same sex marriage

SO! Same sex marriage! Second Reading! 400 votes to 175! Today is a truly great day for LGBT people in Britain. The last form of de jure discrimination is falling.

It’s been less of a great day for David Cameron, who saw more Tory MPs vote against the bill than vote for it. And that is quite sad, really. It’s sad because it means that a majority of the Tory Party believes that it has an electoral winning strategy based on discrimination and enforcing inequality. UKIP has recently been trying very hard to reinforce this notion and drag David Cameron away from just one more game of Fruit Ninja or face the mass haemorrhage of disgruntled Tories to Nigel Farage’s grinning arms. Their most recent tactic is to try to capitalise on the outrage among religious conservatives at the introduction of gay marriage. And that’s even more sad, because at least when Liberal Democrat MP Sarah Teather disgracefully voted against the bill, she at least did so on grounds of conscience, rather than blatant political opportunism.

My feed was filled with comments recently from friends shocked that 500,000 people turned out to protest the same sex marriage proposal by President Hollande in France. While I am disappointed that so many people turned out on a social issue yet had nothing to say about rampant economic inequality, I can’t bring myself to think badly of people who just want to stick to marriage-as-baby-incubator model that we’ve had in Europe for a very, very long time, John Boswell’s research on medieval gay marriages notwithstanding. I can understand people being uncomfortable by same sex marriage on grounds of tradition, rather than homophobia, though I don’t agree.

I used to agree, actually.

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The person identified as Salford Conservative in this article would like it to be known that he did not appreciate in the recorded conversation below that I was making a distinction between “gay” and “equal” marriage, as he was using them interchangeably, and that he will avoid this conflation in future. He further states that he does not believe that the Conservative Party is legislating for religious same sex marriage and his comments at no point implied that they were.

 

So, I got into a rather bizarre dispute over same sex marriage the other day with a Salford Conservative and one of his friends who it turns out is actually the Deputy Chairman of  a Manchester Conservative local party. They were mocking the fact that a local Labour activist had told one of them that the Tories didn’t support equal marriage. I pointed out that this was true, as the Conservative Party policy is to support civil, and not religious, same sex marriage (the Labour Party support both, btw. So do the Lib Dems. Interestingly, the Green Party doesn’t. What an odd pairing).

But they wouldn’t believe me, and said that the Tories would support same sex religious marriage the same they would civil partnerships.

I pointed out, again, that the Tories have proposed same sex civil marriage, which the Church of England claimed would fall over immediately at the European Court. And noted that the Lib Dems are running a campaign to include same sex religious marriage in the upcoming bill. They would hardly be campaigning for something that is already happening.

They wouldn’t believe me. Indeed, Mr Deputy Chairman said “we do not oppose same-sex marriage. Any suggestion to the contrary is utter nonsense.”

So I quoted David Cameron, you know, the Tory Prime Minister, stating his proposals affect “what happens in a register office, not what happens in a church“, and the Conservative Party website, which describes its policy on marriage as “We are allowing those religious premises that wish to do so to register civil partnerships and we will consult next year on how to introduce same-sex civil marriage.” [emphasis mine] [click to continue…]

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When It’s OK to Oppose Same Sex Marriage

July 9, 2012

Orthodox Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks found himself on the front page of the Jewish Chronicle this week for, unsurprisingly, being against gay marriage. Or actually, having put his name to a response to the government consultation on same sex marriage by the London Beth Din, the Orthodox religious law court. In response, the Jewish Chronicle […]

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