Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Scotland For Marriage's Anti-Marriage Equality Campaign Begins Today

Today saw the launch of a new anti-marriage equality campaign in Scotland, backed by a number of Christian organisations.

They've launched a website, and held a rally outside the Scottish Parliament. As well as generally opposing individual rights, they also wish to ensure those rights are dealt with by a referendum rather than through Parliament.

The typical "slippery slope" arguments are available on their website's front page proclaiming marriage equality might lead to (cue shocked hush) POLYGAMY! Of course why whether someone wants one partner or several is any of their business is not discussed.

Given that such an organised campaign is now in motion against marriage equality in Scotland, I've done my bit and donated £5.00 to their opposite numbers at Equal Marriage. I urge you to donate to them and, even if you don't live in Scotland!, even more strongly urge you to respond to the Scottish Government's consultation using their rather handy form. Whilst a majority of negative responses may not have any effect on the Governments response (as per this response in Westminster to receiving a majority of negative responses to the relgious civil partnership consultation), it can't hurt. The more positive the response the stronger the argument, so get typing! Individual responses will be even better.

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Sunday, 27 November 2011

It's Time: The Best Marriage Equality Ad Yet

Every time I watch this ad I'm reminded of exactly why marriage equality is so important. 

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Religious Civil Partnerships: Group Rights Versus Individual Rights

On December 15th, the question of allowing civil partnership ceremonies to have a religious character will be debated in the House of Lords. Baroness O’Caithan and her allies state they wish to protect religious organisations from being forced to hold civil partnerships under equality laws. And to do this they will attempt to ensure religious civil partnerships cannot go ahead.

I'm no fan of religious civil partnerships and I find equality laws often do more harm than good, but I can't feel even a modicum of sympathy for this political maneuver in the Lords. It's fairly obvious that if the problem is equality law making it more likely some churches will face legal action for not holding civil partnerships then the simple thing to do is to amend those laws offering them an even clearer opt-out than has already been suggested. This is yet another wreaking motion from O'Caithan and the other homophobes in the Lords designed not to protect religious freedom but to fight LGBT freedom at every turn.

Here we have a clear case of group rights (for the LGBT community) that are protected by law being used in a way that was unintended but pretty predictable. The individual members of the LGBT community suffer. Religious freedom and sexual freedom needn't be mutually exclusive, but sadly the Equality Act appears to be forcing a choice of one over the other. So let's amend it, and make sure people who want their civil partnerships blessed by Thor or any other diety can do so without forcing any religious organisation to do something that goes against their beliefs.

We already have one religious impediment to marriage equality (the implications for the Church of England mean religious marriage equality is extremely unlikely whilst it remains our established church), but if the Lords overturn religious civil partnerships we'll have another major issue to overcome when the consultation begins in March. Let's hope the Lords see sense and throw out this blatant attempt to undermine religious freedom and LGBT equality next month.

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Thursday, 17 November 2011

It's Been A Long Time (For Prop 8 Too!)

It's been a month since my last post, and no it's not just you political folks I'm ignoring. I've suddenly gone off blogging across the board. It happens, I've been blogging for over ten years and there are times when one just cannot be bothered, and other times of frenzied activity. I no longer worry too much about it, but apologise for being away! Don't expect this to be my come back either...

Whilst the British marriage equality fight is currently in a "consolidate the forces" phase as the Holyrood and Westminister consultations begin to get going, in California the long stalled Proposition 8 trial is back on today. The opponents of marriage equality have been given the right to defend Prop 8 following the state authorities decision not to do so.

If they hadn't have been granted this right, Californian same sex couples would've been able to marry without further rulings. This might sound like this move is thus a defeat for marriage equality but it actually means this moves the subject one step closer to the US Supreme Court. Now that will be a battle worth fighting.
Here in the UK, whilst all might seem peaceful, the Catholic church is preparing for the fight. After a few opening salvos in Scotland, they are preparing "the message" ready for the big fight in the first few months of the new year. Next week there is a event entitled "Gay Marriage and the Common Good" to help keep everyone on message. They are getting ready. I do hope you are too.

I think LGBT people need to prepare to feel the full wrath of the Church, with every news story on marriage equality quoting offensive stuff about how unnatural and evil we are. We might think we are used to this thanks to the sort of things you see in the Daily Mail and the Daily Telegraph. But the Catholic Church takes marriage equality very seriously indeed, and shall make sure their nasty views get into all sorts of media outlets we would normally not expect to see them in. Just think of how bad Sunday Morning Live is, and then imagine that sort of stuff on BBC Breakfast, Channel 4 news, every radio current affairs shows and even on Comment is Free. That's what we've got to look forward to in 2012.

Fun times lie ahead.

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