Saturday, 19 February 2011

The Language Of Homophobia: From Summerskill To Leigh

Way back in July 2009 we had Ben Summerskill saying, in arguing against marriage equality,:

'"Well, the issue on marriage is that again, there are a lot of vocal supporters, but the thing they've always focused on is actually the real rights and entitlements. As I said, we know there are quite a lot of gay and lesbian people who wouldn't want marriage, and some have explicitly said so. I think Antony Sher [the gay actor and playwright] gave an interview a while back where he said 'If it was marriage, I wouldn't want it. It recognises what's special about me and my partner.' And we know there are lots of lesbians who actually don't want marriage."'

Two years later we have Edward Leigh, Tory MP and homophobe, pointing out the same issue in his arguments against marriage equality:

“Why must they also have the language of marriage? No doubt because it is an important symbol to them. But it is also an important symbol to many other people. Must the religious and cultural heritage of the whole nation be overturned to suit the demands of a minority even of the gay community itself?”

I'm sure there's no direct link between the two but isn't it concerning that the head of one of the biggest LGB rights organisations believes pretty much the same stuff as a social conservative? Very worrying indeed.

As for Edward Leigh's other arguments, they are all derived from the usual rubbish spewed by US social conservatives. He really needs to get some new arguments. If marriage equality is on a slippery slope to polygamy and bestiality, then marriage itself is the start of that slope. The argument is so stupid it hurts my head to even consider it. And does he not know there already plenty of countries where marriage equality exists and these things HAVEN'T happened???

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Thursday, 17 February 2011

The Announcement

So, today we got the announcement that we'd all been expecting. Religious civil partnerships will be allowed to go ahead following last year's consultation. And another consultation was announced regarding the future of marriage and civil partnership equality.

Nothing to get excited about there then. I know, people are gushing about how great this is. But seriously... we're limping towards the finishing line here. However, to keep us amused I assume, we have had a few "hilarious" moments this week.

In position three... we have Ed Miliband calling for further progress on marriage equality. Not only is he from the party that so singularly failed to introduce any moves towards it but he's not always been so positive.

In second position... oh how the might have fallen. My respect for Michael White has plummeted after he suggested only those able to procreate should marry. That is a terribly out of date argument that's been defeated time and again. What was he thinking???

And in first place... Ben Summerskill. I'll leave you with this headline from the King of BS, please do not laugh too hard:

Government is ‘painfully slow’ on gay marriage

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Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Frustratingly Daft Response From Church Of England

You know I'm no fan of the Government's plans for religious civil partnerships. But the reaction from the Church of England to the proposals is complete nonsense.

The Government plans to open up the ability for those entering into a civil partnership to have religious readings, texts, etc at their wedding and perhaps even hold it in a religious setting (such a Liberal Synagogue). It is not forcing religions to change their beliefs or coercing them to perform civil partnerships. Yet the reaction from the Church of England would appear to suggest otherwise.

Here's the latest:

The Bishop of Blackburn, the Rt Rev Bishop Nicholas Reade, says his churches will not be used for same-sex ceremonies.

And he has criticised proposals for a change in the law, believed to have been drawn up by Liberal Democrat equality minister Lynne Featherstone.

No problems there, each to their own and all that.

Bishop Nicholas said: I find it quite hard to understand why the government should think it can interfere with the teachings of the church.

Sorry, come again???

Church and state are not the same thing, and I am very surprised that without any consultation with the church the government is making such a sweeping statement.

Erm... failing to see the point here. The Government should have consulted with the Church before allowing OTHER RELIGIONS to have the choice to perform civil partnerships? It makes no sense!

But Bishop Nicholas, whose diocese covers the whole of East Lancashire, said it was not the governments role to make the change.

Bishop Nicholas views echo an official statement from the Church of England, which said it would not allow its churches to be used.

It's not the Governments role to make something that is illegal legal?? Then whose role is it?? The Church of England does not have the authority to create legislation that's binding on other religions and the non-religious does it?

Bishop Nicholas is a fool. And I mean that in the sense that he is obviously stupid. And when I say that I mean he is so intellectually deficient that I find it quite bizarre that he has reached the position that he has. But then again he is in an organisation that believes in Virgin Birth.


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Sunday, 13 February 2011

The Gay Marriages That AREN'T

I apologise for my absence. My other half has been very ill of late and I've been quite focussed on looking after him, rather than political commentary. However there's one subject that will always draw me back; marriage equality in the United Kingdom.

The Telegraph has got a set article on marriage equality that they fiddle about with every few weeks and rerelease. Last night they did it again under the title "Gay 'marriages' to be allowed in church"

This is their favourite "scare the Christians" stuff, but of course it's not even half as dramatic as they state.

This announcement will be about civil partnerships being allowed to use religious wording and to be held in places of religious worship.

I hope, pray, that the further idea they mention, of civil partnerships just having their name changed to "marriage", is one that exists only in the fevered minds of journalists. If this was a debate on semantics I would not be having it.

We must, MUST, be fighting for actual equality. For the same rights and privileges afforded to heterosexuals under marriage, under the same legislation. Anything else would just be ridiculous. If it was "renamed" would heterosexuals be allowed civil partnerships? Would transgendered people still need to dissolve a "same sex marriage" to get an "opposite sex marriage" and vice versa?? Would pension rights be equalised just because the name has changed? It would add yet another level of uncertainty and complexity to the issue rather than solve the problem clearly.

I await Lynne Featherstone's long awaited announcement regarding civil partnerships with trepidation.

If you feel benevolent and particularly generous, this writer always appreciates things bought for him from his wishlist