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> Gay Marriage, MPs vote next week
Simon Kirby
post Feb 2 2013, 12:59 PM
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MPs vote next week on Gay Marriage - see the bill. It's a free vote so MPs will be voting with their conscience and not along party lines.

The act will give same-sex couples some of the same rights to marry as those enjoyed by opposite-sex couples, but intolerant religious groups will still be free to discriminate against gay couples who want to marry in their buildings, and the Church of England specifically will not be free to host a gay wedding even if the parish priest wanted to.

Dear Mr. Benyon

I'm married, and have been for the last 26 years. My marriage, and the public celebration of the committment that it signifies, has and will always be the single most significant act of my life. I can't imagine how intolerable it must be for other couples to be denied that same recognition of their love and committment for no better reason than their common gender.

I'm not happy that the discriminatory views of the religious have been protected in the Bill. No one has supernatural authority for their point of view, and this debate has made it clear to me that the disestablishment of the Church of England is well overdue.

Please support the Bill.


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NWNREADER
post Feb 2 2013, 01:06 PM
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I am ambivalent, but mystified as to the haste with which this legislation is being pushed through - not just here but in other countries too.
Certainly in the UK I wonder why it has such priority. I am suspicious it is nothing to do with 'rights', much more to do with enabling other political objectives. I have no doubt it will be passed, I have doubt it will be what people anticipate
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Strafin
post Feb 2 2013, 03:20 PM
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It's ridiculous, it is an affront to a free society, and I believe is purely being pushed through to get the liberals on side with those voting yes.
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Simon Kirby
post Feb 2 2013, 03:52 PM
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QUOTE (Strafin @ Feb 2 2013, 03:20 PM) *
It's ridiculous, it is an affront to a free society, and I believe is purely being pushed through to get the liberals on side with those voting yes.

Not sure I understand your comments. You're saying ending discrimination is the affront to our free society?


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Strafin
post Feb 2 2013, 04:18 PM
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Yes, by forcing private groups and individuals to do things that they don't believe in, you create a bigger divide in society. For example, should I be allowed to use a mosque as a Christian to pray to someone other than Allah? Should I be able to attend female only events such as breast feeding groups? In an ideal, tolerant society, we would encourage groups to accept each other and come of ether on their own terms. To force the issue compounds the problem.
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Strafin
post Feb 2 2013, 04:19 PM
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I don't believe it is discrimination.
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Strafin
post Feb 2 2013, 04:19 PM
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I don't believe it is discrimination.
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Simon Kirby
post Feb 2 2013, 04:31 PM
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QUOTE (Strafin @ Feb 2 2013, 04:18 PM) *
Yes, by forcing private groups and individuals to do things that they don't believe in, you create a bigger divide in society. For example, should I be allowed to use a mosque as a Christian to pray to someone other than Allah? Should I be able to attend female only events such as breast feeding groups? In an ideal, tolerant society, we would encourage groups to accept each other and come of ether on their own terms. To force the issue compounds the problem.

Religious groups d aren't obliged to allow anyone to marry in their buildings, but if they provide the service why should they be allowed to discriiminate against same-sex couples? As it is Bill isn't forcing religious organisation to marry same-sex couples, they are free to continue their discrimination if they wish, and the Church of England is not allowed to choose to marry same-sex couples even if it wanted to. What the Bill is doing is allowing same-sex couples to marry in civil ceremonies, and in religious ceremonies if the particular church wants to allow it.

And it is discrimination - it's when you treat one group of people differently because of some characteristic that you don't like or approve of.


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NWNREADER
post Feb 2 2013, 04:36 PM
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Neither do I.

There are very few, if any, benefits from formal marriage. I do not think this issue is really a desire by Govt to promote equality.
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Strafin
post Feb 2 2013, 04:39 PM
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But "marriage" and the term "marriage" is a religious thing. Civil partnerships, which are already recognised in law are the same thing aren't they? Just called something different? So this is, it seems to me wholly unnecessary. Therefore he only reason for it seems to be to get one over on anyone who is against gay marriage, nothing more.
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Simon Kirby
post Feb 2 2013, 05:11 PM
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QUOTE (Strafin @ Feb 2 2013, 04:39 PM) *
But "marriage" and the term "marriage" is a religious thing. Civil partnerships, which are already recognised in law are the same thing aren't they? Just called something different? So this is, it seems to me wholly unnecessary. Therefore he only reason for it seems to be to get one over on anyone who is against gay marriage, nothing more.

No, marriage is a cultural thing, it most certainly isn't owned by religion. I was married in a civil ceremony, and I defy you to tell me that my marriage is worth any less for that! Marriage was only fairly recently co-opted by religion, it has always been a civil estate. "Civil Partnership" is a legal state that we invented to give gay couples the same legal rights as married couples while preserving the discrimination of denying their relationship the style marriage. It was a fudge, and it was wrong. This Bill puts right that injustice, though it does still allow religious groups to discriminate.


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NWNREADER
post Feb 2 2013, 05:50 PM
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The lawyers will get rich on all the extra divorces.
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motormad
post Feb 2 2013, 09:47 PM
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Interesting topic.

I think it boils down to, you should have the same rights as a gay person that you do as a straight one when it comes to marriage or civil ceremony, if you want a marriage that's your choice.
Gay marriage/partnerships also has a much lower "divorce" rate per 1000 as well.

That being said, an interesting point is made RE marriage not having any benefits or meaning as such... What does it, really, does "I do" change the relationship?


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Strafin
post Feb 2 2013, 10:07 PM
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I think you're missing the point slightly Simon, I am not suggesting that any one relationship is worth any more or less than another. What I am saying is that a civil partnership has the same status in law as a marriage, but it's different. Therefore it has a different name, because the church has the "franchise" (for want of a better word) on marriage. That's it, it's simple and not worth getting all that excited about, however because the gay community is trying to push this so hard, it has become a bigger issue than that.
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On the edge
post Feb 2 2013, 10:17 PM
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Lets just follow the French example, all marriage is in effect civil, at the town hall. If you want anything else, that's up to you/


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Turin Machine
post Feb 2 2013, 11:24 PM
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QUOTE (On the edge @ Feb 2 2013, 10:17 PM) *
Lets just follow the French example, all marriage is in effect civil, at the town hall. If you want anything else, that's up to you/



Indeed, and a jolly good system it is too!

What is of more concern is that we were promised tax breaks for married couples in the Consrvative manifesto, that has now gone the way of all such promises in favour of an incredible amount of parliamentry time in pushing through the gay marriage bill, all so the goverment can woo the 'pink voter' and show the electorate just how jolly well in touch they are with modern Britain in the hope of seeming to be 'right on'.

Very few conservatives welcolm this diversionary tactic in the middle of one of the worst financial crisis suffered in living memory. Froth and Bubbles as dear Pater use to say.


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Simon Kirby
post Feb 3 2013, 12:36 PM
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QUOTE (Strafin @ Feb 2 2013, 10:07 PM) *
I think you're missing the point slightly Simon, I am not suggesting that any one relationship is worth any more or less than another. What I am saying is that a civil partnership has the same status in law as a marriage, but it's different. Therefore it has a different name, because the church has the "franchise" (for want of a better word) on marriage. That's it, it's simple and not worth getting all that excited about, however because the gay community is trying to push this so hard, it has become a bigger issue than that.

No, that's not right. The church doesn't have the franchise on marriage. Marriages can be conducted on any number of premesis. I was married in a Register Office.

The Bill now allows same-sex couples the same right to marry. Same-sex couples have had the right for some years now to a virtually identical ceremony that created all the same legal rights and obligations, but to appease the intolerance of the church they weren't allowed to call it a "marriage". The Bill puts that right.


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Exhausted
post Feb 3 2013, 12:40 PM
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QUOTE (Turin Machine @ Feb 2 2013, 11:24 PM) *
Indeed, and a jolly good system it is too!

What is of more concern is that we were promised tax breaks for married couples in the Consrvative manifesto, that has now gone the way of all such promises in favour of an incredible amount of parliamentry time in pushing through the gay marriage bill, all so the goverment can woo the 'pink voter' and show the electorate just how jolly well in touch they are with modern Britain in the hope of seeming to be 'right on'.

Very few conservatives welcolm this diversionary tactic in the middle of one of the worst financial crisis suffered in living memory. Froth and Bubbles as dear Pater use to say.


If a hetro couple want to get married in a religious environment then they can shop around. I would bet that 90% of the couples that are married don't go near a church during their day to day life and that like divorced persons, particularly Roman Catholics, then there are establishments where they cannot marry. As for gay marriages or gay civil partnerships, if that's what they want then that's fine. If the CofE or the Catholic church want out of the loop, then that's fine as well as far as I'm concerned. If it's infringing the rights of the gay couple by refusing them, it's also infringing the rights of the priest who is duty bound but not morally bound to conduct the ceremony.
If there are religious grounds, that are within their interpretation of their Bible, or whatever else they use, then that should be a strong enough reason for the community to stand back. Other religious groups interpret things differently and we uphold their personal difference. For example the Jehova's Witnesses who do not believe that they should accept blood. The only time the law might intervene is if a child is involved.
As you say, the government blowing smoke. I think gay partnerships are fine as it doesn't bother or affect me but I am a bit uncomfortable with gay adoption, but another subject no doubt and for which we may expect some discriminatory legislation.
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lordtup
post Feb 3 2013, 01:16 PM
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It is like the old adage of which came first the chicken or the egg ?

Did a religious service of marriage supersede the civil ? Research on the matter is a little thin . We know there were ceremonies for those in high places but when did the hoi polloi get involved ? At what junction did the two become intertwined in order for a common outcome ?

The point is , has the church more or less right to dictate who should and who shouldn't marry and by whom ,and does the state have a mandate to interfere anyway ?

Like a lot of things is it more a case of both sides making up the rules as they go along and when it suits to do so. rolleyes.gif


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On the edge
post Feb 3 2013, 01:39 PM
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QUOTE (lordtup @ Feb 3 2013, 01:16 PM) *
It is like the old adage of which came first the chicken or the egg ?

Did a religious service of marriage supersede the civil ? Research on the matter is a little thin . We know there were ceremonies for those in high places but when did the hoi polloi get involved ? At what junction did the two become intertwined in order for a common outcome ?

The point is , has the church more or less right to dictate who should and who shouldn't marry and by whom ,and does the state have a mandate to interfere anyway ?

Like a lot of things is it more a case of both sides making up the rules as they go along and when it suits to do so. rolleyes.gif


That's quite interesting! I suspect the primitive relationship was simply a matter of nesting and survival. The ecclesiastical authorities came later and put the formality round it. Our tradition is probably enshrined in the original prayer book words where marriage was designed for the procreation of children and not to satisfy man's carnal lusts. During the nineteenth century, family law became much more the province of the state. Arguably, today its the State definition of marriage that counts.

In real terms its simply a personal partnership contract, which is formally recorded and can only be terminated via the State's laws. This latest bill probably double underlines that. In effect, it nsays to the Church, you can keep what ritual you like, we, the people, own and define marriage. So that's really an end to it.

If people are upset about the Church stance on this, then join the church and campaign to get heir rules changed. So its a wholly different issue and I can't see why anyone who is not a member would even be interested. After all, if you are a Church member and want to marry according to their conventions, you still can. Indeed, there are some branches of the Church that wholly embrace the change anyway. Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's and to God that which is God's.

So then, all this new law is doing is confirming that the State owns marriage and that it can only exist between just two people. No religion in there at all.

I must say, I'm rather surprised because this bill does not deal with all the issues that presently exist with marriage. For instance, no mention is made of what is often termed common law marriage, and it still keeps the numbers involved at two. This latter point is a serious issue for some, but I suspect its tied up with the tax problem.


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