The list of shame: MPs who voted against Equal Marriage


9:07 pm - February 5th 2013

by Sunny Hundal    


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So you want to know which MP to campaign against, or whether your MP was on the list of shame? Here it is.

There are only the MPs who voted against, by party. At the end are the list of MPs who abstained, as well as those from smaller parties who voted for.

Libdem MPs who voted against – 4
Sir Alan Beith (Berwick-upon-Tweed)
Gordon Birtwistle (Burnley)
John Pugh (Southport)
Sarah Teather (Brent Central).

Conservative MPs who voted against – 139
Nigel Adams (Selby & Ainsty)
Adam Afriyie (Windsor),
Peter Aldous (Waveney),
David Amess (Southend West),
James Arbuthnot (Hampshire North East),
Richard Bacon (Norfolk South),
Steven Baker (Wycombe),
Tony Baldry (Banbury),
Guto Bebb (Aberconwy),
Henry Bellingham (Norfolk North West),
Sir Paul Beresford (Mole Valley),
Andrew Bingham (High Peak),
Bob Blackman (Harrow East),
Graham Brady (Altrincham & Sale West),
Julian Brazier (Canterbury),
Andrew Bridgen (Leicestershire North West),
Steve Brine (Winchester),
Fiona Bruce (Congleton),
Robert Buckland (Swindon South),
Simon Burns (Chelmsford),
David Burrowes (Enfield Southgate),
Alun Cairns (Vale of Glamorgan),
Douglas Carswell (Clacton),
Bill Cash (Stone),
Rehman Chishti (Gillingham & Rainham),
Christopher Chope (Christchurch),
Geoffrey Clifton-Brown (Cotswolds, The),
Geoffrey Cox (Devon West & Torridge),
Stephen Crabb (Preseli Pembrokeshire),
David Davies (Monmouth),
Glyn Davies (Montgomeryshire),
Philip Davies (Shipley),
David Davis (Haltemprice & Howden),
Nick de Bois (Enfield North),
Caroline Dinenage (Gosport),
Richard Drax (Dorset South),
Charlie Elphicke (Dover),
Jonathan Evans (Cardiff North),
David Evennett (Bexleyheath & Crayford),
Michael Fallon (Sevenoaks),
Dr Liam Fox (Somerset North),
Mark Francois (Rayleigh & Wickford),
George Freeman (Norfolk Mid),
Roger Gale (Thanet North),
Sir Edward Garnier (Harborough),
Mark Garnier (Wyre Forest),
Cheryl Gillan (Chesham & Amersham),
John Glen (Salisbury),
Robert Goodwill (Scarborough & Whitby),
James Gray (Wiltshire North),
Andrew Griffiths (Burton),
Robert Halfon (Harlow),
Simon Hart (Carmarthen West & Pembrokeshire South),
Sir Alan Haselhurst (Saffron Walden),
John Hayes (South Holland & The Deepings),
Oliver Heald (Hertfordshire North East),
Gordon Henderson (Sittingbourne & Sheppey),
Philip Hollobone (Kettering),
Adam Holloway (Gravesham),
Sir Gerald Howarth (Aldershot),
Stewart Jackson (Peterborough),
Gareth Johnson (Dartford),
David Jones (Clwyd West),
Marcus Jones (Nuneaton),
Greg Knight (Yorkshire East),
Kwasi Kwarteng (Spelthorne),
Mark Lancaster (Milton Keynes North),
Pauline Latham (Derbyshire Mid),
Jeremy Lefroy (Stafford),
Edward Leigh (Gainsborough),
Julian Lewis (New Forest East),
David Lidington (Aylesbury),
Peter Lilley (Hitchin & Harpenden),
Jack Lopresti (Filton & Bradley Stoke),
Jonathan Lord (Woking),
Tim Loughton (Worthing East & Shoreham),
Karen Lumley (Redditch),
Karl McCartney (Lincoln),
Anne McIntosh (Thirsk & Malton),
Stephen McPartland (Stevenage),
Esther McVey (Wirral West),
Anne Main (St Albans),
Paul Maynard (Blackpool North & Cleveleys),
Stephen Metcalfe (Basildon South & Thurrock East),
Nicky Morgan (Loughborough),
Anne-Marie Morris (Newton Abbot),
David Morris (Morecambe & Lunesdale),
James Morris (Halesowen & Rowley Regis),
Bob Neill (Bromley & Chislehurst),
Caroline Nokes (Romsey & Southampton North),
David Nuttall (Bury North),
Stephen O’Brien (Eddisbury),
Matthew Offord (Hendon),
Jim Paice (Cambridgeshire South East),
Neil Parish (Tiverton & Honiton),
Priti Patel (Witham),
Owen Paterson (Shropshire North),
Mark Pawsey (Rugby),
Mike Penning (Hemel Hempstead),
Mark Pritchard (Wrekin, The),
John Randall (Uxbridge & Ruislip South),
John Redwood (Wokingham),
Jacob Rees-Mogg (Somerset North East),
Simon Reevell (Dewsbury),
Sir Malcolm Rifkind (Kensington),
Andrew Robathan (Leicestershire South),
Laurence Robertson (Tewkesbury),
Andrew Rosindell (Romford),
David Ruffley (Bury St Edmunds),
David Rutley (Macclesfield),
Andrew Selous (Bedfordshire South West),
Alec Shelbrooke (Elmet & Rothwell),
Sir Richard Shepherd (Aldridge-Brownhills),
Henry Smith (Crawley),
Sir John Stanley (Tonbridge & Malling),
John Stevenson (Carlisle),
Bob Stewart (Beckenham),
Mel Stride (Devon Central),
Julian Sturdy (York Outer),
Robert Syms (Poole),
Sir Peter Tapsell (Louth & Horncastle),
David Tredinnick (Bosworth),
Andrew Turner (Isle of Wight),
Shailesh Vara (Cambridgeshire North West),
Martin Vickers (Cleethorpes),
Ben Wallace (Wyre & Preston North),
Robert Walter (Dorset North),
James Wharton (Stockton South),
Heather Wheeler (Derbyshire South),
Craig Whittaker (Calder Valley),
John Whittingdale (Maldon),
Bill Wiggin (Herefordshire North),
Gavin Williamson (Staffordshire South),
Jeremy Wright (Kenilworth & Southam)

Labour MPs who voted against – 23
Joe Benton (Bootle)
Ronnie Campbell (Blyth Valley)
Tom Clarke (Coatbridge Chryston & Bellshill)
Rosie Cooper (Lancashire West)
David Crausby (Bolton North East)
Tony Cunningham (Workington)
Jim Dobbin (Heywood & Middleton)
Brian Donohoe (Ayrshire Central)
Robert Flello (Stoke-on-Trent South)
Mary Glindon (Tyneside North)
Paul Goggins (Wythenshawe & Sale East)
Dai Havard (Merthyr Tydfil & Rhymney)
Michael McCann (East Kilbride
Strathaven & Lesmahagow)
Jim McGovern (Dundee West)
Iain McKenzie (Inverclyde)
George Mudie (Leeds East)
Paul Murphy (Torfaen)
Stephen Pound (Ealing North)
Frank Roy (Motherwell & Wishaw)
Jim Sheridan (Paisley & Renfrewshire North)
Derek Twigg (Halton)
Mike Wood (Batley & Spen)

DUP MPs who voted against – 8
Gregory Campbell (Londonderry East),
Nigel Dodds (Belfast North),
Jeffrey Donaldson (Lagan Valley),
Rev William McCrea (Antrim South),
Ian Paisley Junior (Antrim North),
Jim Shannon (Strangford),
David Simpson (Upper Bann),
Sammy Wilson (Antrim East)

Plus two independents: Nadine Dorries (Bedfordshire Mid) and Lady Sylvia Hermon (Down North).

* * * * * * * * * *

7 Lib Dems did not vote
Norman Baker (Lewes), Martin Horwood (Cheltenham), Charles Kennedy (Ross, Skye & Lochaber), Greg Mulholland (Leeds North West), John Thurso (Caithness, Sutherland & Easter Ross), David Ward (Bradford East), Jenny Willott (Cardiff Central).

16 Labour MPs did not vote
Dame Anne Begg (Aberdeen South), Gordon Brown (Kirkcaldy & Cowdenbeath), Alex Cunningham (Stockton North), Bill Esterson (Sefton Central), Pat Glass (Durham North West), Roger Godsiff (Birmingham Hall Green), David Heyes (Ashton Under Lyne), Jim Hood (Lanark & Hamilton East), Khalid Mahmood (Birmingham Perry Barr), Michael Meacher (Oldham West & Royton), Ian Mearns (Gateshead), Yasmin Qureshi (Bolton South East), Virendra Sharma (Ealing Southall), Gavin Shuker (Luton South), Stephen Timms (East Ham), Shaun Woodward (St Helens South & Whiston).

35 Conservative MPs did not vote
Harriett Baldwin (Worcestershire West), Stephen Barclay (Cambridgeshire North East), Jake Berry (Rossendale & Darwen), Brian Binley (Northampton South), Nicola Blackwood (Oxford West & Abingdon), Jonathan Djanogly (Huntingdon), Jackie Doyle-Price (Thurrock), Philip Dunne (Ludlow), Tobias Ellwood (Bournemouth East), George Eustice (Camborne & Redruth), Graham Evans (Weaver Vale), Richard Fuller (Bedford), Dominic Grieve (Beaconsfield), Philip Hammond (Runnymede & Weybridge), Rebecca Harris (Castle Point), Mark Hoban (Fareham), Nick Hurd (Ruislip, Northwood & Pinner), Chris Kelly (Dudley South), Eleanor Laing (Epping Forest), Ian Liddell-Grainger (Bridgwater & Somerset West), Patrick Mercer (Newark), Anne Milton (Guildford), Sheryll Murray (Cornwall South East), Jesse Norman (Hereford & Herefordshire South), Claire Perry (Devizes), Stephen Phillips (Sleaford & North Hykeham), Mark Prisk (Hertford & Stortford), Lee Scott (Ilford North), Mark Spencer (Sherwood), Gary Streeter (Devon South West), Graham Stuart (Beverley & Holderness), Edward Timpson (Crewe & Nantwich), Andrew Tyrie (Chichester), Paul Uppal (Wolverhampton South West), Nadhim Zahawi (Stratford-on-Avon).

* * * * * * * * * *

SUPPORT FOR BILL FROM MINOR PARTIES

Plaid Cymru: Jonathan Edwards (Carmarthen East & Dinefwr), Elfyn Llwyd (Dwyfor Meirionnydd), Hywel Williams (Arfon),

Greens: Caroline Lucas (Brighton Pavilion);
Social Democratic and Labour Party: Mark Durkan (Foyle);
Alliance: Naomi Long (Belfast East)
Independent: Eric Joyce (Falkirk)
Respect: George Galloway (Bradford West).

(via the Guardian live-blog)

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


Thanks to the Grauniad for excluding the NI MPs who voted against it, ignorance of their Irish readership? Yes. But in this case I’m glad not to be associated with the backward cave dwellers.

Any idea who abstained?

Strange you don’t mention the Labour MPs who voted against listed on the same source. They’re here http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/blog/2013/feb/05/gay-marriage-debate-politics-live-blog#block-51116d89b5790c59379389bf

@3. RevPaulCA I see the labour MPs on this page, and the DUP ones.

No surprise to see Julian Lewis, Edward Leigh and Peter Lilley amongst the Tories who voted against. They supported Section 28. Lewis and Leigh voted against lowering the age of consent for gay men. In fact, Lewis said “I was strongly against lowering the age of consent from 18 to 16. My reasoning was that there is a seriously increased risk of HIV infection arising from male homosexual activity”. he said that in spite of not having any medical evidence to support his assertions.

The nasty party is split. I reckon some of them will now consider defecting to the homophobic UKIP.

lets get these evil bastards! hound them out of a job and then kill them then wipe their seed from the planet. After all its the liberal way of doing things.

7. Adrian Smith

It is interesting to read this list, but absolutely outrageous that you have the arrogance to name it a “list of shame”. It was a vote, and everyone has a right to their moral view. This suggests a surprisingly bigoted attitude from yourselves.
This is a democracy, grow up and live with it.

I’m absolutely outraged by that list.

Speaking as someone who identifies as a right wing libertarian, so much for the much vaunted “libertarian” wing within the Tories. Steve Baker? Douglass Carswell?

FFS!

How many hae been divorced?

Sanctity of marriage baby!

8 A

I know that Norman Baker (Lib Dem) ‘abstained’ due to being away in France on ministerial business.

8 As I keep saying (much to the anger of tory trolls) there is no such thing as libertarians. They are all fake.

And conservative libertarians are the biggest fakes of all.

The scottish nationalists will be pleased you no longer place them in ‘minor parties’ ;-)

I am Shocked there is ANYONE who voted against. What century are we in and what happened to equality and justice?

@Qwert Yuiop (presumably a pseudonym)

This bill does not extend to Northern Ireland. I don’t know whether that excluded them from the vote or not, but it is English and Welsh legislation only. But please, tell us more how the evil liberal papers are seeking to crush all opposition with their ruthless leaving out of Irish MPs!

Even though I’m a Labour man and not a great fan of the Lib Dems, I always half-expect them to be more progressive than Labour on this kind of social issue – and not for the first time, that presumption is incorrect.

85% of Labour MPs voted “yes”, compared with only 80% of Lib Dems. True, very little in it, and the Lib Dem proportion of “no” votes was slightly lower (by about 0.3%, I think). But it’s not a great advertisement for how liberal the Liberals are.

17. Craig Nelson

It is a vote and some people will be voting against – esp tories.

Some however are very disappointing like Sarah Teather for instance and some of the Labour people inc on the front bench.

What is even more disappointing are the reasons given by the so called progressives. At least with the right wing of the tory party you know what you’re dealing with.

Who abstained?

@Qwert Yuiop (#1), You write “Thanks to the Grauniad for excluding the NI MPs who voted against it”.

You wrote that at 9.20 pm. Yet at 8.42 pm the Grauniad published on their blog: “The bill was also opposed by Democratic Unionists” (together with the MPs’ names and Lady Sylvia Hermon).

How can anyone abstain? What is the point of paying these people £65000 a year, and giving them£100,000 a year in expenses to abstain on an issue like this.

21. Peter Neilly

Give each one of these men and women a medal.

Following up a couple of the earlier comments, 6 of the 7 absent Lib Dem MPs had good reasons to be absent (e.g. just given birth!). Only 1 of the 7 was an actual abstention on the issue rather than absent from London for good reason:
http://www.markpack.org.uk/38982/same-sex-marriage-7-lib-dem-mps-not-present-of-which-only-1-an-abstention/

I live in New Forest east, and I’m far from surprised that Julian Lewis voted against. He is of course the idiot that compared gay sex to war (Regarding the danger of HIV and AIDS).

What truly is an irritant about this area though is that, thanks to a large populace of old people, the Tories can (and have) put the worst kind of person in and they will get in regardless.

Curious how large a proportion of the Labour and Libdem MPs who voted against are from Scotland (no Conservatives, obviously).

Does that reflect public opinion in these parts of Scotland and so am I more out of touch with the society I’m from than I thought? Or is it these MPs who are?

Could just be an anomaly of the proportional differences in representation by the different parties North and South or the border of course. Or perhaps an overlap with areas in which the Catholic church holds more sway?

@planeshift FYI I’m pretty sure the SNP didn’t vote as the legislation only effects England & Wales – their MPs were elected on a promise only to vote on legislation pertinent to their constituencies (though all of the SNP MPs I follow were generally supportive of the move, condemning homophobic Tories, and backing the moved at Holyrood for marriage equality.

why would homosexuals want to get married? Marriage is a Christian belief of a man and a woman committing the rest of their lives together. I believe that homosexuals that want to spend the rest of their lives together should be allowed to but its not marriage. they should have the same rights as married couples but its not marriage. Marriage is a Christian belief that should be left for christians. This is from an atheist

Sarah Teather is the biggest disappointment. I felt she knew better, and was more advanced in her thinking and beliefs. Tragic for her, but many congrats to the best of the rest.

@Dav 26 said “Marriage is a Christian belief that should be left for christians”

That would come as a surprise to Jews and Muslims, and would have been a surprise to the ancient Greeks and ancient Romans.

25. Niall

“Curious how large a proportion of the Labour and Libdem MPs who voted against are from Scotland (no Conservatives, obviously).

Does that reflect public opinion in these parts of Scotland and so am I more out of touch with the society I’m from than I thought? Or is it these MPs who are?”

A good number and possibly most Scottish Labour MPs are conservatives wearing red rosettes. During an earlier era, Willie Ross got Harold Wilson to exempt Scotland from the 1967 Sexual Offences Act. He said Scotland will not stand for it, meaning of course Labour MPs. Why they were even voting when it was a free vote on a social issue that only affects England and Wales is highly questionable.
Willie Ross

dav

why would homosexuals want to get married? Marriage is a Christian belief of a man and a woman committing the rest of their lives together. I believe that homosexuals that want to spend the rest of their lives together should be allowed to but its not marriage. they should have the same rights as married couples but its not marriage. Marriage is a Christian belief that should be left for christians. This is from an atheist

I guess Hindus, Muslims and other non-Christians shouldn’t be married either?

“Marriage is a Christian belief of a man and a woman committing the rest of their lives together.”

A marriage relationship certainly isn’t unique to Christianity. In fact, marriage long preceded the Christian era. Many cultures permit polygamous marriages, as did the ancient Israelites by accounts in the Old Testament.

It’s utterly presumptious of those claiming to be Christians to impose their particular interpretation of the married relationship on the rest of us.

Besides, half of the babies born in Britain nowadays are born to unmarried couples. As for the longevity of marriages, try this:

“Based on marriage, divorce and death statistics for 2010, about 42% of marriages are expected to end in divorce – a drop from 45% in 2005.”
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-20794505

@Dav: Marriage pre-dates Christianity and is a concept which exists independently of it, and any other belief system. That the church tries to worm its way into relationships through weddings is simply a survival strategy common to many successful religions; ensuring that it remains relevant during the key events of our lives, and gets the earliest possible access to our progeny.

Religions are parasitical in nature; they take the good from individuals and society and try to present it as their own. Do not be fooled into thinking that the Church has any authority when it comes to such matters.

And to those who oppose same-sex marriage, the solution is quite simple: Don’t marry someone of the same sex.

Wonder how many of those who voted ‘Nay’ are in the closet!!

35. paul canning

Numerous no votes explicitly said it was because they take their orders from the Vatican. At the same time every Muslim Labour MP present and most Tory ones voted FOR.

Lucida

Probably most of them! I know at least one and am surprised! Why he is in the closet I have no idea because everyone knows!!!

37. Violet Greaves

Its a democracy and some had good teason not to be there. One had just given birth the day before! Also many had already supported same sex marriage but unable to be there (as far as I understand).

Hang you heads in shame . This is truly the end of the Conservative party at last ..
Pauline latham it such a uneducated person

39. robin taylor

Andrew Bingham (High Peak conservative) is well known to be a stuck up bigot now he just proved it.

There are many reasons why MPs voted against this bill, not just bigotry. Admittedly there are a lot of bigots who voted No, but as is always the case, using a tar brush to paint a political picture is fraught with danger. Take the MP for Merthyr, for example – a supporter of gay rights, who backed Civil Partnership legislation. He had his own reasons for not supporting this bill, which he lays out quite clearly on his web page. I happen to think he was wrong, but nevertheless he is neither a bigot nor a cave man. Characterising the dissenters on a “List of shame” is just hysterical nonsense, and adds nothing to the debate other than pandering to the kind of mentality the Sun favours.

41. Chaise Guevara

@ 26 dav

“Marriage is a Christian belief that should be left for christians. This is from an atheist”

A rather poorly informed atheist, from the sounds of it. I’d love to know why all those weddings under different religions, going back to societies that pre-date Jesus, don’t count.

@ Adrian Smith

“absolutely outrageous that you have the arrogance to name it a “list of shame”. It was a vote, and everyone has a right to their moral view.”

Yes, everyone has a right to their moral view. The view that opposing same sex marriage is a shameful thing to do is a moral view. Hence Sunny has the right to that view. You can’t consistently hold both that people have the right to have and express their own moral views, and that people ought not to condemn the moral views of others.

“This is a democracy”

Exactly: a liberal democracy in which all citizens should be equal before the law, and in which special care should be taken to defend the rights and freedoms of minority groups against the possible ‘tyranny of the majority’. Those voting against same sex marriage should indeed ‘grow up and live with it’.

43. Robin Levett

@Martyn Winters #39:

Take the MP for Merthyr, for example – a supporter of gay rights, who backed Civil Partnership legislation. He had his own reasons for not supporting this bill, which he lays out quite clearly on his web page.

If you mean this page:

http://www.daihavardmp.co.uk/marriage-same-sex-couples-bill

I struggle to see what he has written there that actually constitutes a reason to vote against the Bill once it is before the House. His concern that it is unnecessary don’t constitute such a reason; necessary or not, it’s now in the law-making process.

His claim that the legal protections for religious organisations may not work is one that is exclusively made by those with a religious axe to grind; lawyers without such an axe have no problem with the efficacy of the “quadruple lock”.

As for his concerns about teachers, I really don’t see what protections teachers need – do you?

I’m married and I’m not a Christian! I’d better go let my husband know that the last 18 years have been a sham :/

Yay to equality!!!

45. Chaise Guevara

@ 32 JK

“And to those who oppose same-sex marriage, the solution is quite simple: Don’t marry someone of the same sex.”

You’d think so, but apparently the solution is to push your objection onto others under the guise of some incoherent nonsense about straight people’s marriages being devalued, or say you’re against it because you don’t want churches to be forced to marry people, even though the law specifically prevents this from happening.

Terrible title for this thread IMO.
Isn’t it great to be able to call half the country bigots? I hope the most vocal supporters of this change in the law feel good about being able to do that.

47. andrew adams

I’m not sure I like this “list of shame” thing.

It’s fine to express satisfaction at winning the vote, and the wider argument, but it’s surely better to be a gracious winner than an ungracious one and however wrong they were I don’t think it is right to make a blanket condemnation of all opponents of same sex mariage as “shameful”.

@Robin Levett #42

I said: “I happen to think he’s wrong.” Which you’d have noticed if you’d bothered to fully read what I’d written.

Clear enough for you?

“List of shame” roughly translates to “list of people who dare to disagree with us,” I take it?

50. Robin Levett

@damon #45:

Isn’t it great to be able to call half the country bigots? I hope the most vocal supporters of this change in the law feel good about being able to do that.

I think you’ll find that it’s barely a third of the country, according to the latest opinion polls. Your mistake is not recognising that the fact that there are two views doesn’t mean either that they have equal support, or that they have equal validity.

Merriam-Webster defines a bigot thuswise:

“a person who is obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices; especially: one who regards or treats the members of a group (as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance”

I have yet to see someone arguing against same-sex marriage who does not appear to simultaneously hold the view that gay sex is icky and not to be tolerated. Even the superficially plausible piece by Steven Baker cited above has that defect. If he had fought tooth and nail against any continuance of recognition by the State of heterosexual marriage he might have had some credibility. It is truly amazing how many people have always felt that the government should get out of marriage but have only been goaded into doing something about it by the prospect of same-sex marriage. It almost looks like a libertarian fig-leaf trying to disguise an underlying bigotry.

“Isn’t it great to be able to call half the country bigots? I hope the most vocal supporters of this change in the law feel good about being able to do that.”

You so totally miss the point there. I happen to feel sickened and sad that so many people are against equality, but relieved that the majority are not. How dare ANYONE claim their version of love [ie heterosexuality] is superior or more deserving than any other? They should be ashamed. Why not focus their energies on the harmful and vicious, the murderers and the abusers of this world?

Marriage is a Christian institution? LMFAO!

a href=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OFkeKKszXTw”>This is the real Christian position on marriage.

Aaargh.

Link!

Why is it that in these discussions the liberal argument always reduces to some tedious motivational imputation or attempted connotative slur. You oppose gay marriage, you must hate gay people. Since you hate gay people, your opinions are not valid. And since good faith disagreement is not possible, the only only coherent position is to agree with us. QED.

Robin Levett

I think you’ll find that it’s barely a third of the country, according to the latest opinion polls.

Hmmm, I wonder. Maybe it’s because the ‘debate’ has been held like a Nicky Campbell ”Big Questions” sunday morning TV show. And people have been made an offer that they find hard to refuse. ”Do you want to be with the progressive good people or with the bigots?”

It reminds me of the fox hunting debate, where something that really isn’t that important becomes very polarised and high profile and you are forced to take sides.

Are people who think that ”gay sex is icky” now to be called bigots too? Sex can be icky. There are plenty of people (for example) who find pornography rather unpleasant, while for others it’s just sex, and part of their sexual life.

56. Robin Levett

@Martyn Winter #47:

I said: “I happen to think he’s wrong.” Which you’d have noticed if you’d bothered to fully read what I’d written.

Clear enough for you?

I noticed that. I also noticed your claim that he had reasons for voting against that suggested that he was neither a bigot nor a caveman. My point, and I hope it is now clear enough for you, was that the reasons he has set out on the page I cited do not amount to valid reasons for voting against the bill – reopening the caveman/bigot issue.

Damon,

The way it works is that we want to do something very concrete, which is to publicly recognise homosexual marriages, without ever really discussing the implications, and the way we do that is by linking it to something very vague and nebulous like “equality”. To be “for” gay marriage is to be for equality, and everyone agrees that equality is a good, so the argument should go through with ease.

58. Robin Levett

@vimothy #53:

Why is it that in these discussions the liberal argument always reduces to some tedious motivational imputation or attempted connotative slur.

It doesn’t.

Perhaps you could set out an argument against the establishment of same sex marriage that doesn’t depend, at some level, upon either a feeling that same sex sexuality is inferior to straight sexuality, or “my religion says it shouldn’t be allowed”.

And there was this one.

It really highlights the dangerous game that the anti-equal marriage MP’s are playing.

I’d rather take a different tack: What business does the State have recognising marriage at all?

61. Chaise Guevara

“I’d rather take a different tack: What business does the State have recognising marriage at all?”

Stalking horse.

explain pls

@59 Presumably because in a democratic society, we want it to. Indeed historically it appears that people throughout the ages have been very keen and happy for states of any make up to begin recognising or continue recognising their long term committed unions.

64. Robin Levett

@vimothy #59:

I’d rather take a different tack: What business does the State have recognising marriage at all?

Name someone currently opposing same sex marriage who expressed that view before same sex marriage became an issue.

And: marriage has traditionally had significant legal consequences; getting the state out of the business of marriage completely would have consequences and ramifications far greater than the bill just voted on by the House. Should the law be silent on what happens to someone’s property on their intestacy, for example?

That’s not really an answer, though, just a set of facts. Why should we want it to? Why should it then do so?

To all those who claim this list should not be a list of shame because they had a free vote and they are entitled to vote according to their morals… all you are saying is not just their vote but also their morals that are shameful. They are, of course, entitled to shameful morals and everyone else is entitled to point them out.

The fact is that state is involved in marriage – maybe it shouldn’t be, but it is. We have to deal with that, not the state’s uninvolvement. MPs and Lords are ‘free’ to introduce a Bill that removes the state’s involvement, as they are free to introduce a Bill about anything – I don’t know of any who have.

68. Chaise Guevara

@ 61 vimothy

Fair enough. If you hold that the state should get out of marriage entirely, that’s just as relevant to straight marriage as gay marriage. Therefore, while it’s an interesting line of discussion in its own right, it’s not an argument for why we should privatise gay marriage while maintaining the status quo of straight marriage as a public institution. And that’s the context of this debate.

Basically they’re two seperate arguments. Letting one bleed into the other does look suspicious when it seems to come up so much more often in the context of gay marriage than straight. I don’t mean you personally bring it up more often that way, I mean generally.

So when people raise it in the context of gay marriage, I tend to work on the assumption that it’s either a stalking horse or an attempt to derail.

Robin Levett, am I right in thinking that you are a lawyer? :-) Forget about the details, I’m interested in the principle, the big picture.

As to your question, I’m afraid that I’m not following the issue in great enough detail to do that. In fact, I’m not sure that the motivation of politicians is all that interesting. In general, they seem to be strongly selected for careerism and opportunism. My prior is that they somewhat represent the population on the matter, whilst being generally more “for”, since that is where the smart money is going.

And, whatever their opinions might actually be, the fact is that they have acted to do this particular thing, which both reflects a way of thinking and has real or concrete consequences for the way society is organised.

Well done Sunny on using the “list of shame” in the title. It has really annoyed the tory trolls, and smoked them out about which wing of the tory party they come from.

No surprise they come from the bigoted, flat earth, bat shit insane wing. I would never have guessed. Ha ha ha.

So, who’s going to run the sweepstake for which of those bigots gets caught up in a nasty sex scandal first, then?

We must agree, IMO, that whatever else this particular piece of politicial chicanery with the same-sex marriage legislation has been a huge success in diverting public attention away from unpleasant news such as this:

UK economy set for feeble growth in 2013, says NIESR

The UK economy is set to grow by just 0.7 per cent this year, according to the latest forecast from the National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR). The forecast is well below that of the Chancellor’s official budget watchdog, the Office for Budget Responsibility, which sees growth of 1.2 per cent in 2013. For 2014 NIESR predicts growth of 1.5 per cent, versus the OBR forecast of a 2 per cent expansion.

The think tank urged the Chancellor to adopt a new fiscal strategy to pep up the economy. “It remains our view that such a recovery would best be supported by a significant increase in public sector net investment, with looser fiscal policy in the short term while demand remains weak,” it said.
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/uk-economy-set-for-feeble-growth-in-2013-says-niesr-8480827.html

73. Robin Levett

@vimothy #68:

Robin Levett, am I right in thinking that you are a lawyer?

I’d tell you, but I’d then have to kill you.

Forget about the details, I’m interested in the principle, the big picture.

I can’t see how the state can stay out of marriage; it forms the basis of societal organisation. It cannot but set out a template for the legal consequences of the status.

72

“I can’t see how the state can stay out of marriage; it forms the basis of societal organisation.”

The application of laws about the upbringing of children and redistribution of property rights are inevitably involved, especially on the breakdown of marriages.

This whole ‘why should the state recognise marriage at all?’ thing that’s appeared from nowhere is just bizarre.

The answer, in libertarian terms, is straightforward enough: marriages are contracts entered into by free individuals, and hence are just the sort of thing the state *ought* to recognise if individuals’ entitlements and obligations are to be based on free agreement rather than imposition from above.

But no-one actually seems to be proposing that the state should not recognise these contracts. Rather, the proposal seems to be that we should cease to call any such contracts that do not have a religious basis ‘marriages’. There should be religious ‘marriages’, and civil ‘unions’ or ‘partnerships’ or whatever, with the latter being open to couples (gay or straight) and perhaps also other pairings (e.g. brothers and sisters).

Why? What does it matter? After all the complaints about ‘redefining marriage’, why this proposal to narrow the definition so as to encompass only religious unions? What gives religious organisations ownership of this word? I don’t get it. And the idea that everyone presently in a civil marriage is going to be happy about its reclassification as something other than a marriage, making this an option that will be acceptable to everyone, is ridiculous.

@ 71 Bob B

Oh dear. Most people don’t sit there thinking “oh no, the economic growth forcast for the coming year is down”. Yes, they’re concerned if they lose their job, they’re concerned if the prices of goods go up, or if their wages go down, but frankly, most people couldn’t give a toss about a bunch of numbers that are spouted by some talking head inbetween a discussion on whether or not gays should be allowed to marry and a piece on the pros and cons of horse burgers as a dietary supplement. I’d go as far as to say that the obsession on the part of the political nerds with these weird and pointless numbers goes a long way to explaining why so many people take such little interest in politics.

In fact I’m not really bothered about it either. The ramblings of some statistician who doesn’t know the price of a Big Mac, large fries and large chocolate thick shake, let alone a litre of milk (55p in Iceland for semi-skimmed and that’s mega cheap, doubt you’ll get it cheaper anywhere else, usually at least 66p in other places) has little relevance to my life. I haven’t noticed any correlation between the price of a pint and an economic tarot reading by some bunch of twats with a silly name.

Still, if it gets the political nerds into a wanking frenzy, well, each to his – or her – own. I’d rather watch porn myself for that though – apparently watching porn makes you more accepting of gay marriage. Can’t say I’ve noticed any difference in my own opinions though. I still couldn’t give a shit who does what to who as long as they’re all smiling.

77. Lady Johnston

You will incur The Wrath of God if you persist in the arrogance of calling it ‘The List of Shame’ If you think this is a ludicrous statement , I feel very sorry for you. This country is going down a very slippery slope, it’s like a cancer eating away @ wholesome family values. The erosion of Christian beliefs can only lead to disaster. I accept the need for civil partnerships, although I don’t agree with them, BUT the redefining of the word ‘Marriage is totally unacceptable , even the dictionary would have to be changed but more importantly The Bible would have to be changed… Who is Brave enough to do that ? I refer to my initial statement !!!

I’m in favour of gay marriage but I abhor this “agree with it or else” attitude of many of my fellow liberals.

This whole ‘why should the state recognise marriage at all?’ thing that’s appeared from nowhere is just bizarre.

I brought it up because it seems to me that the principles that give rise to the legal recognition of gay marriage naturally lead to the idea that the state really should have nothing to say about marriage at all.

So I was interested to see what people thought of that. From the responses, it seems that they think that it generally makes sense, but for various legal or technical reasons, it’s not practical. In other words, there is no principled reason for why the state should be in the marriage business. After all, if you widen your exclusive club to include gay married couples, that makes the club less exclusive, but it doesn’t stop it from being exclusive per se.

Wibble:

“Most people don’t sit there thinking ‘oh no, the economic growth forcast for the coming year is down’. Yes, they’re concerned if they lose their job, they’re concerned if the prices of goods go up, or if their wages go down, but frankly, most people couldn’t give a toss about a bunch of numbers that are spouted by some talking head . . ”

Quite likely your average red top reader doesn’t begin to comprehend “the talking heads” but news editors and business press correspondents do understand what the NIESR is saying about Britain’s flagging economy and would likely be writing that up for front pages were it not for all the froth over same-sex marriages taking over the headline news.

The implications of slow growth in Britain’s economy will surely impact on living standards, job prospects, and government borrowing and therefore on the longevity of the government’s planned austerity measures. At the end of the day, same-sex marriages will affect a few thousands but Britain’s flagging economy will affect many millions.

81. Chaise Guevara

@ 76 Lady Johnson

“BUT the redefining of the word ‘Marriage is totally unacceptable , even the dictionary would have to be changed but more importantly The Bible would have to be changed… Who is Brave enough to do that ? I refer to my initial statement !!!”

I know I’m unlikely to get a sensible conversation of someone who seems to think that Sunny is going to be struck with thunderbolts for writing the OP, but I’ll give it a shot. Marriage is only being redefined in the sense that it’s redefined every time the law changes around it – which is forever happening in big or small ways.

And the only thing being changed is marriage in the legal sense. The religious sense, while connected, is not the same thing. So nobody’s rewriting the Bible, except King James, the Good News guys etc.

The rest of your post presumes veneration of Christian values. So it’s going to fall on deaf ears among atheists, agnostics, Muslims, Jews, Hindus…

82. Chaise Guevara

@ 78 vimothy

“In other words, there is no principled reason for why the state should be in the marriage business. ”

Exactly. It’s useful for people to be able to enter a predefined contract under the auspices of the state, upon which laws and policies can be hung. It’s not a moral end in itself.

This same-sex marriage debate IMO has proved to be an illuminating confirmation – if any such were needed – of John Stewart Mill’s observation made in 1866:

“I never meant to say that the Conservatives are generally stupid. I meant to say that stupid people are generally Conservative. I believe that is so obviously and universally admitted a principle that I hardly think any gentleman will deny it.”
John Stuart Mill, in a Parliamentary debate with the Conservative MP, John Pakington (May 31, 1866).

@ 79 Bob b

…but news editors and business press correspondents do understand what the…

Ahhh, now I understand. The news is written for the benefit of of news editors and business press correspondents. Thanks for the clarification.

I wonder presonally why this is headed a “list of shame?” (unless there is something shameful in discussing the subject?). This list of names is around of third of Members of Parliament, spread across arange ofpoliticalopinions. Surely more debate is tobe encouraged.One concern for those in legal advice is how this will impact upon the legal definition of marriage in our common law legal system, built as it is upon interpretations of hundreds of years of case law as well as numerous statutory provisions and precedents. Any such change will need an enormous amount of legal re-organisation and financing with the cost being passed on to the taxpayer and taken away from existing resources, includingcutting legal aid further.

There has been no proper impact assessment on changing the definition of marriage and its effects on property law, or upon trusts and will settlements which maybe in place, nor upon family law in general.

A further concern must be the diversion of resources and attention away from legal advice centres for the poor , children’s services, services for the mentally ill. There also is a crucial need for resources to put into dealing with the effects of the pending overall benefit cut underthe Welfare Reform Act 2012, the housing benefit cap, the bedroom tax, and the abolition of council tax benefit all from 1st April, and the likely impact of the introduction of Universal Credit which is to be rolled out later this year.

@ 82 Bob b

This same-sex marriage debate IMO has proved to be an illuminating confirmation – if any such were needed – of John Stewart Mill’s observation made in 1866:

“I never meant to say that the Conservatives are generally stupid. I meant to say that stupid people are generally Conservative. I believe that is so obviously and universally admitted a principle that I hardly think any gentleman will deny it.”
John Stuart Mill, in a Parliamentary debate with the Conservative MP, John Pakington (May 31, 1866).

On this we can agree!

I agree that history bears out Mill. I don’t think that’s very surprising, though, because liberalism generally equates to the smart people being given power.

76. Lady Johnston

You will incur The Wrath of God if you persist in the arrogance of calling it ‘The List of Shame’ If you think this is a ludicrous statement , I feel very sorry for you. This country is going down a very slippery slope, it’s like a cancer eating away @ wholesome family values. The erosion of Christian beliefs can only lead to disaster. I accept the need for civil partnerships, although I don’t agree with them, BUT the redefining of the word ‘Marriage is totally unacceptable , even the dictionary would have to be changed but more importantly The Bible would have to be changed… Who is Brave enough to do that ? I refer to my initial statement !!!

Someone please tell me this is a windup.

In other eras–quelle surprise!–smart people can be found who believed quite different things.

90. Shatterface

More bell ends than the Notre Dame Campanology Society.

My MPs on that list but since I didn’t vote for him anyway I can’t withdraw my vote next time.

91. Name (required)

A big list of dicks.

David Cameron himself did not turn up.

These are far more Labour and Lib Dem refusals to support this Bill, even at Second Reading, than had been predicted. Many a speech by a Labour MP who voted in favour nevertheless expressed deep unhappiness about this Bill, which is horrendously drafted, yet which cannot be any other way in order to achieve its objective. Having voted for the principle, they will not vote for the final text to become law.

This Bill will never reach Third Reading.

Wibble: “The news is written for the benefit of of news editors and business press correspondents. Thanks for the clarification.”

That is not implied. What is taken to be news priorities is driven by what media news editors believe will most interest their readers and listeners.

As suggested @71, the same-sex marriage legislation has been a hugely successful example of political chicanery for diverting public attention away from unpleasant current news about the flagging state of Britain’s economy.

In the end, the welfare of many more of the public will be affected by what happens with Britain’s economy than by same-sex marriages.

I suggesting recapping the quote from JS Mill @82.

94. Shatterface

why would homosexuals want to get married?

I’m not sure why heterosexuals want to get married – that’s their business.

But unless someone can come up with a better reason than ‘ugh!’ to prevent someone doing something that doesn’t effect them personally they should shut the fuck up.

I would like to propose an amendment to the bill in question, namely that Hadrians wall be renamed “Gay Marriage Wall” on the grounds that the Emperor Hadrian was a noted gayer who offended God by indulging in the sort of marriage that this bill is discussing.

I further propose that the entire annual budget for the years 2113, 2114, and 2115 be set aside for changing all maps, roadsigns, history books, works of fiction, films, comics and gift shop souvenirs to reflect this attack on moral standards and the traditional way of doing things.

Wibble: “I further propose that the entire annual budget for the years 2113, 2114, and 2115 be set aside for changing all maps, roadsigns, history books, works of fiction, films, comics and gift shop souvenirs to reflect this attack on moral standards and the traditional way of doing things.”

Evidently JS Mill was absolutely right about Conservatives – see the quote @82.

97. Shatterface

As suggested @71, the same-sex marriage legislation has been a hugely successful example of political chicanery for diverting public attention away from unpleasant current news about the flagging state of Britain’s economy

And conspiracy theories are a convenient cover for homophobes.

98. Robin Levett

@Alan Murdie #84:

That boat sailed in 2004, if the opponents of same sex marriage are to be believed.

How will my heterosexual marriage be “redefined” by the Bill if passed into law? I’d like to know, so that I know what I have to do to mitigate the effects of the redefinition.

” The Bible would have to be changed… Who is Brave enough to do that ? I refer to my initial statement !!!”

Have you seen how many different changes of the Bible have taken place down through the century’s? Usually by pious Catholic Popes a good 8 or 9 hundred years ago.

Then of course there was our very own Henry 8th who started up his own version of Christianity so he could get a divorce. Oh no! DIVORCE!!! What about sanctity of marriage? No wonder so many of the Monarchy and the upper classes where having marriages declared illegitimate all the time.

Never mind the sanctity feel the freedom. Or is it Never mind the freedom feel the sanctity. I wish these peskey libertarians would get their stories straight.

@91

Many a speech by a Labour MP who voted in favour nevertheless expressed deep unhappiness about this Bill, which is horrendously drafted

Lucky it’s just moved on into the committee stage where things will be tidied up then isn’t it?

101. Shatterface

How will my heterosexual marriage be “redefined” by the Bill if passed into law? I’d like to know, so that I know what I have to do to mitigate the effects of the redefinition.

What they mean is that someone else doing domething else with someone else will effect your marriage because ‘ugh! Stan’s to reason dunnit?’

I really can’t see how heterosexual marriages have been affected by same-sex civil partnerships so I doubt there much impact of same-sex marriages on heterosexual marriages except, perhaps, on the grounds for divorce and the distribution of property rights on marriage breakup. OTOH permitting polygamous and polyandrous marriages between consenting adults would have significant impacts.

Btw from past reading, the Romans, at the time of Imperial Roman, were tolerant of a range of sexual relationships including homosexuality, incest, nymphomania etc. Suetonius on: The Twelve Caesars (Penguin Classics) is a lively read. The preferences of Emperor Hadrian were not kept secret.

I’ve been doing a bit more research and I think I’m starting to get the hang of this Christian marriage thingy.

Any such change will need an enormous amount of legal re-organisation and financing

Please show your working.

Wibble: “I’ve been doing a bit more research and I think I’m starting to get the hang of this Christian marriage thingy.”

Wikipedia has a helpful aide-memoire on: List of scandals involving evangelical Christians
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_scandals_involving_evangelical_Christians

And Sinclair Lewis wrote a novel about this theme: Elmer Gantry (1927), which, in due course was turned into a movie with Bert Lancaster – try YouTube.

I’d have voted for the bill, but I don’t think those who voted against have anything at all to be ashamed of. They should be applauded for standing by their principles.

107. Planeshift

80 odd comments and I’ve got away with a basic schoolboy error!

In the interests of accuracy – the scottish nationalists regarded it as an England and Wales only matter and thus didn’t vote. I thought they had voted for it

108. Robin Levett

@Chris #105:

They should be applauded for standing by their principles.

Doesn’t that entirely depend on what those principles are?

To put it another way; they are entitled to their own views, but they aren’t entitled to my respect for those views. Nor (see Mad Nad’s contributions about their being no requirement for faithfulness in a same sex marriage) are they entitled to their own facts.

“Nor (see Mad Nad’s contributions about their being no requirement for faithfulness in a same sex marriage) are they entitled to their own facts.”

By a recent report in the Daily Wail:

Plans to allow same-sex couples to marry in Britain could pave the way for the concept of adultery to be abolished in law, experts have said.
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2268689/Concept-adultery-abolished-law-grounds-divorce-wake-Government-s-plans-gay-marriage.html

Mind you, it comes to something if the only hindrance to conducting a bit of adultery is the law.

I just discovered that my MP (Cardiff North) voted against this. Perhaps the tories should realise how easily this constituency swings.

“Perhaps the tories should realise how easily this constituency swings.”

In the diplomacy business, that description could be construed as “constructive ambiguity”.

Nadine Dorries the divorcee and alleged ‘marriage wrecker’ lecturing about faithfulness?

@ Bob b

Thanks for the list Bob, shall peruse at leisure.

By a recent report in the Daily Wail:

Plans to allow same-sex couples to marry in Britain could pave the way for the concept of adultery to be abolished in law, experts have said.
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2268689/Concept-adultery-abolished-law-grounds-divorce-wake-Government-s-plans-gay-marriage.html

Mind you, it comes to something if the only hindrance to conducting a bit of adultery is the law.

oh ffs, this has been dealt with so many times.

adultery is an irrelevance. It has a specific meaning developed in common law, a meaning that apparently well educated people are ignorant of.

It does not mean the person had an affair, was unfaithful. It means they had sex involving penetration by a penis of a vagina with a person outside the marriage. Blowjobs, anal sex, mutual masturbation etc do not count as adultery.

Adultery as grounds for divorce is in decline in any case. People tend to cite unreasonable behaviour – it is easier to ‘prove’.

With all this beguiling sex stuff in the news, it is hard to refocus on today’s dampener:

UK borrowing is likely to be £64bn higher in 2014-15 than forecast in 2010, according to a closely watched report.

The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) says a weak economy will mean the government has to borrow more than it forecast, unless it imposes tax rises and further spending cuts.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-21349593

Any MP who voted against or abstained is clearly in support of discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and should resign and ne taken to court.

Oh my god Sunny, your side won the argument. Stop gloating – it doesn’t help your cause. Out of interest, we’ve probably all seen the pie chart titled “consequences of gay marriage”, but I’ve still not worked out what would be the consequences had MPs rejected it? Other than same-sex couples not being able to call it ‘marriage’, what else would be different?

And if this is the List of Shame, what name do you have for that unpublished list naming those responsible for the deaths of thousands at Mid Staffordshire Hospital (if, indeed, it is restricted to just one hospital)?

#76 You will incur The Wrath of God if you persist in the arrogance of calling it ‘The List of Shame’ If you think this is a ludicrous statement , I feel very sorry for you. This country is going down a very slippery slope, it’s like a cancer eating away @ wholesome family values. The erosion of Christian beliefs can only lead to disaster.

LOL-TASTIC

119. Jane Morris

Shame on you all.

Sunny,

I don’t think there is anything shameful about voting against this bill.
Since when has religious conscience been something to be ashamed about?
You might as well say Hindus should be ashamed for believing in multiple deities or bhuddists ashamed for believing in reincarnation.

121. Chaise Guevara

@ Kojak

“I don’t think there is anything shameful about voting against this bill.
Since when has religious conscience been something to be ashamed about?
You might as well say Hindus should be ashamed for believing in multiple deities or bhuddists ashamed for believing in reincarnation.”

I think this whole “list of shame” thing is needlessly antagonistic. But your analogy is flawed, because Hindus aren’t bullying anyone else based on their pantheism. A better analogy is that Hindus who believe in the caste system should be ashamed of how they treat “untouchables”.

122. Chaise Guevara

@ Kojak

Oh, and most people who object claim not to do so on religious grounds, but instead weird linguistic grounds. They definitely should be ashamed of being so callous and dishonest.

123. Chaise Guevara

@ 116 Eddy

“Any MP who voted against or abstained is clearly in support of discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and should resign and ne taken to court.”

Oh, great. Let’s jail any politician who votes for something we disagree with. That’ll help us to remain a free and democratic country.

I can’t believe you’ve managed to use a victory for gay rights to make a call for a fascist state. Well fucking done.

124. the a&e charge nurse

76 You will incur The Wrath of God if you persist in the arrogance of calling it ‘The List of Shame’ If you think this is a ludicrous statement , I feel very sorry for you. This country is going down a very slippery slope, it’s like a cancer eating away @ wholesome family values. The erosion of Christian beliefs can only lead to disaster.

LOL-TASTIC.

Actually John Gray (in Heresies) says pretty much the same about warring ideologies.
“All the Enlightenment did was to promote religion by other means, and its belief in progress was only the Christian message “emptied of transcendence and mystery”. One of the heresies promulgated by Gray is that many of those who today continue to hold to religious faith are far more profound in their thinking, and certainly better educated, than most of their liberal-humanist opponents”.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2004/sep/04/highereducation.news

125. Chaise Guevara

@ 124 a&e

“The erosion of Christian beliefs can only lead to disaster.”

Ha. Disasters like wearing condoms in an AIDS epidemic, or not invading the Middle East for no reason whatsoever, or not burning witches, or…

@ Chaise

your analogy is flawed, because Hindus aren’t bullying anyone else based on their pantheism.

Eh!!!

I love my dog, and he loves me (whatever else we get up to is between ourselves).

Would you be bullying me if you refused to agree that our relationship status could be defined, or described, as “married”?

ffs.

supporters of same sex marriage are not infringing on anyone else’s freedom.

opposers of same sex marriage are infringing on other people’s freedom.

people genuinely interested in supporting freedom will not oppose same sex marriage.

128. Chaise Guevara

@ 126 pagar

“I love my dog, and he loves me (whatever else we get up to is between ourselves).

Would you be bullying me if you refused to agree that our relationship status could be defined, or described, as “married”?”

Are you being deliberately obtuse? It’s not about whether you personally want to think of gay marriage as marriage, it’s about whether gay people can legally get married.

Now waiting to see if you’re going to follow up by asking why you can’t legally marry your dog.

129. Robin Levett

@pagar 126:

I love my dog, and he loves me (whatever else we get up to is between ourselves).

Would you be bullying me if you refused to agree that our relationship status could be defined, or described, as “married”?

No. Your dog has no contractual capacity, nor indeed any capacity to consent. Whatever your relationship (and don’t tell either the police or the RSPCA, because they might not like it), it cannot possibly be described as marriage.

130. Robin Levett

@pagar #129:

…and why is it that as any thread on gay marriage increases in length, the probability of someone equating it to incest and/or bestiality approaches 1.0?

@130 We’ll be coining Levett’s law soon if you keep up with phrasing like that ;)

@127 ukliberty

That depends whose freedom you are talking about. If I’m a gay man running a B&B and I want to exclude straight people from staying there I should be free to, right? The same if I’m a straight B&B owner who wants to exclude gay men. If I have a religion that wants to keep marriage between men and women only, should I not be free to do that?

Freedom means being free to discriminate as well as being free to be inclusive. You can’t only have the good bits of freedom and prevent the bad bits – that wouldn’t be any kind of freedom at all.

It’s because there doesn’t seem to be any reason why someone shouldn’t marry his sister or his dog. It’s a matter of personal choice that has no social or inherent meaning, so who cares?

it cannot possibly be described as marriage.

Why not?

135. Robin Levett

@vimothy #134:

Read the whole post.

Which whole post?

@132 Technically the opt in section allows any religion/church that wants to keep marriage only between a man and women, can continue to do so within that religion/church, without even having to change anything or sign up to owt.

Mark M @132,

If I have a religion that wants to keep marriage between men and women only, should I not be free to do that?

Yes, you should be so free. You do understand the bill frees the religious to marry gays, don’t you? That it doesn’t oblige them?

A number of religious groups have expressed support for marrying gays. They are currently prevented from doing so.

Your dog has no contractual capacity, nor indeed any capacity to consent. Whatever your relationship (and don’t tell either the police or the RSPCA, because they might not like it), it cannot possibly be described as marriage.

Agreed.

And if the nub of this debate were to do with legality alone you would have an relevant point. But we all know it is not because there is only a cigarette paper of difference, legally, between a marriage and a civil partnership.

For gay people really want their personal relationships to be viewed and acknowledged by society as having as much value as those of a heterosexual couple (indeed they want them to be acknowledged as being identical) and they believe this can be achieved by the law being changed to allow them to marry each other.

Moreover they will, in due course, insist on religious groups conforming to this view on pain of prosecution for discrimination.

But what they don’t realise, in their fervour for “equality” is that, in truth, the value of a relationship only exists for the participants.

Thus, the fact that my dog and I love each other and want to stay in the same house together is enough for us. We don’t need to be considered married by society at large and we certainly believe our relationship is not any business of the state.

140. Chaise Guevara

@ 133 vimothy

“It’s because there doesn’t seem to be any reason why someone shouldn’t marry his sister or his dog. It’s a matter of personal choice that has no social or inherent meaning, so who cares?”

How do you determine what the dog wants? The thing about incest is that I suspect, if legalised, the majority of marriages would come out of absusive relationships. So it might be a case of the costs being too high.

141. Chaise Guevara

@ 139 pagar

“For gay people really want their personal relationships to be viewed and acknowledged by society as having as much value as those of a heterosexual couple (indeed they want them to be acknowledged as being identical) and they believe this can be achieved by the law being changed to allow them to marry each other. ”

I’m sure they do want that, but you’re conflating two things. This is about the law treating them as equals. Societal change can’t be effected by ticking a box.

“Moreover they will, in due course, insist on religious groups conforming to this view on pain of prosecution for discrimination. ”

Some will. So what? I’ve yet to hear of a church successfully being sued for refusing to marry divorcees, so how is this different?

“But what they don’t realise, in their fervour for “equality” is that, in truth, the value of a relationship only exists for the participants.”

Which rather begs the question of why several hundred MPs, plus many commenters on this thread, want to dictate the value of other people’s relationships to them.

I doubt the dog cares one way or the other as long as it continues to get fed and walked at regular intervals. Anyway, as long as you’re marrying your own dog, it’s a moot point.

@ Chaise

Which rather begs the question of why several hundred MPs, plus many commenters on this thread, want to dictate the value of other people’s relationships to them.

Hurray!!!!

We’ve got there at last.

It’s actually none of their business, or yours or mine!!!!

We’ll make a libertarian of you yet.

But what they don’t realise, in their fervour for “equality” is that, in truth, the value of a relationship only exists for the participants.

Thus, the fact that my dog and I love each other and want to stay in the same house together is enough for us. We don’t need to be considered married by society at large and we certainly believe our relationship is not any business of the state.

What relevance does (A) your not being bothered about being considered married to you dog have to (B) people who do want to be considered married?

What a bizarre thread.

145. Chaise Guevara

@ 143 pagar

“Hurray!!!!

We’ve got there at last.

It’s actually none of their business, or yours or mine!!!!”

Not sure where you’ve been, but I’ve been ‘there’ for awhile. Like, since the topic first came up. It’s you who seems to like the idea of dictating to people who they can marry.

“We’ll make a libertarian of you yet.”

Nah, I’m all redistributiony.

@138 ukliberty

Just so I’m clear, the current situation is that even if a religion wanted to marry a same-sex couple, the law prevents them from doing so? And the new law will say “you can marry same-sex couples if you want, if not then that’s ok too”

So if we assume (for sake of argument) that every religion decided they want marriage to continue to be opposite sex, then the only way for a same-sex couple to get married is in a civil wedding ceremony, correct?

So really the only people who might be having their freedom to choose affected are registrars for civil ceremonies who do not believe in same-sex marriage?

147. Robin Levett

@vimothy #136:

#129 – from which you quoted only the final 7 words, having apparently read nothing before.

148. MarkAustin

There seems a lot of confusion above about the idea of the state getting out of the marriage business.

My view has been for many years that it should. However, this does not mean that the state should not get legally involved.

The whole confusion arises from the fact that many, not all, ministers of religion are also, automatically registrars. So in, for example, an Anglican church. the vicar marries you both in secular and canon law.

It is the recognition of the former that should be remove. It is almost unique in Europe. In most other countries, in order to marry you go to a regisrar office, sign the necessary forms, and then go to church to be married under canon law.

The whole dogs breakfast of this bill arises bny trying to maintain this position, whilst allowing Anglicans to opt out. At present, as the Established church, your local Anglican church is obliged to marry you, provided you are not disqualified in other ways (e.g. too closely related).

Over the years many other christian churches aquired this power. Initially, it was only Anglicans and Quakers, but other denominations have been added over time.

This should be swept away and the secular and canon forms separated. Allow the churches to set their own marriage rules, but in order to be accepted under secular law, require a civil ceremony.

149. Robin Levett

@pagar #139:

And if the nub of this debate were to do with legality alone you would have an relevant point. But we all know it is not because there is only a cigarette paper of difference, legally, between a marriage and a civil partnership.

But there is a huge difference, legally, morally and conceptually, between marriage and what you get up to with your dog in the privacy of your (singular) own home.

For gay people really want their personal relationships to be viewed and acknowledged by society as having as much value as those of a heterosexual couple (indeed they want them to be acknowledged as being identical) and they believe this can be achieved by the law being changed to allow them to marry each other.

Really? And here I was thinking that the legal clog on their being allowed to marry their loved one, and their loved one being allowed to marry them, was inequality.

Moreover they will, in due course, insist on religious groups conforming to this view on pain of prosecution for discrimination.

While you’ve got your crystal ball out, could you let me know the winning Lotto numbers on Saturday; I could do with a few million.

But what they don’t realise, in their fervour for “equality” is that, in truth, the value of a relationship only exists for the participants.

“They” being your strawman same-sex couple.

Thus, the fact that my dog and I love each other and want to stay in the same house together is enough for us. We don’t need to be considered married by society at large and we certainly believe our relationship is not any business of the state.

What’s this “we” business, kemosabe? You (singular) might want to continue to stay in the same house as your dog; but have you ever had a proper conversation with your dog, where you actually let him fully and explicitly express his feelings on the matter in detail. I bet it’s all me, me, me when you talk to your dog.

Are you even sure that your dog has any political views, let alone shares yours? What are his views on the Austrian school?

from which you quoted only the final 7 words, having apparently read nothing before.

Well, obviously (I would have thought) I did read it. It’s not really an argument though, so it’s hard to know what to do with it as it is.

I bet it’s all me, me, me when you talk to your dog.

That’s true, but he does lick me. On my hand.

What are his views on the Austrian school?

Can’t be sure, but he comes running when I shout Rothbard, that being his name….

It is fascinating how the so called moral majority right wing seems to be permanently obsessing about bestiality. Apparently amost any kind of social freedom will lead to people screwing their dog/sheep/pig/cat/goldfish.

It is difficult to understand how these people are always telling us the welfare state must be abolished because people are going to make their own choices for their own interests. No regulation of business is required because the magic ‘invisible hand’ will be working without any need of the state.

Yet when social reforms are proposed these same people are terrified of some mythical ‘invisible penis’ which without regulation will be let loose on society. (Sorry scrub that, no such thing as society)

You wonder what goes on in these peoples depraved minds.

So really the only people who might be having their freedom to choose affected are registrars for civil ceremonies who do not believe in same-sex marriage?

Well, given the way most employment law seems to be going these days if they have ‘freedom to choose’ they’re in a very lucky position indeed. I know as an employee I’m not allowed to pick and choose which parts of my job I can elect to do, or which customers I can refuse to serve.

Mark M,

Just so I’m clear, the current situation is that even if a religion wanted to marry a same-sex couple, the law prevents them from doing so? And the new law will say “you can marry same-sex couples if you want, if not then that’s ok too”

That’s right. Section 2 of the bill says if it’s a religious marriage then people may not be compelled to marry the couple if the objection to marrying them is that they are the same sex.

So if we assume (for sake of argument) that every religion decided they want marriage to continue to be opposite sex, then the only way for a same-sex couple to get married is in a civil wedding ceremony, correct?

That’s correct. But it is perhaps worth noting that some religious groups have said they want to conduct same-sex marriages.

So really the only people who might be having their freedom to choose affected are registrars for civil ceremonies who do not believe in same-sex marriage?

That’s right. They are public servants and therefore they must not discriminate against individuals in this way. If this is not cleared up in Committee it will inevitably be argued in the courts, if the Bill makes it to the statute book of course.

Lilian Ladele was mentioned a few times in the debate – there will undoubtedly be civil registrars who feel the same way. I hope that we can and will accommodate such beliefs. If a registrar objects to it I would hope that another registrar could step in – I am sure there would be some willing to do so. Surely it is not beyond the wit of man to sort out.

155. Chaise Guevara

@ 154 UKL

Hang on, the law prohibits religious groups from conducting same sex marriage even if it’s not legally binding? That’s utterly insane. What’s the logic there?

156. Robin Levett

@Chaise #155:

Hang on, the law prohibits religious groups from conducting same sex marriage even if it’s not legally binding? That’s utterly insane. What’s the logic there?

That’s not what he said… The “even if it’s not legally binding” bit, that is.

Some questions have been raised about the legal implications of same sex marriage and the impact in a common law system in England and Wales (we do not have a codified legal system like some other states that legalised same sex marriage and where things are much easier from a legal point of view). Things become very complicated when one examines property rights, particularly those subject to trusts or settlements.

If gay marriage is enacted, a man will be entitled marry another man in law, or a woman to marry a woman. However, there will be no certainty as to rights to property, since the concept is not recognised in a system of laws of equity, or with wills or trusts where settlors and testators may not have intended such a result.For example, who should get the money as beneficiary in the case of as of a will or trust instrument containing such a clause similar to that used in various Chancery cases:

“a settlement made on or for the wife or children of the settlor of property which has accrued to the settlor after marriage”.

In the case of a man marrying a man,how should the courts approach the intention of the settlor or testator?

Should the money go to children, a former (female) wife or the male partner whom a male beneficiary has married? Similarly, in the context of settled land how are the courts are going to construe words like “marriage”, “ husband” or “wife” in future and even the word “or”? The issue is further complicated by the fact there are at least three ways of interpreting a statute or a clause or provision which may contain words like ‘husband’ and ‘wife’.

Who is the husband and who is the wife in a same sex union? How is this to be determined? What is the status of decided cases in which these words appear? Can they be relied on in the future?

This is merely illustrative of some of the problems ahead for the beneficiaries of trusts and estates if same sex marriages become legally possible.It rather looks that if gay marriage becomes a reality, Chancery lawyers will be the ones getting rich, whilst those who enter into same sex marriages be putting their assets at risk, in the event of any dispute that goes to law for determination.

Alan Murdie, the law seems pretty clear in such contexts in terms of civil partnerships, so quite why there would suddently be problems in terms of same sex marriages I don’t know.

pagar,

the problem is your arguments are posed by you against a background of people opposing gay marriage ostensibly because it would lead to the evils of polygamy, incest, bestiality and whatnot.

Therefore when you mention any such things and even though you say you wish the state to withdraw from marriage altogether, because people should be free to do what they want, you will be suspected of arguing disingenuously because you oppose the bill. Particularly as you do not seem to empathise with the desire of same sex couples to have a marriage that is officially recognised.

What is on the table is a bill that allows same sex marriages and allows people to marry same sex couples. There isn’t a bill about anything else nor have any amendments been made in good faith to support anything like your position but rather to wreck the bill. That is not your fault but that is the context in which you make your arguments. Hence the antagonism to your position expressed on LC.

160. Robin Levett

@Alan Murdie #157:

For example, who should get the money as beneficiary in the case of as of a will or trust instrument containing such a clause similar to that used in various Chancery cases:

“a settlement made on or for the wife or children of the settlor of property which has accrued to the settlor after marriage”.

In the case of a man marrying a man,how should the courts approach the intention of the settlor or testator?

I think, with the very greatest respect possible, that it would have been more helpful had you made clear that this wording is lifted not from a trust document but from section 42(1) of the Bankruptcy Act 1914, dealing with the circumstances in which a settlement within 2 years before bankruptcy may be avoided as against the trustee in bankruptcy.

It would also have assisted understanding had you acknowledged that the problem already arises where the bankrupt is a woman who has settled property on her husband. The answer is a very simple one, and applies equally to the case of a same-sex marriage. I leave it as an exercise for the student to identify the answer.

@ UKL

the problem is your arguments are posed by you against a background of people opposing gay marriage ostensibly because it would lead to the evils of polygamy, incest, bestiality and whatnot.

Have to say that’s news to me. My point is a simple one.

There are a myriad of different types of relationships all of which are entirely valid (providing they are voluntarily entered into).

I have no problem whatever with gay relationships which, in my view, are as valid as any others and it is up to those in such relationships to define them as they wish. Or even just to carry on enjoying them.

Most gay couples do not agree with the attempt, by some, to stridently garner approval from politicians and the rest of society for their relationships.

To do so is unnecessary and belittling.

pagar,

I do not suggest you oppose the freedom of same sex couples. I am saying that your arguments here bear some resemblance to those opposed to the freedom of same sex couples. I am not saying you are arguing from the same position as them.

You do not have a problem with same sex couples but many people do. Many people do not want them to enjoy the same freedoms that different sex couples enjoy. Same sex couples are currently prohibited from marrying. That is what the bill under discussion is attempting to put right.

Most gay couples do not agree with the attempt, by some, to stridently garner approval from politicians and the rest of society for their relationships.

I do not know why you say “most”. I have seen no evidence to support that. In any case it seems irrelevant to me. Some same sex couples want to get married and they currently cannot. That is the issue at hand, not your utopia where state has withdrawn from marriage or where consenting adults are free to do as they please, but the circumstances we are in at present.

163. Chaise Guevara

@ Robin

“That’s not what he said… The “even if it’s not legally binding” bit, that is.”

He did say it. The previous guy asked if the law prohibited religions from conducting SSM, and he said “that’s right”.

I’m very glad it’s untrue, though. Because that way lies, well, madness. A non-binding religious marriage is basically a priest saying “As far as I’m concerned, you’re married”. That’s not something you want to ban or force by law.

164. Chaise Guevara

@ 159 ukl

“the problem is your arguments are posed by you against a background of people opposing gay marriage ostensibly because it would lead to the evils of polygamy, incest, bestiality and whatnot.”

I am personally incensed by the evils of whatnot. Like censorship, it is a vile philosophy and all who advocate it should have their writings burned.

165. Robin Levett

@Chaise:

The law prevents a religion from marrying a same-sex couple by sayng that any such “marriage” has no legal effect – that is, it is not legally binding.

I didn’t realise non-legally binding marriages were under discussion!

167. Bugger (the Panda)

You have missed out that the SNP MPs did not vote as this is not a UK wide Parliamentary issue affecting Scotland which has its own legislation in Parliamentary progress.

I note that a slew on Scotland based MPs voted on a matter that should be no parliamentary concern of theirs. It is a disgrace and an affront to democracy, both North and South of the Border, that these people are allowed to do what they did.

The West Lothian question really is a problem for the Unionist Parties.

So, as far as I can see, there’s no clear reason why a person should be prevented from marrying his dog, his sister or his table lamp. Consent on the part of the dog or the table lamp doesn’t come into it, any more than it comes into the decision to buy a dog, or move the table lamp over there. If we take the arguments for gay marriage as given, there can only be unprincipled objections to marriage of any sort.

Not only is there no clear reason why a person should be prevented from doing these things, a moment’s googling confirms that they have all in fact happened:

http://www.thechronicle.com.au/story/2010/12/01/man-marrys-dog-city-first-toowoomba/

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/family-and-relationships/love-objects/article1259075/

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1315307/Ive-married-sister–having-second-baby-Siblings-defied-law-plan-start-new-life-abroad.html#axzz2KIcxWYGk

I am not going to comment on whether I support the idea of same sex marriage or not, because it becomes infinitely circular.

From a purely legal perspective, which I am at least qualified to comment on, the Bill is not a good one. It genuinely looks as if it has been drafted by a first year commission researcher. Not good, and will cause problems far in excess of what people realise (many unrelated to the idea of same sex marriage).

I sincerely hope that it is tidied up before being passed.

170. Shatterface

pagar:

Would you be bullying me if you refused to agree that our relationship status could be defined, or described, as “married”?

It depends – would your dog have the rights to half your property and to bid for custody of your children only if you were caught having full vaginal sex with another dog, or would it be able to sue for divorce if another dog merely licked your balls.

I’m assuming you have considered these issues before considering marrying your dog otherwise your comment looks rather fatuous. Maybe you should just keep the relationship casual and stick to fucking it and buying it flowers.

171. Shatterface

Most gay couples do not agree with the attempt, by some, to stridently garner approval from politicians and the rest of society for their relationships.

Even if that were true and not something pulled out of your arse it only takes one gay couple to want to get married: if the other millions of couples don’t want to get married that’s their business.

I’ve never understood the mob thinking behind the idea that yiu should only be free to do something if you have the permission of people who will not be effected by your freedom in any way.

172. Robin Levett

@Shatterface #170:

I’ve never understood the mob thinking behind the idea that yiu should only be free to do something if you have the permission of people who will not be effected by your freedom in any way.

It’s particularly odd coming from purported libertarians.

A wise man once said that social engineering comes in two stages: The first stage, which is, “What could possibly go wrong?” and the second stage, which is, “How could we possibly have known that it would go wrong?”

On this thread, the only reasons put forth as to why a person should not marry anyone or anything are essentially unprincipled quibbling. It’s like saying gay people shouldn’t be able to marry because then who would get the last name, etc.

If marriage is to be a private affair with no implications for society in general outside the parties involved then it surely is impossible to argue against any form of marriage.

From there it is only a short jump to not having the state recognise marriages and, beyond that, getting rid of marriage as an institution altogether.

174. Chaise Guevara

@ Robin and UKL

Cheers and cool.

175. Chaise Guevara

@ 173 vimothy

Allowing anyone to marry anyone would mean breaching consent and probably justifying unpleasant relationships (of the “man served by his harem” variety). That’s not unprincipled quibbling.

Personally I don’t give a damn if people want to marry their dog or their chair. It’s not like the dog or chair will know the difference.

Funny how all those who argued against gay people being able to marry the partner they love because it would destroy marriage, are now trying to bring up every conceivable half-arsed mendacious thing they can think of as to why marriage should now be destroyed.

‘If queers can get married we shall strive to pick up our ball and go home with it!’ Should have been their rallying cry from the start, if they had any honesty.

@ Shatterface

Maybe you should just keep the relationship casual and stick to fucking it and buying it flowers.

Not a bad idea.

Maybe we all should follow this policy and then the government would not seek to interfere by attempting to codify personal relationships.

178. Renie Anjeh

I am a supporter of gay marriage, and it is great that a Conservative Prime Minister (who supported Section 28 and opposed gay adoption) has now accepted Labour’s action on equality and has taken it to the next step. However, the term ‘The List of Shame’ does not do any justice to the pro-gay marriage argument. Many MPs have strong religious views on the matter and believe that in their conscience they cannot support something that would change marriage from being between and a man and woman. They also fear about what might happen to their faith in a few years down the line, so have decided to vote against. That is their religious right and we should respect that. Turn your fire on those homophobes who use their dormant faith as a cover for their prejudice, which dominates some of the Tory backbenches, but do not lump people into the same category. Btw, many of the abstainers (like Gordon Brown) had other commitments so they could not be in Parliament to vote for the Bill.

This is kind of dumb? Why can’t they decide against it if they really want to. I’m all for rights, but at the same time they had the right to vote against it, and that’s what happened.

Typical of you that can’t both to list the fact that Jenny Willot had not long given birth to her 2nd child and that is why she did not vote.

Jenny is a supporter of equal marriage and said so here http://jennywillott.com/en/article/2013/657408/jenny-willott-mp-welcomes-equal-marriage-bill

181. Benjamin Thomas

You should differentiate between those who didn’t vote because they were choosing to abstain, and those who couldn’t vote because they couldn’t actually make it. Norman Baker (LD – Lewes) was in France on government business and Jenny Willon (LD – Cardiff Central) was giving birth at the time. There are probably more.

When I worked for Roger Williams, I met Norman Baker (had an office with a common entrance next to Roger) and Jenny Willot (briefly).

I will echo what others have said: you should make it clear that you are not equating e.g. Norman Baker with e.g. Nicola Blackwood (my MP, who did not vote because she is a cowardly homophobe).

Oh, and marriage is a secular institution. Religion is not a valid reason for opposing gay marriage.
http://www.mightymightymixtape.com/2013/02/05/on-why-gay-marriage-has-nothing-to-do-with-religion/#comments

Even if that wasn’t true, religious opinions do not receive legal protection simply by virtue of being religious opinions. In other words, the fact that you object to something because your religious has no relevance to the legal rights of others. That’s not (only) my opinion; it is the opinion of Lord Justice Laws.


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