Why are gay marriage activists so silent compared to the US?


by Sunny Hundal    
10:45 am - May 10th 2012

      Share on Tumblr

President Obama lit a fuse in the US culture wars yesterday by being the first President to favour same sex marriages. Political calculations aside – I think its more likely to hurt than help him going into an election – it was personally a bold move.

But his ‘evolution’ towards this position was inevitable. The US progressive blogosphere continually kept pushing the issue and gay activists put financial as well as public pressure on the President. His base is now elated.

Which makes me think – where is the public pressure in the UK for gay marriage? Why are conservatives winning the publicity battle?

In the last few months we’ve seen the ‘campaign 4 marriage’ make a lot of noise and gather 500,000 signatures. We’ve seen Tory MPs relentlessly attack David Cameron on the issue too.

Libdems say the issue is under control and Lynne Featherstone will deliver.

But we know marriage equality is inevitable; it’s going to happen however much conservative whine and complain. The issue isn’t whether but when. This blog ran a campaign to get all Labour leadership contenders in 2010 to sign up to gay marriage and they did. As soon as Labour get into power it will happen anyway.

The question is why Libdems and gay activists are letting the Tory-right dictate the agenda and kick the issue into the long grass.

David Cameron is clealry vulnerable on the issue. He knows its key to his detoxification strategy without which he won’t get re-elected. Many of his staff are absolutely committed to making it happen.

And yet, thanks to the absence of loud pressure from gay activists, the right have dictated the agenda. It’s not really that surprising it’s now on the back-burner. Maybe British activists (with the honourable exception of Peter Tatchell) need to take some lessons from the US?

    Share on Tumblr   submit to reddit  


About the author
Sunny Hundal is editor of LC. Also: on Twitter, at Pickled Politics and Guardian CIF.
· Other posts by


Story Filed Under: Blog ,Equality

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.


Reader comments


1. Chaise Guevara

“The question is why Libdems and gay activists are letting the Tory-right dictate the agenda and kick the issue into the long grass.”

In the case of the former, probably for the very obvious reason that they’d like to be able to brag about being the ones to legalise gay marriage, rather than letting the Tories take credit for putting the final brick in place when Labour built the entire bridge.

Although pushing Cameron on gay marriage would probably be tactically smart in the short term, as recent developments on the issue make him look like a coward representing a party of homophobes.

A: They haven’t. Visit http://www.c4em.org.uk

I think it’s just a matter of the C4M people being far more newsworthy. Who wants to read an article about people being politely sensible? The news cycle wants frothy, foam-lipped freaks spouting off about how society will crumble come the gays getting married.

Surely it’s in part because we’re generally more cynical and not bothered with marriage in the UK. If there was something that others had the right to do, that I didn’t have the right to do, but I didn’t want to do it anyway, I’d moan about it and want equality for sure, but I wouldn’t be bothered actively campaigning about it.

In part also because a Tory leader stating publicly that he is in favour of gay marriage is actually not as big a deal as a US Democrat doing the same. Opinion in the UK is much further along than it is in the US – much further. Obama (who is, let’s remember, on the left in the US) hasn’t yet caught up to where Cameron was last year.

The UK Government is, after all, in the consultation stage of bringing forward a bill to legalise gay marriage. The US President has just said that he, personally, is in favour.

I’m not sure how it’s been “kicked into the long grass”. We’re in the consultation stage at the moment. Once that stage is over, legislation can begin.

As that stage was never going to be over before The Queen’s Speech, it was never going to be in The Queen’s Speech.

Nothing has changed, it’s still working its way through the process, and it should still get there before the end of parliament.

The situation in the two countries is entirely different, that’s why.

In the US marriage (and civil partnerships etc) is exclusively a matter for the States and the States alone.

And the vast majority of US States do not allow, nor even recognise those from other States, civil partnerships, let alone gay marriage.

In the UK we have civil partnerships for any mixture of two human non-siblings* who want one. The issue of gay marriage is thus rather different.

*Hyperbole alert

7. margin4error

The UK is a far more socially liberal country than the USA and a country where we tend to be less vitriolic in our politics.

As such the tensions are less and the volume is less. Seems reasonable to me.

Gay marriage is legal in all but name now in the UK – and disrcimination is rightly illegal. Labour took a lot of years to get us to that stage – but it is done and it is not going to be reversed.

Contrast that with the USA – where in more than 40 states it is still legal to sack a member of staff if you find out he or she is a homosexual – and the nature of the debate is just very different.

“Gay Marriage” will be formalised eventually – probably when Labour next get into power since that’s when gay rights tend to advance. But it already semi-formally exists through civil partnerships and plenty of churches “bless” civil partnerships now too – so there’s not a lot left to fight over.

I don’t think it will hurt him in the US General election. Yes, its a bold move and yes, it shows leadership etc, but I think he will have done the political calculus and found it in his favour. Most of the votes he will ‘lose’ as a result of this, he would have lost anyway. He will pick up young votes at the expense of old votes (no bad thing for Democrats going forward).

I have not read Andrew Sullivan’s take on this yet, but I’ll bet he has some theory regarding Obama’s political jujitsu. The right’s inevitable freak-out will backfire on them, make them look anti-family, anti-love, anti-civil rights, etc. And it probably also distracts from other more fundamental stuff.

It mentioned on the today programme this morning in coverage of Obama’s decision to “get on the bus” that polls in the USA have for the first time shown a majority (tho’ only just) of people supporting gay marriage. That in itself won’t mean an end to discrimination, or change the minds of social conservatives in the USA, but it is a sign of the times. The war hasn’t been won, but those opposing same sex marriage will increasingly be seen in the same light as those who opposed civil rights in the 60′s.

Liberals in the USA and here need to make it clear to those opposed to such measures that they don’t have a veto by virtue of their religious or political beliefs, any more than people in the 60′s were entitled to have us accept that segregation was acceptable.

Here’s the US polling:
http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/05/09/support-for-gay-marriage-outweighs-opposition-in-polls/

50% of American’s now favour gay marriage. So on paper, it shouldn’t lose him votes… though in practice the vitriolic anti-equality campaigners may succeed in framing the debate in such a way that it costs him.

When I saw Obama endorsing gay marriage on the news, I couldn’t help feeling it was a tactical (if not cynical) move.
Those who oppose gay marriage won’t vote for him anyway, the audience (I felt) was the liberals who don’t think he has been liberal enough. It looked like he was throwing them a bone, giving them a reason to turn out – I’m sure apathy will be a bigger issue for him than annoying the Social Conservatives.

Same-sex marriage is also of greater importance in the US than it is in the UK, partly because civil unions, but also because of the significantly greater levels of casual homophobia, this sort of thing is devastatingly common. While there is an expensive pathway to obtaining all the necessary legal recognitions, they are unfortunately very easy to ignore by belligerent family members or hospital employees without consequence when compared to a marriage certificate. So the issue is simply more raw in the states than it is over here, thus why it garners greater attention and drive.

13. margin4error

Galen

The religious issue was pretty well put down in the last round of improved rights for homosexuals – when the religious fringe started complaining that if they couldn’t discriminate then they would have to close their B&Bs or their orphanages. Funilly enough, there’s been very little evidence of such action since discrimination was outlawed. The bluff was called and a bit of religious ranting about the word “marriage” won’t influence many voters.

And yet, thanks to the absence of loud pressure from gay activists, the right have dictated the agenda. It’s not really that surprising it’s now on the back-burner. Maybe British activists (with the honourable exception of Peter Tatchell) need to take some lessons from the US?

You’re assuming that gay marriage is as important to UK gays as it is to US gays and the simple truth is that … it’s not. We have civil partnerships, and we also have access to healthcare, immigration rights for same-sex partners and lots of other benefits that mean that gay marriage is chiefly about recognition of equality rather than actual, tangible benefits.

I’ve been civil partnered since 2008, and I don’t want to be married. So of course I’m going to put my energies elsewhere. If marriage was the only way that me and my partner could access healthcare, live together or be recognised as legal partners, it would be an awful lot higher on my agenda.

I’m not sure how it’s been “kicked into the long grass”. We’re in the consultation stage at the moment. Once that stage is over, legislation can begin.

This is a naive position.When exactly will the consultation finish? They’ve wrapped up consultations much quicker on other issues

This is a naive position.

Well, it was only announced as policy in autumn 2011 wasn’t it? Hardly a surprise it’s not in bill form by spring 2012. There’s a committment to having it in force by 2015.

As a dual national (US/UK), I am going to give my take on this. First, I think that the US is an incredibly large and diverse place in every way, including politically. I do not think that you can generalise that the progressives there are less left than the progressives here or that the right is more right. We have some pretty hard core wing-nuts here in the UK. American presidents, at least in the past several decades, tend to be centre-right, (except W, who was definitely right-right on most things). But, truth be told, most of the PMs in recent decades have been centre-right.

Because marriage is a state power, Obama coming out as in support of it is a statement. But what is that statement? Yesterday we had North Carolina passing an amendment banning civil unions/partner’s rights. Some of Obama’s core support actually voted for that amendment as African American turn-out was high. But NC is one of America’s so called red states (although not quite as red as others). Church involvement is high, and the African American churches were vital in getting out the vote. I think this in part spoke directly to these voters. Risky? Maybe, but I don’t know if this is as calculated as people think. Obama is really seen as a historic figure to many black Americans, so I think he was really trying to cause as much dissonance as possible with them.

By the way, the Democratic Party in the south tended to be conservative. Remember, this was the pro-slavery party and until after WWII really, the Republican Party tended to have more progressives. Some hold out of that tradition exists in “Blue-dog Democrats” and “Dixiecrats”. The lines of left/right along party lines are a little more confused in the US than here in the UK.

And the reason why same sex not pushed for here is probably the same reason why it’s not pushed for in the states where civil unions exist: what is the most important, the practical, is covered. It’s harder to get worked up over what is largely symbolic. I support same sex marriage (and opposite sex civil partnerships) in both countries, but I can see why people aren’t so motivated.

Sunny/15: When exactly will the consultation finish?

Well, according to the official consultation page, “The consultation closes on 14 June 2012.” (It started on 15 March, and three months is not an unusual length for government consultations)

Molly/17: Some of Obama’s core support actually voted for that amendment as African American turn-out was high

Hmm. The exit polling (and county-based results analysis) suggests that race was not a statistically significant predictor of voting on that amendment, and that if anything white voters were more likely to vote in favour than black voters.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2012/may/10/gay-marriage-three-key-factors-voting-bans is one analysis – I’ve seen others giving similar results elsewhere but can’t find the links right now.

Obama has been bounced over the definition of marriage, which in any case is not within the competence of the President, as such.

The same is true of abortion, making it no wonder that the Republican Party has never done anything at all about it. Quite apart from the fact that several of its biggest donors, many of its powerful back room functionaries, and not a few of its public figures are broadly to strongly pro-choice.

For two generations, pretty much, white Evangelicals and a large section of white Catholics have been conned into voting against their own economic interests, and latterly in favour of the harvesting of the Irish Catholics and of the Scots-Irish Southerners and Westerners (as well as the blacks) in wars of corporate greed and ideological lunacy, by the entirely empty promise of action against abortion. Action that neither the White House nor Capitol Hill can take.

The effects of those economic policies have been thoroughly anti-life and anti-family. It is blatantly obvious that those foreign policies, in themselves, were and are. Please God, let the same mistake not be made over the definition of marriage, a states’ matter in which black, Catholic, Southern and Western Democrats are in fact in the vanguard of defending the traditional position. Least of all, let it not be made over a departure from that position quite so half-hearted, lukewarm, and obviously forced as Obama’s.

@Cim/18. I am not saying that the African American vote was the majority of the vote or that African Americans were more likely to vote for it than not. In fact, I’d not be surprised that of the 39% who voted against it, a majority of those voters were black. What I am saying is that African American evangelicals were a not insignificant factor. That Obama is trying to cause dissonance in those voters is just conjecture on my part.

However, there’s no question in my mind that the outcome of the vote in NC along with Biden coming out in support of gay marriage were the two biggest factors in the timing.

@20

In fact, I’d not be surprised that of the 39% who voted against it, a majority of those voters were black.

I believe the same was said, quite loudly and well publicised, in the immediate aftermath of the Prop 8 vote, which upon actually checking the voting figures, didn’t hold up. In light of NOM’s wedge strategy revelation, it might be worth waiting till the facts are in.

Out4Marriage just launched a couple of days ago. See http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2012/05/08/video-groundbreaking-global-campaign-for-marriage-equality-out4marriage-launched/ They’ve also established a youtube channel modelled on Dan Savage’s It Gets Better campaign, and quite a few videos have been uploaded already. See https://www.youtube.com/user/out4marriage

I guess that most here are in favour of marriage equality, but if you need to convince somebody else, point them to this video -” It could happen to you”. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pR9gyloyOjM Be prepared to shed a few tears if you watch it.

23. Dick the Prick

Stupid move for voters who were gonna vote for him anyway – dumbass!

While I prepared to admit that one is more likely to get progressive social legislation when Labour is in power, the Labour Party’s record in the last parliament on gay rights was often one of vacillation. For instance John Reid as Defence Secretary continued to oppose gays in the military, and it took Labour three years (in 2000) to introduce legislation to repeal Section 28, and another three years before it was actually repealed in 2003. It is also surely noticeable that no Labour Party front bench spokesperson has urged the Government to bring forward legislation on gay marriage, or offered assistance in speeding up the reform. Indeed it was Ben Bradshaw who used the issue of gay marriage to take a side swipe at the Government. Only when I hear Labour MPs from Scotland vocally criticising Cardinal O’Brien’s outrageous statement on gay marriage, or Labour MPs from England speaking out strongly against the Catholic Church’s encyclical to schools, will I accept the criticism of Lib Dems and gay activists expressed in this blog.

25. Charlieman

In the UK, it is almost certain that gay marriage will be recognised. It may happen under this coalition or under (any) next government, but it is imminent. Outside the frothing wing of the Conservative Party, few people object.

So it is unsurprising that liberal activists do not adopt this as a primary case at this moment in time. We can afford to wait for this one.

Whilst saying that, I have to express my sincere sympathies to couples who have not been permitted to get married or who are waiting.

Christ almighty, what is it with the obsession the British Left has for American politics? Look at the slightly wider picture. Okay, you could possibly argue (wrongly in my book) that progressive politics have taken a leap in one insignificant area in the US, but for fucks sake people, America is practically a State stuck in medieval feudalism in comparison to Europe in general and Britain in particular.

Do you think really think anyone with a Liberal mindset has anything to learn from a political system that sees women seeking abortion are violated on operating tables by law, where creationism is taught and global warming is dismissed as Communism? A system that sees nothing wrong in soup kitchens and they still are fighting to get health cover for their populace is the last place we should be looking for ideas from.

I firmly believe that we have lessons to be learned from American politics, but not on how sections of the gay community have won a small PR victory. Christ, take a look at the mess America is in thanks to a fucked up political system.

Quite a few people tried to call equal marriage a ‘minor issue’, and on election night it was frequently bracketted in with the House of Lords reform as something voters don’t care about. Actually, it’s not an unimportant issue, it’s an issue that is only important to a minority of people. The fact that they’re in a minority doesn’t make their concern less pressing or their lives less important. But it means those people who agree that there should be marriage equality, but who aren’t directly affected, don’t have much reason to kick up a fuss – at least not as much as the vocal minority of those opposed.

Having said that, the blame can’t be placed entirely with the electorate. David Cameron is supposed to be our leader. He should lead on this issue – if Roy Jenkins had waited until homosexuality had been accepted to push for legalisation, it would still be illegal now. The point of electing officials is so that you don’t end up with mob rule, and that only works if your leaders don’t always give in to the mob.

A number of British organisations have been campaigning for gay marriage for some time now. Sarbat is one such organisation, and we have written an open letter to David Cameron and Lord Singh of Wimbledon on behalf of LGBT Sikhs in the UK. http://tinyurl.com/bn7ffcj

Britain is a far different society to the US on the subject of same-sex relationships and gay rights, and a comparison between the two nations os hardly fair. With the exception of gay marriage and a number of minor matters, gay equality is a reality in the UK thanks largely to the efforts made by the Labour government in the 90s and 00s. In the US, gay equality is having to be fought on a state-by-state basis with the Federal Government playing little part in that debate.

The consultation period on gay marriage will come to an end in June, and merely a few weeks later we will see World Pride taking place on the streets of London. It will be interesting to see how the LGBT community uses that opportunity to clearly put across its message in favour of gay marriage.

CIM: the fact that the numbers of black/white voters in favour of the SC amendment were equal is precisely the point – because the vast majority of black people in SC vote for the Democrats.

So while white voters for the ban were largely Republicans who’d never have touched Obama with a bargepole, many if not most of the black voters for the ban are otherwise staunch Democrats who voted for him in 2008 (and most of whom will probably still vote for him this year)

29/john b: Looking at the regression calculation: http://desmond.imageshack.us/Himg62/scaled.php?server=62&filename=ncwithblacktext.jpg&res=landing
as far as I can tell the “Democrats more likely to vote against” bit is already accounted for.

Anybody care to tell me why it’s wrong to discriminate against somebody who wants to marry someone of the same gender, but not against somebody who wants to marry their sibling, their parent, or several people at once? If you take the view (as most gay marriage proponents seem to) that marriage is about love and companionship, not having babies, then why stop at gay people?

Jim,
Out of interest, what do you think is “fucked up” about the American political system?

If you take the view (as most gay marriage proponents seem to) that marriage is about love and companionship, not having babies, then why stop at gay people?

Well, if marriage IS just about having babies, then why isn’t there a motion by gay marriage opponents to prevent elderly heterosexual couples from getting married on the basis that they won’t be able to produce any children from the union?

Cylux @ 33:

Why, I’m not entirely sure. No doubt there’s some historical reason behind it all. But anyway, that’s just whataboutery, and doesn’t answer my question.

35. Charlieman

@33. Cylux: “Well, if marriage IS just about having babies, then why isn’t there a motion by gay marriage opponents to prevent elderly heterosexual couples from getting married on the basis that they won’t be able to produce any children from the union?”

What is so wrong about “miracle babies”? ;-)

The more I read of the whole gay marriage debate, the more I agree with Brendan O’Neill’s view:

“This is not about rights and equality, or love and happiness. Rather, gay marriage has become a tool through which the right-minded sections of society express their moral superiority over the dumb, the brainwashed, the insufficiently cosmopolitan, the churchgoing. Gay marriage has become a kind of weapon, wielded by the right-on to demonstrate that they are better – that is, less brainwashed and more caring – than your average redneck or country black. Supporting gay marriage has become a kind of cultural signifier, a way of distinguishing oneself from the ignorant throng.”

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/brendanoneill2/100157478/the-bile-being-spat-at-the-people-of-north-carolina-exposes-the-ugly-elitism-of-the-gay-marriage-lobby/

@36 Well, being gay myself it would be nice to be able to marry the man I love. But since Brendan O’Neill, has concluded that that has got bugger all to do with the debate, and gay marriage is in fact just something for liburlz to lord over us common folk, I guess I’ll just have to make do with being not quite as equal as straights. While being taxed just as much.

That’s OK Cylux. Does your desire to do so though mean that it has to be made possible for you? I’m living in Belfast at the moment, and here half the people want a united Ireland, and the other half want to remain in the UK.
Who should get their way? Which community is on the right side of history?
Both communities can’t have what they want, but each wish is legitimate.

This gay marriage thing is an issue because people have decided to make it an issue. There is always the possibility that Brendan O’Neill is right, and that what side you’re on signifies what kind of moral worth you have. And you can only be on the ”side of the angels”, or on the side of ”backward ignorance”.
And who wants to be the last one standing holding out for backward ignorance?
Certainly not Lady Gaga and her million twitter followers, and all the Hollywood luvies … and now Barack Obama too.

And on the other side you have Sean Hannity, Bill O’Reilly and all the rest of the backward people. It could be a playground defining issue.

Well that depends Damon, I mean you have compared apples to oranges a bit there, because its never really been made all that clear over who actually loses if same sex marriage becomes reality.

Plus Lady Gaga does have a strong gay following and might, ya know, actually be quite keen on her gay fans (and indeed friends) being able to tie the knot, rather than it all being a callow PR stunt of wanting to be seen as ‘on the side of angels’. Just a thought.

Clyux: ”……because its never really been made all that clear over who actually loses if same sex marriage becomes reality”.

No, of course no one will actually lose anything, they just think they will.
The conservatives of this world. It’s not hard to find them and hear their arguments.
Just look up Sean Hannity on youtube where he disussed this on his US TV show recently. They really think they will lose something valuable. Marriage as they know it.

Btw, this is from an LA Times article that O’Neill linked too in his one.

Obama, gay marriage and a win for bigotry in N.C.

This is going to continue until people of conscience put a stop to it by asserting that tyranny of the majority is wrong, that courthouses aren’t and shouldn’t be churches, and that life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are rights guaranteed to all Americans. Even gay ones.

So you’re either a person of conscience, or you’re not now.

That is correct Damon. Which are you?

I feel more of an observer passing through than a participant Cylux.
Que sera sera. I don’t think I’m that important.

So maybe I’m damned as a person without conscience.

P Ve M that B O’N article was crap – and the bit that’s been quoted is probably the least worst part of it.

Completely agree with you, Cylux, that the NI parallel just doesn’t work. It’s not as if anyone is trying to force individuals into gay marriage.

I feel more of an observer passing through than a participant Cylux.
Que sera sera. I don’t think I’m that important.

So maybe I’m damned as a person without conscience.

And yet as an observer you managed to notice this

No, of course no one will actually lose anything, they just think they will.

So the ‘battlelines’ if you will, are drawn up between those fighting for a minority to have equal recognition of their relationships in law, so that people like the guy I linked to @12 don’t have to suffer that sort of thing again*. Versus people who gain or lose NOTHING regardless of which way the pendulum swings, who are driven to ensure said minority is divested of having their relationships acknowledged as equal in order to preserve some mental phantasms they have.

Or in short – preventing actual suffering versus preventing perceived suffering.

Even battle it ain’t.

*Of course, as I’ve written here and elsewhere, this is more of an issue for the states, this side of the pond especially with already existing civil unions same-sex marriage isn’t quite that big of a concern, especially given it’s more a matter of when, rather than if.

46. Chaise Guevara

@ 36 P Ve M

“The more I read of the whole gay marriage debate, the more I agree with Brendan O’Neill’s view”

You agree with an ad hominem smear that dodges the substantive issues? Why?

47. Chaise Guevara

@ P Ve M (again)

“Anybody care to tell me why it’s wrong to discriminate against somebody who wants to marry someone of the same gender, but not against somebody who wants to marry their sibling, their parent, or several people at once? ”

Who said that the latter is wrong?

I don’t really disagree with you Cylux. I don’t have a problem with gay marriage myself if that’s what people want to do.
Bringing up Nationalist verses Unionist aspirations in NI might be a bit of a stretch, but how about this? ……. I would completely support abortion rights for women, but they are curtailed in Northern Ireland where it’s illegal …. and I couldn’t particularly care either.
I might think that abortion should be provided in this part of the UK, but it isn’t – as there’s too many people against it. And that’s democracy I sussose. I don’t like it, but I’m not going to go out and campaign for abortion rights – especially as I’m not from here.

Sarah, you didn’t like the Brendan O article (which is fair enough) but wasn’t he just doing lots of internet links to places where people had really laid into to voters of North Carolina?

I don’t agree with abortion being banned in NI, but I would never go out into Belfast this morning with a campaign which took a ”you’re all a bunch of bigots” kind of line to everyone who disagreed.

So you say you don’t like the B O’N article. What don’t you like? That he links to people who envite ”bigots” to get with evolution? Calling people ”hate filled knuckle draggers” does seem to be the way to promote gay equality these days. I’ve heard Owen Jones on the radio saying just that.
I’m not even particularly against gay marriage and that really gets my hackles up.

Bringing up Nationalist verses Unionist aspirations in NI might be a bit of a stretch, but how about this? ……. I would completely support abortion rights for women, but they are curtailed in Northern Ireland where it’s illegal …. and I couldn’t particularly care either.

Well aside from holding two contradictory positions at once, ‘would completely support’ and ‘couldn’t particularly care’, the comparison is laboured once again. In the abortion debate both sides actually have a point, it’s a case of choosing between two evils as to which is the lessor, which is why it’s a conflict that continues to this day.
Gay marriage, even by your own admission, is no such thing, it’s not a battle of equal moral weight, one side has a just cause, the other fights just because. When you have an opposition that gains nothing from denying a section of rights to minority, it does make you question what motivation drives them to do so. Can Owen Jones no longer call a spade a spade?

Apologies P Ve M and damon – I thought the link was to that other piece by B o N on gay marriage which was more particularly objectionable.

You are actually right Cylux. There should be nothing stopping marriage being open to everyone. Apart from people. And there’s nowt queer as folk …. as they say.
Maybe we could look at someone like Obama and ask why he has been so cautious about this until now. What was stopping him? Was he a ”knuckle dragging bigot” who has belatedly seen the light?

If you look at what he has said in the past it is clear that he would fall into that category.
In 2008 he was asked to define marriage and he said it was ”the union between a man and a woman”. In 2004 he said he was ”against gay marriage”.

So it’s fair enough that Hannity and his friends at Fox have been able to label him as a ”flip-flopper”.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I8Ze-SR3Mvg

As for having two diffirent views at the same time Cylux, I mean that while I would support abortion rights for Northern Ireland, it’s a local issue for me and they have stronger feelings here it seems, and so I just shrug my shoulders. It’s easy enough to get to Scotland or England if you want to terminate a pregnancy.
Not ideal of course, but what can you do? Shout and scream about it?
I will leave it for local people to do that if they feel strongly enough about it.

Chaise @ 47:

“Who said that the latter is wrong?”

Well, nobody’s specifically said it’s wrong, at least not on this thread; then again, though, nobody’s campaigning against the ban on polygamy or sibling marriage, so it’s a reasonable inference that they’re OK with the ban, or at least more OK than they are with the gay marriage ban. Nobody seems to have come up with a decent answer as to why this should be, though.

Maybe we could look at someone like Obama and ask why he has been so cautious about this until now. What was stopping him? Was he a ”knuckle dragging bigot” who has belatedly seen the light?

Er, you’re conflating stuff again there, Obama has not been actively campaigning to prevent same sex marriage being realised. Being cautious =/= being totally opposed to. Plus it’s not like Obama has escaped criticism from lgbt orgs, peeps and allies for his escapades with Rick Warren and declaring that God was in the mix so that’s why he was staying the hell out of it. Though I believe ‘vote-chasing politician’ was the preferred pejorative rather than ‘knuckle-dragging bigot’. Context, it helps.

I mean that while I would support abortion rights for Northern Ireland, it’s a local issue for me and they have stronger feelings here it seems, and so I just shrug my shoulders.

I think you don’t know what the word ‘support’ means in this context. You either support abortion rights for Northern Ireland, and would thus like to see them come about, and are at the very least willing to argue in favour of them over the internet or dinner or to your friends and co-workers, or you don’t and thus remain unmoved on the matter because you are actually happy with the status quo.

but what can you do? Shout and scream about it?

You could join in with a local campaign group, maybe present your own point of view, but if you’d prefer to shout and scream instead, knock yourself out.

@52

or at least more OK than they are with the gay marriage ban. Nobody seems to have come up with a decent answer as to why this should be, though.

Well, the LGBT community and associated campaign groups are campaigning against the ban on gay marriage because it negatively affects themselves and prevents them from getting married to their life partners. Which you would think would be bleedingly obvious, but there ya go.

Cylux @ 54:

So are they campaigning based solely on self-interest, then, rather than on the basis of a wider principle about the nature of marriage? Or do they have a wider principle, but only care about putting it into practice insofar as it will bring them personally some benefit?

56. Chaise Guevara

@ 52 P Ve M

“Well, nobody’s specifically said it’s wrong, at least not on this thread; then again, though, nobody’s campaigning against the ban on polygamy or sibling marriage, so it’s a reasonable inference that they’re OK with the ban, or at least more OK than they are with the gay marriage ban. Nobody seems to have come up with a decent answer as to why this should be, though.”

I’ve never heard of anyone in this country demanding we overturn the ban on polygamy, let alone incestuous marriage. I’m sure you could dig someone up, but it’s not a vocal lobby group. Presumably there just isn’t much of a market for it. We don’t hear from people saying they’re being oppressed/slighted by the existing system. So who would campaigners be fighting for?

By the way, legalising polygamy would be a more complex issue than legalising gay marriage. The latter is basically a yes/no decision. The former would require a lot of thought about changes to the law, because all of the laws surrounding marriage currently assume that there are only two people involved. For example: if Alice and Bob are married, and Alice also wants to marry Carl, does she need Bob’s permission? If not, after Alice marries Carl, is Bob also married to Carl, or is Alice in two separate marriages? Unless a lobby group for polygamy gets going and sets out what they want, it’s not clear what “legalise polygamy” even means.

If you can find people who are in favour of one but not the other, and can’t set out a good reason why, yes, they’re hypocritical. But the fact that people aren’t *actively campaigning* is just whataboutery. It’s like meeting someone who spends their life doing aid work in Africa and bawling them out for not also doing aid work in South America.

Cylux @53, that’s all good. I’m obviously like that bloke in Monty Python who turned up at the Argument Clinic looking for an argument and didn’t find one to his satisfaction.

I couldn’t really care about gay marriage that much in itself, but I am more interested more in the ”culture war” that exists between the two great axes of liberal and conservative on issues such as this. You have the people on Fox News like Hannity, and then you have their opposite numbers in the likes of Jon Stewart and his Daily Show.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hCu67Dw05wc

Lampooning conservatives is so easy that it’s a bit cheap (almost).

What I have found most disappointing is that everyone I’ve come across who supports gay marriage, refuses to play along a little and allow some self reflection of themselves as a movement or block. It’s all so pious. You’re either ”pro liberty” or you’re not. No self reflection and wondering if perhaps (I know it’s hard) that maybe ‘Brendan O’Bonkers’ might just have a point when he and the Spiked people do the Us verses them routine. When they suggest that the liberals are polarising things so much, so to be able to bask in a little reflected glory etc.
I really do believe there’s something in that.

The young hipsters verses the ”old dinosaurs”. I mean, on that Daily Kos website he linked to, it shows that people were actually talking about an economic boycott of North Carolina for a couple of days there. He didn’t make that up, he linked to the sites saying that kind of stuff. Which is so holier-than-thou. And that’s all my point is really.
I try to be liberal, but end up hating a lot of ”actually existing liberals” because they are so up themselves.
(Anyone who’s been to a Billy Bragg concert will know what I mean).

@57 damon

Forgive me, but it sounds as if you aren’t really arguing in good faith. The fact that you don’t really care too much an issue doesn’t give you carte blanche to label those who care about it passionately “up themselves” and “holier than thou”.

History is replete with examples of of people who would nod sagely that some injustice was, you know…kind of wrong in principle… but actually… well, it doesn’t seem that bad, and it’s a custom / has been going on for centuries / is part of the culture [insert lame arced excuse of choice here].

Segregation in the US, apartheid in SA, denying civil rights to Catholics in Northern Ireland, homosexuals being discriminated against all over the place, racial and religious discrimination in too many places to mention.

What we really don’t need is more moral cowardice like that advocated in your posts. Some things are just wrong, and some issues are that simple; either you are for equal rights or you’re not. Being sort of in favour is like sort of being a virgin.

it shows that people were actually talking about an economic boycott of North Carolina for a couple of days there.

Old tactics die hard, the boycott tactic started off in the castro in San Francisco, by gay people refusing to shop at stores where the owners would harass, intimidate and otherwise make them feel unwelcome, but would still take their money. Harvey Milk and others organised the gay community that had flocked to castro to begin only shopping from stores where the owners were gay friendly. the gay friendly store’s tills began overflowing, while the hater’s stores began dying. It’s been a staple tactic of lgbt campaigners to force change in the states since the 1970′s.
So not sure why you think its just a ‘liberals’ thing. It’s more of an ‘Americans’ thing tbh, various Christian and conservative groups pull off boycotts too, NOM is currently organising a boycott against Starbucks at the moment. It’s not being quite as successful as the gay boycotts tend to be, it’s actually resulted in Starbucks making MORE money, but there it is.

Which is so holier-than-thou.

As a tactic? It’s a campaigning tactic that even Tim Worstall finds agreeable – don’t like the actions or attitudes of a company/nation/state – don’t buy any stuff from them!

As for the culture TV wars, who cares? It’s light entertainment, like Game of Thrones. Of far greater import, is the fact Mitt Romney posted a gay republican as his foreign policy spokesman, and before he could even issue a single official statement on the topic of his responsibility, he’d been hounded out of the post by the republican conservative anti-gay squad led by American Family Association’s Bryan J. Fisher. It’s not liberals who are polarising things in order to bask in some reflected glory, it’s the likes of Fisher and Scott Lively who are doing all the polarising. Liberals merely oppose them.

So are they campaigning based solely on self-interest, then, rather than on the basis of a wider principle about the nature of marriage? Or do they have a wider principle, but only care about putting it into practice insofar as it will bring them personally some benefit?

Well, I can’t really answer for “they” because for every campaigner there’s going to be different things driving them. Some self interest, others sense of justice, even more others for egalitarianism etc. The point is that the other stuff doesn’t need looking at, because no one has expressed a big enough need or desire to try changing things, whereas for gay marriage, they have.

It’s interesting that liberals don’t seem to be able to understand the other side at all. Their opponents must be crazy or evil—or both, of course—, because there’s no good reason to take the contrary position in this argument.

One reason that people oppose gay marriage is that they believe marriage is an institution with a particular meaning. If the institution can be made to mean anything, then it ceases to have a particular meaning and it becomes meaningless.

As an example, say that I want the freedom to take whatever nationality I please. Why shouldn’t I be allowed to be Swiss? Or Argentine? Or Iranian? Or anything I please at any given moment? Then, if everyone is allowed to do the same, it’s clear that nationality itself can have no particular meaning. It becomes an institution empty of content; just a word cut loose from its moorings. I can say, “I’m Iranian, and Argentine, and Swiss.” But I’m not any of those things in the sense most people understand them.

“It’s a campaigning tactic that even Tim Worstall finds agreeable – don’t like the actions or attitudes of a company/nation/state – don’t buy any stuff from them!”

“Finds agreeable” is a little weak. Just, righteous, morally commendable…..even, in my more froth mouthed moments, your duty.

You get to vote with your money every day and you should indeed vote with it according to your perception of your interests.

Of course, part of the reason I support, even promote, everyone’s right to not spend their money where they don’t want to is that it gives me a good excuse to insist that everyone also has the freedom to spend their money where others don’t want them to.

63. Chaise Guevara

@ 61 vimothy

“It’s interesting that liberals don’t seem to be able to understand the other side at all. Their opponents must be crazy or evil—or both, of course—, because there’s no good reason to take the contrary position in this argument.

One reason that people oppose gay marriage is that they believe marriage is an institution with a particular meaning. If the institution can be made to mean anything, then it ceases to have a particular meaning and it becomes meaningless.”

Happily, it’s not being “made to mean anything”, it’s having its meaning slightly changed to encompass a small percentage of the population who were previously excluded. Your argument doesn’t actually at any point add up to “and therefore gay marriage should be illegal”.

“As an example, say that I want the freedom to take whatever nationality I please…”

If you are *actually* Swiss (for example), that has all sorts of real-world implications that go beyond statements and semantics, mainly regarding your right to live and work in the country. And there are good reasons that not everyone is considered a citizen of every country. So unless you think that gays should be denied the rights that go with marriage (I’m all ears), this is not analogous.

@61 vimothy

People in the southern states who were in favour of segregation used the argument that it was an institution grounded in their history and society; it didn’t work as an apologia for discrimination then, and it doesn’t work any better now.

There IS no good reason to take the contrary argument in this case, unless you are blinded by religious or political intolerance. Thankfully those opposed are increasingly swimming against the tide, and whilst it may take some time, opposition to gay marriage will soon be seen (and indeed is already seen by most right thinking people) as about as acceptable as opposing segregation, denying civil rights to catholics etc.

Your assumed nationalities example is specious; gay marriage will be accepted because *most* people will accept it as such. The fact that a minority will never accept it, or think the sky will fall if it comes about is no more a reason to prevent it than was protecting the freedom of people to put “No dogs, no blacks, no Irish” signs in the windows of their hotels or B&B’s.

I could declare myself a Catholic, and claim I was the Pope, and reveal that speaking infallibly I’d decided all priests should marry, women should be ordained, and all Bishops wear kilts at all times…. but it wouldn’t be any more relevant than your nationalities diversion.

Galen10 @58 ”…it sounds as if you aren’t really arguing in good faith.”

Maybe not. But I do find the polarisation a bit much. It’s all a bit too pure for me.
Because where does this leave people who don’t really ”get” gay?
I have known loads of people who haven’t, and still don’t. Do they have to be considered knuckle dragging bigots? Or do we just anticipate their deaths so that society can move on better without them?
This being LC, maybe I should just shut up, because it’s mainly for people who wouldn’t give this kind of thing a second thought. But like with the eco-evangelising, I find it doesn’t all sit so well. The campaigning that is.

Cylux. NOM sound quite terrible, but what’s it with Starbucks? A company like that coming out for gay marriage smacks of opportune marketing.
I can’t say I’m too impressed with that.
As for boycotts: do what you feel is right I suppose, but a whole state was going a bit far I thought.

These campaigns are just going to run and run. If it’s not sexuality it’s carbon footprints and personal consumption. We all have to become as righteous as the Green Party or be ‘damned’ by history. I find it bit too much of a package though.
A bit like those organic eco-cooperative grocery stores you get in the most gentrified of middle class areas, where everyone is so right-on.

Like this

66. Chaise Guevara

Damon, do you actually have anything to say on gay marriage, aside from character assassination of those who support it? Got any, you know, actual points?

Chaise Guevara – I just saw a guy on Andrew Marr’s programme doning the newspaper review. Anderew Pierce from the Daily Mail. Gay himself and a member of Stonewall. He doesn’t think there is a great need for gay marriage. So does that make him a ”knuckle dragger” or just an Uncle Tom?

Here he is talking about gay Labour MP Ben Bradshaw, who had a civil partnership ceremony in 2006 and also seems less than red hot on the need for gay marriage.
Why Britain doesn’t need gay marriage: First MP to have a civil partnership makes a brave and controversial stand

How’s that Chaise? You know …. as part of a debate. Or is there no debate?

The thing that interests me, as I’ve said, is the kind of debate we can have, not so much the issue itself. It looks like a bit of a pious steam roller at work here – and is not taking any prisoners. Which is actually quite intolerant I find.

Not everyone is going to ”get” gay. Just like not everyone got punk rock.
I was just listening to Bob Harris on Radio Two from midnight to 3am. I love his show, but he embarrassingly never ”got” punk when it started. He refused to have any of the punk bands on his TV show because it was something he didn’t understand at the time.
This pro-gay marriage bandwaggon does soome to be a bit it much of an in-crowd thing for my liking really. I cannot stand the way that Owen Jones (who has written OP’s for this website) has behaved on Radio Five Live towards the former Talk Sport Host Ian Collins, who also supports gay equality by won’t hear of everyone who doesn’t get it being slagged off as knuckle draggers. Which is what Owen Jones does.
I won’t be a part of that smugness. sorry.

68. Chaise Guevara

@ 67 damon

“Chaise Guevara – I just saw a guy on Andrew Marr’s programme doning the newspaper review. Anderew Pierce from the Daily Mail. Gay himself and a member of Stonewall. He doesn’t think there is a great need for gay marriage. So does that make him a ”knuckle dragger” or just an Uncle Tom?”

That’s a loaded question. He says gay marriage isn’t the most important issue in the world. Which it isn’t. What’s your point?

“How’s that Chaise? You know …. as part of a debate. Or is there no debate?”

I’m all for debate, Damon. You’re the one avoiding the debate by throwing ad-hom attacks around. Attend the beam in thine own eye.

“The thing that interests me, as I’ve said, is the kind of debate we can have, not so much the issue itself. It looks like a bit of a pious steam roller at work here – and is not taking any prisoners. Which is actually quite intolerant I find. ”

Hahahahaha! Oh, this old classic: tolerance is intolarant because it upsets intolerant people. You don’t have a right not to be offended, Damon. That’s not how liberalism works. Gay people can get married if they want: if that offends you, tough. Straight people can get married if they want: if that offends someone, tough on them too.

“Not everyone is going to ”get” gay. Just like not everyone got punk rock.”

Do you think we should therefore ban punk?

“This pro-gay marriage bandwaggon does soome to be a bit it much of an in-crowd thing for my liking really. I cannot stand the way that Owen Jones (who has written OP’s for this website) has behaved on Radio Five Live towards the former Talk Sport Host Ian Collins, who also supports gay equality by won’t hear of everyone who doesn’t get it being slagged off as knuckle draggers. Which is what Owen Jones does.
I won’t be a part of that smugness. sorry.”

And yet you smugly denounce everyone who supports gay marriage as elitist and in it for sake of self-image. It’s amazingly hypocritical. Yes, there are people who avoid serious debate about gay marriage by smearing the character of their opponents. You are one of them. So you are part of the smugness. Sorry.

Can someone more intelligent than me please explain why those voters on the right of American politics (“libertarians”, whatever that means) simultaneously want less interference from “big government” whilst also trying to get government to determine what kind of marriage is acceptable? Surely the point of being freed from the constraints of government control also means that one must accept that others are free to do as they please? Such as two people of the same sex marrying one another?

You’re a hard person to argue with Chaise. My problem is with Owen Jones calling Ian Collins a knuckle dragger on Raido Five Live and the ”twitter mob” who were slagging off the whole of North Carolina for voting against gay marriage.
Can we start from there Chaise? They started it.

I think that a point worth debating and taking on board is what gay people like Andrew Pierce and Labour MP Ben Bradshaw had to say about this. Can we just halt at and examine their points of view for a few moments too?

Then we can look at how people treat the views of people like those, and compare those to someone like Owen Jones.

Thanks to the struggle of gay people, the law no longer writes us off as lesser human beings. It’s a tremendous accomplishment that was achieved at great cost. But the struggle for “normalisation” – to be gay without anyone even raising an eyebrow – may have decades to go.

“Can someone more intelligent than me please explain why those voters on the right of American politics (“libertarians”, whatever that means) simultaneously want less interference from “big government” whilst also trying to get government to determine what kind of marriage is acceptable?”

You’re making a classification error. We can argue about whether libertarians are in fact on the right or not. But leave that aside.

The libertarians are possibly the one and only political grouping in the entire country who are all in favour of gay marriage and have been for decades.

For libertarianism is, by definition, both economically and socially liberal.

@69 Well, the Libertarian position is that government should get out of the marriage business entirely, no governmental recognition of any marriage with associated rewards. They’re also a frequent opponent of the federal government and believe such matters should be decided by individual states (states rights). As such they’re not opposed to gay marriage becoming legal by state referendum, though they ain’t exactly in favour of it either, indeed given their first position you ought to expect them to vote against in a referendum.
Furthermore the main problem is that standard conservatives mis-identify as libertarians quite frequently, which is why perceptions of what libertarianism is differ from what they’re supposed to be. Bog standard conservatives in the US want the government out of business and in the bedroom, based on their political stances.

73. Mr S. Pill

@69

It’s a funny thing, isn’t it. I think you make the mistake of conflating “libertarians” with “right-wing Americans in general”, though (it’s easily done). The former don’t really exist*. The latter want the state to keep its nose out of things like healthcare, education, helping the poor; but be way more involved in things like abortion, what people get up to in the bedroom, marriage, etc. It’s slightly creepy when you think about it and suggests at the very least some form of sociopathic behaviour.

*Anyone who self-indentifies as a libertarian normally means they want the right to pay people £1 an hour (see Worstall and his anti-minimum wage ideas) and so on. For a truly functioning libertarian society (oxymoron?) see Somalia, and make your own judgements.

74. Chaise Guevara

@ 70 damon

“You’re a hard person to argue with Chaise. My problem is with Owen Jones calling Ian Collins a knuckle dragger on Raido Five Live and the ”twitter mob” who were slagging off the whole of North Carolina for voting against gay marriage.
Can we start from there Chaise? They started it.”

Well, it’s hard to say who started it, seeing as back in the day the rhetoric against gay rights was basically “you’re a bunch of godless perverts”. I don’t think you’re going to track down who threw the first punch there. But I certainly agree that insulting the opposition is rarely helpful.

“I think that a point worth debating and taking on board is what gay people like Andrew Pierce and Labour MP Ben Bradshaw had to say about this. Can we just halt at and examine their points of view for a few moments too?”

I just did, didn’t I? Pierce says that gay marriage is not the most important issue in the world, and he’s right. It’s a lot less important than it would be if we hadn’t legalised civil unions. I admit I skimmed that article, but I didn’t see anything saying he was actually *against* gay marriage as claimed by the Mail.

“Then we can look at how people treat the views of people like those, and compare those to someone like Owen Jones. ”

What’s wrong with the statement you posted (which I assume is supposed to be an example of Jones being unreasonable)? Normalisation of homosexuality probably does have decades to go, because no legal change is going to change the minds of the population overnight. You can’t mandate a lack of prejudice. You basically have to get to a point where most people see homosexuality as uncontroversial, and then wait for the old guard to die out.

75. Robin Levett

@damon #70:

You’re a hard person to argue with Chaise. My problem is with … and the ”twitter mob” who were slagging off the whole of North Carolina for voting against gay marriage.

Can we start from there Chaise? They started it.

“They”? Which “they”? From where I’m standing, the North Carolina voters who voted to change their constitution to ban gay marriage started it.

Interestingly the constitutional ban was largely supported by Christian groups; in complete ignorance of the historical roots of monogamy in our culture.

@70 Damon

It is difficult to figure out if you are being genuinely, sincerely obtuse… or just trolling for laughs Damon.

The estimable Mr Guevara has already pointed out your many and manifest errors and illogicalities…. and yest you refuse to lie down when you are whupped….. have you no sense…. have you no gumption?

People who oppose gay marriage (irrespective of their whiney assed reasons) ARE knuckle draggers, because they willfully refuse to recognise that their views are not just outdated, but deeply iredeemably repugnant. Trying to oppose gay marriage and equal rights for gays now is functionally indistguishable from those who attempted to stop civil rights, equal rights for Catholics, the abolition of slavery…. the list could go on.

Stop temporising and just admit the obvious; discrimination is wrong, and those who pull their punches are either hiding their real views in favour of such discrimination, or simply lack the courage to stand up and be counted. Which describes you?

discrimination is wrong

If discrimination is wrong, then surely marriage is also wrong:

“It’s true that marriage comes with material advantages — healthcare, citizenship, and inheritance chief among them — but therein also lies the problem. Marriage consolidates privilege by creating a legal basis for denying access to those thousand rights; it literally sanctions discrimination. Instead of bestowing rights based on relationship status, the state should guarantee those rights for all people. Instead we attach basic rights to an institution with a 50% failure rate.”

http://jacobinmag.com/blog/2012/05/stonewall-was-a-wedding/

As I said already, it’s not gay marriage particularly that I have a problem with.
It’s slagging off half the human race as knuckle draggers that I don’t like.
Just because they don’t really get the gay thing. Lots of people wont get that.
I’m slightly bisexual and I don’t even fully get it. What’s with the camp stuff for example? What’s with the Big Fat Gay Discos with a seemingly common ”gay” subculture?
No one’s ever explained to me why that exists. So you date a person of the same sex, why do you want to go to a disco and hang out with hundreds of other gay people? Or are we just meant to ”know”?

My sister used to have a bunch of lesbian friends twenty years ago and I knew a few of them. The hairstyles at the time were weird. A bit Farrah Fawcett-like, but with an outward flick at the front. Once you saw it once, you saw it everywhere (at Gay Pride one year). What the heck was that about? Secret hair styles, so that lesbians could know who was what? And Owen Jones says the fight for ”equality” must go on until no one even lifts an eyebrow and any manifestation of gayness. That’s a bit of a tall order though isn’t it? I am still to understand all the aspects of transgender (like ”gender-queer” or whatever) – so I’m buggered to know how religious fundamentalists will ever get it and not worry if their son might turn out to be one.

As for ”normalisation” of homosexuality …. OK. But not everyone wants that I think.
Some people like it being non-mainstream. Some gay clubs even try to deter non gays from coming in because they don’t want the ”gayness” to be diluted. Even by non-gays who are very sympathetic and supportive of gay people.

I remember decades ago hearing a psychologist or a sexual expert of some kind on the radio say, that until the day came where any man could walk down the high street naked with an erection on full view, there would always be ”issues” around sex and sexuality. It was just a light hearted remark, but I’ve always thought that was true.

Damon – your “I don’t really care myself schtick” can be interpreted in two ways:-

1. You do care but don’t want to seem illiberal and illogical; or
2. You don’t care but are ready to spend quite a long time arguing about it. Which sounds a bit unlikely.

So I think it’s 1) myself.

As for Brendan O’N, I’ll repeat a useful summing up I found on his writings:-

Take a subject, any subject.

Write on the subject using the following six options:-

1. [Subject] reveals a contempt for the working classes.
2. [Subject] is thinly disguised misanthropy.
3. [Subject] is merely an exercise in liberal self-congratulation.
4. [Subject] encourages a culture of victimhood.
5. [Subject] shows we’re governed by alarmist scaremongers.
6. [Subject] is an attempt to censor dissent.

I can’t be bothered reading another BO’Ne-head article, but from what you quote I would guess that the article you link to comes under no 3.

God, doesn’t he get bored himself turning this stuff out?

80. Mr S. Pill

@78

Lots of aspects of “straight” culture can appear confusing and troublesome as well. What’s with all the rape fantasy porn, for one thing? I’m being hyperbolic but so are you. Calm down.

81. Roger Mexico

Well to return to the actual question Sunny asked before all the predictable noise above, I should imagine the reason is that in the UK the same sex marriage advocates have won.

The proposal has already started on its legislative process and not only do all three main Party leaders support it, but so do the general public. For today’s Sunday Times YouGov asked:

Do you think the government should or should not go ahead with the following policies…
[..]
Allowing same-sex couples to get married

59% answered ‘Should’, only 35% ‘Should not’

http://d25d2506sfb94s.cloudfront.net/cumulus_uploads/document/eiy9720btf/YG-Archives-Pol-ST-results-11-130512.pdf

(page 9)

Of course another reason is that anything that happens in the US is far more likely to attract the attention of the British ‘quality’ media than anything that happens in Britain.

Just because they don’t really get the gay thing.

I’m not sure why you think purposely denying civil rights to a group because you don’t understand them is something worth sticking your head above the parapet for. As far as I’m aware you don’t need to be fully immersed in a minority’s sub-culture in order to recognise that there is no good reason to abridge their rights as human beings.

What’s with the camp stuff for example?

Well, some guys are just naturally camp, it’s who they are and isn’t forced. It’s largely thanks to these guys, the one’s who couldn’t pretend to be straight, who couldn’t hide in the closet and had to stand up and fight, that we’ve come as far as we have.

So you date a person of the same sex, why do you want to go to a disco and hang out with hundreds of other gay people? Or are we just meant to ”know”?

Presumably for the exact same reason heterosexuals go to ‘straight bars’.

The hairstyles at the time were weird.

Unlike the hairstyles associated with Punk and Emo, which are perfectly normal.

until no one even lifts an eyebrow and any manifestation of gayness. That’s a bit of a tall order though isn’t it? I am still to understand all the aspects of transgender

Well, transgenderism is something completely different to homosexuality, so I’m not sure why you bring it up.

Some gay clubs even try to deter non gays from coming in because they don’t want the ”gayness” to be diluted.

That hasn’t been my experience, indeed the local Blackpool scene is notorious for having more straight people in the clubs than gay.

83. Waterloo Sunset

#78

Oh, I’m really glad for Brendan O’Neill. Up until reading Damon’s repeated summations of his articles, I was wholly in favour of gay marriage. But now I’ve realised that I’m not allowed to be, as I’m working class. I was obviously getting uppity and having ideas above my station.

With the help of Damon and Brendan, I understand now that “bigoted knuckle dragger” is only applicable to working class people. That’s what we’re all like you see. We can’t be expected to know any better, not like clever middle class contrarians.

And we’re all thick. That’s why we need ex RCP media pundits to speak for us instead of doing so for ourselves.

Cylux

Well, transgenderism is something completely different to homosexuality, so I’m not sure why you bring it up.

Really, I thought that LBGT came as a package. Doesn’t it?

Waterloo Sunset, maybe it’s because this is LC that I seem to be an isolated voice, but in a few hours I’ll be in work where many of the people do not really (as far as I know) get the ”gay situation” as well as most people on here seem to. When they read newspapers for example, it’s only ever a red top tabloid, so they will never have heard of people like Polly Toynbee and Johann Hari. I know that might be hard for some people to imagine, but it’s true. They don’t read the Huffington Post and the Daily Kos, or watch Jon Stewart’s Daily Show. Some of them even go to church on sundays and weird things like that. One is actually a councillor for the Democratic Unionist Party even. I would ask her what she thinks of gay marriage, but I’m a bit scared of her.

85. Robin Levett

@damon #84:

Really, I thought that LBGT came as a package. Doesn’t it?

So you agree that gays should be allowed to marry?

86. Robin Levett

@P Ve M #31:

Anybody care to tell me why it’s wrong to discriminate against somebody who wants to marry someone of the same gender, but not against somebody who wants to marry their sibling, their parent, or several people at once?

No biscuit for you – you forgot to mention the dog.

And, given this introduction to the thread from you, your comment at #34:

But anyway, that’s just whataboutery, and doesn’t answer my question.

is just breathtaking.

87. Chaise Guevara

@ damon

“As I said already, it’s not gay marriage particularly that I have a problem with.
It’s slagging off half the human race as knuckle draggers that I don’t like.”

Then why don’t you lead by example and stop writing off the other half of the human race as smug elitists? YOU ARE THE PERSON SMEARING THE CHARACTER OF PEOPLE ON THE OTHER SIDE. YOU. Get that into your head and stop being such a sanctimonious fucking hypocrite. It is impossible to take you seriously when you represent everything you condemn. It used to be funny but now it’s just annoying, like listening to the same joke forty times in a row.

“Just because they don’t really get the gay thing. Lots of people wont get that.
I’m slightly bisexual and I don’t even fully get it. What’s with the camp stuff for example? What’s with the Big Fat Gay Discos with a seemingly common ”gay” subculture?
No one’s ever explained to me why that exists. So you date a person of the same sex, why do you want to go to a disco and hang out with hundreds of other gay people? Or are we just meant to ”know”?”

This has what to do with anything? Likewise “secret lesbian hair”?

“And Owen Jones says the fight for ”equality” must go on until no one even lifts an eyebrow and any manifestation of gayness. That’s a bit of a tall order though isn’t it? I am still to understand all the aspects of transgender (like ”gender-queer” or whatever) – so I’m buggered to know how religious fundamentalists will ever get it and not worry if their son might turn out to be one.”

It’s a worthy goal even if it’s not achievable. As long as fundies oppose gay rights, there’s someone to fight. As long as people confuse homosexuality and transgender, there’s someone to educate ;)

“As for ”normalisation” of homosexuality …. OK. But not everyone wants that I think.”

Well, no. Or it would be normalised already.

“Some people like it being non-mainstream.”

It would still be non-mainstream if normalised.

“Some gay clubs even try to deter non gays from coming in because they don’t want the ”gayness” to be diluted. Even by non-gays who are very sympathetic and supportive of gay people.”

Source, please, with attention paid to your second sentence. I was under the impression that gay venues used door policy to prevent people coming in to “laugh at the queers”.

“I remember decades ago hearing a psychologist or a sexual expert of some kind on the radio say, that until the day came where any man could walk down the high street naked with an erection on full view, there would always be ”issues” around sex and sexuality. It was just a light hearted remark, but I’ve always thought that was true.”

Almost certainly. But as I said above, aiming for 100% acceptance is worthy even if you only get 85% in reality.

88. Chaise Guevara

@ 84 damon

“Really, I thought that LBGT came as a package. Doesn’t it?”

No. You can tell by the fact that not all gay people are also bisexual transsexuals.

Jesus wept.

89. Chaise Guevara

I love how Damon’s argument basically comes down to “some people aren’t bothered about gay marriage, and/or don’t get why Tina Turner seems to be such a hit at the local gay bar, SO NO EQUAL RIGHTS FOR YOU!”

90. Robin Levett

@Chaise #88:

“Really, I thought that LBGT came as a package. Doesn’t it?”

No. You can tell by the fact that not all gay people are also bisexual transsexuals.

Jesus wept.

There’s actually a serious point buried in there.

Under our current laws, marriage is for man/woman couples; civil partnership for man/man or woman/woman. (It’s that separate but equal thing – where have I heard that before?)

Where it gets interesting is that transexuals are treated for these purposes as having their reassigned gender from the time they get their Gender Reassignment Certificate; so a transgendered woman to man can marry a woman. In that sense, the T part of LGBT already has marriage rights.

They are however caught by the rules on who can have what; if that same person were already married when s/he had the surgery, s/he would have to divorce their husband to get their GRC. Once s/he has their GRC, s/he can then enter into a civil partnership with their former husband; and, when he has his gender reassignment, they have to dissolve ther partnership but can get married again.

91. Chaise Guevara

@ Robin

Indeed, I remember cim talking about this or something very similar. Presumably this problem could be made to go away by extending marriage rights to same-sex couples.

92. Robin Levett

@Chaise #91

Perzackerly.

For a truly functioning libertarian society (oxymoron?) see Somalia, and make your own judgements.

Gah. Not this again.

94. Waterloo Sunset

:@84

Waterloo Sunset, maybe it’s because this is LC that I seem to be an isolated voice, but in a few hours I’ll be in work where many of the people do not really (as far as I know) get the ”gay situation” as well as most people on here seem to. When they read newspapers for example, it’s only ever a red top tabloid

As far as you know? In other words, you haven’t actually asked them. This is exactly I mean about how your contempt for working class people comes through increasingly in your posts. You’ve obviously noticed they read tabloids and decided that means they’re homophobic, because that’s tabloid readers for you.

You take a similar approach to the EDL. Forget the fact that they’re run by a small business owner. They’re a working class organisation for you, because they’re football hooligans who attack Muslims, so they couldn’t be anything else.
For the record, my old man is fully supportive of gay marriage, yet he’s never read a paper other than the Mirror for his entire life.

He doesn’t need to get the ‘gay situation’, whatever the fuck that is. He merely understands that a) homosexual people are equal human beings and b) that equal human beings deserve rights just like everyone else.

it’s only ever a red top tabloid, so they will never have heard of people like Polly Toynbee and Johann Hari.

But they’re all big fans of authentic voice of the proles, Spiked? Do you actually realise how hypocritical you’re being here?

I know that might be hard for some people to imagine, but it’s true.

You’re projecting. Just because you have to rely on media pundits for all your opinions, doesn’t mean most people do. How many people do you actually think have their opinions on gay marriage influenced by Toynbee and Hari? I can’t remember the last time I bothered with an article by either of them.

Again, this is your contempt for working class people coming through. You are just assuming that they’re thick and don’t have opinions of their own.

Some of them even go to church on sundays and weird things like that.

We have enough on our hands with you assuming all working class people are bigots, without getting into the issue of you doing the same with Christians.

One is actually a councillor for the Democratic Unionist Party even. I would ask her what she thinks of gay marriage, but I’m a bit scared of her.

Oh, a DUP member is anti-gay, coming us she does from a notably anti-gay party? Well, that’s a surprise. I bet you’d find that most BNP councillors don’t like black people very much. Let’s extrapolate data from that, shall we?

I said already, it’s not gay marriage particularly that I have a problem with.
It’s slagging off half the human race as knuckle draggers that I don’t like

I don’t care if you like it or not. If people don’t want to be slagged off for being bigoted fuckheads, they can stop being bigoted fuckheads. In fact, I’ll be even nicer than that. They can carry on being bigoted fuckheads as long as they stop trying to enforce that on everyone else. Why do bigoted fuckheads insist on rubbing their perversion in the faces of normal people?

They don’t have to have a gay marriage. Other people don’t have to have a heterosexual marriage. Everyone’s happy. Apart from the bigoted fuckheads. And, y’know, fuck ‘em.

(Just so you know, the whole “ooo, don’t slag people off” thing really isn’t something that’s part of working class culture. At all. It’s based on middle class conceptions of civility).

Chaise Guevara @87, chill out a bit will ya? It’s a discussion blog. Or maybe it’s a ”campaigning blog” and I’m therefor misusing it. Whatever.

There are some various opinions on this gay marriage. Mine aren’t particularly fixed, but I’m not a fan of certain modern day tactics for pushing one’s political line.
I really hate the eco-activists who go clinbing up on to the roof of the Houses of Parliament and disrupt airports and things like that, and I also don’t like people looking down on all those people who don’t ”get” how important this or that pet issue might be (this week).
Most people here seem to despise them, but Spiked have done three articles on gay marriage today.

Gay marriage: redrawing the American political map

Why I’m coming out… against gay marriage

Why the Hollygarchy
*hearts* gay marriage

I haven’t even read them yet, but am sat here with my cup of coffee and looking forward to doing so right now. I’m sure there will be food for thought at least.
And that’s all the point is with me really. I like to read a good argument.

Really, I thought that LBGT came as a package. Doesn’t it?

Nope, just ask Stonewall.

@95 Another three links demonstrating the moral cowardice of the priviledged middle classes. Well done.

98. Chaise Guevara

@ 95 damon

“Chaise Guevara @87, chill out a bit will ya?”

You are aware that behaving like an arse until someone else loses their rag then telling them to “chill out” is recognised troll behaviour, yes?

As you’ve managed to avoid replying to anything I said, I take it that you agree that you’re a sanctimonious hypocrite, that your aside about “getting gays stuff” was irrelevant, and that you have no basis for your claim about gay clubs? Because if any of the above were untrue you’d have said why, right?

99. Robin Levett

@damon #95:

Can I have back the 5 minutes it took me to read those articles? There’s nothing new in any of them; just retreads of the standard Republican line – except for Black’s piece, which brings us the astonishing revelation that luvvies act like luvvies.

OK Chaise:

Then why don’t you lead by example and stop writing off the other half of the human race as smug elitists?

Not the other half of the human race, but just those people who are pushing it so strongly ….. like Owen Jones was on Radio Five, where he called Ian Collins (formely of Talk Sport radio) a ”knuckle dragging bigot” – because Collins thought that gay marriage was one step too far for many people and redefined what marriage was.
Collins is all in favour of civil partnerships, and while being a bit of a Tory, he’s actually a working class boy done good, and is very urbane and laid back about social issues. But that wasn’t good enough for Jones.

This has what to do with anything? Likewise “secret lesbian hair”?

Some of my points aren’t that serious. About the lesbian hair styles of twenty years ago and stuff, but it’s a bit harsh to demand that ”white van man” kind of guys can’t even crack a joke as they drive past a gay pub like the Vauxhall Tavern in south London when they see the queue of people outside going in.
Or ”raise an eyebrow” as Owen Jones put it.

Robin Levett, so you didn’t like any of those articles.
I did. Particularly the one about the Hollywood luvies.

Yet while the eagerness of celebs to front up the cause of gay marriage, and do battle with the hicks and homophobes in their midst, can be ascribed at least in part to vanity, that they occupy this role as the vanguard of elite sentiment is not entirely their fault. As politicians, Obama included, struggle to find popular purchase, the professional popularity of people like Clooney has appeared as a solution, as a form of proxy legitimacy; it has been ripe for political exploitation.

The thing is though, is it legitimate or not to say such things on this website?
If it’s not then fair enough, I didn’t realise it was so restricted.

@100 You do know that excerpt you posted is basically a word salad, apparently celebs only ‘front up the cause’ of gay marriage ‘partly’ due to vanity (so what’s the main reason then?), and that it’s not their fault, and cos they’re famous and popular then Politicians exploit them for some reason or other by agreeing with them, or something. It’s all very vague.

102. Chaise Guevara

@ 100 damon

“Not the other half of the human race, but just those people who are pushing it so strongly ….. like Owen Jones was on Radio Five, where he called Ian Collins (formely of Talk Sport radio) a ”knuckle dragging bigot” – because Collins thought that gay marriage was one step too far for many people and redefined what marriage was.
Collins is all in favour of civil partnerships, and while being a bit of a Tory, he’s actually a working class boy done good, and is very urbane and laid back about social issues. But that wasn’t good enough for Jones.”

This doesn’t really wash, because “smug elitists” is your default response to any attempt to argue for gay marriage. If you’re present on a pro-gay-marriage thread, you will make this ad hom attack several times (normally directed at a nebulous group of foes), generally with an article by that Spik!d guy for so-called support.

So either you want to imply that all people who want equality on this issue are elitists, or you really, REALLY want to talk about the more strident ones, to the expense of anything else. Either way it’s an attempt to smear the other side, and with massive hypocrisy, sanctimoniously judging people to be sanctimoniously judgmental…

“Some of my points aren’t that serious.”

Here’s the thing. When you’re grasping at straws to undermine gay marriage, it’s impossible for me to distinguish between your serious specious points (“elitists!”) and your joke specious points (“hair!”). Although I suspect this is backpedalling; you went on about people not “getting” gay culture quite a lot, and it didn’t seem like you were just repeating the same joke in the hope of getting a laugh.

“About the lesbian hair styles of twenty years ago and stuff, but it’s a bit harsh to demand that ”white van man” kind of guys can’t even crack a joke as they drive past a gay pub like the Vauxhall Tavern in south London when they see the queue of people outside going in.
Or ”raise an eyebrow” as Owen Jones put it.”

Who’s demanding that? Jones isn’t, based on the relevant quote. He said it would be desirable if they didn’t, not that they should be forced not to. This is an old and stupid game where you misrepresent someone else expressing their opinion as them “telling you what to do”, and it’s not likely to work on many people who visit LC. Goes down well on the Mail comments section, though.

Are you now admitting that “some people don’t get gay culture” and “ha ha lesbian hair” are not actually arguments against gay marriage?

Oh, and I still need a source for your claim about gay bars. Third time of asking now. Having trouble?

Oh, and I still need a source for your claim about gay bars. Third time of asking now. Having trouble?

I’ll just have to use google – like you could. Do you expect everything to have an online source? I’m pretty sure I have heard of gay clubs not wanting too many straight people to be coming into them. But that’s hardly a bad thing. I would expect patrons of a particular niche group to be protective of ”their” spaces, in case they become something else.
The first thing that comes up on Google is this one:

A gar bar in Denmark has caused an uproar by banning heterosexual couples from kissing while visiting the premises.
Gay news service Pink News reports that the Never Mind bar, on the Norre Voldgade in Copenhagen, has confirmed that it does not allow hetrosexual displays of public affection, and will ask offending ‘straights’ to leave the bar if they pucker up.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2139536/Danish-gay-bar-bans-straight-couples-kissing–immediately-falls-foul-human-rights-campaigner.html

I don’t see that as a problem btw, but you seem determined to drag something out of me Chaise. I’m not a big clubber, but even I know that bouncers and owners of clubs can be very very fussy about what kind of people they want in their venues. And if you run a gay club, you will want gay people inside, not a bunch of boozing straight football fans.

If people don’t like those Spiked articles, that’s fine. I think they are definitely on to something there myself. But that’s people and opinions – they come in all varieties.
To you Cylux that was just ”word salad” – and to me it was quite an interesting point. What the film and pop stars do is very significant … and not such a bad thing here of course, but there really is a ”line” now if you are famous in any way and don’t want to be seen as a ”bone headed knuckle dragger”.

They give the example of 30 Rock star Tracy Morgan, who: ”strayed from the gay-loving script during a Nashville comedy gig last summer and did a skit in which he claimed he would shoot his son if he ever came out.”
And then had to do a major mea culpa unless he end up an outcast like Mel Gibson.
Perhaps it’s a bit like the ”kick racism out of football” campaign in Britain. Basicly a good idea, but can end up being heavy handed and draconian.
Like with the Welsh student getting sent to prison for racist twitter crimes.

Of course, you can say that this is how progress comes about. You create ”zero tollerence of bigots” – and you make sure children are taught the right way in school – even if that does end up sometimes in the overkill of five year olds being branded as racists for something they said in the playground. That’s how you make the great leaps forward (apparently).

What I have realised now (after a few years on this internet reading blogs like this) is that ideas don’t transfer very well on such a medium. And that people seem to gravitate to where they feel they fit in and opinions from outside that zone just don’t fit in at all – and are often seen as antagonistic and unwelcome. Like the Frank Furedi article I linked to above. It goes down like a lead balloon on here, so there’s not much point arguing the toss. To me though, it raised some interesting propositions. But I think these things are too far ”outside the (liberal) box” to make any sense.

In recent years, same-sex marriage has become a red-button issue among the Democratic Party’s base. Attitudes towards homosexuality are frequently treated as a marker of where people stand in America’s Culture Wars. For many Democratic Party activists, the issue of gay marriage has a fundamental significance; they see it as the cause of their time. And what is really at stake is not so much the right of gay people to marry, so much as a desire among Democratic Party activists to annihilate morally people they despise.

I know people read that and just don’t get it and think it’s made up balderdash. But I like to mull over things like that and ask myself whether there’s anything in it.
And I come to the conclusion that there quite probably might be.

And this:

With so much cultural, emotional and financial capital invested in this moral crusade, it is probably only a matter of time before same-sex marriage becomes a legal reality in America. More importantly, with so much capital at stake, it is inevitable that the Culture War will continue to be one of defining historical markers of our era, and for decades to come.

104. Robin Levett

@damon #100:

The thing is though, is it legitimate or not to say such things on this website?

If it’s not then fair enough, I didn’t realise it was so restricted.

That depends; are you going to defend it if challenged, or will you get all passive-aggressive about just linking it because you thought it was an interesting thing to say, and refuse to get into the grubby detail of whether there is any validity to the statement?

Robin Levett, the trouble is, some of the ”challenges” seem a bit pointless in pursuing, and to reply to them all will take up too many posts and paragraphs.
Which might be deemed ”hijacking” a thread.
That the points raised in those articles I linked to have got almost zero approval, and I think they definitely have some merrit, shows well enough where the ideological faultline is.

To avoid the label of ”knuckle dragger” it would seem you have to be with the side that is totally pro gay marriage. Fair enough if that’s how people (like Owen Jones) want to frame it. I just think that sucks though.

@103 An interesting point? What the hell was it then? I read the whole article, and while I was able to gather that the author disliked gay marriage, gays in general, celebrities and the Democratic party, I wasn’t able to find what, aside from a long rambling condescending sneer against his favourite hate targets, point he was trying to make. No doubt something or other about ‘elitists’, though I’ve long since come to the conclusion that Spiked regulars don’t know the meaning of the word.
He also managed to deliberately confuse ‘being upset with someone’s opposition to gay marriage’ with ‘being upset at someone claiming they’d murder their own son if he came out as being gay’, which is why I added ‘gays in general’ to that list of dislikes up top.

Furthermore, I personally couldn’t give a stuff about what Owen Jones did or didn’t say on the radio, he’s got his own blog and writes for the independent, so if you’ve got a problem with his usage of “knuckle-dragging bigots” then go bother him about it. I can see why he made the jump he did though, because more often than not the assertion that someone is in favour of civil unions but not same sex marriage is complete bollocks.
See NOM’s campaigns against civil unions despite claiming to ‘not be against them’.

107. Chaise Guevara

@ 103 damon

“I’ll just have to use google – like you could.”

Go ahead then, I’m not doing your homework for you.

“Do you expect everything to have an online source?”

Most things, these days.

“I’m pretty sure I have heard of gay clubs not wanting too many straight people to be coming into them.”

So you’re “pretty sure”. Very convincing. And this is too broad, anyway: your claim wasn’t that gay bars are cautious about letting straights in, it was that they didn’t wan straights to patronise the venue even if those straights were pro-gay. Do your googling, please.

“The first thing that comes up on Google is this one”

A link from a habitual liar of a newspaper, about something that allegedly happened in another country. Were we talking about Denmark?

“I don’t see that as a problem btw, but you seem determined to drag something out of me Chaise.”

I do see it as a problem, if it’s true. I’m determined to drag something out of you because I’m sick of the way you behave on this site – using brush-tarring insinuations that carefully fall short of being definite, falsifiable statements, allowing you to smear pro-gay-rights people without ever making an honest claim. You act abominably, so it’s hardly surprising some of us call you on it.

“I’m not a big clubber, but even I know that bouncers and owners of clubs can be very very fussy about what kind of people they want in their venues. And if you run a gay club, you will want gay people inside, not a bunch of boozing straight football fans.”

The question is *why*: because they don’t like straight people, or because they don’t want homophobes causing trouble? You’ve made claims about this but have refused to back them, despite your claims to be able to google.

“If people don’t like those Spiked articles, that’s fine. I think they are definitely on to something there myself. But that’s people and opinions – they come in all varieties.”

Gosh, really.

“Of course, you can say that this is how progress comes about. You create ”zero tollerence of bigots” – and you make sure children are taught the right way in school – even if that does end up sometimes in the overkill of five year olds being branded as racists for something they said in the playground. That’s how you make the great leaps forward (apparently).”

It’s unclear now whether you’re talking to me or Cylux. For the record, I don’t like zero-tolerance policies in general, much less branding young children for making statements out of immaturity or ignorance. But you are off on one of your interminable tangents – when does this come around to arguing that gay marriage should be banned?

“What I have realised now (after a few years on this internet reading blogs like this) is that ideas don’t transfer very well on such a medium. And that people seem to gravitate to where they feel they fit in and opinions from outside that zone just don’t fit in at all – and are often seen as antagonistic and unwelcome. Like the Frank Furedi article I linked to above. It goes down like a lead balloon on here, so there’s not much point arguing the toss.”

Except people tell you *why* they disagree with these articles. To which you go “well we’re all allowed an opinion and I think they’re awesome blah blah blah”. Who cares? Back your plays, don’t critique them.

“To me though, it raised some interesting propositions. But I think these things are too far ”outside the (liberal) box” to make any sense.”

Fuck off, seriously. This snide attempt to suggest anyone who disagrees with you is stupid or narrowminded is simply pathetic. You can’t argue for your beliefs, so instead you just ad hom anyone who disagrees.

“…And what is really at stake is not so much the right of gay people to marry, so much as a desire among Democratic Party activists to annihilate morally people they despise.

“I know people read that and just don’t get it and think it’s made up balderdash.”

Again, we get it. We’re not stupid; indeed we’re smarter than the writer of that article. I totally get that the author is desperately flailing for an argument against gay marriage, and has resorted to making up accusations out of whole cloth.

“But I like to mull over things like that and ask myself whether there’s anything in it.
And I come to the conclusion that there quite probably might be.”

You don’t mull things over, Damon. Your brain just spams the word “elitist” over and over again until you can find a way to get it into a sentence. You show an ongoing failure – probably due to choice rather than intellectual ability – to think subjects through before talking about them. Instead you just repeat your prejudices, insult or patronise anyone who disagrees (without managing to offer counterpoints, of course) and stroke your ego by pretending that you see through all the bullshit that everyone else gets lost in.

Cylux: ”An interesting point? What the hell was it then?”
The first paragraph set the tone I thought. How true it is or not is the important question. Many will see it is poppycock, but I am quite drawn to it.

Obama has calculated that the future of the Democratic Party does not lie with its traditional white, blue-collar supporters. So instead, through ‘coming out’ on gay marriage, he is consolidating a coalition of upwardly mobile urbanites, both white and African-American, as his party’s new, firm base of support. Democratic Party strategists clearly believe that such a coalition has a good chance of winning the support of Hispanic voters, too, thus creating a new electoral majority. The Democratic Party’s self-conscious abandonment of the socially conservative white electorate – the working classes, rural and elderly – is enthusiastically backed by the so-called creative class that now dominates America’s cultural elite.

It’s an opinion piece and one can take it or leave it.
You say: ”I can see why he made the jump he did though, because more often than not the assertion that someone is in favour of civil unions but not same sex marriage is complete bollocks.”
That is quite a jump though, and one made in ignorance. Why not just beileve someone like the radio presenter Ian Collins, when he said he was totally for gay civil partnerships and ”equality”? He never sounded in the slightest bit homophobic in the nearly ten years that I heard him on Talk Sport Radio. But to Jones ….. and to much of the wider pro-gay marriage campaign, that clearly isn’t good enough.
Everyone’s a bigot …. unless they sign up for the campaign.

Dear oh dear Chaise Guevara. What are you wanting me to ”prove”? That some gay clubs and bars might prefer to have gay customers, and I have to find evidence of that … or else? I’m sure some biker pubs want to remain biker pubs and not change into some bland run of the mill pub with no bikers.
You are being a bit pedantic about a passing comment I made. Socialising can be a very discriminating business. Look at the fuss that happened when a famous gay pub in Earls Court had a make-over and the management no longer wanted it to be known as a gay pub particularly.

I do see it as a problem, if it’s true.

Well I don’t. i would defend the right of clubs to chose their customer base.

I’m determined to drag something out of you because I’m sick of the way you behave on this site – using brush-tarring insinuations that carefully fall short of being definite, falsifiable statements, allowing you to smear pro-gay-rights people without ever making an honest claim. You act abominably, so it’s hardly surprising some of us call you on it.

Wow. ”Brush-tarring insinuations” – what are those? That different social scenes can be quite exclusive? That I don’t care for the ”Lady Gaga and her millions of fans” element to the pro gay marriage campaign? Where people who don’t ”get it” are treated as dinosaurs.

This following paragraph is just taking a simple line I said too far, or over analising it:

The question is *why*: because they don’t like straight people, or because they don’t want homophobes causing trouble? You’ve made claims about this but have refused to back them, despite your claims to be able to google.

It’s not just about ”homophobes causing trouble” I would imagine, but the nature of a club. You just might not want to many straights in the place.
A few obviously doesn’t matter, but you wouldn’t want to many or it ends up not being a gay bar. It’s as simple as that Chaise.
And I do firmly believe there is a ”liberal box” when it comes to thinking.
There are several kinds of these boxes. The Harry’s Place website have their own boxes when it comes to Israel and anti-Semitim. On Sunny’s other site, one of the mods banned me from his obsessive EDL threads because I said he was obsessing over a small group who weren’t that important ….. and as what I said was ”outside of his box” he banned me from further comment on his threads.
So I do have some experience of these things.

Basicly Chaise, I support civil partnerships, and remain to be persuaded about gay marriage. I haven’t seen the great case for it made yet, but have seen a lot of posturing and showing off.

@108 That opinion piece hinges on whether or not the working classes, rural and elderly are as a block homophobic. They ain’t. ‘Upwardly mobile urbanites both white and African-American’ aren’t as a block pro-gay either. Hispanic’s aren’t exactly known as a homogeneous group in support of gay marriage either.

He starts off flat wrong, using sloppy generalisations to try and shoehorn in the standard liberals vs sturdy proles narrative that spiked deals in, and proceeds to get worse.

111. Chaise Guevara

@ 109 damon

“Dear oh dear Chaise Guevara. What are you wanting me to ”prove”? That some gay clubs and bars might prefer to have gay customers, and I have to find evidence of that … or else?”

No, that STILL isn’t what you claimed. Forget it. As you keep lying about your original statement I’ll assume you were talking out of your arse.

“You are being a bit pedantic about a passing comment I made.”

Why not just admit it was untrue when I first asked?

“Socialising can be a very discriminating business. Look at the fuss that happened when a famous gay pub in Earls Court had a make-over and the management no longer wanted it to be known as a gay pub particularly.”

That was fucking ridiculous, if it’s the one I’m thinking of. People wanting to wave the victim card.

“Well I don’t. i would defend the right of clubs to chose their customer base.”

Fine, fair enough. That’s a separate argument anyway.

“Wow. ”Brush-tarring insinuations” – what are those? That different social scenes can be quite exclusive? That I don’t care for the ”Lady Gaga and her millions of fans” element to the pro gay marriage campaign? Where people who don’t ”get it” are treated as dinosaurs. ”

No, no, I wasn’t talking about any of these straw men, funnily enough. I was talking about the majority of your output on gay-marriage-related threads: all your ad hom attacks on people who support marriage equality. I’ve made this quite clear more than once, so I assume you know this already and are just wasting time for the sake of it.

If you want an example, pick any of your posts on such a thread at random; your odds of hitting one has to be at least 75%.

“This following paragraph is just taking a simple line I said too far, or over analising it:

[...]

It’s not just about ”homophobes causing trouble” I would imagine, but the nature of a club. You just might not want to many straights in the place.
A few obviously doesn’t matter, but you wouldn’t want to many or it ends up not being a gay bar. It’s as simple as that Chaise.”

Yes, but is it actively policed like that? I love how “taking what you say too far” means “not assuming you’re lying”, by the way. But like I said, fine, forget this part. It’s tangential anyway.

“And I do firmly believe there is a ”liberal box” when it comes to thinking. There are several kinds of these boxes…”

What do you mean, exactly? Do you mean that a group of people defined by how they think often think the same way? Because that’s a truism. Or do you mean that people react irrationally when their preferred interpretation of the world is challenged?

I’m going to do you a favour and assume the second. OK, well that’s certainly true. But that doesn’t mean you can dismiss any idea you don’t like as “in-the-box” thinking. Especially when you can’t offer a single argument as to why the idea is wrong or bad: you don’t seem to have any arguments against legalising gay marriage; you just insult everyone who believes in it.

It’s called a Fully General Counterargument. You pick a line that can be an excuse to dismiss pretty much anything, and then you only apply it to things you don’t like. You don’t like the idea of gay people getting married, so you’ve applied it here. So much easier than actually arguing your case, right?

“Basicly Chaise, I support civil partnerships, and remain to be persuaded about gay marriage. I haven’t seen the great case for it made yet, but have seen a lot of posturing and showing off.”

Since when do we need a “great case”: a subjective term that you can redefine however you like to make sure the reality never meets your criteria? Legalising gay marriage would move us closer to equality, it would make gay people who want to get married but are currently discriminated against happy. And there’s no reason not to aside from the objections of a non-existent god and a tortuous argument where people pretend that allowing a few more people into an institution destroys it entirely, even though your marriage does not impose on my marriage.

So why are you opposed to equal rights by default, meaning that egalitarianism has to jump through ill-defined hoops to meet your standards? Also, how are you possibly going to be convinced of the case for gay marriage if you dismiss anyone arguing for it as an elitist out to “morally destroy” their non-liberal enemies?

Cylux

That opinion piece hinges on whether or not the working classes, rural and elderly are as a block homophobic. They ain’t.

We could go around and around with this, and I don’t think I’m good enough on this medium of typing out arguments over the internet (to strangers) to do it justice.

There are a few issues I have with the pro-gay marriage ”bandwaggon” is all really.
I was appalled with Owen Jones’ comments to Ian Collins on the radio where he kept calling him a knucke dragger and a bigot …. and I don’t think that is such an isolated example of how people from that side can behave and frame their arguments. But it certainly seems to work, and may well have moved people into changing their minds, or at least what they say. A bit like a shotgun wedding in that regard. Or being forcibly converted to a new religion on pain of death.

Anyway, people can make thier own choices, and I tend to more favour the Spiked general line that they’ve been developing, rather than the George Clooney idea where he:

…. likened the campaign for gay marriage to the civil-rights struggles of the 1950s and 1960s. ‘One day’, he told reporters, ‘the marriage-equality fight will look as archaic as George Wallace standing on the University of Alabama steps keeping James Hood from attending college because he was black’.

Which is just a tad over the top I would say. But if people really think that, that’s fine too. But just don’t insist that everyone has to agree or be called a bigot.

He seems to be persona non grata on LC, but since gay marriage is not so pressingly urgent, there is time in my mind to kick about some of the ideas Brendan O’Neill was raising in some of his articles on this subject.

Underlying the gay-marriage debate is a relativistic reluctance to distinguish between different kinds of relationships. Gay love is fundamentally a relationship between two people. Traditional marriage is not. It is a union between a man and a woman which very often, through its creation and nurturing of a new generation, binds that man and woman to a great many others, to a community. It is an institution, not a partnership.

Collapsing together every human relationship under a mushy and meaningless redefinition of “marriage” benefits no one. Except the political elites, who are so desperate to advertise their modernising zeal that they will ride roughshod over people’s identities if they think it will help them.

http://brendanoneill.co.uk/post/20590301764/why-liberals-and-progressives-should-refuse-to-get-on

Chaise, the same goes for you. I find this medium of typing out detailed replies to various little points over the internet doen’t work so well, and I don’t think LC even welcomes it, as once things drop off the front page, I think the discussion is just meant to fade out. But generally speaking I think there is something in that bit from O’Neill that I just quoted. Or that it’s a legitimate point of view at least.

But it certainly seems to work, and may well have moved people into changing their minds, or at least what they say. A bit like a shotgun wedding in that regard. Or being forcibly converted to a new religion on pain of death.

For someone apparently concerned about the possible hyperbole used in the framing of arguments, you’re not very shy about doing it yerself.

But there’s no harm done Cylux. It’s only people spouting off about their opinions or the first thing that comes into their head. I’m sure there will be gay marriage sooner or later, as it’s such a fashionable cause.


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. Liberal Conspiracy

    Why are gay marriage activists so silent compared to the US? http://t.co/5RJogelu

  2. BevR

    Why are gay marriage activists so silent compared to the US? http://t.co/5RJogelu

  3. Jason Brickley

    Why are gay marriage activists so silent compared to the US? http://t.co/ewfRjgdS

  4. James Ball

    Wonder whether author of this piece has noticed UK has pledge for gay marriage by 2012 while US states are banning it http://t.co/NIqSoFHL

  5. leftlinks

    Liberal Conspiracy – Why are gay marriage activists so silent compared to the US? http://t.co/1Kz6sB83

  6. Andrew Rice

    Why are gay marriage activists so silent compared to the US? http://t.co/5RJogelu

  7. Alan McElligott

    Why are gay marriage activists so silent compared to the US? http://t.co/5RJogelu

  8. jamie dawson

    Why are gay marriage activists so silent compared to the US? http://t.co/5RJogelu

  9. Tom Durley

    Why are same-sex marriage activists in the UK so silent compared to the US? http://t.co/Lv3eMcdz

  10. Mauro Paine

    Why are gay marriage activists so silent compared to the US? | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/xEj9wo2p via @libcon

  11. BevR

    Why are gay marriage activists so silent compared to the US? | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/1CTP95Wa via @libcon

  12. sunny hundal

    My blog this morning > 'Why are gay marriage activists so silent compared to the US?' http://t.co/Lv3eMcdz

  13. Vijay Srao

    My blog this morning > 'Why are gay marriage activists so silent compared to the US?' http://t.co/Lv3eMcdz

  14. Binita Mehta

    My blog this morning > 'Why are gay marriage activists so silent compared to the US?' http://t.co/Lv3eMcdz

  15. Thomas Milman

    My blog this morning > 'Why are gay marriage activists so silent compared to the US?' http://t.co/Lv3eMcdz

  16. St Mungo's LGBT

    My blog this morning > 'Why are gay marriage activists so silent compared to the US?' http://t.co/Lv3eMcdz

  17. Matt Hiscock

    My blog this morning > 'Why are gay marriage activists so silent compared to the US?' http://t.co/Lv3eMcdz

  18. LiberalsUK

    Why are gay marriage activists so silent … – Liberal Conspiracy: Visit http://t.co/GFxlEReF. I think it's ju… http://t.co/PcsegxIk

  19. Elaine

    Why are gay marriage activists so silent compared to the US? | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/fJdkQ6Zo via @libcon





Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.