Gay marriage

On occasion the case for a proposal is strengthened by the nature of the arguments used against it.  This is notably the case with the Government’s proposals to allow people of the same sex to marry.  I was recently reading the Church of England’s response to the Government consultation on the subject.  Today, I received a pamphlet from a body called ‘Keep Marriage Special’ which managed to be even worse.  

The opposition advanced by the Church is remarkable for being ahistorical and apparently devoid of any awareness of what is happening in the rest of the world.  It is not clear why all the dreadful consequences predicted if gay marriage is permitted in the UK have not befallen those states which already allow it – including European nations which, like the UK, are signatories to the European Convention to Human Rights.  The ‘Keep Marriage Special’ pamphlet has shades of Rick Santorum in saying that if same-sex couples can marry, there is no reason not to open up marriage to more than same-sex couples.  ‘Polygamy, polyandry and incest would all be permissble’.  No they wouldn’t.  This just demonstrates the sheer vacuity of the arguments being deployed. 

I could go on – and probably will….

About Lord Norton

Professor of Government at Hull University, and Member of the House of Lords
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102 Responses to Gay marriage

  1. ladytizzy says:

    Let’s face it, Christians came late into the whole marriage/God thing.

  2. Chris K says:

    More importantly, does anyone know the difference between ‘pamphlet’ and ‘leafet’?

    Actually, I suppose that could be a metaphor for the difference between a Civil Partnership and any potential same-sex ‘marriage’. Change the name, do the same?

    Isn’t this really an argument over how one defines a word, rather than on anything substantive?

  3. Princeps Senatus says:

    Dear Lord Norton,
    Do you believe that this argument will play into the hands of those who would like to abolish the role of bishops in the House of Lords? I hope not. I speak as a non-Christian who wishes to retain a moral voice in the Lords.

    • Lord Norton says:

      Princeps Senatus: I doubt if it will do the Lords Spiritual much good and it may well harm the standing of the Lords, especially if peers are inclined to follow them in the views they take.

  4. Jonathan says:

    The Church seems to think it owns marriage. They say if the definition of marriage is changed, it will undermine the role of the established Church. Are they not aware that we already have civil marriages? If I get married, two things will be for certain: it will be to a woman, and it won’t take place in a church. God and the Church will play no part in my wedding. I do not like the implication that even when people choose civil marriage, it is somehow still a union that is sanctioned by God. They can keep their noses out of it.

    Actually, I would probably prefer a civil partnership to a marriage, as the latter comes with far too much baggage and an expectation that a wedding will be a huge event for extended family costing a fortune. Unfortunately, that won’t be allowed under the proposed changes, and that’s the one part of the proposal I can’t support. How can the law be changed in the name of equality only to leave yet another glaring inequality in its wake? Or is it a case of equality only mattering when applied to minority groups?

    If I didn’t make it clear enough: either civil partnerships should be abolished once gay marriage is allowed, or alternatively both should be available to everyone.

    • maudie33 says:

      This constant reflection on what marriage means is a game played to deflect the populous from what is really important in politics. The state of the economy is dire and here we are taking time out about something only 2% of the population will ‘not’ benefit from one way or the other, as we already have a right to civil partnership for gay people.

      However, forcing the Church, or any other club, to change the rules it set itself up with, surely has to be illegal under law. Because, unless they are to destroy the concept of ‘freedom of religion’ or ‘freedom of association’ altogether and which is written into the act regarding human rights, then that is what this discussion is challenging. If I do not choose to associate with a certain group of people, as their lifestyle doesn’t match mine, and to avoid this association, I join a club set up that protects my beliefs in what they call a religion, what is wrong with that? There lies the dilemma. Because what has happened is, people who do not follow that religion, or, practice what the other club members feel is in line with their rules, say, they too must have the right to change the expectations of members of that club and force them to accept other beliefs which run counter to their own. And this is regardless of what they believed to be club rules when they joined. In such circumstances, you must first ask ‘why these religious discontents would want to join a club they do not see as in step with their beliefs or modus operandi.’ What could be the aim in all of this pressure to push themselves into something that goes against the grain? The only answer to that has to be to make it into a club they want to belong to, by changing the rules to suit them and not to fit with original members. That then comes down to the real motive of the State wanting to remove the right to self determination under the guise of equal rights, as that is the last thing the State wants, equal rights. For equal rights allow the human being to freely practice a religion or have the right to freedom of association without being open to abuse by that same State. And abuse is what this demand on the Church to change it’s rules is. It is the attempt at removal of freedoms given protection within the human rights act..

      This is akin to the cuckoo who doesn’ want to build his own nest. And why would that be? Well, could it be there iare not enough members likely to want to join? So it is felt the only way to get rid of the club, is to force it to accept a practice that goes against the very core of its spritual being. Something so fundamental to it, that very few of the existing members will accept as a change. Thereby wiping the club out in one easy step.

      What all you people will not discuss or even make any acknowledgement to, is, will other clubs of a similar ilk be forced into accepting association with non practicing members? Islam for example? And if not, why not? What is the difference between the rights of association for one club but not for another? Will we see gay marriages taking place in mosques?

      We are either free to practice a religion or we are not. We have the freedom of association or we do not. The State cannot legislate homogeny, as that removes the freedom of diversity. And to bring in a law that forces a religion to change its rules, goes directly against the Human Rights Act.

      • Lord Norton says:

        maudie33: You appear to have swallowed the nonsense being spouted by the Church of England. Marriage is a matter of law and no religion is being required to do anything it does not wish to do. There is nothing in the proposals that affect how people practice their religion.

      • Jonathan says:

        maudie33: Who is saying the Church should have to change its rules? I think the Church and every religious organisation has the right to decide who it wants to marry. What I object to is them dictating who should be able to marry in a civil ceremony, or implying that a civil wedding still has religious connotations.

        And really, can we stop using the argument, “We need to fix the economy so we shouldn’t be making laws on anything else at all.” The whole country can’t grind to a halt and politicians spend 100% of their time discussing economic matters. Anyway, the time spent on gay marriage is minuscule compared to all the huge amount of time wasted discussing Lords reform.

      • Croft says:

        “We have the freedom of association or we do not”

        You don’t have it now – try opening a club that debars members on the grounds of race and see how long that lasts.

      • Jonathan says:

        Croft, you have a strange idea of “freedom of association” if you think it means freedom not to have to associate with people you don’t want to.

        That aside, your assertion is wrong. “An association (except for a political party) may, if it chooses to, restrict its membership to people who share a protected characteristic.”

      • JH says:

        Jonathan: Fair point but you haven’t taken account of Para 1 sub-paragraph 4 of Schedule 16 to the ‘easy-to-read’ and ‘lay-person friendly’ Equality Act 2010! (Colour is excepted from the permission.)

      • Jonathan says:

        JH: Croft wanted to set up a club for members of a certain race, not colour. The law would allow this.

      • Croft says:

        Entirely my fault for typing without re-reading. I was meaning to quote the colour rule. And yes I do think freedom of association (in the context of a club) does mean “freedom not to have to associate with people (the club doesn’t)… want to”

      • JH says:

        Jonathan: Indeed, but see s.9(1) Equality Act 2010 – “(1)Race includes— (a)colour; (b)nationality; (c)ethnic or national origins – so to be pedantic it only partially allows it!

  5. Pingback: Gay marriageGay Norfolk

  6. Croft says:

    “there is no reason not to open up marriage to more than same-sex couples”

    I’m not sure why polygamy is illegal. If people want two wives (and both wives know!) I’m not clear why that is any of my or the state’s business. Indeed the only difference between the positions seems that while gay discrimination is now frowned upon other discriminations are still socially acceptable.

    • Lord Norton says:

      Croft: One could certainly advance that view, but my point is that if one extends marriage to same-sex couples that does not mean that it is or will be extended to other types of relationship.

      • Croft says:

        True but it is irrational to decry one form of discrimination while collectively shrugging or indeed supporting, as many do, other forms.

        Rather reminds me in the parliamentary context of catholic emancipation. You had peers and mps granting sitting rights for catholics while going through the lobbies to vote down the same rights for jews/dissenters/atheists .

      • Lord Norton says:

        Croft: A good deal of our law is based on discrimination. It is not necessarily a case of shrugging one’s shoulders, but rather having reasons for engaging in such discrimination. I would, for instance, support the lowering of the age at which one could stand for election, but not the age at which one can vote. I believe I can make a clear case for that distinction or, if you like, that discrimination.

    • Jana says:

      “I’m not sure why polygamy is illegal. If people want two wives (and both wives know!) I’m not clear why that is any of my or the state’s business.”

      It is neither clear why polyandry is illegal…

      But if you want two wives, and can afford them to know about one another, mightn’t it be best to fight the one battle at a time.

  7. maudie33 says:

    Of course you digress. What I was saying was, why do gay people, or the state, feel that marriage, that vow between a man and a woman, which is sacred under their God, and which they are entitled to believe as a human right, should be performed in religious context, by people who belong to a religious club, on those who do not believe in the religious rules of that club they are demanding concedes to their wishes. Add to that the very fact this will force those who believe in their religion and the rules by which it adheres to, to flee in force, for the ceremony they honour will have been violated by a blessing in which they cannot partake, as it goes against the beliefs of their religion to do so.

    The horror of this act of force, goes so far against the rights of the human being to freedom, it takes the breath away. And under the human right of equality this is not a reqirement as Europe has already made clear.

    Put it to a referendum. But you will not, because you know full well the British public are against this. And yet, you want to force them to live with it. Not simply Christians, or is it? I cannot get a reply to that, can I?

    It brings us back to dictatorship. Rule by force. Political correctness is pressed on the population by force. Which means it is against our collective will. And this force by the State goes against the Human Rights Act.

    Again, I ask, will Mosques also be force to perform this ceremony under Allah?

    And, Lord Norton, I know nothing of what the Church of England is putting forward. I am not a practicing Christian. However, I do understand the concept of religion and the depth of emotional connection people have to it. And this is what the State wants to destroy.

    David Cameron and the Conservative party implied that should they be in power, they would not comply with this act. Why have they changed their mind? Don’t blame the coalition, that is a smokescreen for they have the majority. The EU has declared this was not meant or required by them, so who or what is the ideology behind this? Are we all to be as Thomas More, and thrown in the dungeon for fleeing from the clutches of such leaders who would demand so much of us?

    Political correctness is madness. Why are, what appear to be sane men in our Parliament, going along with such hypocracy? For this is hypocracy. Freedom is not forced obedience. Democracy is not forced legislation. Democracy cannot flout the will of the people the way we are being forced to do so. And the Bishops know full well that forcing them to do this, will be all but finish them. They are fighting for all of us to keep religious freedom.

    • Lord Norton says:

      maudie33: The survey evidence, first tapped by a poll some years ago but reinforced by the most recent poll, is that there is public support for same-sex marriage. About 70% of respondents support it; even among members of faith communities it is nearly 60%. And the proposals don’t force people to do something they do not wish to do. It is not clear why the outcomes you predict have not happened in those nations which already permit same-sex marriage.

      • maudie33 says:

        Then if you believe that Lord Norton, put it up for referendum.

        Because I do not believe this to be accurate and neither do most of the people I speak to. They do believe in the freedom of same sex partnerships, and they believe that same sex people should not be criminalised or treated in any way other than equals in civil society.

        Where the line is drawn, other than the matter of same sex adoption, is on the issue of being ‘forced’ to accept the Church must perfom a religious blessing for a relationship that does not adhere to the one man one woman practice. That is the separation. And that separation means that men and women, in the majority of our society, still keep the light burning in believing their connection to each other for procreation of children is special to them.

        And you trying to move the goal posts to make it appear as if I am saying something different is a clever political game. Only, please do remember, our citizens are canny creatures who see through this kind of banter very quickly.

    • Lord Norton says:

      maudie33: Churches are not being forced to undertake a religious blessing. In fact, no one is being forced to do anything they do not wish to do.

    • Dean B says:

      maudie33: You are continuing to state that churches will be forced to bless marriages under the new proposals, despite several people having corrected you. It is not the case. Will you please look up the facts and withdraw this misleading assertion?

      • maudie33 says:

        NO, I certainly will not look it up. For I do not believe it will stay that way. Just as the Christian couple in their little B&B were persecuted I believe this will be the same with this matter.

        And please do not ever tell me what I must say or do. You can suggest, you can point out what you believe is my inaccuracy or failing but you can never demand I do anything I don’t freely choose to do.

  8. maudie33 says:

    As a footnote:

    If it is a matter of law, Lord Norton, then a civil partnership meets all requirements. This is not a matter of law, it is a matter of faith and belief in that faith and its rules. The State wants to smash that faith and have chosen this as the method by which to do it.

    • Mrs Wheldale England says:

      It isn’t a matter of faith at all. No Christian groups or any religious groups will be required to perform these marriages if they do not wish to. That is clearly stated in black and white in the proposals. This is a legal matter completely removed from religion, it is merely that some people view it through a religios lense.

      Where is your evidence that the State wishes to ‘smash faith’? How, if these proposals do come to fruition, will ‘faith’ be destroyed. People will still believe in their faith and will still go to church. The Archbishop of Canterbury has made it clear the church of England will not perform gay marriages, so the day to day business of the CoE will not change one iota. (Although this discussion does remind me of a chat I had with a friend whose father was in seminary at the time studying towards being a CoE vicar. After a visit there to have dinner with his classmates she remarked to me ‘I didn’t know any gay people, before I met the vicars’ as it turned out her father was the only heterosexual of the bunch.)

      I don’t even see how religious marriage will be undermined by gay marriage. If one Christian man commits adultery he has violated the traditional Chrisitian view of marriage. This doesn’t undermine his neighbours religious marriage or make Other couples any less married somehow.

      States that truly wish to smash faith have significantly nastier ways of going about it and there are many religious people around the world who truly love with the threat of persecution.

      Also there are many people of faith who do believe in gay marriage. As a committed Buddhist and happily married women I believe that no one religion has the right to define what does and what doesn’t constitute a marriage. Secondly I believe that marriage is a hugely important stabalising influence for society and that encouraging gay marriage will provide emotional and financial security for many.

      A civil partnership is not exactly the same legally as a marriage in some respects. Civil partners are not required to conduct their ceremony publically or hold a ceremony at all. They can be carried out privately. This is a significant difference. Marriages are carried out publically because they are public statements. Society is required to take notice and to respect the union. While many gay couples do opt for a public ceremony, the fact they don’t have to reduces the power of that statement.

      Those who have a partnership cannot legally refer to their other half as their husband/wife In legal documents.

      More to the point there is more at stake then whether or not civil partnership offers the same legal rights as a marriage. When I married my husband it wasn’t just about legal rights, it was about making a commitment to the man I love and having that love recognised by the world. Why should people who are citizens like me, who fulfil their civic duties as I do, who pay their taxes and work hard for their communities be denied the right to call their love a marriage simply because they happen to love someone of the same gender?

      There was a survey recently which asked people what made them British. One of the most popular responses was a sense of fair play. It’s only fair after all.

    • Dean B says:

      maudie33: It is neither a matter of law nor faith – simply equality.

      • maudie33 says:

        @MrsWheldale England:

        Your first line is the line all people who have little interest in democracy, majoriity rule or the rights of others to refuse and not be persecuted for that refusal. Let us examine the persecution of the elderly, heterosexual Christian couple in Devon who were forced to open their litte family B&B where they lived, and where their grandchildren stayed, to people who took them to court for refusing to put themselves through such an event. They were prosecuted and forced to accommodate a pair of gay men in a bedroom they didn’t wish to offer.them. Didn’t they? Whatever happened to those little wall plaques that used to be on display telling all and sundry they had the right to refuse an applicant without reason. Has our equal rights obsession removed that right from us as well?

        And so no matter what government tells the country, they will use this as a another step toward removing the rights of anyone who does not approve of gay marriage being blessed into their faith or within their club buildings. Nothing is sacred to those who want to use a deviant method of destruction, which I believe this is. And indeed it is a matter of faith, to those who have the faith which clearly you do not and cannotto acknowledge or understand it other than to offer ridicule.

        Why on earth doesn’t the homosexual lobby insist the State do its duty toward them and set up a Church for their particular form of partnership and a special blessing from their understanding priests who wish to officiate? Thereby saving those who do not want to participate and feel they are being hijacked by force to do so? That would be a splendid move foward equality, don’t you think? As you wrote, there are so many of them who have infiltrated the Churches, under a disguise, in order to conceal their natural leaning and in so doing, terrified the people of that Church, along with their children, therefore, there should be no shortage of men and women who would welcome such a change on their behalf and be ready to participate with a whole heart. It would be a most welcome solution for so many I’m sure.

        And if you don’t feel that is a good idea, then why not? And as far as your take on the State not wanting to smash the Christion Church is concerned, it is quite clear that systematically they are doing just that. tSo many people have left the CofE to join the traditional Catholic Church, as that Church, or club, has refused as far as they can to accommodate what is being pressed on them by the State. Those who belong to their club want to maintain their rules within that club and in order to accommodate their equal rights, this has to be upheld. The state went so far as to force them to close down adoption agencies for children who are so difficult to place, as they could not in conscience place vulnerable children in an enviroment they felt they couldn’t condone.

        Which brings me back to the schnide remark you made about so many homosxuals being part of the Christian Church. Do you believe or know if those homosexual priests, who used children within that Church so horribly, had presented themselves on application for the role of front man to their congregation as homosexual? Or, had they been deceitful and played this terrible game in the closet. As so many did in schools. Most especially boys schools.

        The equal rights you so ardently insist on, for your particular crusade, must consider that equal rights is a banket policy. Not simply for those with a bludgeon to ride over everyone elses rights in their quest.

      • Lord Norton says:

        maudie33: It is difficult to know where to start. This is dreadfully confused, especially in your rather notable failure to distinguish between paedophilia and homosexuality in your concluding comments (and I am not sure there has been much evidence of the former in the Church of England). You create a succession of non sequiters and rather give force to the opening comment in my post on the subject. The argument is so desperate that it makes people more determined to support change. If the law is changed, the sun could fail to shine tomorrow or we could all be struck down by bolts of lightning. You cannot prove a negative, so it always difficult to deal with people who claim x will follow y even if there is no reason why they should. You still have not addressed why the dire consequences you prophecy have not occurred in those nations that do permit same-sex marriages, some of which have permitted same-sex marriage for some years and in some cases are notably more religious countries than the UK.

        Opinion polls are somewhat more representative than talking to one’s friends and colleagues and, as been pointed out, there is nothing requiring churches to do something they do not want to do; though the proposals do prevent some churches doing what they want to do and that is provide blessings for same-sex weddings.

      • Jonathan says:

        maudie33: no the B&B owners should not be allowed to refuse to accommodate people if the reason for refusal is one of prejudice. Would you like to go back to the time where guesthouses said “No blacks” or “No Irish” on the door? The law is quite clear about what the Protected Characteristics are, on the grounds of which you are not allowed to discriminate against people. In my mind, no decent person would want to turn someone away purely on the grounds of anything on the list. Businesses have the right to refuse to serve whoever they want to the maximum extent provided for by law. But as they say, customers’ statutory rights are not affected, so the reason for turning someone away can’t be anything on that list. Someone’s whim or prejudice can’t be allowed to trump the laws that most people agree form part of an inclusive and tolerant society.

    • Mrs Wheldale England says:

      In response to Maudie33

      I am a person of faith, I am a Buddhist. I never assumed you were of any faith and believing whether you were of faith or not was not one of my considerations when I responded to you.

      I mentioned my friends experience with her father’s colleagues not to be snide, but to illustrate that the CoE is literally a broad church. There are within it many homosexual members of the clergy and their followers. Nor have they denied their sexual orientation when applying to be vicars, it just wasn’t considered important.

      I highlighted this because it is inaccurate to suggest that faith is being undermined by these proposals, not just because churches will be clearly excluded from the legislation, but because many of the CoE own members are in favor of the legislation.

      I also wanted to highlight that marriage is not the legal or moral invention of any of the Christian churches. As an idea it belongs to many faiths and many cultures, which gives us the right as a culture to redetermine how we wish to apply it in a secular way.

    • Dean B says:

      With regard to your reply to my comment above, my suggestion to you starts with the words “will you please..” which I do not believe constitutes my “telling you what you must do”. (Indeed your retort to me is less polite and more like an instruction).
      We have all noted though that you have subtly changed your argument from “this is what is proposed”, to “this is what will eventually happen”. Had you got your facts right to start with you wouldn’t have been forced into such an embarrassing climbdown.

  9. franksummers3ba says:

    All and Sundry,

    You who are sundry surely know who you are. It seems homosexual marriage is the key issue of our time. Surely some marriages are gay whether heterosexual or not and, as the other fellow said, all marriages at least ought to be about the same sex after a while — the unfamiliar is given up in favor of the comforts of the same in the sexual realm. So let us consider calling the issue homosexual marriage.

    It seems to me the context of this issue is a sign of true and absolute depravity not in that some homosexuals want to marry their intended lifelong lovers but that societies doe not see the issue in ways that show the physical act of coitus open to reproduction as central to the married state. Of course myriad exceptions occur and in a vast variety of ways but the act that shapes the union still dictates the suitable partners. Of course so much of civilized law on filiation and other matters is already gone. So is ritual largely absent I attended a large and lovely ritual for a Profession as a Consecrated Virgin Living in the World this weekend. She had another attendant beside her as she renounced having children of her own and living with a men she was attended by other young women with similar ideas, there were nuns there and monks and celibate priests and married couple and divorced bitter old coots like me. But her life such as it was was one of my lifestyles building its own capital not invading someone else’s social assets. The mind is dead. What comes of long divorce from the natural order is everywhere evident. Polyandry is rarely desired and there are many regularized states allowing structured multiple near consort partners for some women which are short of polyandry which are desired. Polygamy in the West could be understood in a fulsome context and properly legislated but not given the name or could be permitted or continuously less permitted (the actual truth) and is an entirely different issue.

    Ancient and Classical Greece and the Hellenic world are often seen as great homosexual celebratory realms but actually they were very diverse societies united in some ways as Greeks where one could safely move and might possibly become a citizen but certainly a resident of a new polity. Some forbid most homosexual practices and others held a philosophy that allowed that people were born heterosexual, male homosexuals or Lesbians and all must find their significant other to be happy and have sexual relations with them in that context. But more or less none of these thousands of societies over time provided general access to marriage for homosexual couples.

    The disestablishment and suppression of monasteries in the United Kingdom ended a regime in which many people with homosexual inclinations (and others not so inclined) built communities where homosexual privacy could be achieved and life could go on but it did not assault the prerogatives of marriage. The truth is that freedom is always about exclusivity. It is also about inclusiveness and it is an ongoing struggle. This is also a domestic issue which in classical political science ought to be decided by domestic regimes and have little international life as an issue or in the case of Germany or the US should be decided by States and Lander for example. But that is not what is going on. It is in fact a part of the continuous smashing down of all things and the declaration that having them standing never mattered anyway. In some countries this goes with a social leveling which is less complete in the UK.

    In summary, yes I am proud to be the bad American who tells homosexuals in England that their desire for marriage to each other is envy-driven, shallowly selfish and aberrant. There ought to be stronger institutions for them to harbor in of varied kinds but not this one. Secondly, England and the UK ought to be able to politically decide this and the recourse ought not be that they will never be criticized but that they can dismiss such criticism out of hand. Unfortunately a uniform oppressive horror of a few institutions available to everyone under the thumb of superstates is now called liberty and is utterly vile and choking what is left of Western civilization to death. Thirdly I applaud the CoE for defending marriage. Very likely I would not agree with much of their campaign but it is laudatory that they make the effort.

    I seldom confront Lord Norton’s expressed opinions here or in LOTB quite so head-on. I do so aware of the many layers of sensitivity of the topic and the relative difficulty of achieving anything in the dialogue worth recording in such a matter. However, I never hesitated to use mere words and neither do any governments, alliances or corporations seeking to communicate their ideas and values…

    I truly believe our civilization to be more dead than alive and this is only one of many facts confirming me in that opinion…

    • Lord Norton says:

      frankwsummers3ba: I am not really able to discern in what you write an argument against same-sex marriage. The argument about procreation has been dealt with by rather a lot of people in the debate (and if that was what marriage was all about, Croft would probably have a stronger case for pursuing the argument for polygamy) and civilisation seems to be surviving well in the nations that permit same-sex marriage – not to mention certain states in the USA.

      • franksummers3ba says:

        Lord Norton,
        In the fundaments of your last assertion we disagree: “civilisation seems to be surviving well in the nations that permit same-sex marriage – not to mention certain states in the USA.”
        I do not think civ. is doing well. The white birthrate in itself and as a figure for a particular set in generic civilization is below replacement levels almost everywhere. Human habitat expansion per se is dead for almost a thousand years and it is decades since we tried ay really modern version. Ancient Christian communities long in trouble are disappearing, political culture in much of the world is only bought off the shelf and is mostly meaningless and all this goes on in a stressed environment. I could go on but let me just say I have been writing about a crisis of civilization for decades and have yet to be discouraged from continuing…

      • Mrs Wheldale England says:


        It seems to me that you are confusing equal rights with the dictionary definition of the word equality. An equal right is a matter of justice. It is giving that legal right which is already granted to some citizens to all citizens. This is what would occur if gay marriage were to be made legal.

        You say there are thousands of compelling reasons for preventing gay marriage but in my view you have yet to present us with one.

      • franksummers3ba says:

        Lord Norton,
        This and the next post are meant to address you comment on the studies. I do not know for sure where this comment will appear. The link in this comment is to an article by Newsweek’s online afiliate relating to the issues of publishing duch studies and what some of them say. The next comment will be picked up by most spam testers because numerous links in one comment are usually seen by computers as spam. I hope you will let it through when it gets to you. It has six links.

        I feel we are nearing the end of the fruitful pursuit of this disagreement in this venue but I will try to stay engaged until theat is universaly felt.

    • Mrs Wheldale England says:

      I don’t understand your argument. How can demanding equal rights be selfish?

      Also you give the impression that gay marriage is being imposed upon us undemocratically. It isn’t, the legislation is undergoing exactly the same democratic process as all other pieces of legislation. If people don’t like it they can protest, contact their representatives to express there disapproval and vote for representatives who appose gay marriage.

      • franksummers3ba says:

        Mrs Whedale England,

        I don’t understand your argument. How can demanding equal rights be selfish?

        Equality is neither good nor evil, it is not justice nor injustice. It is not fairness. It is only equality.

        If I demand an equal share of your paycheck, an equal right to conjugal rights with your spouse, equal access to your larder and an equal go at disciplining your dog that is no affront to equality. It truly is not and many societies have allowed such things. It is an affront to justice.

        That isolation of equality as a value is all that need be understood. Simple but challenging as it is in these brainless years of the dark. However, there is no very simple line dividing what can be shared out equally and what cannot. The total system must measure itself and then be measured by all, by the wise few, by history and so forth. It is possible to say that surely everybody ought to have a go at being Queen, or nobody should, or it ought to be as it is in the UK. It is possible to speak thus, but the “surely” is not proper if one means there is an obvious answer without explanation to satisfy all. Marriage does not belong to homosexual couples for thousands of compelling reasons. But in a world of blind thieves it does not make me as angry as it would if they had invented blind thievery. Using the dog park as rugby field is not evil in the same way as spraying bullets into the crowd at the park for fun is evil. But using the dog park as a rugby field does ruin the park as a dog park.
        The issue is really very complicated and this is a comment on a blog post. Not ideal for solving the very complicated problems of life and social theory.

    • Mrs Wheldale England says:


      It seems to me that you are confusing equal rights with the dictionary definition of the word equality. An equal right is a matter of justice. It is giving that legal right which is already granted to some citizens to all citizens. This is what would occur if gay marriage were to be made legal.

      You say there are thousands of compelling reasons for preventing gay marriage but in my view you have yet to present us with one.

      • maudie33 says:

        How do you see equal rights as equal when quite clearly it is not in this case here. The club existed and had rules by which the people who belonged to that club did so because of their belief in that club and its ethos.

        For the State to then take up an equality cause, whilst removing the equal rights of members, is ridiculous. It is persecution. Nothing less.

        Lets look at it from this poinr of view. The Black Policemans Association or The Asian Police Association have set up their rules under the Rights of Association and quite clearly it is for non white membership.

        Do you therefore believe a group of white men should have the right to lobby on the premis that they want to set up a White Policemans Association? That would be equality under the law, wouldn’t it? Or, that those same white men should insist they be included in those clubs that oppose their membership?

        And if you don’t feel they should, then why not? Equality after all is the name of this game, isn’t it? That same equality that is proposed across the entire population to enjoy.

        And so you don’t go making the same mistake as, Lord Norton, when he assumed i was influenced as a practicing Christian, I am not. I am however, a person who follows the heartbeat of our freedoms being systematically removed, which started under Blair, with such a force the citizens of this country feel as if their heads are coming off. They didn’t vote for this. They were never given the option as it was fraudulently declared not to be the intention of this majority we have with the minor others. If this went to referendum do you believe it would pass? And if you do, then that is what you should be calling for. Democracy rule, by the people for the people.

        It is now clear to me that more of the indiginous people here are contemplating fleeing from these shores than did from Ireland during their potato famine.

      • franksummers3ba says:

        Mrs. Whedale England
        It seems to me you are profoundly confused. I am certain I am not confused. You do not know what an equal right is in the succinct manner you describe it because no such succinct manner exists.
        Gay marriage should not exist in the UK in or near 2012 because:
        1. Marriage has long been established for the procreation, legitimation and upbringing of children which is natural to it coital and procreative core and is not natural to homosexual acts,
        2.Children are able to understand marriage as an ideal natural to a certain procretive and nurturing stance and gay marriage falsifies and confuses children’s point of view. The preservation of their point of view in a few key areas is a survival priority.
        3. Laws against sodomy need not be completely right to have a point to set up homosexaul relations as equal to heterosexual procreative marrige is disordered vandalism of the social order.
        4.The Church of England opposes it and countless blood and treasure has been lost by many to validate their voice in related matters.
        5. The women and children who are most harmed by the usurpation of their birthright are among the people least likely and able to present themselves well in a political forum to defend their rights and position.
        6.The two opposite sexes will always continue to exist and will differ from eachother in demonstrable ways. Society has an obligation to encourage people to attempt to bridge this divide in the best and richest way possible as often as possible. Thus us true even if one believes homosexual and bisexual states of life should be tolerated in decent and private ways with some public recognition. Gay marriage assualts the core of a key social function.
        7. As bad as I view the modern world to be (and I largely despise it more every minute I live) the public is not easily capable of being fully informed of how horrible things can become for women when key institutions like marriage are thrown down by envious and politicized dveiants mostly in love with petty bigotries they cannot even detect.
        8.The practice of gay marriage is a violation of all that underlies other distinctions in Britain which grow from a kind of social covenant (even if one is no fan of Locke).
        The reasons really are countless but they all involve seeing the nature of things which is simply not much done. This is far more a case of an obscene world than merely gay marriage being obscene…

      • Lord Norton says:

        maudie33: I never assumed you were a practising Christian. There are no freedoms being removed by the Government’s proposals.

      • Jonathan says:

        maudie33: The Met Black Police Association is permitted under the Equality Act as discussed already as they clearly define membership by ethnic origin, not colour:

        “The term black does not relate to skin colour but is used to describe all people of African, African Caribbean or Asian origin.”

        So yes, if there was really a demand for it, a While Police Association would be allowed, as long as they defined their membership criteria according to something other than skin colour. Whether many white officers would feel the need to join a special association is another matter, given that they do not face the same issues as ethnic minority officers.

      • Mrs Wheldale England says:

        In response to Franksummners.

        I apologise if this comment ends up in the wrong place but the reply function isn’t appearing where you addressed me directly.

        Thank you for providing your list of reasons. We will have to agree to disagree on this one as I don’t find the vision you present to be realistic or compelling.

      • Lord Norton says:

        franksummers3ba: Your assertions are simply that (and some will be grossly offensive to some people) with little, or no, factual evidence to support them. The facts tend to be against you. There is nothing, for example, to suggest children of same-sex couples have particular problems. Encouraging homosexual couples to enter into stable, caring relationships creates no threat to society – quite the reverse – and moving from civil partnerships to marriage is no threat to marriage between heterosexual couples. As Ben Summerskill has observed, if you are against same-sex marriage, don’t marry someone of the same sex. What is being proposed complements ‘traditional’ marriage rather than threatens it. In nations where same-sex marriage is allowed, it appears to have no obvious negative effect on ‘traditional’ marriage.

        The only discernible effect your assertions have is to ensure that people like me vote for the Government’s proposals for same-sex marriage.

      • franksummers3ba says:

        Lord Norton and Mrs Whedale England,
        The oddity of this current reply function is approaching nightmare proportions for some odd reason and has discomfited me to the extent that I am venturing a joint reply to really unrelated comments. I certainly excuse Mrs Whedale England as to the posting — although double posting seems unfair given the enormous side bet Lady Tizzy and I have placed with a Swiss banker for which of us will have the most comments in the end. Clealy in matters of gross offense I find Lord Norton’s tone about the CoE grossly offensive, Mrs Whedale England’s remarks about my ideas currency are grossly offensive, the idea of homosexual marriage as policy is really grossly offensive and we can keep going from there. I was less than thrilled with all things my sometimes ally in this discussion but who proudly will know sh has often sought to offend me had to say, Not to mention Maudie 33 as more offensive than I but soetimes baiting me openly in particular. It is often said that if one wishes to avoid offense one should not discuss sex, politics or religion. If that is the case we can discuss this subject in terms of reception hall rental prices but I think that may miss the mark,.

        Lord Norton in particular:
        You state:
        1.”Your assertions are simply that (and some will be grossly offensive to some people) with little, or no, factual evidence to support them. The facts tend to be against you. There is nothing, for example, to suggest children of same-sex couples have particular problems.”
        Perhaps you ought to refer back to my alleged assertion in which I stated that I was concerned about the viewpoint of children and not children of homosexual couples.Secondly to say that children of homosexual couples have no particular problems is simply violence to language and rhetoric. The particular problems of the children of such couples surely need study just as do the particular problems of East Asians living in Idaho or Texans in Ireland and one is skeptical of the sample for the size reasons and more so here because of politics being so involved. Further the prejudices against this lifestyle may inspire the post-civilized to wish to crush the inner values of all involved to assure we are all nice to everyone while the state is not nice to whom it chooses to castigate. But all know many will tease and dislike such children. The sentence is a monument to silliness I feel.

        2. “Encouraging homosexual couples to enter into stable, caring relationships creates no threat to society – quite the reverse – and moving from civil partnerships to marriage is no threat to marriage between heterosexual couples”

        You have moved here from a kind of comment that makes me wonder how we have corresponded so long to a very reasonable statement of your case .I think you are wrong about each particular in degree. I do not think Marriage is the proper instrument for the goals you set forth nor do I agree that it is no threat to society. however, it is well stated as the very crux of our dispute.

        3.”As Ben Summerskill has observed, if you are against same-sex marriage, don’t marry someone of the same sex.”

        This is libertarian nonsense. Clearly there is a disagreement over the presence degree and nature of social harm created or avoided. The law does not say if you do not believe in purse snatching don’t snatch purses. This line of thinking is totally destructive of civilization. However, it is proper given his view of the social harm factor. Thus this should as I have stated be a domestic issue, it is as I have stated very sensitive and it will as I have stated involve a great deal of analysis to be properly determined.

        4. ” What is being proposed complements ‘traditional’ marriage rather than threatens it. In nations where same-sex marriage is allowed, it appears to have no obvious negative effect on ‘traditional’ marriage.” This is really an assertion with no basis of any kind. The effect on something deep and ancient which is in trouble by the newest wave of madness and absurdity cannot be measured yet.

        5. “The only discernible effect your assertions have is to ensure that people like me vote for the Government’s proposals for same-sex marriage.” You seemed pretty decided when you posted this topic. I also do have the occasional one of my own readership who visits your blog and I am able to discern that they also evaluate our dialogues. Thus in a world where Gay Marriage is championed by the POTUS and is a huge international issue I am able to discern another effect in writing my comments.

        If you mean to imply that I am not in the House of Lords, a British voter or eligible to contest this exact set of proposals — this was all land you held at the start of this skirmish. I take no particular offense at the tone of your remarks, It has always been surprising to me that we have communicated for as long as we have on as many topics as we have given our backgrounds, situations and many other factors.

      • Lord Norton says:

        franksummers3ba: My point was that the evidence is against you. There has been research carried out that variously belies such claims made about same-sex unions (effects on children etc) and, as far as I am aware, none that supports your assertions. There is the fact that several nations do allow same-sex marriages, have done now for some years, and with no effects of the sort you claim.

      • franksummers3ba says:

        Lord Norton,
        This and the next post are meant to address you comment on the studies. I do not know for sure where this comment will appear. The link in this comment is to an article by Newsweek’s online afiliate relating to the issues of publishing duch studies and what some of them say. The next comment will be picked up by most spam testers because numerous links in one comment are usually seen by computers as spam. I hope you will let it through when it gets to you. It has six links.

        I feel we are nearing the end of the fruitful pursuit of this disagreement in this venue but I will try to stay engaged until theat is universaly felt.

      • franksummers3ba says:

        Lord Norton,
        Here are some more sources that relate to those who do see particular problems. The truth is I think imperfect homosexauls with bad politics who live together can be better for children than an abusive heterosexual couple or an orphange. However, I cannot abide the idea that they have no particular problems when it is so patently absurd.
        Gay couples and children:

  10. ladytizzy says:

    There still remains the serious problem of legitimacy of children that are the product of civil partnerships. I believe lesbians automatically have the same rights as a married couple but homosexuals only have the same rights as an unmarried hetero couple (this maybe in the process of being fixed).

    Since Parliament is responsible for defining the rules of succession for the Crown and so the head of CofE, I presume the ultimate solution lies with Parliament. (Do changes in such matters apply to the Royal family?)

    • maudie33 says:

      @Lady T:

      i replied to your post but Lord norton must have censored it.

      Therefore, freedom of expression on the matter of civil partnerships not being able to produce offspring naturally, withour scientific intervention, is a subject we are forbidden to debate. Along with the legality of such arrangements.

      This smacks to me of the kind of country Mugabe runs. Only say what i want to hear, not what the people want to address.

      • Lord Norton says:

        maudie33: if a comment of yours didn’t appear, it is because it was never sent! The only comments not allowed recently have all been spam – and it is only with reluctance that I deleted some of those as they began with ‘Wow, what a wonderful site…’.

      • Lord Norton says:

        maudie33: I should add that no one is stopping anyone discussing not being able to produce offspring, be it by gay couples or infertile heterosexual couples. I’m not sure, though, of the relevance of the point. There were plenty of debates in Parliament when the issue of gay adoption came up, and was approved by both Houses.

      • ladytizzy says:

        Maude, we, the commenters, do not mark, nor are we judges, on others understanding of freedom.

        As a witness to the genesis of this site and LotB it would be fair to say that the job of testing whatever limits might have been in the mind of the site owner(s) was completed some time ago. Indeed, my lamentations, my acts of contrition if you will, appear in both the respective chronicles for all to see.

        Finally, no need to berate or thank me; there is no debt, or due, to honour me above those of my peers.

    • franksummers3ba says:

      Lady Tizzy,
      Ifind it annoying and tiresome that you seem to beieve yourself the most annoying and tiresome commenter. I feel that I surely am entitled to that distinction and sit just beyond you on the edges of site tolerance. But one is never really appreciated…

  11. maudie33 says:

    @Lord Norton:

    I did not confuse the one with the other at all, with regard to homosexual men in the Church abusing young boys. The reason I made more reference to homosexual males in the Church was because the vast majority of the cases were just that. I think it was 94% of the children across the world, and it was world wide, were boys between eleven and seventeen. Seemingly they had far less interest in females.

    These boys were pubic rather than children. And my point was made because of the ridicule the poster further up had included when addressing this issue. As if the club who took them in with good faith knew they were setting themselves up for this mess. Odd how no blame seems to be placed on these fanatical abusers. Its the old lets look around for an easy fall guy as this outing doesn’t suit our gay rights proposals at all does it.

    And I feel it is those who back this scandal that are the desperate, not I. The desperation is those intent on getting this past without having to confront the issue and the public full on with it. The lets keep it all in the closet lark is wwhere this has been fro far too long.

    And, yes, this is a wonderful site, as is Lords of the Blog. For all the Lords and Baronesses to take their time to do this, is quite extraordinary, as well as brave.

  12. maudie33 says:

    Lord Norton, you are very sweet and tolerant, but, I did not raise this issue, Mrs Wharfdale England did, and I responded, it went on from there.

    • Mrs Wheldale England says:

      I never raised the issue of child abuse nor did I mention the Catholic Church. I merely stated that some CoE vicars are homosexual.

      I have also in the past experienced posting a comment on this blog and never having it appear. I know it wasn’t censored because the content was very mundane. I believe that the comment section on blog may not be functioning properly.

  13. maudie33 says:

    I read through this thread again this morning and find I am distressed to realise that our government, and those who have power within it, legislate on our behalf without having the full facts or knowledge required to make judgments on matters so socially important as this is to us all. And the big issue is, when they find it has all been a mistake, who will be held accountable for those horrendous outcomes it is not hard to invisage?

    We also have to address, why we as a people have allowed such tyranny to take place? Why has government been allowed into such intimate segments of our lives when they are blind to the consequences of their actions to this extent.

    What government has the right to tell us who we should allow in our homes and in our bedrooms. Who should be forced to practice what they find abhorrant to them because those in government, who quite clearly have little understanding of what they are upholding, tell us, under threat of criminalisation, we should be doing. This is outright tyranny.

    Frank has offered genuine reseach, via links, to some of the studies on intimate matters discussed here, and yet, they are dismissed and ignored as if they do not exist or matter, as they don’t go along with current political ideals. And where did these ideals originate? By whom and for whom? And how much of it was given to the British general public to digest and vote on prior to all this legislation we hear has been taken by Parliament and agreed to?

    Here is a comment which desn’t show any study but which the majority of people in this democracy would consider common sense.

    And another.

    And these are both coming from a country that has grown in their intellectual enveloping of the new sexual crusade since San Franscisco become a ‘gay country’ so many years ago. (Yes, I do know it is a city, I used to fly there in private jets for business meeting breakfasts, so I am well aware of its ethos and its lobbying tactics) Which goes to show that what we are being pressed to accept began as a political movement in the USA and is, as I always imply or suggest, being imposed on us via that wierd and half crazed nation our leaders bow down to so nauseatingly., and worse, wish we were wholly part of.

    And our own, Baroness Deech, has a word to say. However, what a weak stand she is making on our behalf. Where did she get the idea that she should uphold such views in the first place, when one would have thought she could make a stand for what is a natural perception and common sense.

    Where does political correctness begin and end and why have we fallenl under the spell of these deviant lobbyist, who are being paid a huge sums for the efforts on behalf of the backers they work for. These groups must be investigated and their funding opened up to scrutiny by the people. Who is paying for this, and how much? And when it all goes bottoms up, who will be accountable for what they have forced us to endure?

    The public are being left in the dark and it is time they came into the light. Not via the one sided bombarment we have suffered under for some years now, but, a good look at the study, Mark Regenarus, has brought to the forefront. And why, if all the gay lobbyists feel this is so healthy for our society as a whole, does it fear any kind of scruntiny or differing viewpoint?

    As I said in an earlier post, it is not I that is desparate here, it is those who are bombastically forcing this through our Parliament in haste and without any careful consideration to its implications which must be thourougly addressed. Because, all those who don’t care for a debate on it must accept, it is a two sided story. Not a nice little package to push through on a night vote.

    • Lord Norton says:

      maudie33: You are confusing assertion with evidence. The fact that Dr Hansen claims something (see your first link) does not make it a fact. There are various articles making claims about same-sex relationships, but the ones linked to are dwarfed by the more serious volume of articles. Furthermore, they are rather confusing matters. Talking about children raised by same-sex couples is rather irrelevant to the issue of gay marriage. Same sex couples (as well as individuals who are gay) can adopt and can, and do, raise children. Whether there is same-sex marriage, or we stick with civil partnerships, makes no difference to that fact. Civil partnerships have not resulted in the horrendous consequences predicted, which seem pretty similar to the consequences predicted for same-sex marriage. People enter civil partnerships and life seems to go on pretty much as before.

      • franksummers3ba says:

        Lord Norton,
        You are now ready to be a communist. You can join the many fine people I know who are communists. You dismiss al dstinctions short of an idea which is not availabe tot eh other side and allow it only to count that way rather than the other way. Thus ignoring the possibility that civil unions are in fact really one aomong many possible concessions in an area where concessions between parties are likey suggested by the nature of a social tension. Thus only you can win because of how the game is defined this is how communists are taught to structure debates. The status quo is the the thesis it is confronted with the Marxist-communist antithesis and the conflict isended with a synthesis. After a period of timethe party recognizes that the synthsis is now the thesis and presents a slightly different antithesis creating a new thesis. This is repeated until the doctrinaire orthodoxy of the dictatorship of the proetariat is enforceable. This has largely been discredited Communist Party of China as doctrine and in Latin America because it ends in killing all thought. It is studied as part of their heritage. Perhaps it can be the new way of doing busieness for the Tories. it is quite effective for a while. In such oinear one way arguments there is always a chance to look good…

  14. maudie33 says:

    Lord Norton,

    Something is not right here with this website. Again, this morning, I put a post on here that was relevent to this thread. it was up. I re-read it to a friend whilst it was on this website and on this thread. I had several links that coincided with Franks, all of which offered research that had found homosexual marriage not in the best interests of the children involved and not in the best interests of society.

    Now it has vanished.

    If my posts are censored it would be polite to email my box advising of it, as they do on Lords of the Blog. Or, a line here letting me know this had happened.

    As I have difficulty presently, seeing the text as I write, because of the intensity of light from the screen, which is one of the reasons my spelling is not corrected as it should be, along with the spell check having switched itself off, it is not a happy feeling to find my efforts wiped out without a pointer.


    • Lord Norton says:

      maudie33: If a comment with links doesn’t appear straight away it is because (as Frank intimated in an earlier post) of the links embodied in it, which requires the post to be approved. There is thus a time lag which doesn’t apply to other comments.

  15. maudie33 says:

    Lord Norton, it ppears from your responses to the links, studies and opinions put up here, you are disinterested in anything that goes against your chosen stance on this matter. Like so many others, and not least the Roman Cathloic Church, when it ignored the sexual abuse of its children who trusted them to care and protect them, you don’t want to hear what is being shared by those who offer their truth. This is a betrayal of trust given you by your position.

    That is no way to legislate on any matter. And your claim that many countries who have had this in practice for years and nothing untoward experienced has to be nonsense. Which countries are these? First because the period factor is too short to judge, secondly because no full study has been made freely, and thirdly because, when it is done by opposing positions, and studies go counter to your objective, you dismiss them as irrelevant.

    This is the politically correct approach to a matter that is seriously going to change the social expectations of our people. Marriage is important to men and women and what it represents to them is sacred between them and their community. To reduce it to something that is outside the premis of its depth and at the same time expect it to remain seriously binding, is an absurdity.The same way none of you politicians, on both sides of the house, cared to listen to the nation when they complained bitterly and incessantly of the effects of mass immigration, you collectively chose to be infantile and pretend it wasn’t so, or, felt that those who had the courage to speak out were bigots, now we see the same taking place with this matter. And as you are a man of extremely good brain power this surprises me.

    Why bother to have a debate on any matter if the response to that debate is divided and the part not suiting you is ignored or passed over with humour or selective appreciation? In fact, if you follow that on to the next level, why bother to have a vote, if the outcome is already pre-ordained by those who run this show? That is hypocracy.

  16. maudie33 says:

    The History of Same Sex Relationships.

    Presently twelve counrties on this planet practice same sex marriage,.The first to recognise it in law was in Denmark, June 1989. Then same sex marriage was passed in the Netherlands December 2000. This indicates a very short period to change an entire ethos of sexual relationship practices on a nation who has had a differing view on this matter for hundreds of years. You woud think caution would be expected.

    But here we see a differing view albeit the dreadful religions of Christianity may have had a hand in this report. Heaven forbid a view should be offered from Christians who are the arbiters of the club being invaded.

    They claim this is a political agenda aimed at radically changing the institution of marriage itself. Which is easy to accept when you look at the figures put here of the state of society in Denmark.


    Dr Mark Regenarus has written a book covering his study on same sex reationship, marriage and children. It should be a must read for those claiming there are no difference between same sex relationships and the standard male/female practice. So, again here is the link for it.

    And last but not least a study from San Francisco.

    • Lord Norton says:

      maudie33: I am not sure what to make of the fact that I found your post in the Spam box. I wolud have thought the time involved is long enough to demonstrate that there have not been the dire consequences predicted. Indeed, there do not appear to have been any notable consequences in the nations concerned. And no one has dealt with the point I made earlier about civil partnerships.

      • maudie33 says:

        Lord Norton<

        I did not send any posts differently at any time. I go through the insane process your website managers seem to feel necessary every time. Sometimes finding my email box full from top to bottom with each post. ???? So, if it found its way to your spam box, perhaps a sprite thought it was just that, spam.

  17. franksummers3ba says:

    Lord Norton,
    I recognize that all products are designed to perform best in certain ranges of use. However, I will inform you that the wordpress notification system for commenters “feels” very liberated and happy to do whatever and whenever it wants when one gets to this level of commentary on a post — just thought you should know….

  18. maudie33 says:

    Odd it disappeared again

  19. KenBatty says:

    This thread started with Lord Norton saying that the extreme views of those who hold a certain position can undermine it so much that it makes the case for the other side. Reading through these threads above makes his point.
    I believe gay people getting married does not undermine marriage. What evidence do I have? The fact that no one has ever produced a genuine case of a straight couple either not marrying or chosing to divorce because gay people were now offered equal treatment.
    I believe gay people marrying does not undermine society. What evidence do I have? The fact that those countries which allow it seem to be continuing as well as those that do not. And less emprical but equally valid no one has produced a sensible argument as to how it could undermine society.
    I do have a proposal for saving marriage which I guarantee would increase the number of marriages. Furthermore, it is a position that the majority of the Christian church has held for nearly 2000 years. Even better it has been the law until comparatively recently. Quite simple. Ban divorce!
    The Roman Catholics are not calling for this, though its broadly their position. But no other main stream church is calling for this and certainly not the Church of England that has at least one priest who is double divorced and yet another bishop announcing his divorce last month. I did not hear Franksummers3ba arguing for this – but then he is divorced. Like the CofE he wants to preserve marriage so straight people can destroy it on their own. This is the real issue for me. The rank hypocrisy of those who argue against gay marriage while personally destroying marriage themselves.
    Marriage and the rules that surround it, are not the sole preserve of the Church. It is a legal contract subject to law. As such it changes and adapts over time, allowing inter-racial marriage, marriage of divorcees and most recently introducing the concept of marital rape. (This last point is the most siginficant ever – the woman was the man’s property, they were one flesh – you could no more rape your wife than steal from yourself). The reality is that the rot for marriage set in when women were allowed to own property. And, as the historically minded will know, the bishops of the Church of England actively opposed that in the Lords because it undermined marriage. (They are so good with these insights its a wonder the planned Lords refoms give them any seats at all).
    If the Government wishes to extend marraige to gay people then I support it. In my view religion has no place in the argument. When I listen to the views of many in the church, and on this blog I am forced to remind myself I am an atheist – thank god!.

    • franksummers3ba says:

      Ken Batty,

      A small sound stage of shared special effects enforced virtual reality, a fundamentalist seminary or “taliban” or the salon of an elite on the way to annihilation which continues to celebrate its whit on the way to the guillotine are all types of the human inclination to find an interpretation of reality we like and simply to ignore the bulk of reality.The percentage of children being born in marriages in the west is in systemic decline. The birthrate of of indigenous peoples in Western Europe is below replacement. The prestige of many Western institutions is in systemic decline. It is quite evident to many who look at the facts that the liberalization, confusion of language and de-sacralization of familial and reproductive ideas and language are in fact destroying your civilization. Gay marriage is another shot of poison into a dying patient. It is not the most telling or important part of theis long and complete social suicide but it is part of the milieu which keeps countless couples from being married.

      It is said that thought is so completely vanished in Europe. However, it involves using syllogisms only on the right evidence and determining evidence only upon verifying the nature of things. Gay marriage is one of many of the amazingly bad ideas of our times. Its affirmation does more to undermine the social fabric than almost any simple act of legislation can do in simple terms as legislation. It is both evident and obvious. That is not to be left to two homosexuals who are in love to determine or tow who are struggling to find a way to build a life together or whatever. It may have some benefit for them but the harm to society is vastly greater. Civil unions may not be perfect but they are an outgrowth of the need for justice and fairplay in the increasing institutional desert of Western cultures. Gay marriage is something else…

      • KenBatty says:

        I disagree that gay marriage is “part of the mileu which keeps countless couples from being married”. The lead contender for that position is divorce. I notice,as a divorcee, you neatly avoided that observation in my first post. Lets get some biblical standards here – you should be stoned. Mind you, reading the opening paragraph of your post above I suspect you already are.

    • maudie33 says:

      This statement written above is one of the most ludicrous we hear so often. And utterly narrow in its thinking. I wish these people would do some honest research and take off the blinkers when at it.

      That aside, the lie that the public vote is for it needs to be addressed. For this article above tells us that idea goes against the facts.

      To pretend it is simply the churches backing this anti gay marriage call is ridiculous. Only two % of the people of this country are gay. That would make a majority of 98% other. Are you telling us that a large potion of that 98% back this politically correct move? And I don’t believe that, for a minute as I live in the real world, so, lets have a referendum, that will clear the air. Won’t it?

      • Lord Norton says:

        maudie33: “This statement written above is one of the most ludicrous we hear so often. And utterly narrow in its thinking. ” That’s not very fair on Frank!

        The survey data are quite clear: (a) over 70% of those questioned support gay marriage, and (b) among issues that affect people’s political disposition, it ranks extremely low – the only people who are exercised about it tend to be a religious minority (even a majority of people of religion support gay marriage). Although there is no definitive figure for the number of people who are gay, most serious surveys put the proportion at between 5% and 10% – the figure varies on whether or not you include people who are bi-sexual.

      • KenBatty says:

        You say of my post “This statement written above is one of the most ludicrous we hear so often. And utterly narrow in its thinking. I wish these people would do some honest research and take off the blinkers when at it.”
        Which statement?
        I made several but i never once suggested that gay marriage was wanted by the majority of people. Given the link you provide says most people don’t want gay marriage you appear to accuse me of an argument I did not make just so you can knock it down.
        Nor did I suggest only the churches were against gay marriage. I was citing the churches simply because Lord Norton’s post was about the response of the CofE. So to say I “pretend it is simply the churches” again accuses me of an argument I did not make just so you can knock it down.
        I am always interested in your views as you say some challenging things. But this time I am not sure what you are saying ……except “here is something you did not say, but I will show its wrong anyway”.

    • franksummers3ba says:

      Ken Batty,
      Art least your insult was witty. That is a bit more than one expects. People taking the position you take assume all homosexuals who care about someone want to be married or have that option. It is likely to be at least a plurality view for many reasons but it is not universal. If you expect me to sing the praises of divorce you are greatly mistaken. Yes I do love the Bible, you have got me there. I seldom cite it in these discussions. I interpret the passages from the legal code commanding that active homosexuals be stoned as part of a legal code not in effect very often and certainly not here. The Bible says the Lord hates divorce but never says divorced people should be stoned.

      Sadly I have only one beer with which to correspond with the New Dark Continent this year. I would tell you that this is all a big misunderstanding and that I would be much nicer in person but I try not to lie too much…

  20. maudie33 says:

    Ah, but Lord Norton, your poll questions producing this extraordinary result was phrased how? As I live in the real world, on the ground so to speak, I have yet to find one person, even the students I spoke to on this matter, as well as my gay neighbours, who support this proposed policy.

    So, somehow something doesn’t ring true here. Why do you feel that is? As I wrote before, the answer is referendum. Direct democracy is always the best way to go. As you can see these changes you people in Parliament make on behalf of us all, doesn’t result in only you being affected by them. It affects us all and very significantly. It is a dramatic change to our entire social expectations, and just as the right to open dogging was a disaster as the way to go, what will be the outcome of gay marriage on our freedoms of religion, association and so on? Do you know?

    One other point, what happens in one country as a result of legislation and social change, does not mean it will be the same in the UK. If it is Denmark or the Scandinavian countries you are using, then they are often different culturally to the UK and deal quite against the way we do here. Don’t fall into the trap of ‘because they are a majority white Christian population’ they are anything close to how the UK population move and shake. They are not. Look at the way they have dealt with their mass killer in Norway. Quite different to how we here would have been toward this sick man, isn’t it. Our press would have called for him to be drawn and quartered and if he wasn’t the Prime Minister would be a leftist infiltrator only fit to be a European Commissioner.

    • Lord Norton says:

      maudie33: There have been surveys by more than one polling organisation, producing the results I mentioned. They are based on representative samples. The people that an individual talk to tends not to be representative of society, but rather representative of the type of person with whom the individual prefers to converse. One thus hears supportive comments or rather comments by people whose words are interpreted as supportive or who prefer not to challenge the views expressed by the individual.

      I suspect gay marriage will cause no more disruption to society in the UK than in countries which have already introduced it, especially given that we are a somewhat less religious society than some of most of those countries. Most people in this country decribe themselves as Christian, but only a minority believe in God.

      • maudie33 says:

        Lord Norton, I don’t go along with he idea you give regarding individuals spoken to not wanting to oppose a questioner, especially students who cannot wait to challenge a view with gusto. Not to mention my Gay neighbour who foams at the mouth when this comes up. Politicians who don’t really have a leg to stand on always resort to vague excuses.

        Additionally, the idea that this issue hasn’t created problems in countries that have it, is a blind shot. The US is rampant with repeatedly facing challenges in the courts, for over twenty years it has made state after State back down, and still they can’t manage to convince all States to go along with whatever this policy is aiming at.

        The difference here, is the UK public are stultified and apathetic when it comes to political matters and so they roll over and hide for fear of being singled out and harassed should they dare to reveal their true feelings on the matter. Additionally they know they will be ignored even when they march and protest, take the Iraq war and the marches against mass immigration for example, all to no avail. The half a million who protested against this move to Downing Street recently, and so on. We have been told in the press that regardless of public opinion and how many are against, this will go through into law. So debate is a smokescreen in order to claim it was addressed publicly.

        What are you going to do if Romney wins the election and he firmly comes out against gay marriage and refuses to do a Cameron? He is running largely on anti gay marriage as top of the agenda.

        So, I don’t swallow this point of yours on nothing of any consequence taking place in countries that have embraced this policy. There is more to it than that. It’s fishy.

        What astonishes me is, why is this being pursued at a speed and intensity no other issue is? Why would the West, in particular, want to encourage such a divisive stance world wide? What is the real agenda in all of this? Because it is a cover for something far more complex than this matter opens. The real motive is being hidden from view because whatever it is, it must be entirely unacceptable to the general public, otherwise we would not be kept in the dark. So what is it they don’t want us to know that is being covered by this gay marriage agenda?

        And it is so obvious public support for this change is overstated. Why is that?


      • Lord Norton says:

        maudie33: There are not sections of society where everyone shares identical positions. You will find some gay people who oppose gay marriage and some who are indifferent. The fact you have a gay neighbour who does not support it merely shows that you have a gay neighbour who does not support it.

        In terms of causing problems, I was not referring to debate on the proposal but to the consequences of the implementation of the proposal. There are some vocal critics in the USA, but what is remarkable is how much opinion in the US has swung towards supporting gay marriage. In the UK, opinion switched between 2000 and 2007: in 2000, according to an Ipsos MORI poll only 46% of those questioned favoured gay marriage, whereas the figure in 2007 was 68% . The US now seems to be moving in the same direction as the UK.

      • franksummers3ba says:

        Lord Norton and Maudie 33,
        It remains true that it is easier to let something stand, then next to prohibit change and last to enact a change. In every state (unless there has been one in the last few days which I am unaware of) where a proposal to ban homosexual marriage in the state law or constitution has been put on the ballot the measure to ban it has carried the general ballot. Such measures have appeared on a substantial number of state ballots. This is far more significant than shifting polling data.

        My situation is that among the just over 1,100 Facebook friends I have is the editor of a gay issues magazine, an activist in seeking military rights for homosexuals and also a variety of people who consider homosexuality itself fundamentally disordered or immoral in some significant way. It can also be said that in addition to confessing my divorce I will also admit that among the women who have been love interests on my rather painful journey through life more than one was a woman who was usually mostly or entirely Lesbian. I have tried to make it clear that these are complex issues in my view. We think of computer pioneer Turing (sp?) who was chemically castrated in England in the fifties in preference to prison and later killed himself over his lot as a homosexual — such is a small part of the complex history of this total matter. Neither emotion nor personal feeling can be kept out of the discussion.I am not persuaded of anything good about homosexual marriage at all, frankly. Civil Unions are not ideal but are more just in practice than their absence would be in a good number of jurisdictions….

        As far as gay marriages my experience with my female wife was that society and people were eager enough to stomp out gaiety in marriage when given the chance. I suppose it will be similar for homosexual couples….

  21. maudie33 says:

    And Ken Batty, it’s called opposition. And it’s aimed at the underlying sentiment. Do remember you can return with your opposing argument. Debate is based on differing views.

    • KenBatty says:

      I am always most content when someone opposes views I do not espouse. They can call it opposition but its not opposition to me.

  22. ladytizzy says:

    Mindful of the approaching 100th comment, I appreciate that one or two may be running out of steam.

    A while ago I checked the confusing legal position of a married woman continuing to use her maiden name for professional reasons (she needs employer’s permission!). I revisited the Deed Poll Service for the purposes of this post and there are differences in the rights of those who are joined in a civil partnership from those who marry, as well as the differences in rights between a man and a woman, particularly in titles. (follow the links on the LHS)

    Let’s get this baby home.

    • franksummers3ba says:

      Lady Tizzy,
      Eventually that would become a same sex relationship for a man and a woman having heterosexual relations. However, perhaps not for Rita’s character if one takes the joke at face value. In the movie she would never know there had been a previous day, right?

      I suppose there are all sorts of other comments that could be made but I will not make them here.

  23. maudie33 says:

    Lord Norton, I made a mistake in my links for the last post I wrote above., It was meant to back up the American difficulty with this matter. Instead, here is a report from, The Observer, yesterday which sums it up.

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