on sexual malfeasance, then I’d skirt around ever commenting on any matters sexual!

In making these comments, which seem to be directed at David Cameron, despite his being a Scottish cardinal, and Mr Cameron’s remit in this matter only running in England, Cardinal O’Brien has made himself a bit of a laughing stock.

This is surprising, given that one of the most famous gay weddings took place in the Church: http://andreasmoser.wordpress.com/2012/02/21/my-big-fat-gay-wedding/

When the Attlee Government legislated to regulate marriage, it simply presupposed that marriage could only ever be the union of one man and one woman. No one said anything, because it was so obvious. Of course there have always been other things as well. But they were and are, in the technical sense of the word, deviations. The union of one man and one woman is the universal norm, simply as a matter of fact. Ask yourself why that should be, and what makes us think that we in the Postmodern West are so much wiser in these matters than everyone everywhere else and at every other time.

There is simply no comparison with, for example, interracial marriage, which has never been illegal in this country, and which has only ever been so anywhere if specific legislation had been passed to that effect. By contrast, redefining marriage to include same-sex couples is only legal anywhere because specific legislation has been passed to that effect.

This is one of the three most dramatic and most drastic proposals that Parliament will ever have considered. Ever. It ranks even with the recent legalisation of human-animal hybridity and the recent permission of two persons of the same sex to be listed as the parents on a birth certificate. But is Ann Widdecombe right to call for a referendum? No. We do not need a referendum. We need MPs who will just say no. Even retrospectively, repealing such legislation if it had already been enacted.

With the nature of marriage up for debate, we should seize the opportunity and the initiative.

The extension to relatives of the right to contract civil partnerships, which do not need to be consummated, since not even Tony Blair could devise a way of enabling the Supreme Governor of the Church of England and Defender of the Faith (the present title derives not from Henry VIII but from Edward VI, and was conferred not by the Pope but by Parliament) to grant Royal Assent to legislation making legal privileges conditional on sexual acts other than that, within marriage, which constitutes the consummation of marriage. The present restriction of civil partnerships to same-sex couples is an expression of triumphalism; it is a way of saying, “We are the masters now”.

The entitlement of each divorcing spouse to one per cent of the other’s estate for each year of marriage, up to 50 per cent, and the disentitlement of the petitioning spouse unless fault be proved, thereby restoring the situation whereby, by recognising adultery and desertion as faults in divorce cases, society declared in law its disapproval of them even though they were not in themselves criminal offences.

The entitlement of any marrying couple to register their marriage as bound by the law prior to 1969 as regards grounds and procedures for divorce, and to enable any religious organisation to specify that any marriage which it conducts shall be so bound, requiring it to counsel couples accordingly. And the statutory specification that the Church of England be such a body unless the General Synod specifically resolve the contrary by a two-thirds majority in all three Houses, with something similar for the Methodist and United Reformed Churches, which also exist pursuant to Acts of Parliament, as well as by amendment to the legislation relating to the restoration of the Catholic hierarchy.

That would be a start, anyway.

7. Just Visiting

Dave

Me thinks you protest too much.

i) The Cardinal did not quote the old Testamant in the Tekegraph.
But you did above – and show your ignorance when you express surprise that christians don’t treat it as a simple rule book!
For goodness sake, christians eat pork – as you must know.
That error is as bad as Bob B’s open bigotry.

Why attack the church with the weakest stick you can find, duh?

ii) LBGT have all the same legals rights in a civil union as a marriage.

But there is an obvious difference to a marriage – it provides a mother and a father to a child. And normally they are the biological parents, so are, of all people on the planet, the 2 with the most interest in such children

The cardinal asks a question you fail to address – is it right to bring up children with one parental gender missing ?

Have you bothered to look for evidence to show this is not damaging to the child?
Have you factored in things like: psychiatric cases have a much higher incidence of seperation from mother at an early age, than the rest of the population.

You must have researched this already, before posting here – so please do share your sources.

iii)
> As far as I am aware, human societies have always displayed a vast diversity of sexual set ups.

So in your book Dave – next up to ‘equalise’ in the marriage stakes would be polygamy: and marriages between humans and animals ? Both are within the ‘diversity’ you seem to appeal to as a justification ?

iv) You want the Cardinal to not speak up in the public sphere because it’s a voluntary organisation (and you’ve already been called on your inconsistency there concerning Trade Unions).

So why does the state want to intervene in what voluntary organisations do – if no one is inconvenienced ebefore law, but just in name (‘marriage’ vs ‘civil partnership’). And the members of that voluntary group are consenting adults.

From Earle Butz: “He no playa the game, he no maka the rules”

I know he was a reactionary, but I think it hits the nail on the head.

9. Paul Newman

I thought Newmania was banned. Anyway, it’s delightful to see that even the mad and incoherent wing of Tory commenters have been drilled with the latest bullshit talking points on Ken.

Its in the Guardian with his tax avoidance dopey

10. Just Visiting

Dave

by the way – you single out a christian organisation – why do you ignore the views of other faiths?

Why ignore this UK faith group too: on their website right now:

“(anything)… which presents homosexual practices as equivalent to marriage or in a morally neutral way is profoundly offensive and totally unacceptable.

We do not want the values of the home and family undermined…”

The Catholic church would be better advised to concentrate on getting their own flock to abide by the church’s teaching. Seeing as most Catholics take no notice of the doctrine that says they must not use birth control, and many other issues.

Until 5then they should keep their noses out of other peoples business. Freedom from religion, not freedom of religion.

Oh, and you can forget the line about child abuse.

There is no call whatever for any sort of apology from Peter Tatchell, all over our television screens today, who wrote in The Guardian (26th June 1997) that:

The positive nature of some child-adult relations is not confined to non-Western cultures. Several of my friends – gay and straight, male and female – had sex with adults from the ages of 9 to 13. None feel they were abused. All say it was their conscious choice and gave them great joy. While it may be impossible to condone paedophilia, it is time society acknowledged the truth that not all sex involving children is unwanted, abusive and harmful.

In 2010, David Cameron offered Tatchell a peerage.

Nor is there any call for any sort of apology from Harriet Harman and Patricia Hewitt, who ran the National Council for Civil Liberties when it was passing resolutions in support of the Paedophile Information Exchange and Paedophile Action for Liberation, and when it was publishing calls to legalise and destigmatise sex between adults and children; Hewitt went on to have overall responsibility for every social worker in England, while Harman’s pro-pederast past was explored in detail by Martin Beckford in the 9th March 2009 edition of the Daily Telegraph, but that newspaper was too spineless or too compromised to put it on the front page where it belonged, so the story was allowed to die, at least for the time being.

Nor from the University of Cambridge for the many years during which the recommended reading for its postgraduate students of Criminology included the 1980 book Paedophilia: The Radical Case, by Tom O’Carroll, chairman of the Paedophile Information Exchange, whose 1981 conviction for conspiracy to corrupt public morals through the contacts section of that organisation’s magazine was attacked a year later in the journal of the National Council for Civil Liberties by O’Carroll’s barrister, Peter Thornton, who is now a Queen’s Counsel and a senior circuit judge, but from whom no sort of apology has been demanded.

Nor from Stephen Fry, author of The Liar and The Hippopotamus, both of which glorify sex between men and teenage boys, exactly the acts that have brought scandal on the Catholic Church. Nor from successive Chairmen and Controllers of Channel Four, in its dramatic output a relentless, publicly owned campaigner in favour of such acts. Nor from Germaine Greer, author of The Boy, a book-length celebration of the sexual fetishisation of the adolescent male both by men and by women. Nor from Richard Dawkins, who in The God Delusion describes having been sexually abused as a child as “an embarrassing but otherwise harmless experience”. Nor from Philip Pullman, whose famous trilogy concludes with sexual intercourse between two children aged about 12, and who has repeatedly denounced the absence of sexual content in the Narnia novels.

Nor from Geoffrey Robertson QC, who made his name defending the Schoolkids’ Edition of Oz and whose wife made hers writing explicit depictions of teenage sex. Nor from everyone, or even from anyone, who has rushed to defend and to laud Roman Polanski. Nor from those in any way involved in Internet pornography, the principal, and highly commercial, sexual abuse of teenage boys in the world today. Nor from those who have taken us to war in Afghanistan in defence of the endemic abuse of such boys, an abuse to which, whatever else may be said of the “Taliban”, they were very actively opposed and not without success in seeking to eradicate, whereas the regime that we have installed in their place actively colludes in it as surely as in the heroin trade.

Nor from the numerous Social Services Departments that ran homes in which, at the same time as the Church was hushing up sex between men and teenage boys on the part of a small number of priests – and thus, however imperfectly, indicating disapproval of it – such behaviour was absolutely endemic, with major figures in that world publishing academic studies, used for many years in the training of social workers, which presented it as positively beneficial to both parties and therefore actively to be encouraged. Nor from the police, who long ago stopped enforcing the age of consent from 13 upwards; as with their non-enforcement of the drugs laws, one really does have to ask for whose benefit that is. Among many, many, many others. What’s that you say? They do not purport to be moral authorities? Really?

And more than moral authorities. Daniel Cohn-Bendit is a leading Green Member of the European Parliament. We are therefore subject to his legislative will. In the August 1976 edition of das da, Cohn-Bendit described his sexual activity with children: “My constant flirt with all the children soon took on erotic characteristics. I could really feel how from the age of five the small girls had already learnt to make passes at me. It’s hardly believable. Most of the time I was fairly defenceless.” He has later claimed that this had been based on fantasy, but no such disclaimer appeared at the time. The article was a spin-off from his bestselling 1975 book on education, The Big Madness, which drew on two years of experience working in a Frankfurt kindergarten with children aged between two and five. Of those years, he later wrote that: “It has happened to me several times that a few children opened the flies of my trousers and started to stroke me. I reacted differently each time according to the circumstances, but their desire confronted me with problems. I asked them: “Why don’t you play with each other, why have you chosen me and not other children?” But when they insisted on it, I then stroked them. For that reason I was accused of perverted behaviour.”

At its national conference in Lüdenscheid in March 1985, Cohn-Bendit’s then party (he can be French or German as it suits him) called for “nonviolent sexuality” between children and adults never to be subject to criminal prosecution. In 1987, the policy was that, “When young people have the desire for older peers outside the family, prevented either because their homosexuality is not accepted by their parents, or because they have paedophile inclinations, be it for other reasons, they must be given the opportunity to do so.” German Greens frequently legislate for us in the EU Council of Ministers, and both they and the French Greens, whom Cohn-Bendit now leads, always do so in the European Parliament, where their Group from across the EU also includes the Scottish National Party and Plaid Cymru while being co-chaired by Daniel Cohn-Bendit.

@12

There is no call whatever for any sort of apology… Nor from Richard Dawkins, who in The God Delusion describes having been sexually abused as a child as “an embarrassing but otherwise harmless experience”.

Richard Dawkins fails to apologise for being sexually abused as a child shocker!

Yes, like the blather about mixing fabrics, that really is the best that you can do. You are really are that completely unused to anything other than fawning obeisance. As the hysteria over this challenge to your latest pet project illustrates so hilariously.

Most people in the Irish Republic were educated by the Church and simply never heard of any of this. Enda Kenny’s statement on the Cloyne Report contained at least one direct falsehood of the utmost seriousness, and that Report itself found that certain persons had broken both God’s Moral Law and the Church’s Canon Law, but not the law of the land, so that the fault lay squarely in the State, not in the Church. In several countries, professional criminality, such as would cause a witness’s evidence to laughed out in any other situation, has been held up as proof positive that the professional criminal was entitled to a large financial settlement.

Speaking of professional criminality, Alfred C Kinsey was pre-eminent among the sexual psychopaths who avowedly set up the sexology industry, from scratch, in order to supplant the Christian sexual ethic. They fabricated research, and they relied heavily on current and former prostitutes, and on convicts. Thence the oft-quoted figure of 10 per cent as the number of men who have had a homosexual experience, usually exaggerated further into the notion that one tenth of the population “is homosexual” (which no one is – acts, not persons, are homosexual or heterosexual). On the same figures, one man in 12 has committed bestiality. Is one twelfth of the population zoosexual, or zoophile, or whatever the word is? And even if it is, then so what? Kinsey held that children in the earliest stages of infancy could experience orgasm. How, exactly, was such “research” conducted? He taught child sexual abuse techniques to the Gestapo. He filmed himself raping his wife and the wives of his staff. He circumcised himself without anaesthesia, and hung himself by the testicles from a pole. He was a devotee of the Satanist Aleister Crowley, acting out Crowley’s teaching that pederasty was a laudable form of human sacrifice. Kinsey and his followers were largely funded by the pornography racket and other organised vice.

So there you are. Practically the only views any longer permitted to be expressed about sex are based on fraudulent research and extreme criminality carried out by a clique of sexual psychopaths. Unsurprisingly, adherence to a model designed by and for sexual psychopaths has resulted in a massive increase in sexual psychopathology. Yet that is the only model for the training of anyone who needs a certain number of credits in “sex education” in order to qualify as anything. Kinsey and his followers had created an intellectual climate conducive to the likes of those who frequented The Stonewall Inn and who founded the North American Man/Boy Lovers’ Association (NAMBLA). Just as the entirety of sexology goes back to Kinsey, so the entirety of homosexualism, the emergence of which postdates by several years our own humane and necessary decriminalisation of male homosexual acts between consenting adults in private, goes back to the buggery of boys as young as eight, if not younger. Thus, here in Britain, homosexualism has organised around demands for apparently endless reductions in the age of consent, as well as around equally Kinseyian calls for the legal, social and cultural legitimisation of sadomasochism, transgender activities, substance abuse, every degree of promiscuity consistent with physical possibility, hardcore pornography, and sex in public places. Such legitimisation is not in itself confined to homosexual contexts, so that the unrepentant combination of recreational cocaine use and heterosexual sadomasochistic prostitution is now considered compatible with one of the very highest offices in the land, and is if anything treated as a gigantic joke. No one asked us, the electorate at large, if that was now our view of such practices. It is not.

The Catholic Church of the late 1960s and early 1970s lost confidence, due to the misappropriation of the name of the Second Vatican Council by pre-existing secularising tendencies in the Western world, rather than from anything in the Conciliar documents themselves; see my book, Essays Radical and Orthodox. This loss of confidence made the internationally trend-setting American Catholic Church, which might have held the line against Kinsey and then against Stonewall and NAMBLA, susceptible to those twin forces of evil. So the views and methods of Kinsey and his disciples were incorporated into the training of priests and into the selection of candidates. At the time, the advocates of sex between adult men and adolescent boys were the most vocal of the lobbies looking to Kinsey, giving them the most influence over that training and selection.

We all know what happened next, although it is worth pointing out that the acts which have brought such shame on the Church have hardly ever involved pre-pubescent children, or indeed girls of any age; for that, you need a book long recommended to Criminology postgraduates at Cambridge. Rather, they are acts between men and teenage boys, which anti-Catholic media, academic and political types have been seeking for decades to make legally, socially and culturally acceptable, applying no social disapproval to those, such as Jonathan King, who engage in them, any more than, for example, to those who use cocaine. Such types’ hypocrisy over the scandals in the Catholic Church has been, and remains, sickening. Nor may one overlook the fact that these scandals have been presented in a manner agreeable to calls for the large-scale ordination of married men, for the “ordination” of women, and for the purported incorporation of homosexual genital activity into sacramental marriage.

But married men sometimes abuse children. So do women, probably in vast numbers given their far easier access to children even in the nude; like, for example, domestic violence against men, those who control this field ideologically refuse to conduct the necessary research, in this case because it does not fit their presupposed agenda of excluding (heterosexually inclined) men from the socialisation of children. The priests who had sex with teenage boys were not repressed, but the very reverse. Especially in America, the Priesthood has been packed with such unrepressed, so that their inevitable exposure could be used, in due season, to demand so-called reforms that would not improve the situation in the slightest. And such has now come to pass. It is inconceivable that the priestesses lobby, in particular, was not fully complicit in this, since for decades it has effectively controlled access to ordination in many American dioceses, while its influence is also still growing in Britain and elsewhere.

Given this enormous amount of medical malpractice, consumer fraud and other offences, class actions need to be filed against the Keepers of the Kinsey Flame: Johns Hopkins University, the Kinsey Institute at the University of Indiana, the San Francisco-based Institute for the Advanced Study of Human Sexuality, AASECT (American Association of Sex Educators, Counsellors and Therapists), SIECUS (Sex Information and Education Council of the United States), the SSS (Society for the Scientific Study of Sex), Planned Parenthood, the ever-generous Rockefeller Foundation, and numerous subsidiaries around the world. Just for starters. Those interested should contact Dr Judith Reisman, who describes her own perspective as non-religious: info@drjudithreisman.com or jreisman@liberty.edu.

Buy the book (not the same one as above) here. (Ignore the nasty comments, which are all by the same person, a former student of mine who has mental health problems.)

15. Chaise Guevara

@ 12

Firstly, I’ve read those Stephen Fry books and don’t recall either of them glorifying statutory rape. I don’t actually recall it even happening, glorified or otherwise, in the Hippopotamus. This does not give me great faith in your other examples.

Secondly, I can’t quite believe that you’re equivocating between fiction and reality. And you do know that to portray something is not always to condone it, right?

Finally, as Cylux points out, castigating Dawkins in this context is outright disgusting. You sound like you’d have been happier if the experience had screwed him up for life.

I reckon it did.

17. Just Visiting

Hi David

Are you the same David Lindsay of the http://www.britishpeoplesalliance.org.uk/ – and who got into the Telegraph in 2009 – and whose comments were referred to on LC:

David Lindsay of Durham university, who claims to be a liberal voice, here tiptoes merrily down misogyny lane into the steaming ditch of the completely sodding bonkers, ..

David Lindsay is not an academic at Durham University. He is a college tutor, which is a minor role with no teaching responsibilities at all…the role of tutors at Collingwood College, which happens to be David’s college, here:

http://www.dur.ac.uk/hr/recruitment/applicants/working/tutorpers/

18. Just Visiting

Well said.

The Cardinal seems to think his comments are not arrogant, they are.

This is my response to him:
http://mediafrenzyuk.blogspot.com/2012/03/response-to-cardinal-keith-obrien-about.html

There’s an instructive insight to be gained from this dialogue in Lewis Carroll: Alice Through the Looking Glass:

‘When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.’

‘The question is,’ said Alice, ‘whether you can make words mean so many different things.’

‘The question is,’ said Humpty Dumpty, ‘which is to be master — that’s all.’
http://sabian.org/looking_glass6.php

Thomas Hobbes put it with much less charm in the Leviathan Bk.1 Chp.4:

“For words are wise men’s counters; they do but reckon by them: but they are the money of fools, that value them by the authority of an Aristotle, a Cicero, or a Thomas, or any other doctor whatsoever”

21. gruff billy

Secularism; greatest blessing ever bestowed on mankind.

6. David Lindsay

and

12. David Lindsay

Wow there is a lot of anger there to deal with. Your argument seems based on a Gish Gallop rather than any particular salient point. I looked but did not see anything that was relevent, but plenty that was, as others have pointed out, offensive and irrelevent.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gish_Gallop#Debates

If you feel you need to reply, aim for 100 words max.

The word for which you are looking is “factual”.

And as relevant as can be: this is where the pressure for the redefinition of marriage is coming from.

24. Paul Newman

Thats a pretty amazing post by David Lindsay and I must say I had always sensed something wrong with Richard Dawkins, he seems so shut off from either spiritual or a full range of emotional experiences . I love his writing but it always leaves a hunger for what he omits

25. Paul Newman

David don`t whine, it was Osler who made the connection between paedophilia and an objection to gay rights. It was a fatuous remark and has been magnificently eviscerated in a quite fascinating post.
The odd paradox is that Osler , like most of the trendy people here almost certainly regards the desire to be married as as an outdated and stupid objective anyway . I support the institution and explore the way it has not been valued. The Gay people I know who would like to be married will add to its strength and this represents another step by which gay people end their period of victim-hood . You can tell they have from the fact they increasingly vote conservative. Soon the memory of the Labour Party supporting gays will seems as bizarre as the memory that they once supported ordinary English working class people in the private sector. It was always a strange alliance wasn`t it; gays and sackcloth attired spotty socialists. Chalk and cheese.

Just visiting:

What about heterosexuals who get married but either don’t want or can’t have children. Should they just have the second rate civil partnership?

You say that it is best for children to have a couple, male and female, but, maybe it’s about quality of parenting rather than gender. Wouldn’t it be better to have two loving men, or two loving women, than a drunk or drug addict or child abuser… or a dad that’s in and out of prison, or a mum that’s got a new lover every few weeks?

What about the little lad, Baby Peter. He had a mum and dad who were straight.
Brandon Muir also had that. It didn’t do them much good.

And isn’t having good gay parents who look after their kids and listen to them, encouraging them, to talk about all everything better than having heterosexual parents who won’t hear a bad word about the priest. That happened so often when the priests had their hands up the kids cassock.

@ 12. David Lindsay

In the third book of Philip Pullman’s “His Dark Materials” trilogy the two characters Will and Lyra kiss.

I know that this may be shocking to you since they weren’t married but it’s a far leap from a couple of kids on the brink of adulthood (given the context of the book) having a snog and having sex.

By twisting the facts you only serve to undermine whatever point you try to make.

28. Chaise Guevara

@ 21 David Lindsay

“The word for which you are looking is “factual”.”

As we’re talking about someone defending bigoted views by posting long-winded rants mainly composed of non-sequiturs, who won’t engage with the people who respond to him and who is now *using the fact that someone was abused as a child* as a weapon against him, I think the word we’re looking for is “pillock”.

29. Chaise Guevara

@ 23 Paul

“The odd paradox is that Osler , like most of the trendy people here almost certainly regards the desire to be married as as an outdated and stupid objective anyway .”

Have you got any actual basis for the idea that Osler and “most of the trendy people here” sneer at people’s desire to get married? In Osler’s case, have you got a quote? In the latter case, is this just you defining “trendy” as “anyone who sneers at marriage”?

“You can tell they have from the fact they increasingly vote conservative. Soon the memory of the Labour Party supporting gays will seems as bizarre as the memory that they once supported ordinary English working class people in the private sector.”

Except they do still support English working-class people in the private sector. Not as much as they should, maybe, but certainly more than the Tories. Who creates and supports instutions and policies that help the lower-paid, i.e. a lot of the working class? Labour. Who undermines and destroys them? Tories.

Also, I think you’re failing to account for the fact that homophobia in this time and place seems to mainly stem for religion. That doesn’t go away quickly, and I doubt the Tories are going to stop presenting themselves as the most Christian-friendly party any time soon.

“It was always a strange alliance wasn`t it; gays and sackcloth attired spotty socialists. Chalk and cheese.”

You were doing ok, it’s sad you had to end on a childish ad-hom attack.

Osler’s point about paedophile priests, is that as an entity the organisation of the Catholic church has through its actions effectively no moral authority on matters of sexuality.

As I cite in my first post, the theological basis for homosexual acts being “a serious depravity” is poor too: an uneven application of Old Testament text, which this discussion shows that some Christians feel can be ignored or quoted depending on convenience.

With that context, the suggestion put forward by the Cardinal that “civil partnership is harmful to the physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing of those involved” is both hypocritical and flawed

David Lindsays well prepared defence of the Catholic Church on paedophilia seems to extend no further than “well others weren’t doing very well either” (though none cited co-ordinated a cover up of paedophilia rings). As if this means we should start listening to the church on how to manage our relationships, and to ignore everyone else – damaged goods like Richard Dawkins ?

I personally believe the meaning of marriage is whatever it mean to the two people in the relationship. I have no doubt that many couples in a civil partnership are effectively married. But the state rightly has a legal position on what marriage means, if only for tax purposes. As with any group of people, any faith is entitled to different position. But they do not have editorial control. Only the people can decide that.

What you are then left with, is the Cardinal is really saying the church should be able to say what the laws of this land should be if they choose to.

Shariya law anyone?

David Lindsay

Just looked in more detail at your “rant”

“Nor from those who have taken us to war in Afghanistan in defence of the endemic abuse of such boys, an abuse to which, whatever else may be said of the “Taliban”, they were very actively opposed and not without success in seeking to eradicate”

lols!

Yes the Taliban have always been a force for good it would seem. I think the Taliban, along with the Spanish Inquisition should be included as a subcategory of Godwins Law.

Personally, I think I am not fully clear, from my PC in Dorset, on all the good and bad things the Taliban do. I would be very wary of painting them so easily as a force for good. Perhaps they made the train run on time too?

32. Just Visiting

Tris 25

> What about heterosexuals who get married but either don’t want or can’t have children.
> Should they just have the second rate civil partnership?

There have always been couples who couldn’t have kids -and as they often didnt find out until some time after marriage – I’m flummoxed as to how you think any system would be able to decide upfront not to allow marriage?

Methinks you are posting more from emotion than logic here.

Likewise for couples who don’t want kids.
There have always been couples like this – nothing new.
Are you suggesting some kind of ‘marriage test’ of their inner motives and desires?

> You say that it is best for children to have a couple, male and female

Actually no – I’ve pointed out that others here on LC have suggested that it is no worse without parents of both genders: and I have asked for their evidence in that belief.

Without evidence – it is just a belief system.

Here’s another belief system that is actually stronger than yours – as it starts off with a non-controversial proven fact:
“On average men are more like to have pyschotic problems then women. Therefore male-male parenting doubles the chance of the child having a psychotic parent. Doubling of a risk is such a big increase, we should avoid it by banning male-male civil partnerships from being allowed to bring up children”

Of course that same evidence atrating point – could form the belief that only same-sex female partners be allowed to bring up children !

> but, maybe it’s about quality of parenting rather than gender. Wouldn’t it be better to have two loving men, or two loving women, than a drunk or drug addict…

Again, this is a not an appeal to logic but to emotion.
Of course those examples of bad parenting are – eh – bad parents.

Unless you have evidence that the incidence of bad parenting among same sex couples is less than among hetero couples… then you are saying nothing.

Based on the statistics – there are and have been millions of children raised by male-female parents -and so not surprising that there are hundreds and thousands of real-world cases of abuse historically

But there are so very much fewer children being raised by same-sex parents – and over so few years – that the statistical evidence is less clear.

Did you research first before you decided same-sex marriage was OK for the children?
If so – show us the evidence you’ve already uncovered -you must have got it to hand ?

By the way, you do also know that adopted children also can suffer extra pyschological problems – even though brought up by entirely loving parents.
Have you researched whether children who have one biological parent missing in their upbringing (because they are brought up by a same-sex couple) don’t suffer the same risks?

> That happened so often when the priests had their hands up the kids cassock.

Ah, so you have a hidden agenda – a bit of catholic bashing!
You say ‘so often’ – care to show us your statistics that it was more common among among catholic priests than teachers in boys boarding schools ?

33. Just Visiting

Davidh

> I have no doubt that many couples in a civil partnership are effectively married. But the state rightly has a legal position on what marriage means, if only for tax purposes.

You’ve lost me there. In state law and tax – civil partnership = marriage?
There is no difference. None. 0%

If I’m not mistaken – than your argument is spurious.

I doubt that there are too many “lols” among the boys of Afghanistan, the most endemically pederastic country on earth before and since the “Taliban”, who have no existence apart from the Pashtun generally, and to whom we are in any case manoeuvring to surrender in all but name. Like the Viet Cong, they will never leave. But like the Americans in Vietnam, we were always going to leave eventually. The pederasty matter is very well-documented, for anyone who can be bothered to do some research instead of “lol-ing” or worrying about “Godwin’s Law”. Grow up.

On which note, does no one expect the Spanish Inquisition? I certainly do, and I am never disappointed. The same people who regard The Life of Brian as the last word on Jesus declare their general intellectual dependence on Monty Python’s Flying Circus by bringing up the Spanish Inquisition in relation to the Catholic Church, and especially in relation to the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, “formerly known as the Inquisition”. The CDF was in fact the Roman, not the Spanish, Inquisition; but neither ever claimed or exercised any jurisdiction over non-Catholics. The Roman Inquisition granted the accused rights far in excess of those prevalent at the time, such as the right to legal representation, paid for by the Inquisition if necessary, a right not formally recognised in England until 1836. Only people whose activities were a threat to the State, a tiny percentage, were ever handed over to it for execution or anything else, a severity far less than that of the Protestant governments of the time.

As for the infamous Spanish Inquisition, it was staffed by clerics, but it was established, and they served, strictly at the pleasure of the Spanish Crown (perhaps it is difficult for people used to the Church of England to understand this distinction?), which had it approved on false pretences by Pope Sixtus IV. He was a repeated but unsuccessful opponent of its severity, an opposition, moreover, which has to be seen in the light of the below in order to be appreciated fully. From 1558, it imprisoned the Spanish Primate, Archbishop Caranza of Toledo, for eight years, despite repeated Papal attempts to secure his release. Furthermore, the Spanish Inquisition enjoyed popular as well as royal, but not Papal, support.

As a civil body, the Spanish Inquisition has to be compared to other civil bodies of the time; and it actually compares rather well, using torture in only two per cent of cases, and then for no longer than 15 minutes, with only one per cent experiencing torture more than once. Of 49,092 cases between 1550 and 1700, fully 1,485, not even three per cent, ended with the death sentence, and only 776 were actually put to death by this agency, not of the Church, but of the State. On average during that century and a half, the Spanish Inquisition executed five people per year. Yet the Popes considered it unacceptably severe even in that day and age, when the English were executing anyone who damaged a shrub in a public garden, the Germans were gouging out the eyes of those who returned from banishment, and the French were disembowelling sheep-stealers. The Spanish Inquisition dismissed anyone who broke its clearly set out Instructiones, and people before the secular courts in Barcelona would sometimes blaspheme in order to be sent to one of the much more humane prisons maintained by the Inquisition.

All of the above may be verified from the works of serious scholars such as Professor Henry Kamen, an English Jew, of the Barcelona Higher Council for Scientific Research, and Professor Stephen Haliczer of the Northern University of Illinois. Who is to be believed? Scholars such as they? Or Monty Python’s Flying Circus?

The Paedophile Information Exchange and Paedophile Action for Liberation were certainly organised rings, as were the goings on in numerous reaches of social services and the allied academia. Whereas pederasty was contrary to the Teaching of the Catholic Church, it was anything but contrary to the teaching of those academics.

You are damn right, I’m “well-prepared”. You should try it sometime.

David – perhaps you should have posted the history of the Spanish Inquisition to wikipedia, it might get more people reading through every word.

Goodnight!

@17 Just Visiting – It looks like a yes.

More to the point, what’s all this ‘marriage is for providing mothers and fathers for children’ bullshit? Last time I checked being married was not a necessary requirement for parenthood.

38. Just Visiting

Davidh

What is it about you non-christians, that makes you think you can ‘interpret’ their holy books better than they can !

> an uneven application of Old Testament text, which this discussion shows that some Christians feel can be ignored or quoted depending on convenience.

Christians will interpret their holy book any which way they want. You may find it ‘convenient’ what they emphasise and what they don’t.
Tough!

Try to use an anthropologists approach.
Read up some christian sources yourself -to see how THEY explain the interpretation they make.

The same applies equally to muslims or hindus.

After all, you don’t even believe their holy book is worthy of respect or based on ‘truth’ anyway – so it’s 100% predictable that your thinking can’t make head or tail of what those who do treat the books that way make of it !

39. So Much For Subtlety

While my knowledge of anthropology is sketchy, the Cardinal seems to be on shaky ground here. As far as I am aware, human societies have always displayed a vast diversity of sexual set ups. One to one straight marriage has been dominant, but scarcely universal.

Even in the Bible, we read in in 1 Kings 11:3 that Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines. Polygamy was nothing out of the ordinary in the Old Testament (Deut. 21:15), and Abraham himself engaged in divinely-sanctioned bigamy.

Great. You have found two forms of marriage. Hardly a vast diversity.

But the truth is not that the government that is redefining reality, but that reality is redefining itself. Committed gay relationships have surely been around as long as committed straight relationships, but it is only thanks to the social changes seen in the last 50 years that they have become both commonplace and open.

Sorry but what is your evidence for that? I notice that you’re using the word “committed”. In what sense? Surely? That looks like a weasel word to me. Why do you use it?

If the Coalition recognises that and allows LGBT couples that wish to do so to walk down the aisle, then that ultimate increases rather than diminishes the standing of marriage as an institution. Those that favour marriage should have no complaints about that.

Sorry but this is an opinion. It is not a fact that Gay marriage will strengthen marriage as an institution. On the contrary, the more we have moved away from the traditional view of marriage as regulating the raising of children the more that marriage has suffered. It is likely that Gay marriage is the final nail in the coffin of a dying institution. The rest of us will have to pay for the mess. But even if my opinion is only an opinion, it is no better or worse than yours. So you ought to justify it. Radically re-defining marriage will obviously cause major changes to society. If you think it will improve marriage – all evidence to the contrary – you should at least provide one single reason why any sane person might think so.

40. So Much For Subtlety

37. Cylux

More to the point, what’s all this ‘marriage is for providing mothers and fathers for children’ bullshit? Last time I checked being married was not a necessary requirement for parenthood.

No. But statistically being married is a strong predictor of successful parenthood. Or to put it another way, the children of unmarried parents do worse on every single measure I can think of. The prisons are full of single Mothers. Oxbridge is full of the children of the married. We need more of the latter and fewer of the former.

@40 And how exactly does gay marriage affect any of that?

Those immoral, pederastic, promiscuous, psychopathic, proselitizing homosexuals.

How very dare they want to aspire to the love, commitment and faithfulness of (the ideal) marriage!!!

Clearly the very idea is making David Lindsay’s and others’ heads explode and if this blog accommodated more colours no doubt his prolix posts would be in the most vivid green ink.

Well, you utter fool, I am in a civil partnership with my partner of 22 years and we and all our heterosexual friends refer to it as our ‘marriage’. I am also a (I flatter myself to think) a member of our Parochial Church Council.

“You can forget the child abuse.”

Yes, Peter Tatchell *wrote an article*, with which I disagree.
On the other hand the Catholic hierarchy systematically covered up hundreds if not thousands of child rapes.

Well done mate. You’ve done yourself proud.

(I flatter myself to think) a respected member…I meant to say

Pride goeth before a fall!

Is one seriously to believe that a Conservative Primeminister is concerned about gay marriage? Or is it because the Coalition need to keep the attention of their critics and the media away from economic questions, the appalling treatment of the unemployed and the elderly and many other issues of social justice?

It is sometimes the case that those who dismiss faiths such as that of the Cardinal have no trouble believing the theories of Karl Marx. If so, they should be familiar with the idea of “false consciousness” and unfortunately the gay rights agenda which was originally the province of the left has been successfully used by the right for upwards of 15 years to divert attention from questions of economic justice and the expansion of state power. Most of the left in British politics have been successfully caught by this ruse.

You may notice such a tactic being deployed everytime someone has a go at the record of Tony Blair on BBC’s “Question Time”. Up will jump someone to defend Blair on his record on gay rights, successfully moving attention away from the issue under discussion and diffusing the criticism. Appearing to promote gay rights gives the impression of being liberal and progressive whilst doing absolutely nothing to alter the economic status quo.

Cameron has learnt this trick from his spin doctors and New Labour – witness his statement about gay rights being an issue of international human rights, citing the examples of various African and Middle Eastern regimes. There is one exception to his thesis though -David Cameron will never condemn the treatment of gay men in the American prison system.

45. So Much For Subtlety

41. Cylux

And how exactly does gay marriage affect any of that?

It is part of the on-going re-definition of marriage to something that no one wants.

42. cjcjc

On the other hand the Catholic hierarchy systematically covered up hundreds if not thousands of child rapes.

And yet despite that the Catholic Church remains the safest custodian of children in the Western world. Compare this with the some 12,800 reported incidents of sexual abuse of children in British schools …. last year alone.

@45 – gold stars all round then, eh?

40

False dichotomy, Oxbridge is full of children from a middle-class background, quite a large proportion have received private education. Class is the strongest indicator, not the relationship status of parents.

45

And your trademark argument (again), look at how bad that is/was. You know how many reported rapes there were in British schools, the point being that they were not covered-up.

@44 hahaha

That sounds like this wild theory which managed to shock even Laurie Penny!

http://www.newstatesman.com/blogs/laurie-penny/2012/02/women-white-miller-woman-young-2

But statistically being married is a strong predictor of successful parenthood. Or to put it another way, the children of unmarried parents do worse on every single measure I can think of. The prisons are full of single Mothers. Oxbridge is full of the children of the married. We need more of the latter and fewer of the former.

So we should have gay marriage.

50. So Much For Subtlety

47. steveb

False dichotomy, Oxbridge is full of children from a middle-class background, quite a large proportion have received private education. Class is the strongest indicator, not the relationship status of parents.

There is nothing false about it. Being married is a strong predictor of being middle class. Being divorced is an even stronger one of poverty. I doubt that class is the strongest indicator, rather it is a certain attitude to education. The Upper class don’t get in these days. Harry had to go to Saint Andrew’s. But the self discipline that produces good A levels also produced intact families.

And your trademark argument (again), look at how bad that is/was. You know how many reported rapes there were in British schools, the point being that they were not covered-up.

It is not a good argument but that does not mean it is wrong. Nor are they reported much. No one gives a damn when secular teachers sexually abuse children. They make a huge fuss when Catholic clergy do. Thus the outrage is not about the sexual abuse. It is hypocrisy.

This whole debate makes my teeth ache. Marriage today is effectively a secular arrangement – a civil union between two people. There is no need for any religious involvement whatsoever. Many people (self included) like to combine the secular contract of marriage (the signing of the register) with a religious ceremony.

Certain faiths, however, impose restrictions on who can take part in that religious ceremony – a lot of Catholic churches, for example, will not marry divorcees. There is absolutely no reason, therefore, why two men or two women should not get married. It should simply be up to the various religious faiths to decide whether they can take part in the appropriate religious ceremony.

Yeesh.

I don’t actually recall it even happening, glorified or otherwise, in the Hippopotamus.

Statutory rape is basically the entire plot of the Hippopotamus. Boy believes he is a great faith healer. He transmits the power of his healing through his sperm, to middle-aged man with heart trouble, to adult woman with cancer and to young teenage girl with acne. Grumpy middle-aged poet exposes this. Sorry about spoilers and all that, but without underage sex you have a book about a grumpy poet who goes to a house party where nothing happens.

It is part of the on-going re-definition of marriage to something that no one wants.

That doesn’t answer my question. Unmarried couples do a fine job of providing a mother and father to a child, so the argument that the purpose of marriage is to do so is false.

Now if we were to explore how someone is a bastard child on the other hand, then things begin to make a bit more sense. Though you would think society had long moved on from such things.

53. the a&e charge nurse

Being married is a strong predictor of being middle class.

Or being middle class is a strong predictor that you will get married. Indeed upper class even more so – does anyone here think Prince Harry NOT marrying to be very likely?

Being divorced is an even stronger one of poverty.

I could waste time listing the various pocket-stretchingly wealthy people who have had divorces, but no, being divorced is a strong indicator of having been in an ill-advised marriage.

55. James from Durham

This is all largely bollocks isn’t it. On the one hand, we have the evil homosexuals. Well,I have met some gay men and those I have actually met have been decent respectable guys whom I would trust to babysit my kids. Yes, I know there are some evil gay men out there, but I suspect they are a very small minority, like the small minority of straight child abusers and like the very small minority of child abusing priests.

So then we are presented with this idea that the RC church is full of child abusing priests. Well, no. In any large organisation, there will be some very bad people. o surprises there. Te real problem was that the RC church which is supposed to include experts on sin didn’t believe their people could be doing it and when they knew they were, decided to cover it up instead of doing the honest and christian thing. The problem was with the heirarchy. And of course the hypocrisy of judging everyone else (Motes, planks etc)

Oh and actually when teachers abuse children it is taken seriously. In fact, if a teacher physically restrains a child causing trouble, it can be a disciplinary matter.

Can we have this discussion without the hysteria?

Can we have this discussion without the hysteria?

I think I know the answer to this one.

57. the a&e charge nurse

[55] “So then we are presented with this idea that the RC church is full of child abusing priests” – it is a matter of public record that priests abused children, but is not the abuse per se that is the bone of contention (although it is shocking enough) but more the fact the church hierarchy was aware of the behaviour of some it’s priest but still failed to reign them in – some say the higher ups were even complicit with covering up the scandal and that this cover up went to the very top of the organisation?

You have to understand that those affected by such matters will never let the failure to act go.

No one gives a damn when secular teachers sexually abuse children.

WTF?

AE @57, spot on IMO.

50
Didn’t Prince Harry come from the most famous broken home? Doesn’t seem to have interfered with his educational attainment. Neither is there much poverty surrounding him. Basically illustrates the point I was making.

And perhaps you can indicate even one shred of evidence that no one gives a damn if a teacher in a secular school sexually abuses a child.
The outrage about priests sexually abusing children was/ is the extent of the cover-up as A & E states. Refering to the OP, it appears that it’s OK to ‘allow’ priests to get away with sexual contact with children but not OK if two same-sex adults want to freely enter into a loving relationship and seal it with a public comittment.

61. Chaise Guevara

@ 51 TimJ

Agree with your take on religious involvement (or otherwise) in marriage.

And yes, you’re right about the Hippopotamus. I was (spoilers again) thinking of the time that Ted is falsely accused of getting involved with David. Forgot about the people who could be rightly accused.

62. Chaise Guevara

@ 58

I’m very glad I don’t live in SMFS’s nighmarish version of reality.

I the light of the hundreds of millions of dollars subsequently paid out in compensation to victims of abuse by Catholic clergy in America, the initial attempted cover-up by the church hierarchy was an entirely rational commercial response.

Now I’m not certain, but I’m fairly sure that the divorce rate started going up when people started marrying for love, instead of a social contract. This is mostly a new invention.
People claiming that marriage is declining because more people are getting divorced seem to forget that part. Falling out of love is just as natural an event as falling in love; it doesn’t have to happen, but sometimes it does.

‘Gay’ marriage isn’t going to damage ‘straight’ marriage. Gay parents aren’t automatically going to be worse (or better) than straight parents. Reality isn’t changing, perceptions are. The reality is that people who are in love deserve the chance to recognise it in an equal way.

65. paulnewman

I quite understand the deep unease of people to whom Marriage is the most important commitment of their lives when people of the sort who populate Liberal Conspiracy delight in what may apear to be an action devaluing its meaning to one the state sets according to the nostrums of the day
I think much of this would evaporate on closer aquaintance with gay men ( I don`t know any gay women)
Gay men are increasingly trying to adopt and moving on from the hedonism and insularity associated with the community in its early “out “days . I have become convinced that they are as commited and serious as anyone else and the implication that their relationship is a less worth is uncharitable and therefore unchristian , not to say unkind . Its a pity that a bullying sneering tone has to be adopted when the objective is an acceptance and meeting whithin a valued framework.

66. Chaise Guevara

@ 65 Paul Newman

” Its a pity that a bullying sneering tone has to be adopted when the objective is an acceptance and meeting whithin a valued framework.”

The objective is preventing gay people from getting married. That’s an odd definition of “acceptance”. Any “bullying” by egalitarians on this is simply fighting fire with fire: the real bullies are those trying to impose their personal prejudices onto gay couples.

67. paulnewman

Chaise – In other other context you would be denying that marriage had any value anyway and you certainly wish the outrageous tax penalty for staying publicly in a couple to remain.
If you think about his in real life, in my experience, the sort of Gay couple who want to get married would also like to adopt and join the wider community at the school gate, the football pitch ,the birthday parties and parents evenings, ( which by chance where I am off to tonight ). This is to do with a broad acceptance of the value of their relationship by others. It does little good therefore, for people like you to harrangue those who may have some difficulties with that, or to impose some change of language on people by diktat. Your only interest is to irritate socially conservative people and I am not sure it would be welcomed by the people you claim to wish to”Liberate” …hem hem.

68. Chaise Guevara

@ 67 paulnewman

“Chaise – In other other context you would be denying that marriage had any value anyway and you certainly wish the outrageous tax penalty for staying publicly in a couple to remain.”

What are you on about? What possible basis have you for these claims?

“It does little good therefore, for people like you to harrangue those who may have some difficulties with that, or to impose some change of language on people by diktat.”

I’m not imposing anything on anybody. If gay people want to get married, let them. Legally stopping the word “marriage” from being used is a case of imposing an existing biased rule of language by diktat.

“Your only interest is to irritate socially conservative people and I am not sure it would be welcomed by the people you claim to wish to”Liberate” …hem hem.”

Are you capable of expressing yourself in any form other than straw men and ad homs?

Paul Newman, I’m struggling to see how “the objective is acceptance” when various people including Cardinal O’Brien have made it clear gay marriage is unacceptable, even using such strong language as “grotesque” and “shaming” (and bizarrely, “violates human rights”). What seems to be meant is acceptance of what they find acceptable.

Gay couples are but one item in the long list of irritants to social conservatives. In America, they would likely make sex criminals of most of us. Try this from Fox News:

“The United States takes the cake. While countries around the world are all guilty of trying to control our sex lives, the US has more laws regulating sexual behavior than all the European countries combined.

“Sex toys are banned in some states, such as Alabama. Sexual intercourse between unmarried couples is illegal in Georgia. Flirting is banned in San Antonio, Texas.

“Oral sex is banned in Indiana. Anal intercourse is banned in Cincinnati, Ohio.

“Sexual positions beyond missionary are illegal in Washington, D.C. Sleeping naked is illegal in Minnesota.”
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,351636,00.html#ixzz1oFlQ8J7w

Predictably, some of us regard social conservatives as an irritant but heaven forbids that we legislate to ban them or their expressions of outrage.

I don’t support gay marriage, because it’s so divisive.
I thought that civil partnerships were fine. But I do get a bit annoyed with the ”pro-equality” argument that says anything less than their maximum desires is just bigotry on the part of everyone else.

The was some ranting Scotsman on the radio this morning, very opposed to gay marriage, and his point was ”why can’t there be another word for it?”
Just leave ”marriage” for hetrosexual unions and have another word for the gay ones he was suggesting. As a greater majority of the world’s population would have difficulty with gay marriage being the same as hetro marriage, maybe he has a point.

I couldn’t care less either way really, but just as a point of debate.
But when David Cameron gets on board the bandwagon, you know that something isn’t quite right.

Long ago, in an international forum online, a regular female poster there was apt to post long disquisitions about objects or modes of behaviour she regarded as utterly intolerable. I ventured to suggest that to forewarn her regular readers, she should publish a comprehensive list so the rest of us could avoid mentions of matters which offended her sensitivities.

She evidently found that an agreeable suggestion and duly posted several pages listing those things and actions she abominated. It was certainly impressively long.

The item on the top of her list was electric tooth brushes. I had to agree with her about that.

73. Chaise Guevara

@ 71 damon

“I thought that civil partnerships were fine. But I do get a bit annoyed with the ”pro-equality” argument that says anything less than their maximum desires is just bigotry on the part of everyone else.”

But if your end desire is to stop bigotry, then that’s in fact true. From my POV the anti-gay-marriage lot are the latest group of bigots complaining about being called bigots.

“The was some ranting Scotsman on the radio this morning, very opposed to gay marriage, and his point was ”why can’t there be another word for it?”
Just leave ”marriage” for hetrosexual unions and have another word for the gay ones he was suggesting.”

Because this quite clearly states that we have a two-tier system, that gay and straight relationships are not equal.

“I couldn’t care less either way really, but just as a point of debate.
But when David Cameron gets on board the bandwagon, you know that something isn’t quite right.”

How does Cameron feel about looking both ways before you cross the street?

Yes, Damon is right.

How very dare gay people (like me) demand equality.
I mean, what kind of outrageous “maximum desire” is that?!
We should know our place and bow to the bigotry of the majority.
(If majority it is…)

CG @ 73:

“But if your end desire is to stop bigotry, then that’s in fact true.”

No, surely not. In a liberal pluralist society, we all have to compromise to some extent and be prepared to tolerate some of each other’s prejudices – whether it’s halal slaughter or in this case the legal definition of ‘marriage’. If particular lobby groups take the view that anything less than their maximum desires is just bigotry on the part of everyone else, then the first victim will be a tolerant, liberal society, because we can’t all have our maximum desires when some desires are incompatible with others. All religions regard marriage as sacral and for Christians it is a sacrament, so to change the definition of ‘marriage’ risks offending them all deeply. So why bother, when homosexuals have civil partnerships that grant them (unless I’m mistaken) all the legal rights of marriage? It risks reducing tolerance and increasing conflict for relatively little gain.

“Because this quite clearly states that we have a two-tier system, that gay and straight relationships are not equal.”

Equal rights but a different name for the two types of relationship doesn’t seem like a two-tier system at all to me.

76. Chaise Guevara

@ 75 TONE

“No, surely not. In a liberal pluralist society, we all have to compromise to some extent and be prepared to tolerate some of each other’s prejudices – whether it’s halal slaughter or in this case the legal definition of ‘marriage’.”

The prejudice of homophobes would still be tolerated – just not mandated in law. Your argument basically means the winner of any debate would be whoever could fake the most extreme position to shift the middle towards their actual goal. So presumably you’re against gay marriage because it’s the full goal of the liberal side, but if I pretended the actual goal was ONLY allowing gay marriage, then you’d suddenly support legalising gay marriage as a compromise? It’s the golden mean fallacy.

“If particular lobby groups take the view that anything less than their maximum desires is just bigotry on the part of everyone else, then the first victim will be a tolerant, liberal society, because we can’t all have our maximum desires when some desires are incompatible with others.”

Say my “maximum desire” is literally to get rid of all bigoted laws. How would it possibly be unfair to say that people who disagreed were bigoted?

I am arguing for the most tolerant solution: any consenting adults may marry if they wish. So don’t tell me from tolerance when you’re supporting an intolerant policy.

“All religions regard marriage as sacral and for Christians it is a sacrament, so to change the definition of ‘marriage’ risks offending them all deeply.”

I’m sorry, but you simply don’t have the right to tell other people how to live their lives to avoid offending you. Actually harming you, yes. Threatening you, yes. Offending you just by doing what they want to do: no. This is how we MAINTAIN a liberal society, so you’re way off by suggesting I’m illiberal.

“So why bother, when homosexuals have civil partnerships that grant them (unless I’m mistaken) all the legal rights of marriage? It risks reducing tolerance and increasing conflict for relatively little gain.”

Because the default status of anything should be that it’s legal unless there’s reason to ban it. The only argument for banning gay marriage is that failure to do so will make the poor little homophobes upset. I do not find this compelling.

“Equal rights but a different name for the two types of relationship doesn’t seem like a two-tier system at all to me.”

1) If insisting on using different words isn’t mean to create a two-tier system, what purpose does it have?

2) I assume you’re fine with naming gay weddings “marriage” and straight weddings “civil partnerships”? Spirit of compromise.

A couple of minor points.

All opponents of gay marriage seem to be trying to exclude people from an institution they regard as good. No-one seems to have bothered to come up with an explanation of how having gay marriage will devalue the existing institution – apart from the fatuous line about marriage being to produce children, which is historically and anthropologically nonsense – marriage is to link families, or to define a man’s (and this was a male-dominated institution) rights over his women. Most societies are quite happy with the concept of children outside of marriage. Other than this wonderful bit of inaccuracy, opponents of gay marriage presumably believe that the presence of gay people ruins institutions by their very presence?

And there seems to be some strange confusion here about what is homosexuality, which, in a male context, in which this thread seems to be based, is a sexual attraction to other adult males, and paedophilia, which is a sexual attraction to children – and which is actually more common in practicing hetrosexuals I believe (so gay parents would therefore be better…).

Basically, there is one simple argument here. Discriminating against people (regardless of belief, colour, orientation) is wrong, so everyone must have the same rights. Either gay people can get married, or no-one can.

78. the a&e charge nurse

[77] “Either gay people can get married, or no-one can” – do you mean catholic priests should be forced to marry gay couples, with same the demand placed on all other religion groups?

Surely such measures would result in a culture clash between potentially irreconcilable ideologies, secularism and religion?

cjcjc, you should know that the left often leads it’s campaigns by damning all the general population who aren’t as ”enlightened” as they are. It can smack of elitism.
You can see it in some of the comedians and satirical shows these days.
The News Quiz on Radio 4, That ”10 O’Clock Live” show with Charlie Brooker and Jimmy Carr …. and even though he’s really good, Jon Stewart’s Daily Show can also come across as sophisticated liberals mocking the proletarian hillbillies.

Remember Obama’s remarks about small communities in the Midwest?

”They get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them…..

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/apr/14/barackobama.uselections2008

I don’t really see what the need is to go socking it to the pesants all the time.
How far do you take this anyway? Do we pass this equality law in the UK, and then hector foreign governments who don’t follow suit?
Something else to lecture the Chinese about perhaps.

“No-one seems to have bothered to come up with an explanation of how having gay marriage will devalue the existing institution”

No indeed, no-one has.

“do you mean catholic priests should be forced to marry gay couples, with same the demand placed on all other religion groups?”

The religious service does not, as you know, actually marry people.
The signing of the register does that.
Let the churches include whom they like.
No-one (save registrars) will be forced to do anything.

@79

Something else to lecture the Chinese about perhaps.

To be honest China’s making progress in lgbt rights anyway.

Damon – no-one is socking it to anyone.
This is about removing a barrier for those who wish to do something which otherwise harms no-one. At least no-one has offered a convincing reason why it does.

Bizarre that a desire for equality is seen to be something so heinous.

Bizarre that husbands and wives will supposedly feel *their* marriages so devalued or harmed in some way just because *other* people will be married.

I recently read around the black civil rights movement in the USA and recall expressions of similar sentiments.

84. the a&e charge nurse

John Gray on secular fundamentalists
http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2008/mar/15/society

85. Chaise Guevara

What cjcjc just said? That’s the heart of this debate. Nobody has any justifiable reason to oppose gay marriage, for all that the homophobes use victim tactics. And there’s no need to force religious, non-state organisations to participate. They can announce that they only sanction marriage between men and toothbrushes for all I give a fuck. All that matters is that people have the same rights regardless of their sexuality, because this isn’t actually the Dark Ages.

Oh, and what UKliberty says makes a hell of a lot of sense too, but that’s par for the course.

86. Chaise Guevara

@ 79 damon

“cjcjc, you should know that the left often leads it’s campaigns by damning all the general population who aren’t as ”enlightened” as they are. It can smack of elitism.”

Damon, I’ve revised my opinion on this debate due to you and TONE. I previously thought that anyone who opposed gay marriage was homophobic on some level. However, I don’t believe that’s true of either you or TONE; neither of you come off as bigots. Frankly, I think that both of you are decent human beings.

However, I do think you’re both wrong-headed. In your case the flaw seems to be anti-leftist ad hom. You do realise that “elitist!” is a constant non-sequitur attack used against the left, pretty much regardless of context? “You think you’re right and I’m wrong, you fucking snob!” Guess what? EVERYONE thinks they’re right and their opposition is wrong, that’s why arguments exist to begin with. You really, REALLY need to consider the possibility that some of us just think that gay people should have the same rights as straight people. That’s it. No elitist philosophy, just the desire that people don’t get fucked over for being in a minority group. Egalitarianism, in fact.

This is about removing a barrier for those who wish to do something which otherwise harms no-one. At least no-one has offered a convincing reason why it does.

cjcjc – maybe there aren’t any convincing reasons. But insisting that this equality law becomes rolled out right across the world (which follows on from campaigning in one country) then you just set up permanent culture war. Most of the world isn’t as liberal and far sighted as gay rights campaigners. Is it worth the hastle? Do you really want to spend your time arguing with religious fundamentalists and socially conservative people?
I can’t really be bothered myself. When did gay folk want to become some mainstream and ”normal” anyway?

Chaise Guevara, I’m not so interested in black and white absolutes, but more in nuances and shades of opinion. I have listened to Sean Hannity talking about this on his radio show in the States, and even though he’s a terrible right winger, I tried to see it from where he was coming from. I can (just about) if I try hard. Even though I would disagree with him. It’s about trying to imagine yourself in someone else’s world view.
I do this often, but most people it seems never do, and if you talk about this it will be seen as weird. Trying to see things how people you disagree with see them.
Since I moved to Northern Ireland I’ve tried to do the same for the two different traditions here too. Which is something very few people here do. They are usually just one way or the other. Nationalist or Unionist – end of story.

The people who run this website hate Spiked-online and refuse to ever pick up on anything they ever say, but this was a very interesting take on the run-up to the 2008 presidential race in the US, and how it became a bit of a battle ground there for a while in the Midwest, between small town social conservatives, and progressive liberals.
http://www.spiked-online.com/index.php/site/article/5301/

I am always struck by the hectoring language used by otherwise educated and sensitive, sophisticated people when they are denouncing ‘ordinary folk’. Frequently, those who are associated with the so-called religious right are described as ‘simpletons’ and ‘idiots’. What is most striking is the passion and force with which certain individuals are attacked if they take a different position on, say, the right to abortion or the right to bear arms. These passionate denunciations suggest that some people, most notably those in the liberal elite, feel that their very identity – as expressed through their lifestyles – is being called into question by those who dare to disagree on the environment, abortion, immigration or any other issue. Sadly, all too often debates about issues and values can become very personal indeed in America.

To me, that would be a more interesting discussion, but left and liberal people can’t be bothered to have it usually. Even when it’s exactly about them.

@45: “12,800 reported incidents of sexual abuse of children in British schools”

I’m leery of quibbling over figures when it comes to allegations of abuse, but I feel the need to correct a fairly stark and hopefully unintentional misrepresentation. You are referring to the 12086 allegations of abuse in the year 2009-10, in English schools and sixth form colleges in the 116 local authorities that responded to a government survey. This included not just sexual but also physical, mental and verbal abuse, and abuse by neglect. And these are *alleged* incidents of abuse – that’s not quite the same thing as reported incidents of abuse. The figure comes from this report: https://www.education.gov.uk/publications/eOrderingDownload/DFE-RB163.pdf

Of these 12086 allegations, some 2933 were made against teachers (including 106 against college teacher) and 1709 against non-teaching staff (secretaries, nurses, caretakers, voluntary mentors, etc). (I assume the other 7444 accusations were made against other pupils, but the report doesn’t actually say.)

Of the 2933 allegations made against teachers, 602 concerned sexual abuse; 1613 concerned physical abuse (hitting, physically restraining, etc), 325 concerned verbal abuse, 229 concerned emotional abuse and 67 concerned neglect. Of the 1709 allegations made about non-teaching staff, 427 concerned sexual abuse; 842 concerned physical abuse, 208 verbal abuse, 76 emotional abuse and 82 neglect.

So, of the 12086 alleged incidents covered by the respondents to the survey, 1029 involved an allegation of sexual abuse by staff. Note this only refers to 116 out of 433 local authorities in England (so, *if* those 116 LAs are statistically representative, there would have been 3841 allegations of sexual abuse by staff out of a total of 45114 allegations of abuse across the country); also note that there is no indication as to what proportion of these allegations were made in religious schools and what proportion in non-religious schools.

89. So Much For Subtlety

51. Tim J

Certain faiths, however, impose restrictions on who can take part in that religious ceremony – a lot of Catholic churches, for example, will not marry divorcees.

By a lot I assume you mean all.

There is absolutely no reason, therefore, why two men or two women should not get married. It should simply be up to the various religious faiths to decide whether they can take part in the appropriate religious ceremony.

Except it goes against the whole trend of the modern world which is towards less tolerance. The Gay activists will no be happy with this. They have repeatedly made it clear they would not be happy with this. As the rainbow sash protests about Catholic communion has shown. There is no reason why we cannot co-exist except that the people with power have no intention of compromising.

52. Cylux

That doesn’t answer my question. Unmarried couples do a fine job of providing a mother and father to a child, so the argument that the purpose of marriage is to do so is false.

No they do not on average. Some, no doubt, do. Just as some married couples do not. But on the whole, by and large, unmarried parenthood is strongly correlated with virtually every bad outcome we can test for. There is no real life substitute for actual married heterosexual parents.

Nor is the marriage argument false because either you do not want to understand it or because we have moved away from the basic definition of marriage and the original need for it. The fact that we need a massive government intervention in virtually every aspect of our lives to provide a failing, inadequate substitute for a married family life proves nothing. Rather than have 40 pence in every pound wasted on pushing jelly uphill, perhaps it is better just to admit it is time to stop trying to push jelly uphill?

54. Cylux

Or being middle class is a strong predictor that you will get married. Indeed upper class even more so – does anyone here think Prince Harry NOT marrying to be very likely?

Either way. The values we need and which work lead to marriage. Those that do not do not. I doubt it is true of the Upper Class who were never strong on good marriages. Harry is an exceptional case – and the rest of his family show very definite non-Middle Class values.

I could waste time listing the various pocket-stretchingly wealthy people who have had divorces, but no, being divorced is a strong indicator of having been in an ill-advised marriage.

It is that too. But there is no denying that the bottom of British society is largely made up of divorced families. That is why so many children are living in poverty. That a lot of rich people also divorce means nothing except there are some stupid rich people who want to join the underclass.

58. ukliberty

WTF?

Teachers who abuse children are vastly more common than Catholic priests who do so – something like 50 times more common last I bothered to estimate the number I sort of remember – but they do not get one tenth the press coverage. We do not care about secular child abuse. We all know what British young offender centres are probably like for instance. When was the last time anyone bothered to cover it in the press?

60. steveb

Didn’t Prince Harry come from the most famous broken home? Doesn’t seem to have interfered with his educational attainment. Neither is there much poverty surrounding him. Basically illustrates the point I was making.

His educational attainment is basically f**k all. He had the best education money could provide and he could still do no better than a Fine Arts degree in Saint Andrews. He in on the Civil List. If not for that and the other protection he gets from his position, does anyone doubt he would be slumming it on an estate by Christmas?

And perhaps you can indicate even one shred of evidence that no one gives a damn if a teacher in a secular school sexually abuses a child.

There is simply virtually no coverage of it. Except the Daily Mail to some extent. It happens every day. In fact there are about 35 new cases every day. When was the last time the Guardian devoted an editorial to it?

The outrage about priests sexually abusing children was/ is the extent of the cover-up as A & E states.

No it isn’t. Because that did not happen most places. The outrage is that the Catholic Church refuses to bend to liberal piety and so they have to be beaten into submission. This is a convenient tool. No more.

62. Chaise Guevara

I’m very glad I don’t live in SMFS’s nighmarish version of reality.

Except you do. You just refuse to acknowledge that reality.

90. So Much For Subtlety

77. Watchman

All opponents of gay marriage seem to be trying to exclude people from an institution they regard as good.

Not so sure that applies to me. Most marriages seem hell as far as I can tell. They are, however, socially necessary.

No-one seems to have bothered to come up with an explanation of how having gay marriage will devalue the existing institution – apart from the fatuous line about marriage being to produce children, which is historically and anthropologically nonsense – marriage is to link families, or to define a man’s (and this was a male-dominated institution) rights over his women. Most societies are quite happy with the concept of children outside of marriage.

I am not sure anyone has been asked. But I agree it is hard to see how it would work except perhaps as part of a shift from seeing marriage about more than us to it being all about personal fulfilment. If you know of any culture that has viewed marriage as anything other than an institution for producing the best possible childhoods I would like to hear of it. Notice that in the Western (Judaeo-Christian-Islamic) tradition there is no marriage without heterosexual sex. It is not possible or legal. Which meant children. Marriage can link families but that is not its prime purposes. And never has been. But that link is usually grandchildren. I doubt most societies are happy with children outside marriage. They may be more tolerant than the Wee Frees but that is a different claim.

Other than this wonderful bit of inaccuracy, opponents of gay marriage presumably believe that the presence of gay people ruins institutions by their very presence?

Or the re-defining of marriage to be a selfish exercise in narcissism – for both Gay and heterosexual couples – undermines the institution.

and which is actually more common in practicing hetrosexuals I believe (so gay parents would therefore be better…).

Define more common.

Basically, there is one simple argument here. Discriminating against people (regardless of belief, colour, orientation) is wrong, so everyone must have the same rights. Either gay people can get married, or no-one can.

And that is the problem. People are not equal. It is absurd to pretend otherwise.

83. ukliberty

Bizarre that a desire for equality is seen to be something so heinous.

If that is what it is, you would be right.

Bizarre that husbands and wives will supposedly feel *their* marriages so devalued or harmed in some way just because *other* people will be married.

Indeed. And yet it seems to be the case.

I recently read around the black civil rights movement in the USA and recall expressions of similar sentiments.

A variation of Godwin’s law? Nice change of subject though.

85. Chaise Guevara

Nobody has any justifiable reason to oppose gay marriage, for all that the homophobes use victim tactics.

That you do not understand and in so far as you do do not agree is not proof that those arguments do not exist.

And there’s no need to force religious, non-state organisations to participate. They can announce that they only sanction marriage between men and toothbrushes for all I give a fuck. All that matters is that people have the same rights regardless of their sexuality, because this isn’t actually the Dark Ages.

But then you contradict yourself. Because if they are entitled to the same rights, they need to force non-state organisations to participate. And we have been here before. Peter Tatchell et al have protested over the Catholic Church refusing communion to the openly Gay. So you are arguing a false premise – one you must know is false. This is not the intent of the campaign.

SMFS,

We all know what British young offender centres are probably like for instance. When was the last time anyone bothered to cover it in the press?

Guardian 14 Feb 2012.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2012/feb/14/youth-custody-failing-young-people-want-change

I recall a more recent article in the Times but that is of course un-linkable.

HTH.

89

Harry went to St. Andrews, well as I have already stated, private education and a place at St. Andrews (if not Oxford), how many working-class kids would have managed to get a place there, even the bright ones. And he still came from a single-parent family.
So your evidence that large numbers of children are getting abused in secular schools is – that there are no editorials of any such thing in The Guardian.
Say no more.

93. Chaise Guevara

@ 87 damon

“It’s about trying to imagine yourself in someone else’s world view.
I do this often, but most people it seems never do, and if you talk about this it will be seen as weird. ”

I agree, which is why I often find myself explaining to certain other posters that Tories are not, in fact, motivated by a black desire to do evulz. However, empathy does not require you to agree with other people, or mean that it’s rude to disagree with them.

Your reply is tangential to my post, so it’s hard to know exactly what point you’re making. You seem to be skating close to saying “X has said said his piece, so now it would be rude of Y to say his piece if he disagrees with X”. Probably that’s not your intention, but I can’t see another way to connect it to what I said.

The people trying to keep gay marriage illegal are still wrong from my POV; allowing myself to get into their heads hasn’t changed that.

Your Spiked article, based on the quote above, is a laughably hypocriticial slur piece. Having first declared that his opponents are arrogant weirdos (by accusing them of denouncing “ordinary folk” and then straight-out branding them the “liberal elite”), he goes on to maturely shake his mature head in a very mature way and woefully declare: “Sadly, all too often debates about issues and values can become very personal indeed in America.”

Well, yes. Look who just did that.

So that’s hilarious. Other than that, it seems to be a classic case of taking negative traits that can be found in all sorts of people (in this instance intolerance, mud-slinging and over-defensiveness) and make out that they’re unique to, or at least especially associated with, a group the author hates.

So I can see two points of discussion from this text: 1) the trivial argreement that some liberals DO behave in such a fashion, and 2) noting what a terrible article it is, kind of a “how not to do it guide” to having a sensible conversation.

94. Chaise Guevara

@ 90 SMFS

“That you do not understand…”

Yawn… oh, sorry, you were saying something fascinating about how anyone who disagrees with you is stupid? Do go on.

“…and in so far as you do do not agree is not proof that those arguments do not exist.”

Yes, ok, these arguments could exist. For all the debate over this tactic I have yet to hear one ventured. You’re not venturing them. So there we are.

“But then you contradict yourself. Because if they are entitled to the same rights, they need to force non-state organisations to participate.”

Eh? My position on this issue is that all people should have equal rights in terms of what the state allows and provides, but that private religious groups should be allowed to choose their clientele. Where’s the contradiction?

“And we have been here before. Peter Tatchell et al have protested over the Catholic Church refusing communion to the openly Gay. So you are arguing a false premise – one you must know is false. This is not the intent of the campaign.”

I could have SWORN that I’m not Peter Tachell. One minute… [examines mirror, checks ID]… nope, I’m not. What Tachell and this shadowy “al” group believe does not determine what I believe.

It’d be great if you could get through one post without straw-man attacks, you know.

“When did gay folk want to become some mainstream and ”normal” anyway?”

Well some of us do and some of us don’t.
(Same as straight folk.)

Perhaps you will be kind enough to let us decide for ourselves!

@89

But on the whole, by and large, unmarried parenthood is strongly correlated with virtually every bad outcome we can test for. There is no real life substitute for actual married heterosexual parents.

I suppose all the studies now trickling out of the US that are consistently showing that gay parent couples actually perform better than straight couples on average mean nothing then?

(the studies conclude it’s not the parent’s sexuality that causes them to be better, but that for every gay couple raising children, because of the natural limits imposed by their sexuality, their children were absolutely wanted. No unplanned pregnancies and thus parenthood to be found in gay couples. http://news.yahoo.com/why-gay-parents-may-best-parents-131902676.html )

97. Just Visiting

Cylux

aren’t you overstating the evidence?

The link you posted –

> There is very little research on the children of gay men, so Stacey and Biblarz couldn’t draw conclusions on those families. But Stacey suspects that gay men “will be the best parents on average,” she said.

So firstly no facts regarding gay parents.
Secondly notice the bias of the researcher – already has the outcome in her mind!

Then if you read back the reference to the lesbian -parenting study — it again seems to be weak evidence:
a) sample sizes way too small – 90 teens of which half in lesbian families…. 78 family study. But the report says “65,000 kids were living with adoptive gay parents between 2000 and 2002″ – so there are surely many more now.

b) statements that I find worryingly unscientific:
> A 2008 study comparing 78 lesbian families in the United States with their counterparts (lesbian households) in the Netherlands, showed American kids were more than twice as likely as the Dutch to be teased about their mothers’ sexual orientation.

> Stacey says she doesn’t think kids growing up in lesbian households get teased more than other kids; it’s just that when they do get teased, the target is the non-traditional household, rather than some other aspect of their life or identity. (On another note, gay and lesbian teens are more likely than others to get bullied.)

Is it just me, or is Stacey in offering what ‘she thinks’ going outside any evidence she has ?

@97 The social sciences are not exact, though you would think that if all these ‘changing the definition of marriage will destroy lives’ people weren’t actually talking complete bollocks then results like this from a small sample wouldn’t even be possible. If their worldview represented reality then the results would be stark and damning.

SMFS,

I recently read around the black civil rights movement in the USA and recall expressions of similar sentiments.

A variation of Godwin’s law? Nice change of subject though.

It’s called an analogy. And ‘funnily’ enough it was Cardinal O’Brien who inspired the memory the other day, when he mentioned “slavery” (that was an analogy too, btw) in his Telegraph diatribe against gay marriage.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/9121424/We-cannot-afford-to-indulge-this-madness.html

Like all good bigots with our best interests at heart he wheels out his parade of horribles: “it will redefine society”, “the repercussions… will be immense”, “dissent [may be] crushed at all costs”, an “attempt to redefine reality”, “madness”, a “grotesque subversion of a universally accepted human right”, “It would create a society which deliberately chooses to deprive a child of either a mother or a father”, the Government “will have forfeited the trust which society has placed in them and their intolerance will shame the United Kingdom in the eyes of the world”.

100. Chaise Guevara

@ 98 Cylux

SMFS’s claim doesn’t need to be answered, as he’s equated “married” with “married and straight”. I’m willing to guess that the unmarried cohort of these tests were single/cohabiting. If the test compared married straights to gay civil partners they would have said so.

SMFS is talking sheer nonsense, in other words – quick, fetch my diary!

101. Just Visiting

Cylux

> The social sciences are not exact, though you would think that if all these ‘changing the definition of marriage will destroy lives’ people weren’t actually talking complete bollocks then results like this from a small sample wouldn’t even be possible.

Cylux, not sure what you mean – as I’m sure you understand that taking a sample that is insignificant can lead to duff statistics; ( such as of smokers : it may show that they too live to be just as old as the non-smokers)


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. Liberal Conspiracy

    Sorry Cardinal O'Brien, but reality is redefining itself http://t.co/6ZvJSbpI

  2. The Dragon Fairy

    Sorry Cardinal O'Brien, but reality is redefining itself http://t.co/6ZvJSbpI

  3. Christopher Leathley

    Sorry Cardinal O'Brien, but reality is redefining itself http://t.co/6ZvJSbpI

  4. Matt Mulligan

    Sorry Cardinal O'Brien, but reality is redefining itself http://t.co/6ZvJSbpI

  5. Jason Brickley

    Sorry Cardinal O’Brien, but reality is redefining itself http://t.co/Fu7KEtkN

  6. Patron Press - #P2

    #UK : Sorry Cardinal O ’Brien, but reality is redefining itself http://t.co/MI0EdVLV

  7. Niamh AP Keoghan

    Sorry Cardinal O'Brien, but reality is redefining itself http://t.co/6ZvJSbpI

  8. Steve Mosby

    Sorry Cardinal O'Brien, but reality is redefining itself http://t.co/6ZvJSbpI

  9. Tristram Wyatt

    RT @libcon: Sorry Cardinal O'Brien, but reality is redefining itself http://t.co/tMGv8OLf @patrickstrud

  10. Benjamin M. A'Lee

    Sorry Cardinal O'Brien, but reality is redefining itself http://t.co/6ZvJSbpI

  11. Luca Veste

    Sorry Cardinal O'Brien, but reality is redefining itself http://t.co/6ZvJSbpI

  12. leftlinks

    Liberal Conspiracy – Sorry Cardinal O’Brien, but reality is redefining itself http://t.co/X2njknpb

  13. PoliticsUK

    Liberal Conspiracy – Sorry Cardinal O’Brien, but reality is redefining itself

    Should secularism "prevail" in UK… http://t.co/akLWww0A

  14. Lee Bumstead

    Sorry Cardinal O’Brien, but reality is redefining itself | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/GhE1g0t8 via @libcon

  15. TristanPriceWilliams

    Sorry Cardinal O’Brien, but reality is redefining itself | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/OtvR2i8S via @libcon

  16. Spinny

    Sorry Cardinal O'Brien, but reality is redefining itself http://t.co/6ZvJSbpI

  17. Paul W

    Sorry Cardinal O'Brien, but reality is redefining itself http://t.co/6ZvJSbpI

  18. Samantha

    Sorry Cardinal O'Brien, but reality is redefining itself | Liberal …: But one principal claim appears to be th… http://t.co/HJe31zas

  19. representingthemambo

    Sorry Cardinal O’Brien, but reality is redefining itself | Liberal Conspiracy#comments http://t.co/BmgYxbfm via @libcon

  20. Arun Mehta

    David Osler: "Sorry Cardinal O’Brien, but reality is redefining itself." http://t.co/KE9Va6kO via @libcon

  21. Mike Child

    Sorry Cardinal O’Brien, but reality is redefining itself | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/CZCpcMIc via @libcon

  22. Aniya Conkle

    http://t.co/REgnP3eI Sorry Cardinal O'Brien, but reality is redefining itself | Liberal …

  23. Aniya Conkle

    http://t.co/REgnP3eI Sorry Cardinal O'Brien, but reality is redefining itself | Liberal …





Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.