davegodfrey: South Park Me. (Liff)
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Its been a slow day at work, so I've been watching the Grauniad's feed of the debate in the House of Commons. Mainly because I heard Charles Moore on the Today programme being mind-bogglingly stupid, and I had to check that he wasn't just a complete idiot they'd dragged off the street, and those opposing the bill actually had some sensible reasons for opposing the bill.

Apparently for Charles marriage is all about shagging and having kids. So anyone who can't have kids, or doesn't want them shouldn't be married. Nor should people who don't like sex be allowed to get married. Except they should because it would be "open to the possibility", but same-sex marriage isn't. Unless of course the woman has had a hysterectomy, so that argument doesn't work either. I do see his point that marriage these days may be more about the wedding than the actual relationship. But that says far more about the willingness of individuals to enter into agreements without due consideration than it does about what shape genitals they have. In which case Las Vegas has probably done more to harm the institution of marriage than the homosexuals will.

So far I've been disappointed.

"Sir Tony Gale: There is a way forward. It has been suggested but it has been ignored. I do not subscribe to it myself but I recognise the merit in the argument, and that is this; if the government is serious about this, take it away, abolish the civil partnerships bill, abolish civil marriage, and create a civil union bill that applies to all people, irrespective of their sexuality or their relationships, and that means brother and brothers, sisters and sisters and brothers and sisters as well. That would be a way forward. This is not."

I've thought for a long time that it would be a good idea for some sort of civil union that allows two people in a mutually caring relationship to form some sort of legal partnership, so that, for instance, they can defer paying inheritance tax, so one doesn't lose the house they were living in when the other dies, such as in the recent case of the two unmarried sisters who lost their appeal to the European Court. Should they be exempt from inheritance tax? Perhaps not, but I see no reason why, as long-term mutual dependents, they shouldn't be able to defer payment."The absence of ... a legally binding agreement between the applicants renders their relationship of cohabitation, despite its long duration, fundamentally different to that of a married or civil partnership couple," I am not aware of any legally binding agreement the two women could have entered into.

Sadly I suspect this is not what Sir Tony had in mind.

"Craig Whittaker, a Conservative, said it would be better for the government to create a new category of marriage called state marriage. That could replace civil partnerships, and it would allow gay people to be married without undermining religious marriage"

Given that the CofE and the Anglican Church in Wales are expressly forbidden from marrying same sex couples and no religious institution or minister has to marry a same-sex couple if they don't want to, then I'd say that's not far off what we've got. We just haven't given them the same names. Alternatively, perhaps we should have state and religious marriages, and only state ones confer the legal benefits. Allegedly this is the situation in France. Again, I don't quite think that's what he was getting at.

Nadine Dorries continues to be an utterly vile and completely clueless individual.

"This bill in no way makes a requirement of faithfulness from same-sex couples. In fact, it does the opposite. In a heterosexual marriage a couple can divorce for adultery, and adultery is if you have sex with a member of the opposite sex. In a heterosexual marriage a couple vow to forsake all others ... A gay couple have no obligation to make that vow because they do not have to forsake all others because they cannot divorce for adultery. There is no requirement of faithfulness. And if there is no requirement of faithfulness, what is a marriage? "

I'm pretty sure a heterosexual couple don't have to vow to forsake all others if they don't want to. Plenty of people are in open marriages, and of course because adultery is defined as having sex with a member of the opposite sex that you aren't married to you can't sue for divorce on the grounds of adultery if your husband leaves you for another man. So its a pretty restrictive requirement of faithfulness, even if only the straights can get married isn't it? Of course most sensible people would be suing on the grounds of unreasonable behaviour. But then Mad Nad hasn't made a career out of being sensible. I was hoping that someone would have tabled an amendment to redefine adultery so that it does apply to people sleeping with members of the same sex, which would handily shut these people up, but that doesn't seem to have happened.

"Stewart Jackson, the Conservative MP for Peterborough, said he was opposed to the bill. And he said he objected to David Lammy implying that those opposed to gay marriage were similar to those who opposed civil rights for blacks in America in the 1950s."

Poor little mite. Did the nasty opposition MP hurt your feelings? Tough. Because the people who are opposing this bill are similar to those who opposed the Civil Rights movement. Specifically the ones who wanted to keep the miscegenation laws.

"David Burrowes, the Conservative MP for Enfield Southgate, said the bill was about redefining marriage. It was a redefinition that downgraded marriage, he said.
He said he had been subject to death threats because of his stance on this. MPs who oppose the bill have been called homophobes, Nazis or bigots, he said."

I deplore the death threats, but the description of MPs opposing the bill as homophobes and bigots is perfectly accurate. Also, I'm pretty sure we started downgrading marriage when we allowed people to get divorced, stopped putting people to death for adultery, stopped thinking of women as property, that sort of thing.

"Matthew Offord, the Conservative MP for Hendon, said all previous attempts to allow gay marriage have led to marriage being defined. He suggested that this could lead to marriage being redefined to include polygamy. In the Netherlands three-way relationships were now acknowledged under cohabitation agreements, he said."
And what's so bad about that pray Matthew?
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davegodfrey: South Park Me. (Default)
The Evil Atheist Your Mother Warned You About

November 2013

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