Sunday, 18 March 2012

Two Queens On The Throne and Other Stories

Join me on a journey through some of the interesting, supportive and crazy articles and comment pieces in the media over the last few days!

Let's start with this one from the Sun. Gay marriage law means 'there could be two Queens' on the throne. No, they aren't suggesting Elton John and David Furnish might suddenly be in the running for a promotion. This story actually deals with an interesting question, one the Daily Mail has also picked up "The Honourable David Furnish? Gay partners of knights and peers may be given courtesy titles in latest equality drive". What are the more blue-blooded and well-honoured LGBT folk's spouses to call themselves? It's interesting, to me at least, because it'll bring into sharp relief the question of such titles in general and the lopsided way they are applied. The female spouses in opposite-sex marriages tend to take the males titles but not the other way round. Will this debate be avoided or are we heading for a major change? It's extremely interesting to imagine and I do hope it's not brushed under the carpet but dealt with in a thoughtful and innovative way.

The Daily Mail has been foremost among the newspapers opposing equal civil marriage, and one of the arguments advanced is that marriage means something unique and shouldn't be applied to a relationship other than that between a man and a woman for the purposes of procreation. So an article about civil partnerships today made me smile. "Gay prisoners to marry inside some of Britain's toughest jails... as long as they pay for the ceremonies themselves". I thought marriage wasn't for the gays??

Over at the Express group we have two very different comment pieces this weekend. In the Express we have Nigel Farage offering yet another non-libertarian argument against marriage equality. Apparently, it's all Europe's fault. Who'd have guessed?? In the Star we have Sally Bercow. Not only does she argue for civil marriage equality but even goes further to demand religious marriage equality. Nicely balanced Express group!

Brian Sewell offers a very confused argument about an imaginary policy David Cameron has that would introduce religious marriage equality. Yet another case of "It's alright to be homophobic if you're gay" perhaps? It's funny how the gay men against this stuff have to make a big deal about being gay as if that makes their opinion worth more than anyone else. Isn't that what the right wing accuse us of doing? Tut tut.

As we head towards actual legislation I think the questions raised (on consummation, adultery, titles etc.) will become ever more interesting and far more wide-ranging than some of us realised (although the antis understand that at least and like to chirp about how complicated it all is at every opportunity) and the antis comment pieces will become even more unhinged and inconsistent. Fun times ahead.

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

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