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FCO confirms Spanish recognition of UK partnerships

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  1. Robert W. Pierce 13 Dec 2007, 1:50pm

    Since Spain is now recognising British civil partnerships, I think think this couple errs when it says that the UK recognises a Spanish gay marriage. If that’s the case why did it not recognise the two British women who legally married in Canada and when they returned to the UK, their marriage was downgraded to a civil partnership. Something is not right here or has our government suddenly decided to recognise all legal gay marriages performed outside the UK? Clarification is needed.To digress, Sweden’s state church, the Evangelical Lutheran, has overwhelmingly decided in favour of full marriage for same-sex couples and legislation is now on its way to parliament. Sweden civil unions as long ago as 1995 but now consider those outdated. Well done, Sweden. Denmark, Norway next I dare say! Things are looking up.

  2. MarcoMilano 13 Dec 2007, 3:05pm

    Hi!I don’t understand why UK does not permit same-sex couples to marry. Why?? Why does UK segregate homosexuals from the rest of society and depridve them from the universal recognition and respect that marriage provides? Don’t you realize that this “separate but equal” institution humiliates gays and lesbians?

  3. This is not the case for Belgium. I am a Belgian national, living in the UK. My British partner and I got our CP in August last year. The Belgian consulate in London told me that a CP is not equal to marriage and that our CP would not be recognised. All we could do is go and marry (again) in Belgium. This also means that I could leave my partner here, go back to Belgium and marry somebody else! What a mess!There is an urgent need to harmonise these situations across Europe. But nobody seems interested.Ben

  4. Robert, ex-pat Brit 13 Dec 2007, 4:38pm

    Marco, over the past few months I’ve been advocating exactly what your’re saying. Most of the people who come to this website are somewhat opposed to full marriage recognition. They prefer to be different and separate, simple as that. They have indicated that they don’t need the term “marriage” since they supposedly have all their rights and equality. My question is, and I’ve asked this before on here, what if the UK Government were to replace civil partnerships with marriage, would they all then refuse to marry? Based on their very anti-marriage stand, probably the only western country where most gay people feel this way, I would have to say they would choose to remain single.Don’t you find it interesting that Sweden is going to pass marriage equality for same-sex partners after twelve years of civil unions that their government deems as antiquated and unequal? Denmark, Norway will probably follow Sweden’s lead maybe Finland too, no surprise there. If France, Germany upgrade to marriage, it will further justify the argument that separate but equal is not equal at all. It IS segregation as you correctly put it.

  5. Robert, ex-pat Brit 13 Dec 2007, 4:44pm

    Ben, exactly what I’ve been arguing on this website for month and you will get a lot of flack as I and one or two others have. You might want to check out my response to MarcoMilano on this. Sooner or later, as more countries open marriage to same-sex couples, the UK and others will have no other choice but to do the same, not just for social reasons but because of the economic ramifications in terms of portability of job transfers in multinational corporations etc. Marriage is and always will be the gold standard and the only one that is recognised in all countries on the planet whether or not same-sex marriage is available to us.I think that the British couple who live in Spain and who are in a civil partnership are wrong about the UK recognising same-sex marriage. It doesn’t. Only five countries currently do.

  6. Sister Mary Clarence 13 Dec 2007, 5:39pm

    Heterosexual marriage and gay civil partnerships have equal status in this country. Just like here, it takes time for other countries to change their own legislation nand I suspect very strongly, we will see equal recognition of the legal status of civil partnerships in other countries, particularly our EU neighbours over the next couple of years.

  7. MarcoMilano 13 Dec 2007, 5:56pm

    Good, Robert. I’m glad that we agree on this issue. I think that english gays and lesbians that don’t wanna marry should have access to a registered union opened to all couples. Yes I find it interesting that Sweden is replacing segregation with marriage equality… and I find it wonderful that Norway, etc will follow. I pray that UK’s gays and lesbians will someday understand that civil partnerships are unequivocally unequal, and really humiliating.Where do you live? I live in Milan, Italy.

  8. Robert, ex-pat Brit 13 Dec 2007, 6:33pm

    Sister Mary, we’ve had this discussion before but with respect, having equal status doesn’t necessarily make things the same. Civil partnerships are similar to marriage but not the same thing, therefore not equal, otherwise, why the difference in the name? The government have made it quite clear they are not. Until it recognises them as marriages, they will always be separate since they have absolutely no universal recognition in the western hemisphere and never will have.Now that Sweden is abandoning civil unions, its just a question of time before the rest of Scandinavia and elsewhere follow suit. Its inevitable. Having said that, hypothetically, even if the EU were to mandate marriage equality in place of civil partnerships, pacs, unions etc. and given the anti same-sex marriage stance of many who come to this website, would same-sex couples choose not to marry or remain single?

  9. Robert, ex-pat Brit 13 Dec 2007, 6:38pm

    Marco, I was born and raised in England, live in New York since 1978 but frequently travel back and forth to the UK and will be there for Christmas. If civil partnerships were open to both straight and gay couples alike, then maybe they would be more equal, but in reality they’re not, no matter how you look at it. There is NO universal recognition for anything but marriage and never will be. Those who don’t care about the terminology really don’t grasp what equality really means.A proposito, mi piace moltissimo la bella città di Milano!

  10. MarcoMilano 13 Dec 2007, 6:51pm

    Grazie, Robert!I completely agree: there is no alternative. Only marriage is equality. I have no doubt about it.I’d like to keep in contact with you… my e-mail is slavemark01@yahoo.it Maybe we can share some photos of ourselves, news, ideas, etc. If sometimes I’ll make a trip to Uk, maybe we could meet. Also for sex if you like.

  11. Sister Mary Clarence 13 Dec 2007, 7:02pm

    Well as you say Robert we’ve had this discussion before and I’m not likely to change my position on it – I want to be equal I don’t want to be the same. I’m confident enough and happy enough with my life not to want to mimic anyone else’s.I have to respect that other people may not be in the same situation or have different views for any number of reasons, but I for one hope we retain civil partnerships. To me, the fact that they are made solely for gay people adds to their value rather than diminishes it.

  12. MarcoMilano 13 Dec 2007, 7:23pm

    Sister Mary Clarence…Eliminating our exclusion from the choice of marriage does not make us the same. It just make us equal. Let gays and lesbians, as well as heterosexuals, choose for themselves. The State should not impose anything. People that want to marry the person they love should be allowed to do it; people that want to be registered partners of the person they love should be allowed to do it. Like in the Netherlands, for example. What’s wrong??

  13. It would appear to me that it is not only the name accorded to the status of union between two persons of the same sex that matters, but the definition of that union in accordance with international standards. Given that we are in the European Union, the next step would be for a EU Directive to harmonised these legal statuses into one common set of principles. This situation has arisen simply because the advancement of the acceptance of gay rights has taken place at different speeds in different EU countries. I feel that now, we need an EU-wide gay rights organisation in order to advance our interests. Maybe Stonewall should be lobbied to move this forward.

  14. Robert, ex-pat Brit 13 Dec 2007, 8:49pm

    David S, here here!! I think it will be inevitable as more EU members open marriage to everyone, the way it should be. I also agree with MarcoMilano, everybody should have the choice as to which route they wish to follow in regard to formalising their relationships. That would be pure equality indeed!Actually, the issue of marriage for gay UK citizens was discussed by Blair but he and his cabinet chose not to go that way for fear of upsetting the C of E and other religious institutions of hypocrisy and bigotry, he caved in to them. So it shows that marriage would have been an option. I cannot accept that civil partnerships in any way relegate us to equality with heterosexuals. Still, nobody who is gay and against full marriage equality cares to answer my question. I’ll repeat it, what if the EU mandated marriage equality to replace whatever member states have in place for their gay citizens? Would they choose not to marry or remain single? Ask yourselves that because it could well happen. Choosing to be apart from society is not about equality at all and those who espouse it have no concept about the meaning of the word. In fact, they alienate themselves from the mainstream. We are not different from straights in anything except with whom we relate to sexually. Simple as that.

  15. Perhaps I should clarify what I meant in my post earlier. I feel that the EU should embrace reciprocity by embracing both civil unions and same-sex marriage. That does not mean that I would be in favour of same-sex marriage per se, because I’m not. I am in a civil partnership, and would prefer that to marriage. As I have said before in these forums (fora?), I am in favour of equality – not sameness!

  16. MarcoMilano 13 Dec 2007, 10:03pm

    David…What is the difference between a gay man and a heterosexual man? I cannot see it. I am a gay man that is promiscuous, outgoing, very open minded… and I go out with many friends. A lot of people that i know, and go out with, are heterosexuals… they’re promiscuous, outgoing, very open minded too. I cannot see the difference. Most importantly, I cannot see WHY is it right that I cannot choose if marry the person I love or not and WHY is it right that SEGREGATION is imposed on me (UK’s civil partnerships are the “separate but equal” doctrine). Why do we need two lines at the clerk’s office? Why is it right to deprive same-sex couples of the instant, universal, recognition and respect that only the deeply rooted institution of marriage provides?

  17. With all respect to Sister Mary C. We are not equal. I understand that in the UK as civil partners, we have excatly the same rights and obligations as married people. However this stops at the border of the UK. In Belgium gay peolpe can marry and after some research and look at the bilateral treaties, Belgium cannot legally equal a CP with mariage, because it is not the same.

  18. Thomas in London 14 Dec 2007, 1:22am

    In response to Ben… the rights and responsibilities of a heterosexual marriage in the UK and a heterosexual marriage in Belgium are different (e.g. tax allowances, benefit entitlement, inheritance rights/tax, housing laws etc etc). So how come Belgium can recognise the myriad of legal differences between straight marriage but not a different name for a legally recognised relationship? Spain has now done it. At the end of the day I agree however, there is no practical reason as far as I can see for using the term Civil Partnership because it is, apart from the title, marriage. There needs to be recognition across the EU. No chance from some of the more religiously dominated member states right now though.

  19. Sister Mary Clarence 14 Dec 2007, 6:37am

    Okay Marco, if we switched to marriage tomorrow instead of civil partnerships, would the marriage of a man to another man be universally accepted around the world?Let me help you – no it wouldn’t, so back to square one.

  20. MarcoMilano 14 Dec 2007, 11:57am

    Sister Mary Clarence…Marriage is a universally understood and recognized institution. If you marry, no one in the world mistakes your relationship for a cohabitation between two friends, two fiancees that don’t wanna make the big step, or between two colleagues, etc… No one in the world, neither in your nation or abroad, doubts that your relationship is considered by your government as at the same level of a husband-wife relationship. They immediately recognize, and take seriously, the nature of your relationship. So, if you’re abroad, they consider the possibility of treating your officialized relationship as valid more seriously.

  21. Robert, ex-pat Brit 14 Dec 2007, 1:24pm

    Thomas in London, both Labour and any future Tory government would NEVER say that civil partnerships are “marriage”. I agree, they do offer most or all of the rights of conventional marriage conferred on straight couples, but if you remember, the government quite categorically stated at the time the law was enacted,that these partnerships are indeed NOT marriages. If they were, they would have been accorded the term via legislation. To date, that has not happened and no future Tory government will ever go that extra step to confirm that they are because they don’t want to upset the religious bigots, its called political expediency. That this partnership law has had two years to prove that it has indeed not threatened marriage or society in general, its about time that whatever party governs from Number, it has the common decency and maturity to take one last minor step to change partnership to “marriage”. What is so difficult about that? A bunch of cowards if you ask me, on both sides.

  22. Robert, ex-pat Brit 14 Dec 2007, 1:34pm

    In defence of MarcoMilano, Sr. Mary….to date, there are five and soon six western countries that would recognise UK same-sex marriages. How many apart from Spain recognise CPs? A big fat ZERO! If Spain can recognise CPs, why doesn’t the UK recognise the Canadian marriage of two UK nationals who upon returning to the UK were told that their marriage was not recognised, but would be recognised as a civil partnership? It only proves they are not equal. Here in New York state wherein same-sex marriage legislation is pending, same-sex marriages performed elsewhere in five western countries and the state of Massachusetts are recognised. New York state does not have any civil union or partnershp laws either.

  23. Robert, ex-pat Brit 14 Dec 2007, 1:46pm

    Marco, as you know, our civil partnership law to date is only recognised in Spain. As I said in a previous posting to Sr. Mary, Holland, Belgium, Spain, Canada and South Africa would recognise UK same-sex marriages and soon Sweden. Civil partnerships have no universal recognition thus far and probably won’t. You and I could go to any of the five or six countries mentioned above if we were married in any of them and our relationships would be recognised as marriages. Simple as that.

  24. SMCare our CPs recognised round the world? No they’re not; but they are at least recognised by certain civilised nations, the majority of whom would recognise same-sex marriages as legitimate, or as CPs.

  25. Robert, ex-pat Brit 14 Dec 2007, 2:21pm

    apYrs, as someone else said, there needs to be an EU harmonisation on same-sex relationships, each member state should have identical rights and privileges and currently, the only way they ccould be recognised within the community and perhaps universally is to make marriage gender neutral just as the famous five have done. Its not going to happen under civil unions/pacs or civil partnerships, now that Sweden and probably the rest of Scandinavia is abandoning them for marriage.

  26. Hi,I have been today to the Spanish Consulate (14/12/2007) to register my Uk Civil Partnership. My partner and myself are intending to move back to Spain within 4 months, and we wanted to start all the process to get residency as a non EU resident married to a Spanish National.We were devastated to find out that Spain does not recognise Uk partnerships. However, we have just read the article today stating that Spain has recognised Uk CPs.We have been adviced to disolve our PC and then marry in Spain.Is there a new act? Where can I find relevant information to prove the Spanish consulate that Uk Pcs are now recognised?, etc…

  27. Sister Mary Clarence 14 Dec 2007, 3:43pm

    Okay folks, so between you, you have answered my question. Boy on boy marriage or girl on girl marriage is would not be reconised universally around the world in the same way that civil partnerships are not. Whichever we have, countries will amend their legislation as and when suits then, as they do with all new protocols. To recognise same sex marriage a country would have to amend its legal definition of marriage, which is going to be a big issue for many ultra religious states.Civil partnerships (having the equal status with marriage, but a different name) will facilitate a speedier change in legislation, which surely is of greater benefit to us.In the perfect world that some of us seem to thing we live in, the necessary legislation would be instantaneously changed in the many hundreds of countries across the world. Its not going to happen, not for this legislation nor any other.We can run round in circles complaining and demanding marriage, which as these pages have shown is not actually well supported (at least amongst the pinknews UK readers) or we can get on with resolving real issues of equality.Just to clarify Robert, the last white paper produced by the Conservatives about marriage and benefits (or something like that), there was a big hoo-har on here because ‘civil partnerships’ was not mentioned at all, until it was pointed out that it quite clearly said in the footnotes that any reference to marriage included civil partnerships. Indicating very clearly that Tory policy would be to see them as having identical status.

  28. MarcoMilano 14 Dec 2007, 4:20pm

    Sister Mary Clarence…Your last message makes me clear that you didn’t read my (our) responces carefully. And, again, you (like other anti-marriage equality gays here) don’t answer to questions. What is the difference between a gay man (me) and a heterosexual man (my heterosexual friends)? And, most importantly, WHY is right to bar gays from marrying and to segregate their unions? I don’t understand what do you fear: let gays (and straights) decide for themselves!

  29. MarcoMilano 14 Dec 2007, 4:44pm

    A message to all:If, as Sister Mary Clarence says, civil partnerships (or other types of registered unions) are easier to approve/recognize… we should ask ourself WHY. Why in many parts of the world it is so difficult to say yes to gay couples legally marrying. All the western countries, exept Israel, have civil marriage… so, what’s the problem? Ehy it is so difficult?? The answer is: because permitting same-sex couples is recognizing that gay love is equal to straight love, that gays are at the same level of straight, that homosexuality is something that does not sully precious, loved, respected, deeply rooted, universal, institutions like marriage. Mantaining the exlusion of homosexual love (of homosexuality) from this loved, respected, deeply rooted, universally understood, institution and branding gays as “others” is officially marking those who are homosexual as unworthy of marriage (so as inferiors)… is mantaining and fostering a stigma of exclusion that a modern society must not tollerate.

  30. Robert, ex-pat Brit 14 Dec 2007, 6:45pm

    Pepe, if you and your partner intend going back and forth between Spain and the UK, don’t dissolve your civil partnership. However, I do urge you to have a real marriage in Spain and enjoy the benefits of both. In any event, if you return to the UK, your Spanish marriage will be downgraded to a civil partnership anyway. What a fucked up situation this is anyway. There should be one standard, marriage.

  31. Robert, ex-pat Brit 14 Dec 2007, 6:56pm

    Sister Mary, as for some countries with ultra religious states, Spain is catholic country, as is Belgium and half of Holland is where there was strong opposition to marriage equality, yet they went ahead and did it. Will marriage equality be difficult to implement in most western countries? Not really, if the will and the intent is there as has been evidenced in five western countries so far. Forget about the eastern bloc, not in the equation. Lets face facts, two EU member states offer marriage, soon a third; why did they abandon civil partnerships/unions and go forward to marriage?

  32. Robert, ex-pat Brit 14 Dec 2007, 7:00pm

    MarcoMilano, well said. If CPs are so equal to real marriage, then why call them that? Its absurd and a ridiculous term. Do we call heterosexual married couples civil partnered or civil married? Absurd! Its blatant discrimination and inferior to create another class which is what these relationships have created in an already class-ridden society.

  33. Sister Mary Clarence 14 Dec 2007, 7:49pm

    Well Bill, you’ve definitely found a kindred spirit in Marco.Maybe you’re right, maybe we should push for full marriage. Maybe we should start using the same heterosexual terminology for everything in hour lives.So my ‘boyfriend’ hence forth will become my ‘girlfriend’ and when he agrees to be my ‘bride’ we can run off together and get married.Or what we could do is recognise that heterosexual and homosexual are different, but both equal in value, get on with our lives and continue to ensure that everyone is our society is valued irrespective of their sexual orientationAnd Marco the difference between a gay man (you) and a heterosexual man (your heterosexual friends) is that you are attracted to the same sex and your friends are attracted to the opposite sex. It does not make you better than them or them better than you it makes you very slightly different.

  34. Robert, ex-pat Brit 14 Dec 2007, 9:01pm

    Marco, my question to others here has still not been answered. I asked an hypothetical question, i.e. what if the UK had joined the five more progressive societies by the introduction of legislation to allow gay couples to marry instead of the more inferior civil partnerships? Would UK gay couples, at least the ones who frequent this website, elect not to marry because of the straight connotation? The absurdity of civil partnerships is that a gay male could never have a civil partnershp with a gay woman. They would be compelled to marry. Now how about that for equality? It proves they’re not equal.

  35. William - Dublin 14 Dec 2007, 9:12pm

    I can understand that there needs to be a push for equality in marriage for both gays and straight people, I do see their argument, but I’m with the good Sister Mary, I would personally prefer to be in a civil partnership. I am not straight, and being gay defines part of what I am… and I have no need to seek acceptance from straight people by getting by boyfriend to wear a wedding ring, nor have I the urge to mimic straight relationships. I didn’t get to where I am in life by feeling that I was inferior to straight people, and to be honest, they can keep their “marriage”. Once the civil partnership has ALL the same legal rights as a straight marriage, then they can call it what the fuck they like… the devil is in the detail, as they say.Now, if only the bumbling fools that are in government in the Republic got their act together and gave us civil partnerships here in this fair isle of mine, I’d be a lot happier!

  36. MarcoMilano 14 Dec 2007, 9:20pm

    Sister Mary Clarence…You just said:”you are attracted to the same sex and your friends are attracted to the opposite sex”Ok… that makes me “different”? That makes me unworthy of marriage?? If yes, why don’t we exlude from marriage interracial couples?? They’re different. Why don’t we exclude from marriage those who don’t like milk?? Why don’t we exclude from marriage those who like s/m?? I mean… it’s absurd.I re-ask you: WHY is it right to ban me from marrying the person I love? WHY is it right to segregate gays and their loved ones in a separate institution? WHY is it right to deprive gays and lesbians of the universal vocabulary, understanding, and respect, that the deeply rooted institution of marriage provides? WHY do you fear a world in which gays and lesbians, as well as heterosexuals, are free to choose between civil marriage and civil registered partnership? What are you afraid of?Please answer me… you’re not answering.

  37. MarcoMilano 14 Dec 2007, 11:14pm

    Come on!! Act like Sweden…Replace civil partnership with full marriage!Then, if you wanna be a de facto couple, nobody force you to marry… you’ll receive protections as every other de facto couple.Replace civil partnership with full marriage!

  38. Sister Mary Clarence 15 Dec 2007, 1:04am

    Marco, I’m not afraid of anything. I think that that is my point. Just because I have something called something different does not automatically mean it is lesser, it just means that is has a different name.Somewhere there is some heterosexual banging on about why they cannot have a civil partnership I suspect.I am no better than anyone else and I am no worse. Being gay does not equate with being a down trodden underclass and therefore I don’t accept the position that giving us a different name for a gay version of marriage diminishes it or us in anyway.There is often a tendancy in persecuted minorities to self segregate even if/when the persecution ceases. It can be a defense mechanism to protect the community for current or potential future harm.The more I converse on here, the more I realise that there is often a yawning gap between the social attitudes to gay people in the UK that have manifested themselves over the last decade, and those experienced by gay people in other countries.I think its clear to me you come from somewhere with very different atitudes and as a consequence you have a different take on things. I hope you get to where we are soon.

  39. Sister Mary Clarence 15 Dec 2007, 1:14am

    William , just read your posting and I could not agree with you more.

  40. To Robert W. Pierce: your question was not directly answered, though I thought you might be interested in additional details.Part of the Civil Partnership Act contains Schedule 20, which is a list of all the same-sex relationships performed abroad that the UK will treat and recognise as a civil partnership in the UK. If you were married in Canada, “pacsé” in France, or underwent a civil union in New Jersey, it would all be the legal equivalent of going through a civil partnership ceremony in the UK. Any time a new country (or other jurisdiction) creates a same-sex relationship that is substantially equivalent to a UK civil partnership, it is added to the list.

  41. MarcoMilano 15 Dec 2007, 11:58am

    Sister Mary Clarence…You didn’t answer my questions.You’re only repeating that banning gays from having access to the deeply rooted, universally understood, and very loved, institution of marriage and segregating them in a newly created “separate but equal” regime is not inferiorizing. I cannot agree, for all the things that I wrote you yesterday. If a State wants to eliminate discrimination it has to eliminate discrimination; keeping discrimination and trying to justify it by creating a ghetto for those who are discriminated is not equality. It’s a shame.

  42. Robert, ex-pat Brit 15 Dec 2007, 1:44pm

    Marco, don’t bother arguing with these people over this issue. Its hit a raw nerve. I hate saying this being a Brit myself, but we’re very insular, a classic British trait. Its a by-product of the class system for which we are renowned unlike any other western nation. We think we’re better than anyone else and we think we have the monopoly on equality, we don’t and never will.

  43. Robert, ex-pat Brit 15 Dec 2007, 1:52pm

    George, thanks. However, as a Brit, if I married my partner in Canada where it is legal to do so, why should my marriage be called anything but marriage if I have a Canadian marriage certificate that states that I am categorically and legally married? If people on this site insist that marriage and civil partnerships are equal, then why not recognise a marriage performed elsewhere for what it is and call it as such? Why the need to change it? Obviously, they are not equal. What is so difficult for our government to get its head around? What are they afraid of? My question though remains unanswered.

  44. The important point to remember is that civil marriage has nothing to do with religion. It cannot have anything to do with religion. It was introduced to get away from religious nonsense. It is a civil contract, and it means that those who are not mentally ill, as religious people are, are able to enter into such a contract. Therefore if civil partnership is equated with civil marriage, which it is, then there is no reason why it cannot be defined as marriage. I entered into a civil partnership in 2006 after a forty-year relationship, but I am not overly concerned about what it is called. However, I do see and accept the point made by those who wish to define civil partnership as marriage.

  45. Robert, ex-pat Brit 15 Dec 2007, 4:21pm

    Neville, I thank you for the seeing the other side and for having an open mind about it. Thank you again.

  46. Why would they get civil partnership (which was created for gays only and therefore is a discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation) if they can get marriage in Spain?”Civil parntership is the areligious counterpart of marriage”, thats what people say. But in fact, marriage involves more state rights than religious rights or I dont even know why people call marriage a religious thing. Civil parntership has been created like seperate schools for blacks back some decades ago in the US, not to upset straight people who fear for the meaning of marriage.

  47. well although i’m not interested in being married, i’ll leave that to those with the white dress and crinoline bridemaids fetish….. i wouldn’t object if at some point my civil partnership was reclassified as a marriage…what i have said all along is i’m not interested in what my union is called as long as it gives me and my partner the same rights as a heterosexual married couple. i’m just not hung up on the name..as i’ve said many times…who cares…obviously i think spain should recognise UK civil partnerships, as should those other countries which offer gay marriage but to pretend that simply calling the institution marriage will change international attitudes is nonsense..the americans in particular are NOT going to recognise any kind of gay marriage/civil partnerhsip..and it does annoy me that people blame the best UK government we’ve ever had on gay issues ( sorry sister Mary) for the prejudices of foreign countries with much less tolerant or progressive attitudes. Marcomilano … i don’t disagree with you on some points but why are you criticizing the uk when your own country is SO FAR behind ours and probably will continue to be while ever that madman called the POPE continues to live there and dominate so much of italian life?I do agree ofcourse that it would be wonderful if we coud have an EU wide acceptance of gay parterships BUT that isn’t going to happen for a long time…certainly not now the eastern european countries have joined…and certainly not while countries like Italy are so church dominated. yes the ideal would be for the whole of europe to accept and recognise gay “marriage/civil partnership” and then simply refuse to acknowledge the hetrosexual marriages of those countries like the US that didn’t reciprocate..once the american ambassadors to all EU states are unable to get a visa for their wife/husband because the EU only reciprocates recognition of marriaghe to countries which recognise eu marriages things might chance BUT that will be a long time coming. As i’ve said, my partern would have been deported if civil partnerships hadn’t been brought in. Forgice me if i’m therfore a supporter of them. If the uk had gone for full gay marriage there would undoutedly have been a massive church/right wing backlash..the house of lords would have vetoed the legislation and the whole thing would have been held up for years of demonstartions and counter demonstrations…in which time my partner would have been deported…The uk is unique in that ALL political parties supported civil partnership, unlike spain and canada where the conservative opposition vowed to repeal the legislation, so i think the government did a great thing getting the laws through so quickly with minimum controversy and without getting any of the tabloids into anti-gay hysteria mode. probably like other EU countries there will come a time when Civil partnerships are exchanged for gay marriage…whoopy do! the marriages still won’t be recognised in the US or in Italy though…

  48. Robert, ex-pat Brit 17 Dec 2007, 5:38pm

    Andy, the more countries that enact same-sex marriage equality, the more pressure it puts on other western countries such as the US to do something about it. As it is, whoever among the U.S. democrats wins the election in 2008, each has said they’ll go for civil unions at the federal level (national level), same as civil partnerships. One state, Massachusetts has allowed same-sex couples to marry way before civil partnerships in the UK were enacted. Vermont was the first state ever to pass civil union laws four or five years ago. Same-sex marriage equality began surprisingly in the U.S. as far back as the 70s but nothing ever came of it, long before the Dutch became the first to grant marriage equality. Marriage is definitely catching on, already five countries and soon a sixth and going forward, not backward.

  49. Dave @ Gay Benidorm 17 Dec 2007, 6:58pm

    Whilst this is a great milestone and the rights of two people have been recognised. It should be noted that it has not as yet been agreed by “royal decree” in Spain and as such does not become law until it has. It will certainly be much debated and will be sometime ( In Spain this means a long time) until it becomes law affording everyone the same right.

  50. I believe that words have ‘weight’! They have value! In Canada I AM MARRIED! I am not gayly married or partnered or unionized – I am simply MARRIED. Protect the weakest in society and you protect the society as a whole. Label members of society and you open up it up to division.I look forward to the day when I am just a MAN and not labeled a gay man. I am proud to be gay – it is the way I came out of the womb – but to be punished for it; marginalized for it, hated by G-d for it, by institutions around the world is appalling! If you must label me call me HUMAN first! then call me what you will afterwards – but remember this: Young gay teenagers around the world still commit suicide because of the pressures of being gay and marginalized. Some gay teenagers were left to hang dying on fences! WHY? I say because of labels! Marry two men or two women and give these kids a positive role model – that it’s OK, they they are OK!Look what labels did in Rwanda – and foreign labels at that – Tutsi and Hutu were assigned to Rwandans by Belgian colonialists – it cost over 500 000 lives years later! What will a two tiered marriage labeling system do to US! Is it working well in N. Ireland where they are forming an ‘anti-gay party? Will I need to protect myself in future because of this civil partnership label and the divisions in causes in the psyches of others?We have a long way to go yes – but let’s at least start on the right path…marriage is an institution open to ALL GENETICALLY UNRELATED HUMANS! IT IS A RIGHT! Who we love is a RIGHT of being HUMAN.

  51. Robert, ex-pat Brit 17 Dec 2007, 8:11pm

    David@GayBenidorm, it may never be legislated by the Spanish parliament either, why should it when marriage in Spain is gender neutral, available to everyone without exception, all are equal? Why should it have to change its laws to accommodate the UK when the UK doesn’t even recognise any gay couple’s legal marriage performed in Spain, or from Holland, Belgium, Canada or South Africa? What it does is only recognise them as civil partnerships which isn’t the same. If I were the Spanish government I’d demand that the UK recognise same-sex Spanish marriages before I’d concede the same recognition to civil partnerships. Fair is fair and equal is equal, nothing less isn’t.

  52. Robert, ex-pat Brit 17 Dec 2007, 8:15pm

    Shawn, well said, and I totally agree. There is no such thing as “gay marriage” but marriage equality, the sooner people start calling it that the better, one name, ergo marriage, no unions, no partnerships, but marriage. Its also an civil institution, separate from the religious component. In fact, in some european countries, the civil ceremony is the legal one, not the religious. In France, you have to have a civil marriage for it to be legal and it is optional to have it solemnized in a church. Religion has absolutely nothing to do with it either.

  53. Sister Mary Clarence 18 Dec 2007, 12:25am

    We live in changing times as Andy has alluded to (and no apology necessary Andy – no problem with differing opinions put forward in a reasonable way – its healthy). Unlike many other countries, change here is positive and whilst I am no supporter of this government that has steered a very safe course through the potential minefield of introducing very significant changes in equality legislation. As Andy has said, there is no mainstream political opposition to the introduction of the new legislation and there is no ground swell of public opposition either. It has all be done in Labours customary contrived and calculating way (sorry – can’t resist a dig), but this has been very much to our advantage for a change.I could not be more comfortable and content with my life. I am confident and happy with who I am and where I am. I know enough about the workings of government to know that much of what people are wanting is work in progress, and I trust that it will come in time. Change will never be fast enough for some people and it will be too fast for others.While we are bemoaning how unfair life is in this country, we should maybe spare a thought for people living in less tolerant and progressive parts of the world, like Yemen, Saudi Arabia and the US. Change is not on the horizon for places like these and it will be a very long time before they are granted the rights we have so quickly taken for granted.

  54. Bill Perdue 18 Dec 2007, 6:31am

    The unconditional right to full marriage equality is a cutting edge issue. It drives conservative, superstitious bigots like Akinola and Williams, Pat Robertson, Herr Ratzinger and Ian Paisley up the wall, which if nothing else, is reason enough to support it. It’s also a divisive political issue. In Australia both the Liberals (Conservatives) and Labor oppose it, as do US Democrats and Republicans. In Ireland Sinn Féin supports samesex marriage without reservation and the Greens say they do but vote with the conservatives. Two new trends are combining to complicate matters and further divide the struggle for samesex marriage. In the US state civil union laws are being upgraded to full equality and the same thing is true in some EU nations. Spain, South Africa and Canada bypassed the retrograde civil union stage entirely. The politicians are divided, religious leaders are apoplectic and their apologists are discouraged and frightened by the debate because they can’t win it. Samesex marriage is the rallying cry of honest groups of militants around the world, who combine it with demands for an end to discrimination and violence. They’re not going to be talked out of it by paid or closeted apologists for the status quo. They understand that real substantive change is never granted, it’s conceded after struggle. I’m happy to see that some conservative opponents of samesex are again backing down and now support samesex marriage, even if they want to postpone it for a few decades. Luckily others are willing and eager to do the fighting for them.

  55. Sister Mary Clarence 18 Dec 2007, 9:10am

    I’m not sure that’s the real Bill you know. I’ve read it twice and I can’t find jihadist or islamophobe mentioned once. Although Ireland does come up, but without comment about the’illegal’ occupation or the British Empire holding its peoples in subrogation.Anyway, if it is you Bill, could you talk us through the many advances in equality your campaigning has achieved in your own country? I know they must be many and the job nearly done in order that you can spare so much time to give us your pearls of wisdom and share your campaigning skills.It can sometimes look from reading the pages of this site that the US is heading back to the Dark Ages faster than an Ariane rocket (that’s a sort of European space ship Bill), but I know in reality the whole country hasn’t yet converted to creationism and think the world is flat. How are the few gay people that haven’t been converted to ex-gay by TV broadcasting swindling adulterous TV Evangelist ministers who wed their own sisters enjoying the right to marry and be treated on an even keel with straight people? How did you overcome the prejudices of toothless hill billies, who sit on the stoop all day playing their banjo, only leaving it on a Sunday to slip a pillowcase over their head and go down to the local church to burn a few blacks, and spend their working hours with their finger poised over the fire button at the local nuclear weapons silo? It can’t have been easy, but clearly from the sage advice you provide us with, you’ve been there and done it.If I may be so bold as to proffer a little advice to you over there on the other side of the pond. You might want to have a word with someone about the media coverage you’re getting at the moment because I’ve heard that based on what they’ve read, there are some people that think that certain of the Americans that come on here have a little bit too much to say about things they know precious little about, and that some are even saying that perhaps certain Americans should get their own house in order before that start barking out instructions on what we should and should not accept by way of equality.Now these are obviously vile people spouting lies, but you know the saying (all too well I’m sure), “Say it enough and it becomes true”.

  56. William - Dublin 18 Dec 2007, 2:15pm

    Indeed, I would like to second Sister Mary’s question… tell us what you have done to promote gay rights in your area, and what successes you’ve had Bill. I’m curious as to how you seem to think you’re right and everyone else is wrong all the time.

  57. MarcoMilano 18 Dec 2007, 2:51pm

    Andy…The fact that Italy has really homophobic politicians (really homophobic politicians, I know… just yesterday Rome’s city council refused to create a simbolic civil registry for unmarried couples, and –for example- the centreleft government’s minister for the family is wehemently against any recognition of gay couples) does not mean that the sexual apartheid system that you have in UK is good. The fact that Italy has really bad politicians does not mean that UK laws are all fantastic. The Adoption and Chidlren Act 2002 is fantastic. Civil Partnership Acts 2004 is not.PS: in Spain, and Canada, the opposition was not against same-sex recognition… it was in favor of recognition outside marriage.

  58. Robert, ex-pat Brit 18 Dec 2007, 3:52pm

    Marco, Spain had the powerful Catholic church, the state religion to contend with and still, it managed to pass marriage equality. Whereas, Blair caved in to the hypocrites and bigots of the Church of England and opted for something similar to marriage. Canada also had opposition from the church but still went ahead. Paul Martin, a straight male and prime minister at the time believed that marriage was the only way to go if a society believed in full equality where everybody is treated equally and with respect without exception and without having to create another class of people. We in the UK have a little more to do.

  59. Robert, ex-pat Brit 21 Dec 2007, 2:51pm

    Spain has been more than magnanimous in recognising UK civil partnerships,undoubtedly under pressure by our government, whereas a Spanish couple having a real, legal marriage in Spain and a marriage certificate declaring that they are married would have their marriage downgraded to a civil partnership. If that’s not a double-standard, I don’t know what is. Call it what it is, a marriage. A Spanish couple as well as a Canadian, Belgian, Dutch and South African same-sex couple have a legal marriage certificate that states they are married thereon. What is it that so scares our government to recognise them for what they are? They’re NOT civil partnerships, they are MARRIAGES. Respect them! It makes my blood boil.

  60. Sister Mary Clarence 21 Dec 2007, 9:38pm

    “undoubtedly under pressure by our government”, I think not Robert. As I have mentioned before legislative changes are slow, but we will see over the coming months and years that civil partnerships will be recognised in many countries around the world. In view of various treaties signed by our European friends, logic dictates that these should be the first to fall in line.There has been much criticism of the Single European State that we are heading towards but this is an example of how its ethos and ideals benefit us (even if little else about it does)

  61. Robert, ex-pat Brit 21 Dec 2007, 9:55pm

    Sr. Mary, it doesn’t alter the fact that the UK refuses to recognise a Spanish couple’s legal marriage performed in Spain or in any of the other four countries where marriage is legal, but will only recognise them as an civil partnership which they indeed are not and they are not one and the same either. Why should Spain have to recognise civil partnerships when our own government doesn’t recognise a Spanish same-sex couple’s marriage for what it is, a real marriage with a genuine marriage certificate? Its a double standard and its discrimination, no matter how you try to equate both as being equal. If they were, our government would recognise them as such. Its disgraceful, disrespectful and arrogant.

  62. Sister Mary Clarence 22 Dec 2007, 5:31am

    Bill – “will ONLY recognise them as an civil partnership”?Lets be clear about this legally marriage and civil partnership have the same legal status. The ‘only’ exists in your head and nowhere else.If it makes you happier Bill call a civil partnership a marriage, a lot of people do.Its such a shame that when full equality is at out feet, we degenerate into pissy little arguments about trivia

  63. Robert, ex-pat Brit 22 Dec 2007, 1:32pm

    Sr. Mary, if marriage and civil partnerships are fully equal as you claim they are, then explain why a straight foreign couple who decide they want to marry in the UK without establishing any residency there are allowed to marry? A foreign same-sex couple would not be allowed. One of the two must be a British national. How on earth can anyone believe that both unions are equal? They’re not and you know it.

  64. Sister Mary Clarence 22 Dec 2007, 11:27pm

    Well first and foremost at the moment, as our civil partnerships are going through a process of slowly being recognised in other countries, there would be absolutely no point in them doing so, if the civil partnership is not recognised when they get home.As legislation changes in other countries, reciprocal changes will likely take place here to address the situation, but it seems you have a woefully poor understanding of national and international legislative processes when it suits you.Do you actually know of any non-UK national here on holiday that have decided to enter into a civil partnership knowing in that it won’t be recognised when they get back home, by any chance?Maybe if you can come up with any other pointless and exceedingly unlikely scenarios in relation to civil partnerships, I can come back with more explanations of why they are complete nonsense. I’ve got precious little else to do over the Christmas holidays.I suspect if you do come back here to live you will realise how many people are very happy with civil partnerships and how they work, which is why they have been taken up by over 3 times as many people as the government projected. Hence any international condemnation, generally from people living in countries where most politicians can’t even spell equality, is likely to fall on very deaf ears

  65. Robert, ex-pat Brit 23 Dec 2007, 4:18pm

    Sr. Mary, you haven’t even read my posting thoroughly. What I asked was this…why is it that non-British gay couples (foreign couples) can’t enter into an civil partnership in the UK whereas non-British straight couples can legally marry in the UK without any residency requirement? For gay couples from overseas, one of them must be a British national to enter into an civil partnership. The law doesn’t apply to straight foreign couples when they choose to marry in our country, meaning they don’t have to marry a British national. So do tell me why, if both unions are equal to you then why can straight foreign couples marry and are given more rights than gay foreign couples?

  66. MarcoMilano 23 Dec 2007, 4:46pm

    Sister Mary Clarence…I’m not here (we’re not here) to ‘condemn’ anything…Just tell us WHYWhy gays should only ape marriage, and NOT forming one.Are gays worthy of just imitating the rest of society?Aren’t gays human as heteros? Or are they puppets?-

  67. William - Dublin 23 Dec 2007, 6:42pm

    MarcoMilano, you say you’re not here to condemn, yet you refer to civil partnerships that “ape” marriage. The very use of the word “ape” is condemnation, and your language is a little bit overly dramatic for one who is not condemning. Yes, I see you point in continuing to push for marriage for gay people who want it, but you have to accept some people prefer civil partnerships. I for one don’t want to, if I may borrow your overused word, “ape” straight marriage. Why should I? I spend my life celebrating my difference from straight people, so why should I confirm to their ways to make them feel better about their choices in life? Or to be “normal”? No thanks!For some reason you can’t seem to understand that without getting upset at those who do not agree with you. Its a free world, MarcoMilano, at least in my country, and I am entitled to my opinion and choice. You can have yours. Doesn’t mean each is wrong or one detracts from the other.You will have to learn that just because someone prefers partnership over gay marriage, does NOT mean they feel less of a person, or less of a human being, or not supporting gay rights for that matter. To accuse one of that is nothing more than a histrionic and insulting.I hope some day you get your gay marriage, because it seems you don’t even feel like a human unless you get it. I for one am glad I don’t share your burden, clearly I’m strong enough to feel perfectly equal already, thank you.

  68. MarcoMilano 23 Dec 2007, 8:16pm

    William…I felt that to say ‘condem’ was a bit improper… maybe because ‘condem’ made me think about a person that is here only to judge and not to try to understand the opposite view.Apart from this…Yeah, I used the word “ape”.Isn’t civil partnership an imitation of marriage? Come on… it is a legal union, as marriage is; it gives almost the same legal consequences that marriage gives; many gays become civil partners through a ceremony, as in a marriage; those who want to become civil partners need witnesses, as in a marriage; the most famous civil partnered couple (elton john david furnish) held the ceremony in the same venue where the Prince of Wales and Camilla Parker Bowles married month before.C’mon!!!! You’re imitating straights!!Gays are worthy not only of simulating the rest of society, gays are worthy of the same freedom to marry that the rest of society have!I fully understand that some people may feel that marriage is not for them… I’m not against the freedom to choose between a conjugal life and other things. I’m FOR the freedom to choose between a conjugal life and other things. Here, I’m simply saying that a gay-only legal union that mimics marriage instead of the opening of marriage means that gays that want a conjugal life are forced to ape the rest of society instead of achieving real equality freedom to choose.

  69. Sister Mary Clarence 23 Dec 2007, 10:23pm

    William, just want to say that I fully concur with your position on marriage. I think the important factor is that we both believe ourselves to be equal to any straight person and not a down-trodden minority.I also have a question for Marco. I cannot begin to understand the stance you are taking and I do not see the differences in civil partnerships and marriage that you do, so in order to help me and possibly also William to understand a little better what your issue is, can you tell us what you actually understand a ‘marriage’ to be?This might help us to understand any differences that you perceive and potentially clear up any misunderstandings.

  70. Sister Mary Clarence 23 Dec 2007, 10:41pm

    Bill, I think I have read yours fine, but not sure you have read mine properly.What is the point of non-UK nationals entering into a civil partnership here until that partnership is recognised by their own government?I’d be pretty suspious about anyone’s motives who would want to actually do this.Once legilsation has caught up in these countries, fair enough, no problem, but until it has, doesn’t really seem much point surely?

  71. MarcoMilano 23 Dec 2007, 10:59pm

    Sister Mary Clarence…Do you want to understand my position? My position is really simple: I want to know why is it right to ban gays from the choice of marriage and to force gays that wanna be recognized as couples to slavishly imitate marriage.You say that you see no differences… If there are no differences between civil partnership and marriage, why do you need two lines at the town hall? A marriage that is not marriage… it does not make sense.Then, I see many differences between the two… marriage is the legal union that is deeply rooted, universally understood, instantly understood and deeply loved, respected by anyone anywhere and without the need of any explanation; civil partnership is not. Civil marriage is the way UK recognizes and honors two people inlove that want their relationship recognized; Civil Partnership is a legal union that the UK has created to better justify the exclusion of gays from the institution of marriage; doing this, the UK sends messages that I cannot ignore (gays are and should be considered as “others”, gays are unworthy of marriage, they’re worthy only of an imitation of marriage, gays would sully the institution of marriage, they’re second class citizens and their love is a second class love, not worthy of marriage).

  72. Sister Mary Clarence 24 Dec 2007, 8:33am

    Okay, well I’ve done my bit now. I’ve tried to understand the other side of the argument. You seem to be saying that civil partnerships are new and do not have the tradition and history associated with marriage and that they mimic marriage.Good, well I’m glad they done for precisely the reasons you have given against them. We are not straight, so why should be screaming to be let into an institution that has for centuries been a straight institution? In civil partnerships we have something that is own and is unique to us. It is on an equal footing with marriage but is not marriage. Just in the same way that we are equal to straight people but we are not straight people.That is exactly what I want from equality. I want equal rights in every aspect of my life. If parliament has to sit down and say we do not have a law that gives gay people this right or that right and has to create one, then fantastic, that is our law. As long as it has the same quantity, measure, or value, because THAT is the definition of equal, and therefore that, and that only should be the test we use.Civil partnerships pass that test.

  73. William - Dublin 24 Dec 2007, 10:19am

    While partnerships are not yet in Ireland (the Republic at least), I for one am hoping that our government follow the example of the British. I have to agree with Sister Mary’s interpretation (of course I run the risk of BEING Sister Mary if I do this, apparently).The test of the equality is in the like-for-like legal standing, and if partnerships match marriage in legal rights, then that’s good enough for me. They can call it the good ship loppypop for all I care once I get the legal rights.After all, all I want is to protect my partner and for me to be protected for him. If Britney Spears can have a 55-hour marriage “just for fun”, then the breeders can keep their archaic and sanctimonious ceremony… I for one don’t share their need to be in one to feel I have done something with my life. Lets face it, why mimic something with such a high failure rate in the divorce courts… I don’t want a ticket on a ship that has only 25% success rate for completing its voyage!I understand some people will not be happy until they get marriage, and I hope they get it someday if that’s what they want.All the debate aside, I wish you all a very Merry Christmas with your loved ones (or what ever way you choose celebrate this time of year), I hope it a good one for you all…. especially the old regulars who give me so much to think about, Sister Mary, Luke, and Robert Ex Pat. Have a good one folks!

  74. MarcoMilano 24 Dec 2007, 10:20am

    Sister Mary Clarence…You didn’t answer my questions.In fact… you only say that we (gays) are different from heteros. That a same-sex couple is different from a straight couple. And that therefore it is right to exclude them from marriage. Interracial couples are different from couples in which the two partners are of the same race. Why don’t we exclude interracial couples from marriage? Those who don’t like milk are different from those who like milk. Why don’t we exclude them from marriage? Those in a s/m relationship are different from those in a relationship in which there are only traditional sexual experiences. Why don’t we exclude them from marriage? If “difference” means “exclusion” why those couples can still marry?? It’s absurd.You didn’t show me a valid reason why UK sould continue to exclude gays from the coice of marriage. And, of course, you didn’t show me a valid reason why it is right to force ALL gays in a separate legal union.You seem to say that we should not scream to enter into marriage because marriage has been heterosexual for centuries. It is a non-sense. It is circular reasoning. Come on! You cannot justify an exclusion by saying that this exclusion exists. Exclusions are not justified by their own existence, or because they’re enforced for a long time.”Equal” means that you’re treated like an equal human being, not just like a puppet… worthy only of an imitation of an important, loved, respected, universally understood, institution such as marriage.The problem is not what you want for yourself…The problem is that UK bans ALL gays from the coice of marriage and force ALL same-gender couples who wish to be recognized to slavishly imitate those who can really marry.-

  75. if it’s the same as marriage, the only reason not to call it so is to appease the bigots. That’s fine as long as it IS equal, not second class.I feel that this can only be proven over time (pace SMC)

  76. MarcoMilano 24 Dec 2007, 11:53am

    aprYs…Civil Partnership is second class by definition.You’re not equal when you’re treated like a puppet, worthy only of an imitation of marriage, like a person that is unworthy of a “real” marriage.Peace Merry Christmas to everyone!-

  77. Sister Mary Clarence 24 Dec 2007, 2:34pm

    Marco, equal does not mean that “you’re treated like an equal human being, not just like a puppet… worthy only of an imitation of an important, loved, respected, universally understood, institution such as marriage.” It means “Having the same quantity, measure, or value as another.”If you don’t actually understand the meaning of the word, I can see now why we are at crossed purposes. I think therefore by the dictionary definition, civil partnerships fulfill the brief, but by yours, I suspect this is altogether more subjective.

  78. MarcoMilano 24 Dec 2007, 3:15pm

    Sister Mary Clarence…The Civil Partnership solution that you have in the UK is inherently inferior so it is not equal to marriage.As History teaches: separate is inherently unequal.Then… Civil Partnership cannot give all the social, relational, psychological, consequences of marriage that flow from entering, or simply being allowed to enter, in a deeply rooted, universallly understood, extremely loved and instantly respected institution (marriage).I think you should care a bit more about this.Equality is not about being allowed to mimic the rest of society… that thing is humiliation… equality is being considered and treated at the same level of every other person.-

  79. MarcoMilano 24 Dec 2007, 3:25pm

    To all of you, civil partnership “fans”…You’ve been here for days trying to convince me and Robert that your legal union is the same as marriage!!C’mon!!If UK had allowed you to get married, no one would be doubting about it.I cannot understand UK Civil Partnership.I understand the universal institution of marriage.If you want to convince me and Robert that your Government, your country, considers you as persons at the same level of straights you have to show me that you’re allowed to marry.-

  80. Marco, you seem to be looking ast marriage through rose tinted glasses. Marriage comes with as whole host of negative baggage I personally would rather not inherit. Possibly it is not so in your country.It will be very interesting to see the number of failed civil partnerships against the escalating number of failed marriages in a few years time.

  81. MarcoMilano 24 Dec 2007, 4:28pm

    I don’t think so.If there are some rules in the marriage legislation that need to be changed, well, change them. Those changes will benefit every married couple. There is no need to exclude gays from the choice of marriage and segregating their relationships.What I am asking you… first of all to Sister Mary Clarence… is WHY.I’m not criticizing your personal aspirations and desires… I’m asking for a valid reason to ban all gays from marriage and to force all gays that want recognition to enter into a separate legal union that mimics marriage.-

  82. Robert, ex-pat Brit 24 Dec 2007, 5:14pm

    Marco and apYrs, we are the only ones who understand the significance of being separate but “unequal”. Let me reiterate to all those who are in denial about the socalled equality of civil partnerships with marriage.1. A non-British STRAIGHT couple are permitted to marry in the UK, no residency required and neither has to be a British citizen.2. A non-British gay couple are NOT permitted to enter in an civil partnership in the UK. One of them must be a British national for this to happen.Now tell me, do you still believe civil partnerships are equal to marriage? Seems pretty clear to me, they are NOT and never will be!Merry Christmas to everyone and Happy Holidays to all those who don’t observe it. Good health, peace and happiness to all in 2008!

  83. Robert – let me ask you why a non-British gay couple awould want to enter in an civil partnership in the UK when laws in their own country/countries have not yet been updated to recognise civil parterships?Its all very well raising abstract points but if that’s the best you can manage its a bit lame I’m afraid.Marco, I see no point in continuing to debate the issue with you. We like civil parternships and its us they were create for. As Robert has pointed out you don’t live her, so you can’t enter into one anyway, so please stop running my country and the people living in it down.You have a puppet government controled by the Vatican in your own country and if I were you I be worrying more about that than spending all your time trying to convince us that we are some sort of underclass.

  84. MarcoMilano 24 Dec 2007, 7:19pm

    Steve…I don’t understand your hostility. I’m simply expressimg my personal opinions, and replying to your objections. The fact that here in Italy there are very bad politicians does not mean that UK laws are all good and does not mean that what I’m writing here about C.P. is wrong. I’m very active here in Italy… so don’t worry about my time spent here… I’m trying to understand the opposite view. Still, nobody has told me WHY.-

  85. Wsilliam - dublin 24 Dec 2007, 8:40pm

    Marco, what’s all this “why” rubbish? What are you asking why for? Look, you like gay marriage. Super. Good for you. Hope its everything you want it to be. Some others like partnerships. What is your problem understanding that? There is no “why”.And there is no opposite view… why does accepting civil partnerships have to be in opposition to gay marriage? They’re practically the same albeit not in your eyes) but people like you who have such polar views only serve to alienate the majority of gays from the straight community. Because your militant opinions that allow no compromise, and ridiculously over the top language (i.e. calling us puppets), make us look like a threat and play into the hands of the bigots who decry us so much.

  86. MarcoMilano 24 Dec 2007, 9:00pm

    William…If you look at the things I wrote all these days you’ll find out that I’m not against compromises. Only days ago, for example, I commended Hungary for having approved registered partnerships for unmarried couples (including gay couples) and I criticized Rome’s center-left administration for having rejected a similar (but only symbolic) registry.I repeat that I’m not criticizing people that don’t want a conjugal life. I am against the ban on gay marriage and against those who say that it is right to impose to all gays that want to be recognized a separate legal union.Sister Mary Clarence does not simply prefer partnerships over marriage… she is saying that UK is right to exclude all gays from the choice of marriage and to impose to all gays that want recognition a separate legal union. I’ve repeatedly asked her why. And she is not answering.If she is not against gay marriage… I invite her to say it!Regarding puppets… read more carefully. Again, I didn’t insult anyone.-

  87. Robert, ex-pat Brit 24 Dec 2007, 9:22pm

    Steve, you state…”Robert – let me ask you why a non-British gay couple awould want to enter in an civil partnership in the UK when laws in their own country/countries have not yet been updated to recognise civil parterships?”Steve, the point is, which nobody except one or two others comprehend is this. I have a home both in the US and UK, am a British national and hold dual nationality. UK Civil Partnerships would be recognised in several states in the U.S., i.e. Vermont, Connecticut, New Jersey and soon New Hampshire. Civil unions are the current vehicle for conferring marital rights on same-sex couples to date in the U.S. Massachusetts being the only state that offers full marriage to same-sex couples. The point I’m making is that a foreign same-sex couple (let say from the state of New Jersey that would recognise a CP because of its Civil Union law) couldn’t even have a civil partnershp in the UK if they wanted one, whereas a straight couple from the same state could legally marry in the UK. Therein lies the proof that CPs, though well intended, are NOT equal to marriage and are not recognised in the UK or anywhere else as such. To make them more equal, our government should lift the ban on prohibiting non-UK citizens from entering into a partnership and also allow straight British couples who don’t want marriage to be able to enter into a partnership. What is it that is so difficult for you or anyone else to understand?

  88. Bill Perdue 26 Dec 2007, 3:51pm

    Closeted Conservatives spend most of their time justifying the superstitious (christian) gay bashers and political antigay bigots who oppose same sex marriage. These closeted types pigheadedly oppose samesex marriage equality for any number of unwholesome reasons. First is their pitiable longing to feel “accepted” by hetero Conservatives and fear of challenging bigotry. “…people like you who have such polar views only serve to alienate the majority of gays from the straight community”. (Wsilliam the Dunce) These cowardly closet dwellers are petrified by genuine GLBT activists who overwhelmingly and globally demand samesex marriage equality. It puts them on the spot and forces them to choose between embracing GLBT equality and staying in their closets robotically aping the Conservative Party Line. As you might expect they, like their bigot cousins in the Canadian Conservative’s and their instructors in the Bush White house choose the closet. This description applies solely to that minority of homosexuals who are Conservative Party hacks and toadies: the term ‘gay conservative’ is an oxymoron. These words cannot honestly be used together.A secondary reason is that these hacks are paid to unthinkingly defend the Conservative Party line, which unbendingly rejects full GLBT equality. That’s typical of a party infamous for using a veneer of paternalism by Cameron to cloak the same rotted gaybashing leadership that produced the bigotry of Section 28. If the marriage question were turned on its head and only GLBT folk, non-christians, people of color and atheists were allowed to marry but European christian heteros had to accept the second class status of civil unions, the Conservatives would be howling with outrage. And for once rightly so.

  89. Robert, ex-pat Brit 26 Dec 2007, 5:19pm

    “If the marriage question were turned on its head and only GLBT folk, non-christians, people of color and atheists were allowed to marry but European christian heteros had to accept the second class status of civil unions, the Conservatives would be howling with outrage. And for once rightly so.”Bill, that’s a very interesting point indeed. I often wonder how heteros would react if their marriages were replaced with civil partnerships, though I think the religious denominations would be the first to protest. I’m back home in London right now. I know many straight people here who support full marriage for gay citizens, so I don’t know why our gay people don’t, at least the ones who post on this site. If straights are supportive of our right to marry, it only goes to show that marriage definitely is the gold standard. The naysayers argue that most of the world doesn’t recognise same-sex marriage so it justifies having civil partnerships and they genuinely believe (though I think many are in denial) that it is equal to marriage. In my view, as long as governments create a separate category for couples to gain similar rights to marriage based on their gender, then it only demonstrates quite clearly that creating a separate class has absolutely NOTHING to do with equality.Here in the UK, a foreign couple (non-British nationals) is permitted to marry without even any residency requirment. On the other hand, a foreign gay couple can’t even get married or enter into a civil partnership in the UK even if their own country or state recognises a civil partnership or union and one of them must be a British national for that to happen anyway. Again, this proves these unions are NOT equal and never will be.

  90. William - Dublin 26 Dec 2007, 6:52pm

    Well, Bill the Retarded, I’m not a conservative supporter. As usual, you just made that up, like all your stuttering lies to make you feel better about yourself and you sad little life. How pathetic your petty insults are. Blah blah England, blah blah, Ireland, blah blah, conservatives…. you are a painful bore.I’ve seen things lying on their backs at the bottom of ponds that have more class, intelligence and dictation than you… not to mention that they probably do more for gay rights than your stupid rants.Oh, and here’s a mad idea, try writing in English next time.

  91. Bill Perdue 26 Dec 2007, 11:33pm

    Robert, ex-pat Brit “I know many straight people here who support full marriage for gay citizens, so I don’t know why our gay people don’t, at least the ones who post on this site.” First of all, except for a small clot of conservative extremists the vast majority of GLBT folk globally support samesex marriage vs. civil unions. And even among heteros the pendulum is slowly but surely swinging our way. (I was recently at a symposium on same sex marriage at a high school and the teacher of one of the classes in attendance used the occasion of our discussion to announce that he and his husband had recently been married in Canada. He received a standing ovation.) Robert, when you say you don’t understand why these four conservative posters – Mother Superior, Luke, born again Steve and Wsilliam – pigheadedly oppose samesex marriage are you teasing us? They’re defending the Conservative Party’s narrow-minded opposition to marriage rights, a position they hold in common with grubby right wing extremists like the Bush Republicans who are about to be find out what life in a dumpster is like, the Canadian Conservatives who are living on borrowed time and the Australian conservative “Liberal” party, recently tossed into the dumpster. The conservative toadies who post here all say that they’re afraid that debate on this decisive issue will alienate their bigoted friends. They’re right – it will do just that. The toadies will just have to get used to it. Really, it’s only a problem for self loathing types who want more than anything to bury themselves in cozy little closets. Luckily we’ll win with out them, they’re just not important. Arguing with them is like arguing with that Hank twit; they’re not allowed to think on their own.

  92. Bill you muppet, just because someone takes issue with your idiotic Marxist posts, does not make them a “conservative”. Not that I care if someone is conservative in outlook or a Conservative party supporter in the UK anyway.I’ve never expressed any particular opinion on gay marriage/civil union in any case, but don’t let that bother you.However, if you could let us know which of your Marxist paradises have supported gay marriages please let us know. Last time I checked, Stalin, Mao Tse Tung and Kim Jong il weren’t exactly known for caring about our welfare. This has been asked before, but for some reason, you’ve never answered.How you can continue to live in such an evil capitalist society like the USA when you could easily emigrate to a Marxist utopia is beyond belief.Anyway Bill, I’d love to stay and chat, but I’ve a couple of proletariat on the barbecue. They’re cheap, nutritious and it helps to justify their existence.Lots of love

  93. William - Dublin 27 Dec 2007, 1:17pm

    “The conservative toadies who post here all say that they’re afraid that debate on this decisive issue will alienate their bigoted friends.”What a load of fucking nonsense! My god, Bill just when I think you couldn’t say anything more stupid, you prove me wrong. You pathetic judgements on people who don’t see the world in your stupid narrow way are bordering on the insane, not to mention the ridiculous.You are the bigot, Bill. And like all bigots, you’re a small man in a big world with no power to change your miserable lot except rant like a demented nazi. (And, yes I use the word nazi here, because you have a lot in common with them… they like to slur people who didn’t agree with their extremist views too). From everything you have said, its quite obvious you do/have done nothing solid for gay rights… I’d say you haven’t even been with a man, not a willing one at least. Who the hell would sleep with a dysfunctional freak like you? Being gay must be academic for you, you poor thing.Its you who has more in common with Hank, not the rest of us. You’re noting but an extremist fool, and thankfully most gay people are not like you. If we were, we’d have been exterminated like the vermin you are years ago.

  94. Robert, ex-pat Brit 27 Dec 2007, 1:36pm

    Bill, no, I’m not teasing anyone. I don’t think being against same-sex marriage is confined to conservatives, there are many on the left who don’t, but I will conceded there is more of it to be found among conservative voters.But you’re right, the pendulum is swinging our way when you consider that Sweden is about to legislate for full marriage equality, upgrading its current civil union law that its had since 1995 long before any gay organisation in the UK had even thought of it. You can bet that Norway and Denmark will follow suit. Sweden is the only country who’s state religion, the Swedish Lutheran Church has recently given the nod to performing same-sex marriages for those who want a religious component. I for one prefer the civil route.

  95. Tomas K - The Equality Califor 27 Dec 2007, 2:33pm

    Folks, it might interest you to know who this Bill Perdue guy actually is. He is part of a communist organisation called the “RainbowRed Organisation” supposedly based in Las Vegas, although Bill himself seems to be a bit of a derelict of various “home” locations around the west of the USA:- he is originally from a mining family in Victor, was born in Denver, has lived in many of the western states but for only short periods of time at each location, and last known to live in California. RainbowRed are a VERY small and extremist group (i.e. just Bill himself) who claim to promote what is essentially a gay styled uprising on the lines of the Soviet Red Ocktober. Bill is well known for this excessive extremists views in the US on gay sites and gay blogs, and like here, regularly insults those who do not share a communist view of some preposterous proletarian gay rebellion. And I’m sure its of no surprise to you all, that he is also notorious for using clichés and hyperbole without any facts to back up his grandiose statements. He has also been known to use on more than one occasion false degree and university credentials.He is best known for his offensive letters to gay publications and politicians, which are not dissimilar in content to the styling of the Westboro Baptist Fred Phelps, albeit from the opposite extreme. Please understand, he is not taken seriously by any recognised gay organisations in the US. In fact, as fringe extremist, he has regularly pitches himself against mainstream gay organisations, whom he considers in league with the Republican Party.Bill is a dangerous person, and somewhat unbalanced. Please use and re-post this comment when ever Bill attempts to publish his offensive propaganda so other may know the truth about him.And remember, not all gay Americans are like Bill.

  96. William - Dublin 27 Dec 2007, 2:47pm

    Well, finally a bit of background on the existential Bill Perdue. False degrees. One man communist party. An itinerant who wanders the states. Why am I not surprised?Thank you, Tomas, for that excellent piece of background information, puts a lot into prespective on our enlightened Bill Perdue. I for one will ensure your post gets the air time it needs so everyone who has been insulted by this nut can see the truth about him.

  97. Bill Perdue 27 Dec 2007, 7:00pm

    Apparently if you bang on the closet door all sorts of fecal matter gets tossed out. Unsurprisingly there is no one named Tomas K at Equality California. All the information from the invented “Tomas” is a smear and the personal information can is available on the web. The same disinformation tactics refined by Bush Republicans to stop democratic debate are now being aped by their Conservative Party lapdogs. Some of them are described in the links below. If you link to them you’ll immediately recognize since you’ve seen them used time and time again at pinknews discussions on samesex marriage, racist islamophobia, or the gaybashing bigotry still rife in the ranks of the Conservative Party. This shrill little pack of Conservative who inexplicably appears on cue with their scripted disinformation tactics right out of the Republican playbook. . They try to divert the conversation from the political to the personal by repeatedly saying: – The anti-bigot non-Conservative or wretched foreigner under attack is mentally unstable, a hobo, invents degrees, and is mean to conservatives – a task usually given to Wsilliam – dublin – The anti-bigot non-Conservative or wretched foreigner under attack is physically unattractive, not gay, has no friends, has a family composed of criminals and whores, and has spots and bad breath – a task of Wsilliam – dublin – The anti-bigot non-Conservative or wretched foreigner under attack is merely seeking attention, not discussing political questions – Mother Superior uses this to distract from criticism of racism, islamophobia, etc. – The anti-bigot non-Conservative or wretched foreigner under attack seeks to divert us from the real issue, which is the wisdom of the Conservative Party’s line on [insert issue here] – Mother Superior, Steve, Luke -The wretched foreigners are not just attacking Conservatives. When they make note of inequality of violence they are really attacking ENGLAND, THE VERY ESSENCE OF ENGLISHNESS AND THE ENGLISH WAY OF LIFE!!!!! Mother Superior, Luke, Stevie or Wsilliam – dublin if the culprit is a wicked Canadian or Italian which is very odd behavior indeed for some one who pretends to be Irish. – The non-Conservative is a Labour Party activist/marxist/anarchist/Stalinist/communist/trotskyist/Canadian/Lib Dem/American/ relic of the sixties /Italian/Arab/muslim/anti-Catholic/pro Catholic/anti Semitic – Mother Superior, Luke Not accidently these tactics are disseminated by the extremist Conservative Party propaganda/noise machine called the Policy Exchange, which maintains close ties with US Republican extremists. They promote outrageously racist islamophobia to justify the oil piracy in the Middle East. The Policy Exchange was recently implicated by a Guardian columnist in fomenting the islamophobic violence that’s killing an increasing number of immigrant youth like Ahmed Hassan, a 17-year-old Muslim student who was stabbed to death in an unprovoked attack by a gang of conservative white youths at Dewsbury railway station in west Yorkshire. These tactics were codified by Karl Rove, until recently White House Political Director. Given Bush’s low IQ due to repeated drug and alcohol overdoses, he needs experts like Rove, AKA the BushBrain, who used these tactics, especially opposition to samesex marriage, to drive wedges into Democratic constituencies and win elections. These Republican tactics are now being used by their lapdogs in the Conservative Party and disseminated by the Policy Exchange to their propagandists and spin doctors assigned to various constituencies. These same smears have been used by the same people against myself, Zeke, Malcom Lidbury, ex-Pat Robert, Shawn from Canada and MarcoMilano among others. Nothing new here, and a continued evasion of the political debate at hand.

  98. William - Dublin 27 Dec 2007, 9:58pm

    Well, Bill, given that rant that’s unbelievably unhinged even by your standards, I’m inclined to believe Tomas has hit a nerve with you, and hence is telling the truth… especially given your history for insults and lies.Beautiful, simply beautiful.Now I know you’re a pathetic nut. A sad lonely little man who seems to be a hobo with a laptop. At least MY degrees are real.Show me the website for “RainbowRED”…. come on, put your social security money where your stupid mouth is!

  99. William - Dublin 27 Dec 2007, 10:06pm

    Oh, Bill, one more thing, I have the height of respect for ex-Pat Robert, contrary to your vicious little comments of hate. Robert and I may differ on views from time to time, but his arguments are logical and not based on insanity like yours. That’s the point of this forum… its NOT your forum to spew your filth.People I have no time for are those who construct arguments of stupidity (i.e. you), people who lie to make themselves feel “bigger” (i.e. you), and sad people who do nothing for gay rights except be a ranting bitch (i.e. you). Knowledge is power, and now we know who you are… a pathetic communist living in the past with a chemical imbalance in the brain.

  100. Diarmuid Kennedy 27 Dec 2007, 10:56pm

    William, I for one am sick to death of reading Bill’s insults against Ireland, our brothers, and our neighbours. Who the fuck does he think he is? Reading the comments Tomas made about his commie organisation, I can see what you mean about the insanity. Too many false degrees I think clouds the mind. Not to mention paranoia. Good jaysus, is he paranoid! The acute paranoia must be a side effect of communist doctrine he swallows like a 2 euro whore.

  101. William - Dublin 27 Dec 2007, 10:59pm

    Right, lets have it again:Folks, it might interest you to know who this Bill Perdue guy actually is.He is part of a communist organisation called the “RainbowRed Organisation” supposedly based in Las Vegas, although Bill himself seems to be a bit of a derelict of various “home” locations around the west of the USA:- he is originally from a mining family in Victor, was born in Denver, has lived in many of the western states but for only short periods of time at each location, and last known to live in California.RainbowRed are a VERY small and extremist group (i.e. just Bill himself) who claim to promote what is essentially a gay styled uprising on the lines of the Soviet Red Ocktober.Bill is well known for this excessive extremists views in the US on gay sites and gay blogs, and like here, regularly insults those who do not share a communist view of some preposterous proletarian gay rebellion. And I’m sure its of no surprise to you all, that he is also notorious for using clichés and hyperbole without any facts to back up his grandiose statements. He has also been known to use on more than one occasion false degree and university credentials.He is best known for his offensive letters to gay publications and politicians, which are not dissimilar in content to the styling of the Westboro Baptist Fred Phelps, albeit from the opposite extreme. Please understand, he is not taken seriously by any recognised gay organisations in the US. In fact, as fringe extremist, he has regularly pitches himself against mainstream gay organisations, whom he considers in league with the Republican Party.Bill is a dangerous person, and somewhat unbalanced. Please use and re-post this comment when ever Bill attempts to publish his offensive propaganda so other may know the truth about him.And remember, not all gay Americans are like Bill.Tomas K – The Equality Califor | Homepage | 12.27.07 – 2:33 pm |

  102. Sister Mary Clarence 28 Dec 2007, 10:25am

    Well, well, well, well, well. Looks like it really is Christmas. Bill’s dirty little secret is out, for all to see. He’s been run out of every debating forum in the States and hence the little communist cuckoo has decided to nest over here.Bill I am saddened and disgusted by the number of people you have managed to run off this site purely because they hold alternate (mainstream) views to yours. You have viciously and personally attacked person after person, knowing only too well that they are not seasoned antagonists like yourself and would eventually fold under pressure. In thread after thread you have attempted to divide and marginalise for your own ends, attempting to turn us against each other.The game is up now and I for one will make sure that Thomas’ biography of you is posted after every comment you post. I am torn between pity and disgust for you. Half of me believes that you are a product of society’s attitude towards the gay minority, the product of a world that often persecutes gay people, disadvantages them, and treats them unfairly and unequally. The other half of me is disgusted by you for the way you prey on the vulnerable with your ceaseless attacks with no concern for the distress you cause, very often attacking others who may well be on the wrong end of society’s differential treatment.On balance though, disgust is the stronger emotion for me. You are master of your own destiny and you have chosen the path in life you have taken. I suspect it is a very isolated and lonely path, but in reality its probably best for everyone that it is.I’d like to wish everyone a (belated) Merry Christmas and a happy New Year. I hope the new year continues to make like better for all of us. I would also like to again thank Luke, William, Andy and countless others for their support when I have been having a Bill moment.Best wishes

  103. Bill Perdue 28 Dec 2007, 12:42pm

    There is no question of any one relenting when it comes to making political criticisms of pigheaded neo con Conservatives. These people are our enemies; they oppose samesex marriage. Some of us may stop arguing with them because in truth there’s little point. These homosexual Conservatives get their marching orders from the Policy Exchange and are not allowed to have contrary opinions. The best antidote for their lies is to expose them using sources like the Guardian and anti-Conservative blogs. Plus their own admission that samesex marriage puts them on the spot, forcing them to choose between equality and thier bigoted political bedfellows. I have no plans that include easing off on exposes of their politics or their grubby conservative tactics however much they make up lies. They’ve been caught too often in too many lies and people see through it. Especially inept liars like Mother Superior, whose post under the pseudonym Tomas K. has to be an embarrassment to frauds everywhere. The same disinformation tactics refined by Bush Republicans to stop democratic debate are now being aped by their Conservative Party lapdogs. Some of them are described in the links below. If you link to them you’ll immediately recognize these devices to divert attention from political to personal questions. Not accidently these tactics are disseminated by the extremist Conservative Party noise machine called the Policy Exchange, which maintains close ties with US Republican extremists. Both parties promote racist islamophobia to justify the oil piracy in the Middle East. The Policy Exchange was recently implicated by a Guardian columnist in fomenting the islamophobic violence that’s killing an increasing number of immigrant youth like Ahmed Hassan, a 17-year-old Muslim student who was stabbed to death in an unprovoked attack by a gang of conservative white youths at Dewsbury railway station in west Yorkshire. These Republican tactics are now being used by their Conservative Party lapdogs and disseminated by the Policy Exchange to the paid Conservative spin doctors assigned to pose as being pro gay. But as I noted before ‘gay conservative’ is an oxymoron – it’s dishonest to use the two words together. For the fifth or sixth time, Mother Superior, your inept and infantile hissy fits fail to impress. Like your reactionary politics they’re of no import. None of the people who disagree with you are going to go away and I’m not going to stop exposing you. When ever your lies and mudslinging appear they’ll be followed by an expose. Get used to it. It’s the price you pay for apologizing for gay bashers and racist islamophobes. Check out the following sites which describe the devices taught by the Policy Exchange neo cons. And check out the Policy Exchange site and see for yourself how much they dote on their Republican Party managers. One clue will be in the many books they sell written by the worst the US has to offer.

  104. Robert, ex-pat Brit 28 Dec 2007, 1:50pm

    William, thank you for your kind words. We can all agree to disagree on certain things, that is what good debate is all about. I wish you and everyone a very happy belated christmas and an even better new year.

  105. Sister Mary Clarence 28 Dec 2007, 3:32pm

    Just to be clear again then readers:Folks, it might interest you to know who this Bill Perdue guy actually is.He is part of a communist organisation called the “RainbowRed Organisation” supposedly based in Las Vegas, although Bill himself seems to be a bit of a derelict of various “home” locations around the west of the USA:- he is originally from a mining family in Victor, was born in Denver, has lived in many of the western states but for only short periods of time at each location, and last known to live in California.RainbowRed are a VERY small and extremist group (i.e. just Bill himself) who claim to promote what is essentially a gay styled uprising on the lines of the Soviet Red Ocktober.Bill is well known for this excessive extremists views in the US on gay sites and gay blogs, and like here, regularly insults those who do not share a communist view of some preposterous proletarian gay rebellion. And I’m sure its of no surprise to you all, that he is also notorious for using clichés and hyperbole without any facts to back up his grandiose statements. He has also been known to use on more than one occasion false degree and university credentials.He is best known for his offensive letters to gay publications and politicians, which are not dissimilar in content to the styling of the Westboro Baptist Fred Phelps, albeit from the opposite extreme. Please understand, he is not taken seriously by any recognised gay organisations in the US. In fact, as fringe extremist, he has regularly pitches himself against mainstream gay organisations, whom he considers in league with the Republican Party.Bill is a dangerous person, and somewhat unbalanced. Please use and re-post this comment when ever Bill attempts to publish his offensive propaganda so other may know the truth about him.And remember, not all gay Americans are like Bill.Tomas K – The Equality Califor | Homepage | 12.27.07 – 2:33 pm |And Bill, anything I post on here will I assure you quite clearly state ‘Sister Mary Clarence’ underneath. I think it now totals five people you have accused me of being. Your maniacal ramblings get more unhinged by the hour.

  106. William - Dublin 28 Dec 2007, 5:41pm

    LOL! Sister Mary, not only are you me/Luke/Andy/everyone else who disagrees with Bill, now your Tomas K too! How delighted you must be to have so many friends, all who live in your head… apparently. I sure would love to go to one of your parties, with all those personalities you have, you’d never need to invite anyone Paranoia is a way of life for our demented commie hobo, isn’t it? Poor old Chairman Bill Mao Perdue, he must have move around so much because no one can put up with him for more then 4 minutes.The line “[they] are not allowed to have contrary opinions” in his last rant says it all… in other words, there is only one opinion, and that’s Bill’s opinion. I for one am entitled to my opinion, and no retarded communist fool like Bill Perdue will silence me. The last time we were silent against someone like him, we were ultimately made were pink triangles.

  107. Sister Mary Clarence 28 Dec 2007, 6:24pm

    Ooohoooh blimey and how freaky is this William, two of my split personalities holding a conversation?Is it like Time Cop, do you think, we mustn’t touch or it causes something or other? Is it more like Stargate do you think, where touching seemed to be okay, although was that different realities rather than time travel?Hang on, why am I asking you? You’re me, I should be asking myself. No, hang on, I am asking myself.Head’s spinning a bit now.All we need is for one of my other ‘personalities’ to pop up now like …. …. and it might be enough to send me plunging headfirst into psychosis.

  108. I’m never quite sure if I’m also just Sister Mary or William as well…or was it Steve?Perhaps Bill could clarify.Anyway, here’s wishing a merry new year to the above and all the other regulars on here.

  109. Sister Mary Clarence 28 Dec 2007, 7:35pm

    I’m never clear either why its always me pretending to be you two and not you Luke pretending to be William and me, or you William pretending to be Luke and me.Or is this me just being paranoid?Also why isn’t it Tomas pretending to be me, rather than me pretending to be Tomas K?Anyway, hope you both had a lovely Christmas and have a good New Year.

  110. Bill Perdue 29 Dec 2007, 7:36pm

    While we wait for the Conservatives to take their meds and figure out who’s who with the help of the therapists at and we can make note of the big advances the struggle for same sex marriage made in 2007. Those websites are written by experts at exposing the grubby idiocies employed by Conservatives whose politics consistenlty prevent them from winning elections. Some even claim that they’re helpful for those undergoing ex-Conservative therapy. In the US samesex marriage is available only in Massachusetts, and making its way through the legislative or judicial process in Vermont, California, New Jersey, New York and other jurisdictions. Because of the influence of right centrist Democrats and rightist Republicans (whose delaying tactics are aped by their Conservative lapdogs in England) the US struggle is going to be a prolonged state by state battle. Our best bet in the US is in California, but that depends on decisions by the California Supreme Court and the next round of elections. Same sex marriage is available in Holland, Belgium, Canada, South Africa and Spain. In Canada bigots in the Conservative Party, prompted by christian theocrats and mimicking the bigotry of their cousins in the US Republican and English Conservative parties launched a shameful attempt to overturn it. The majority of Canadians support same sex marriage so they got shot down. Civil unions, a baby step on the road to same sex marriage, have been enacted in nineteen nations and parts of Mexico, the US and Brazil. The addition of Slovenia and Uruguay to the list, as well as the enactment of marriage equality in South Africa and Spain are spreading shock waves everywhere. Single issue movements in favor of same sex marriage are being organized across the world. The newest is in Ireland where the government, the rightwing conservatives and the catholic cult, which as usual is reeling from more child molestation scandals are bitterly and pigheadedly opposed as are conservatives and religious bigots everywhere. The fight for samesex marriage equality is on the cutting edge of the fight for GLBT rights in several countries and although it’s bitterly opposed by conservative homosexuals, religious bigots and political reactionaries, it a great tool to advance our agenda. We just keep winning and they just keep losing. Gotta love it.

  111. William - Dublin 29 Dec 2007, 8:47pm

    Chairman Perdue is off again on the Ireland tirade again. How boring for us all to have to endure this again. You’d think he would have more pressing thing to worry about, like finding the next homeless shelter to sleep in, rather than proliferating bigoted and racist lies about a country he’s never been able to afford to go to.Just to be clear who is making this stupid racist attacks, the enlightening bio from Tomas K:Folks, it might interest you to know who this Bill Perdue guy actually is.He is part of a communist organisation called the “RainbowRed Organisation” supposedly based in Las Vegas, although Bill himself seems to be a bit of a derelict of various “home” locations around the west of the USA:- he is originally from a mining family in Victor, was born in Denver, has lived in many of the western states but for only short periods of time at each location, and last known to live in California.RainbowRed are a VERY small and extremist group (i.e. just Bill himself) who claim to promote what is essentially a gay styled uprising on the lines of the Soviet Red Ocktober.Bill is well known for this excessive extremists views in the US on gay sites and gay blogs, and like here, regularly insults those who do not share a communist view of some preposterous proletarian gay rebellion. And I’m sure its of no surprise to you all, that he is also notorious for using clichés and hyperbole without any facts to back up his grandiose statements. He has also been known to use on more than one occasion false degree and university credentials.He is best known for his offensive letters to gay publications and politicians, which are not dissimilar in content to the styling of the Westboro Baptist Fred Phelps, albeit from the opposite extreme. Please understand, he is not taken seriously by any recognised gay organisations in the US. In fact, as fringe extremist, he has regularly pitches himself against mainstream gay organisations, whom he considers in league with the Republican Party.Bill is a dangerous person, and somewhat unbalanced. Please use and re-post this comment when ever Bill attempts to publish his offensive propaganda so other may know the truth about him.And remember, not all gay Americans are like Bill.

  112. Bill Perdue 29 Dec 2007, 9:14pm

    For a full picture of the Conservatives use of disinformation and mud slinging against honest GLBT activists just visit these interesting sites that detail their lapdog relations with the US Republican Party. Homosexual Conservatives are instructed in these ‘schools’ to use profoundly antidemocratic tools against the GLBT movement. You’ll recognize them immediately. There’s Mother Superior, AKA Sister Mary Clarence, who was fired by the Labor Party for being inept and is not doing a very good job for the Conservatives. He refuses to identify himself. William of Dublin (the Dunce) is only identified by his profound ignorance of everything Irish and his love for every position of the English Conservative Party. William of Dublin refuses to identify himself. Then there are racists and islamophobes like Ron Paul and Luke. Luke refuses to identify himself. And Steve shows up form time to time as needed to attack GLBT activists. These people are emerging as open enemies of GLBT equality. Conservatives are opposed to samesex marriage equality international efforts aid GLBT folk in places like Iraq, Iran and Nigeria and other hotspots of violence. They deny the existence of US/English jihadist death squads armed by the US and England. The Conservative Party actively promotes islamophobia (although from what I’ve seen Labour has at best a mixed record on this question.) Conservative homosexuals are moving to the right at a pretty fast clip. Right now they’re in the process of crapping on the floor before they leave. Be patient.

  113. Sister Mary Clarence 29 Dec 2007, 10:41pm

    Bill who gives a s**t about the Republican Party – wrong country this is Britain …… and just to remind everyoneFolks, it might interest you to know who this Bill Perdue guy actually is.He is part of a communist organisation called the “RainbowRed Organisation” supposedly based in Las Vegas, although Bill himself seems to be a bit of a derelict of various “home” locations around the west of the USA:- he is originally from a mining family in Victor, was born in Denver, has lived in many of the western states but for only short periods of time at each location, and last known to live in California.RainbowRed are a VERY small and extremist group (i.e. just Bill himself) who claim to promote what is essentially a gay styled uprising on the lines of the Soviet Red Ocktober.Bill is well known for this excessive extremists views in the US on gay sites and gay blogs, and like here, regularly insults those who do not share a communist view of some preposterous proletarian gay rebellion. And I’m sure its of no surprise to you all, that he is also notorious for using clichés and hyperbole without any facts to back up his grandiose statements. He has also been known to use on more than one occasion false degree and university credentials.He is best known for his offensive letters to gay publications and politicians, which are not dissimilar in content to the styling of the Westboro Baptist Fred Phelps, albeit from the opposite extreme. Please understand, he is not taken seriously by any recognised gay organisations in the US. In fact, as fringe extremist, he has regularly pitches himself against mainstream gay organisations, whom he considers in league with the Republican Party.Bill is a dangerous person, and somewhat unbalanced. Please use and re-post this comment when ever Bill attempts to publish his offensive propaganda so other may know the truth about him.And remember, not all gay Americans are like Bill.Tomas K – The Equality Califor | Homepage | 12.27.07 – 2:33 pm |

  114. William - Dublin 30 Dec 2007, 1:21am

    Oh, what’s wrong Bill, are you in a bitch rant because you couldn’t afford to come over to Europe to visit the countries you know fuck all about? Need to save all your money so you can buy some newspaper to sleep in? You could do with fixing your own backward country before you dare make your uneducated attacks on another. You see Bill, that’s the problem with false degrees, they’re just not as good as real ones. Stupid, silly little Bill.So, where’s the website link to your “Rainbow Red”, Bill? Afraid we’ll see its a lonely hears club for one sad little communist with too much unemployed time on him hands?

  115. Bill Perdue 30 Dec 2007, 7:06pm

    For a complete picture of the Conservative use of Republican disinformation and mud slinging tactics against honest GLBT activists just visit these interesting sites that detail their lapdog relations with the US Republican Party. guid…cessful_02.html arch…_nick_boles.asp Homosexual Conservatives are instructed in these ‘schools’ to use profoundly antidemocratic tools against the GLBT movement. You’ll recognize them immediately. There’s Mother Superior, AKA Sister Mary Clarence, who was fired by the Labor Party for being inept and is not doing a very good job for the Conservatives. He refuses to identify himself. William of Dublin (the Dunce) is only identified by his profound ignorance of everything Irish and his love for the politics of the English Conservative Party. William of Dublin refuses to identify himself. Then there are racists and islamophobes like Ron Paul and Luke. Luke refuses to identify himself. And Steve shows up form time to time as needed to attack GLBT activists. These people are emerging as open enemies of GLBT equality. Conservatives are opposed to samesex marriage equality international efforts aid GLBT folk in places like Iraq, Iran and Nigeria and other hotspots of violence. They deny the existence of US/English jihadist death squads armed by the US and England. The Conservative Party actively promotes islamophobia (although from what I’ve seen Labour has at best a mixed record on this question.) Conservative homosexuals are moving to the right at a pretty fast clip. Right now they’re in the process of crapping on the floor before they leave. Be patient.Bill Perdue | 12.29.07 – 9:14 pm | #

  116. William - Dublin 31 Dec 2007, 1:26am

    Oh, right Bill, cut and paste the last comments you made. How uncharacteristic of you. What the hell is a conservative homosexual anyway? And why is anyone who isn’t marching in a May Day Parade one of these? Such nonsense, Bill. Really, you are above stupidity and monotony. Well, lets recap, shall we, on the messenger of this insipid tripe: Bill is the SOLE member of a communist gay group who wants a gay Red Ocktober uprising. He has no home and wanders the USA like a hobo, ranting on various sites about the “homosexual conservative” (whatever THAT is supposed to be), he’s been booted off most of them. Unlike me and many people who he insults here, he lies about his non-existent degrees and false college education. Lying and insulting people is his modus operandi, and aparently that’s ALL he does for gay rights. Yeah, Bill, a dull and witless cretin such as you can be believed and trusted. Clearly you are a unbalanced individual with medical needs, and should be locked up for your own protection. Sister Mary, Luke and all the other people who you regularly insult are superior to you in so many ways…. not least in they have an education and a home, unlike you.Still can’t show us a home page for this bogus organisation, “RainbowRed”, can you? Does it even exists, Bill, or is it like your “college” education? Produce the web page, or be proven to be an unadulterated coward and a fool.

  117. In the name of our shared humanity and homosexuality, LISTEN:I am reminded of the squabbles in the 70’s – gay ion gay (CHE v GLF) lesbian v gay, etc. We have a shared goal I think, to get our existance, needs, and relationships recognised and accepted by the straight world!!Obviously we reflect society in our political and social views, but I find it unsettling that we slag off people of different views. FOr example: Sister May Claire may be a high tory wedded to the market etc, but I believe his goals to have his relationship and life recognised, appreciated, and valued, are np less than my own. ANd I believe Bill may have a political agenda profoundly different from my own, but I think that his aim of LGBT equality is consistant with mine – and even the methods will not differ appreciably.The enemy is outside; don’t let’s burn the house down for personal satisfaction – we can argue methods etc, but focus on the goal.Please – ALL – feel suitably chastened. I’ve reached an age when the squabbles of the self-centred don’t impress, not least because I know you’re all BETTER than that. xx

  118. sorry “Sister Mary Clarence”and sorry for other typos

  119. William - Dublin 31 Dec 2007, 11:23am

    apYrs, everyone here agrees that while we differ on opinion, we are all here for gay rights. However, people like Bill Perdue do not support gay rights, they support a personal communist political agenda. And one of totalitarian opinion. Bill does not allow other opinions, and does not share a common cause with his fellow LGBT brothers and sisters, he simply wants to insult and peddle his extremist crap anywhere and at anyone. Do you think we’d be better off with the likes of Bill Perdue in the world fighting for our cause? I doubt it. For one, even if you removed all the people that oppose us, Bill would then turn on us. He is a liar, a fool and a charlatan, as his claims to false education show. He is an extremist, and extremists need to be fought at every turn, even if they wear a mask of “gay rights” like Bill pretends.apYrs, you’ve seen how he treats people with opinions other than his own. Is this the face of “gay rights”, a lunatic who insults the more educated and insightful people in his forum (like the good Sister and Luke, and so many others. He’s even had a go at you, apYrs, once or twice before)Bill is not opposed to those who oppress the LGBT, he is opposed to free thought. And the last time that happened, we ended up in gas chambers wearing pink triangles. Perhaps you’ll remember another of Bill’s comrades, Pol Pot, who also sought a proletarian utopia… where people with “opinions” ended up face down in dugs pits? Do YOU want this despot communist fool fighting on your side? I for one don’t. Maybe you should read his comments again and see for yourself. Have a look at this bio of Bill posted recently:Folks, it might interest you to know who this Bill Perdue guy actually is.He is part of a communist organisation called the “RainbowRed Organisation” supposedly based in Las Vegas, although Bill himself seems to be a bit of a derelict of various “home” locations around the west of the USA:- he is originally from a mining family in Victor, was born in Denver, has lived in many of the western states but for only short periods of time at each location, and last known to live in California.RainbowRed are a VERY small and extremist group (i.e. just Bill himself) who claim to promote what is essentially a gay styled uprising on the lines of the Soviet Red Ocktober.Bill is well known for this excessive extremists views in the US on gay sites and gay blogs, and like here, regularly insults those who do not share a communist view of some preposterous proletarian gay rebellion. And I’m sure its of no surprise to you all, that he is also notorious for using clichés and hyperbole without any facts to back up his grandiose statements. He has also been known to use on more than one occasion false degree and university credentials.He is best known for his offensive letters to gay publications and politicians, which are not dissimilar in content to the styling of the Westboro Baptist Fred Phelps, albeit from the opposite extreme. Please understand, he is not taken seriously by any recognised gay organisations in the US. In fact, as fringe extremist, he has regularly pitches himself against mainstream gay organisations, whom he considers in league with the Republican Party.Bill is a dangerous person, and somewhat unbalanced. Please use and re-post this comment when ever Bill attempts to publish his offensive propaganda so other may know the truth about him.And remember, not all gay Americans are like Bill.Tomas K – The Equality Califor | Homepage | 12.27.07 – 2:33 pm |

  120. Sister Mary Clarence 31 Dec 2007, 12:41pm

    ApYrs, I do to a certain extent take your point. I don’t think the current arguments that are raging are conducive to an inclusive environment and the impression given to those first accessing the site is not the best. However, firstly, the fact that I have said that I vote Tory (having had some insight into the internal working of the Labour Party), I do not think necessarily classifies me as a ‘high tory wedded to the market’ – I suspect this impression may have in some party come from the litany of insults Bill has hurled across the internet at me. As they say, when people start throwing shit, some of it always sticks.Secondly, my problem with Bill is the way he has in the past singled out individuals and targeted them with afore mentioned ‘litany of insults’ until they up and leave. People have quite innocently posted a comment about a news item, it has not met with Bill’s ‘standard’ of appropriate LBGT thoughts and so he has gone for the jugular. In my case for voting Tory, in William’s for being Irish or living in the wrong part of Ireland or something else even more tenuous, and Luke for …. dunno, being sharp and witty maybe as that appears to be his only crime. In varying frequencies others also express an inappropriate opinion in Bill’s eyes and the attacks commence. Without knowing the first thing about a person he will launch into hateful attacks based on a wealth of assumptions drawn from a few lines of text someone has published.It now appears that Bill has a history of this type of behaviour and I really have a problem with his bullying. I would not walk past if I saw someone being bullied on the street. I would do, and always have done, what I could to stop it. Just because a person does not see the world through Bill’s eyes does not make them the devil incarnate. The site is not and should not be a place for people with an axe to grind to come and grind it.I don’t know what the solution is, but I don’t think it is to give him free reign to continue ruling of the content of these comments pages like his own little fiefdom.

  121. Paul Ward 3 Jan 2008, 4:25pm

    Hi AllIve read all of your comments on this issue that Martin and I fought so hard for.Firstly I would like to start by saying it is not a law it is an acknowledgement by the Spanish government that they will recognise civil partnerships made in the UK, therefore it does not have to be passed by royal decree, but has been passed by the ministry of justice here in Madrid.The reason civil partnerships or same sex marriage are still not legal Europe wide is because of the religious beleifs in some countries.By the Spanish government agreeing to do this gay couples who have a civil partnership in the UK will have all the same rights as any married couplehere in Spain.For those of you thinking of marrying in Spain as well as your civil partnership in the UK please be aware that if you return to the UK you will be classed as being in a civil partnership twice which is illegal, so you would have to disolve one before entering into another.If anyone would like to speak to me about anything regarding this case feel free to contact me on 0034678284982 and I will do whatever I can to help you.All the higher departments in Spanish Government are aware of this change but it will take some time for it to filter down to local government departments.If anyone does encounter any problems in Spain please contact the Spanish Embassy in Madrid and they will be able to help you.

  122. Robert, ex-pat Brit 3 Jan 2008, 5:41pm

    Paul, thank you very much for explaining that to us. Indeed, you’ve only proved that civil partnerships are NOT equal to marriage because if they were, the UK would recognise legally married same-sex couples. If Spain can recognise a civil partnership, then the UK can and should recognise a legally married same-sex couple, NO exceptions if it truly believes in full equality. The UK should and must reciprocate. I think Spain was more than magnanimous to recognise our laws, whereas we are not. Why should we always force others to see it our way? I think it is grossly unfair and unjust that the UK can get away with it.

  123. Paul Ward 3 Jan 2008, 6:09pm

    Hi RobertThe UK does recognise a Spanish same sex marriage but it is classed the same as a civil partnership in the UK.

  124. Robert, ex-pat Brit 3 Jan 2008, 7:05pm

    Paul, with respect, and I’ve had this discussion over and over with others who take your view, though I differe greatly on it. The two are not the same. Never have been never will be, its not a question of semantics either. The fact of the matter is, Blair publicly stated that in no way are civil partnerships to be considered as marriages, if they were, the would have been merged into the marriage causation act of 1973, to date, they h ave not. Blair also said of same-sex marriage..” it wasn’t the way he wanted to go”. He offered an alternative to it, civil partnerships but they are indeed not the same. Marriage has only one name, not an alternative, it is called marriage. I know of no other kind.The fact that a same-sex marriage conducted in Spain has to be changed or downgraded to a totally different term in the UK because the couple is of the same gender only proves even more that they are definitely not equal, no matter how you look at it. If they are considered marriages, there would be no need for them to be called civil partnerships in the first place. I find it offensive and insulting to any same-sex couple entering into a real marriage to be called anything less and it is equally offensive and disrepectful of the laws of a country that perform marriages for same-gender couples. Five important western democracies realised that thus far, and its growing, slowly but surely. I respect your choice for a partnership, but never overestimate that you are married, you’re not, but just legally recognised, nothing more.

  125. Steve (2) 3 Jan 2008, 7:20pm

    is there maybe a book or a website some of these people that just will not understand that in the uk civil partnerships are equal to marriage can read to get some comprehension about what they are?this discussion has gone on way to long and there seem to be some real cognitive function issues among a small set of people on the issue.without wishing to sound xenophobic, the bulk of these people appear not to be resident in the uk. whilst I have no issue with them accessing the site it would be helpful if they base comments about british civil partnerships on british civil partnerships not some watered down or twisted version that may of may not have in their own country.

  126. Robert, ex-pat Brit 3 Jan 2008, 7:25pm

    Paul, do you have an “Certificate of Marriage”? If not, then you can’t be considered a married couple. As a matter of interest, in early 2004 while living in New York, I called the local consular general at the British Consulate inquiring about civil partnerships being performed overseas. I was told quite emphatically that they are legal partnerships with a lot of the rights of marriage, but they are not to be construed or recognised as such since there is no marriage ceremony or exchange of marriage vows, just a registry that is signed by the couple entering into a partnership. The termination of such a partnership I was told is called a dissolution not a divorce, another indication that they are not marriages.

  127. Hi RobertI had a meetig at the consul in November with Michael John Holloway the Ambassador General in Madrid.If you care to check out the Embassy website it explains quite clearly that couples who have entered into a UK civil partnership will be treated the same as married couples here in Spain.

  128. hi robert check out this link

  129. Sister Mary Clarence 4 Jan 2008, 1:18am

    Ah Paul, I can tell you now that won’t be good enough for Robert – ‘treated the same’ won’t cut the mustard with him.Whilst some of us have struggled long and hard to be treated like straight people, others want us actually to become straight people.

  130. Bill Perdue 4 Jan 2008, 3:13am

    Mother Superior, aka Sister Mary Clarence pigheadedly opposes samesex marriage and GLBT equality. He’s a troll planted by the Conservative Party think tank called the Policy Exchange which get its marching orders from the Republican White House. Conservative and think is like Army and Intelligence – they’re oxymorons. The Policy Exchange has repeatedly been exposed in these two English sites: The Tory Troll brigade is composed of closet dwellers who are horrified by genuine GLBT activists who overwhelmingly and globally demand samesex marriage equality. It puts them on the spot and forces them to choose between embracing GLBT equality and staying in their closets. They cluelessly ape the politics of the Conservatives’ Party Line. The term ‘gay conservative’ is another oxymoron. These words cannot honestly be used together. Mother Superior, aka Sister Mary Clarence and other Tory trolls use lies, smears and disinformation to go after anyone not conforming to the Conservative Party Line. I’ve shown the posts from the fake leader ‘Tomas” who’s been made to say that he represents California Equality to many people here in the US. After we had a good laugh some of the members noted that not only was the Tory Troll who invented ‘Tomas’ inept (which is why Mother Superior was fired by Labour) but that he’s terminally stupid. First they made ‘Tomas’ say that he was a ‘leader’ of California Equality, but they’ve never heard of him and he’s not listed on their website. Sister Mary Clarence scrambled to fix fixed that by changing his story. ‘Tomas’ was no long his name but an alias which he had to use because he was terrified, just like Mother Superior aka Sister Mary Clarence is terrified of honest activists. The invented persona ‘Tomas’ uses the word ‘organisation’ several times and also the word ‘paedophiles’. Mother Superiors blinkered insularity and lack of a proper education betrays him time and again. In the US the spellings we use are ‘organization’ and ‘pedophile’. What will they have “Tomas” say about that? I can hardly wait. Mother Superior, Wsilliam and Luke the compulsive islamophobe made a big mistake when they invented ‘Tomas.’ He’s constantly changing his story to explain their retarded lack of common sense when they created him. Anyone can subpoena the IP addresses of these posts. They won’t have come from the US.

  131. Robert, ex-pat Brit 4 Jan 2008, 1:47pm

    Paul, thank you but I’d read that article when it first appeared here. The Spanish authorities are the ones who said that British civil partnered couples should be treated as spouses, not the British government. Without an Certificate of Marriage, no same-sex UK couple can state he or she is married and our government has clearly stated that these are not marriages. That’s all I’m saying. Its nice to think they are and the term is often used freely, but in reality they are not nor will they be unless an act of parliament makes it so. If and when you apply for a mortgage, bank loan, social security, government job, whatever, do you mean to say you would tick the “married” box? Doing so would be fraudulent wouldn’t it and you could face a denial of service, a fine, imprisonment or both.Sister Mary, I’m not going to belabour it with you any more. It has NOTHING to do with being straight or being like straight people. The bottom line is…separate is never equal, no matter the rights you enjoy. Its tantamount to saying that your driving licence should be different because straight drivers use the same licence format as you and everybody else. Seems as if there is a lot of denial going on with many of you and I suppose if tomorrow, for the sake of argument, civil partnerships were converted to full marriage, most of you would protest and decline them because they smack of straight people? Ask yourselves that. Truly amazing.Until

  132. Paul Ward 4 Jan 2008, 3:07pm

    Hi RobertAt no point have Martin or myself said our civil partnership is a marriage.All we wanted was the same rights as spouses which we fought so hard for and have won the battle.I was in countless conversations with Michael Cashman MEP, Glenys Kinnock MEP, The Ambassadors, The Foreign and Commonwealth Office, SOLVIT, Peter Tatchell and many others and all this hard work has paid off.I hope what I have fought for will help others.

  133. Paul Ward 4 Jan 2008, 3:19pm

    Hi RobertIn future when any couple here in Spain have a UK civil partnership and they apply for a mortgage etc here in Spain they are to tick the married box on any forms.If then they encounter any problems they are to contact the embassy in Madrid who will resolve the matter.Paul

  134. Sister Mary Clarence 4 Jan 2008, 3:35pm

    Hi Paul, glad you come down in the ‘want to be equal camp’ with us. A number of us have repeatedly expressed a view that we seek to be treated equally with straight people when committing to each other and do not have an issue with civil partnerships and marriages having separate names but conferring the saame rights.There is a very vocal opposing view that we are letting the side down, we are bad homosexuals and we are accepting being treated as an underclass.

  135. Sister Mary Clarence 4 Jan 2008, 3:39pm

    Oh, no Paul, and now you’ve opened up the ‘ticking marriage box on a form’ debate again.This is a whole Pandora’s box arguments. Brace your for a deluge of indignant emails about this as well.

  136. Robert, ex-pat Brit 4 Jan 2008, 4:08pm

    Paul and others, you may be able to tick “married” in Spain, but you can’t in the UK. Businesses that have not yet made provision for civil partnership boxes on forms and other instruments advise same-sex partnered couples to check off “other”. If these partnerships were equal and are to be treated as “marriages”, as everybody here seems to believe, then no UK business would have the need to provide a civil partnership box in the first place. Leave it as is if they’re equal.If Spain allows you to tick “married”, why can’t the UK? The reason you can’t is because you’re NOT married, just partnered according to the UK government. Not the same, no matter how any of you try to justify or apologise for the government that did not want you to have the right to marry in the first place like everybody else who isn’t gay. Canada realised it, Holland realised, Belgium realised it, Spain realised it and so did South Africa, and soon, Sweden, all of whom had civil unions/partnerships long before a UK government had any conception of what equality really means. Five of these courageous countries have been doing it a lot longer than we have. Their governments came to the unanimous decision that separate is never equal, no matter how many rights their gay citizens had gained.I’m saying no more on the subject because the consenus among UK gay and lesbian people on this website is that it is definitely anti same-sex marriage, whereas globally, you are all outnumbered.

  137. I was much involved in the marriage/civil partnership debate a short while ago,and I left my bank because it would not indicate civil partnership on its application forms. It seems to me important that there should be some provision for civil partnership on such forms. Some financial organizations make provision for ‘married/civil partner’. This seems to me to be entirely acceptable. I do not wish to tick ‘married’ or ‘other’!

  138. OMAR KUDDUS 4 Jan 2008, 8:50pm

    Robert.Perhaps what some people should do before ANYTHING ELSE is read what the ACTUAL word “EQUAL” and “EQUALITY” means according to the Oxford Dictionary.But then in the UK we have always settled for, a compromise and the morsel of bread that is occasionally thrown in our direction to keep us pacified, and made to feel “equal”.To answer your question why, If in ” Spain allows you to tick “married”, why can’t the UK?” Is not“ The reason you can’t is because you’re NOT married, just partnered according to the UK government.”Its because no one (to date) has challenged the government, as to WHY we cant, if we are supposed to be “married”.You are right that it is “ Not the same, no matter how any of you try to justify or apologise for the government that did not want you to have the right to marry in the first place like everybody else who isn’t gay.”“Canada realised it, Holland realised, Belgium realised it, Spain realised it and so did South Africa, and soon, Sweden, all of whom had civil unions/partnerships long before a UK government had any conception of what equality really means.”And because of the THREE of these “courageous countries” / EU Member State “have been doing it a lot longer than we have” and “their governments came to the unanimous decision that separate is never equal, no matter how many rights their gay citizens had gained” is the very essence why a civil partnership CAN and WILL, eventually be challenged, under EU LAW, to allow gay citizens the same rights and status as a “marriage”, in the UK.

  139. Sister Mary Clarence 5 Jan 2008, 12:52am

    Could someone please explain to those of us that believe that civil partnerships are equal to marriage, exactly what the specifiy defferences are?Robert has trotted out something about non-UK resident couples not being able to enter into a civil partership in the UK, but it transpires that they need to apply for a Certificate of Authority in order to do so, just like straight couples do when they wish to get married in the same circumstances.It appears on the face of it that you neither understand the term equal (uniform in operation or effect), marriage (the social institution under which a man and woman establish their decision to live as husband and wife by legal commitments), or civil partnerships (the social institution under which a man and woman establish their decision to live as husband and wife by legal commitments, and civil partnerships (a legal union between two people of the same-sex, giving a same sex couple the same rights as a married couple, such as pension and inheritance equality). Of course if anyone can come up with any reasoned arguments to the contrary, I’d be happy to hear them.

  140. MarcoMilano 5 Jan 2008, 12:59pm

    Hi Sister mary Clarecnce…Happy new year to all! I’ve just decided to look again at this web site that i visited in december and… what?… I’ve found that (again) you don’t understand the inequality of uk’s c.p.You’re asking a question to pro-marriage gays here… well… I’ll answer only when you tell us WHY is it right to ban ALL gays from the choice of marriage and WHY is it right to IMPOSE A SEPARATE LEGAL UNION to all gays that want recognition as couples. Isn’ it more logical and libertarian to let every person, whether gay or straight, decide between Civil Marriage and other types of solutions?I’m asking this question since the beginning.Nobody answers here.

  141. MarcoMilano 5 Jan 2008, 1:41pm

    TO ALL:What’s wrong with replacing Civil Partnerships with access to Civil Marriage and improvement of laws regarding stable relationships outside marriage?-

  142. Robert, ex-pat Brit 5 Jan 2008, 1:50pm

    Omar, thank you.As for your response Sr. Mary regarding a C of A for non-British same sex couples wishing to enter into an civil partnership, I was told by the consular general here in New York that one of the two must be a British national, that it does not permit two foreigners to have a partnership. A straight foreign couples, however, has the right to marry in the UK. That said, has the law suddenly changed since it was enacted in 2005? Have their been any amendments permitting same-sex foreign couples to be joined in a partnership? I’ve not read anything about it, anywhere.

  143. OMAR KUDDUS 5 Jan 2008, 3:23pm

    Regarding the recent comments and disinformation being given by certain individuals in the comments section of the PinkNews.co.uk I think its appropriate to put the situation right and clear the confusion that effects several gay proposed civil partnerships in the UK, through the need of Certificates of Approvals.So am submitting the following to clear matters up as the last thing potential gay asylum seekers and their British /EU partners need in the UK is to be given the wrong information.Certificate of Approval for Civil PartnershipsIn February 2005 the UK Home Office introduced a controversial scheme under which it was necessary for some couples to obtain a Certificate of Approval (CoA) from the Home Secretary before marrying or entering into a civil partnership in the UK. Under this scheme, the requirement to obtain a Certificate of Approval applied when at least one partner was not British or settled in the UK and not a national of a member State of the European Union (EU).The scheme was challenged in a group of cases known as Baiai [2007] EWCA Civ 478. On 23 May 2007 the UK Court of Appeal gave its judgment in this case.The UK Home Office LOST.The challenge in Baiai relied on article 12 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), the right to marry. The Court of Appeal held that the scheme was unlawful because it was inconsistent with article 12, saying:’…the Secretary of State can only interfere with the exercise of article 12 rights in cases that involve, or very likely involve, sham marriages entered into with the object of improving the immigration status of one of the parties. To be proportionate, a scheme to achieve that end must either properly investigate individual cases, or at least show that it has come close to isolating cases that very likely fall into the target category. It must also show that the marriages targeted do indeed make substantial inroads into the enforcement of immigration control. …the scheme in issue in this case does not pass that test.’ Mr Baiai had no lawful leave to be in the UK. The Court held that preventing him from marrying was still unlawful, saying:‘There may well be good grounds for saying that when a person should not be in this country at all, even on a temporary basis, it would be reasonable and proportionate to prevent him from using the access to article 12 that that physical presence gives him in order to improve his immigration position. But that is not the basis on which the Secretary of State rested his refusal of Mr Baiai’s application. The only right that he claimed to interfere with Mr Baiai’s intended marriage was, and had to be, based on the scheme. The objection inherent in the scheme, that it inhibits marriages on grounds of immigration status rather than by a reliable consideration of the genuineness of the marriage, applies just as much in the case of an illegal entrant such as Mr Baiai as in the case of persons with very limited permission to be here…’.As of 23 May 2007, the Certificate of Approval scheme is unlawful. The Home Secretary of the UK Home Office is reported to be considering trying to appeal the decision to the UK House of Lords and applied and was given permission to do so on the 26th July 2007.The House of Lords Judiciary Office Manager, Nick Cross, informs me that at the moment there is no date set for a hearing and that at the end of February they may have some news as to when this may be. There is more than way in which the House of Lords that could be involved, as The House of Lords is the name of the highest court in the UK. It is also the name of a bigger unit, the second chamber of the UK parliament.A new proposal for immigration legislation in the UK, the UK Borders Bill, is currently before the UK parliament and It will soon be considered by the second chamber of that parliament, the House of Lords. Given that the court in Baiai said that ‘there might be the possibility of dealing with cases such as that of Mr Baiai under differently formulated legislation’, there is a possibility that the UK government will try to make changes to the UK Borders Bill to make it unlawful for people with no lawful leave to be in the UK to marry in the UK or make other changes to address the decision of the Court of Appeal in Baiai, though until the Secretary of state actually puts in the appeal to the House of Lords , it is uncertain what is actually going to be their case.. The Secretary of State’s declared purpose in setting up the Certificate of Approval regime was to prevent marriages that did not reflect genuine relationships, but were entered into to secure an immigration advantage: the right to stay in the UK. Certificate of Approvals however went further than laws that prohibit people from deriving an immigration advantage from a marriage or civil partnership; it prevented them from entering into the marriage or civil partnership in the first place.Where laws prevent a couple from entering into a genuine marriage or civil partnership, this has implications for their religious, cultural and social life that range far beyond immigration and thus engage article 12 of the European Convention on Rights.The Court of Appeal held that the right to marry is an important and fundamental right. It is not absolute: it recognises and supports national laws that ensure that marriages are proper. Nor does it confer a right to marry in any particular country, in this case the UK rather than a country outside the European Economic Area (EEA). The Court of Appeal did not mention civil partnerships as Article 12 of the ECHR specifically protects the right to marry and makes no mention of civil partnerships. To date the Home Office has never applied separate regimes to marriages and civil partnerships and when the High Court, the court below the Court of Appeal, first decided against it in Baiai, it changed the regime for Certificates of Approval for marriages and civil partnerships.It had also been argued in the case that the Certificate of Approval regime was contrary to article 14 of the ECHR, which prohibits discrimination in the application of any of the articles of the ECHR. Marriages in the Anglican Church (the Church of England) were exempt from the Certificate of Approval regime, unlike marriages performed according to the rites of other faiths, and those with no religious element at all. This, it was argued in Baiai, constituted discrimination on the grounds of religion. While agreeing that the exemption made the scheme discriminatory against those who married other than in an Anglican church, the Court of Appeal held that this was ‘essentially a footnote to the scheme as a whole’A scheme they found, as a whole, to be unlawful. If the Home Secretary decides to introduce a new regime, it may be that the exemption for marriages in the Anglican Church would not be a part of it.People who have been refused a Certificate of Approval in the past, and / or have been unable to marry or form a civil partnership or otherwise disadvantaged because of this requirement, will be greatly encouraged by the judgment and should consider taking legal advice about their current situation.It should also be noted that the judgment given in the Supreme Court of Judicature, Court of Appeals (Civil Division) was handed down by THREE LORD JUSTICES; Lord Justice Buxton and unanimously agreed by Lord Justice Lloyd and Lord Justice Waller (Vice-President of the Court of Appeal (Civil Division).

  144. Robert, ex-pat Brit 5 Jan 2008, 3:43pm

    Marco, absolutely nothing wrong with that at all. There should be more options for people who don’t want to get married, but EVERYBODY should and must have the right to marry if they so choose. I don’t know why most here can’t get their heads around it and why they are so vigorously opposed to it. I have nothing against people entering into civil partnerships when there is nothing else available to them, by all means, do it. In fact, some countries permit hetero and straight couples to form legal unions outside of marriage, i.e. Tasmania, South Africa and recently Uruguay, and one or two other European countries. That’s all I’m asking, nothing more and is it so much to ask for? Times have changed, the kinds of relationships people are having today are much different than they were 100 years ago. Society should adapt and acknowledge them by opening other types of legal unions including marriage to same-sex couples who so wish it. Its about freedom to choose not the prohibition thereof and it should be in the interests of all and should not be about segregating one class of people from another. Separate is always divisive, that will never change.

  145. OMAR KUDDUS 5 Jan 2008, 4:06pm

    From Wikipedia, encyclopediaEqual may refer to:· A state of equalityEquality can mean several things:In Humanities :· Egalitarianism, the belief that all/some people ought to be treated equally · Equality of outcome · Equality of opportunity · Equality of treatment · Equality before the law · Racial equality · Sexual equality · Social equality Marriage or wedlock is an interpersonal relationship (usually intimate and sexual) with governmental, social, or religious recognition. It is often created as a contract or through civil processes. Civil marriage is the legal concept of marriage as a governmental institution.The most common form of marriage unites a man and a woman as husband and wife.[1][2] Other forms of marriage also exist.Civil partnerships in the United Kingdom, granted under the Civil Partnership Act 2004, give same-sex couples rights and responsibilities identical to civil marriage.”Civil partnership” redirects here. For information on the concept as a whole and in countries outside the United Kingdom, see civil union.A civil union is a legally recognized union similar to marriage. Beginning with Denmark in 1989, civil unions under one name or another have been established by law in many developed countries in order to provide same-sex couples with rights, benefits, and responsibilities similar (in some countries, identical) to opposite-sex civil marriage. In some jurisdictions, such as Quebec and New Zealand, civil unions are also open to opposite-sex couples.A “reasoned arguments to the contrary” that you would “ be happy to hear” enough for you, Sister Mary Clarence (01.05.08 – 12:52 am) or perhaps you would like to rewrite the encyclopedia.

  146. William - Dublin 5 Jan 2008, 4:48pm

    Omar, you are technically correct in every way. However, you just keep missing the point… some people just don’t want “gay marriage”, and there is nothing wrong with that. I am not British, so the UK civil partnership laws have no effect on me, but my personal preference is civil partnership, as I don’t want, or need, marriage. Marriage has a horrendous failure rate, a straight institution, and is not necessary to some people to make them feel “complete”… personally, I believe there are bigger battles to fight on gay rights then this.I accept you and other gay people want full marriage, and you will not feel equal until you have it, and sure in time you will. That’s fine too, I support that, as does every gay person.But you should not be quick to dismiss people who do not what gay marriage as not supporting equality or somehow not “gay enough” for you. That attitude is akin to throwing a tantrum because your not getting your way, and is a narrow minded view. People have a right to be able to say civil partnerships are acceptable to them and not want marriage. Have you considered they don’t need marriage to feel equal? I certainly don’t. Maybe you should be asking yourself why do you?

  147. MarcoMilano 5 Jan 2008, 5:30pm

    Dear William…I read you message, and I understand that you’re missing the point.Nobody here is saying that those who don’t want to be married do not support equality.We’re criticizing only those who want the ban on gay marriage to continue, those who think it is right to impose a different legal union to all gays that want to be recognized.That’s it.We’re criticizing those who defend the UK’s status quo.Sister Mary Clarence and others are not only expressing their personal aspirations… they’re defending a status quo. They’re saying that civil partnerships instead of the opening of civil marriage is equality… It is not true!-

  148. Robert, ex-pat Brit 5 Jan 2008, 6:04pm

    William, in Omar’s defence, that straight marriages fail have nothing to do with the marriage itself, but the two parties that are at fault, not what they legally enjoined in. Give civil partnerships time, you’ll see some, maybe many of them failing for the same reasons marriages fail, irreconcilable differences, falling out of love, financial problems, etc. As it is, we’re seeing some civil unions in the states of Connecticut and Vermont fail thus far for the very same reasons.Worldwide, there is more support among gay people for marriage than civil unions or partnerships. Just because several countries have unions/pacs/partnerships etc., doesn’t mean that they are supported by a majority of gay people. Lets not forget that we and they were never given the chance to marry in the first place but were told we would only get something different but similar. That is the point here. People, all people should have the right to choose if they wish to marry or not as well as opt for non-marriage in the form of partnerships. As I’ve said several times before, had we in the UK been offered marriage, do you really think the majority of gay couples would refrain from marring they never wanted it anyway as most on here seem to think? I think not and most of the anti-marriage equality supporters would find themselves in a dilemma if that were the case. There would also be no need for discussion and in reality, I don’t think any gay couple would argue with the government that they didn’t want marriage but would prefer to have an alternative arrangement.Marco, the fact that most here on this site don’t want marriage is undermining full equality for others not only in the UK but elsewhere. Its going to come, it is inevitable. Now that Sweden is about to upgrade to full marriage, it is a question of time before the rest of Scandinavia follows suit bringing the total to possibly 9 countries in line with the current five.

  149. OMAR KUDDUS 5 Jan 2008, 6:58pm

    Thank you William for pointing that out, that is that I am “technically correct in every way”. However, I don’t keep missing the point.I appreciate the fact that some people just don’t want “gay marriage”, and there is nothing wrong with that.Nobody here is saying that those who don’t want to be married do not support equalityNot all heterosexual couples want to get married either and rather be classified as partners and that too is fine. However they have a CHOICE and it is THEIR decision on how they want the rest of the word to view them and their relationships with each other.Marriage may have a horrendous failure rate, and as Civil Partnerships are perhaps to have too, but that is not the issue here.I also personally believe there are bigger battles to fight on gay rights then this subject alone that seems to dominate. And you are wrong to assume that I dismiss people who do not want gay marriage as not supporting equality or somehow not “gay enough” for me.As an attitude like that would be “akin to throwing a tantrum because you’re not getting your way, and is a narrow minded view”. That is my very point. That people do have a right to be able to say a civil partnership is acceptable to them and do not want a marriage. As I do, that I want one, as the argument works vice versa.I have considered that “they don’t need marriage to feel equal” because by the very definition of equality, they do not have it. What is the argument and misrepresentation is that they’re saying that civil partnerships are just like civil marriage and thus is equality… and that simply is not true.I know that I certainly, would not feel equal, even if I was allowed to get Civil Partnered, with my lover. That is the point here. People, all people should have the right to choose if they wish to marry or not as well as opt for non-marriage in the form of partnerships.

  150. MarcoMilano 5 Jan 2008, 7:22pm

    You’re right, Robert.I agree with every word you write on this issue.I was only saying that I’m not criticizing S.M.C. personal aspirations, but her words about the ban on gay marriage, about UK laws.-

  151. William - Dublin 5 Jan 2008, 7:34pm

    Omar, Robert and Marco, I can see your points of view on this, and yes, I’m sure some do equate the full matching of both straight and gay marriage.However, from my understanding of the law on civil partnerships in the UK, do they not give all the rights that a straight marriage gives, the rightsthat matter the most: i.e. inheritance, tax allowances, parental rights? From what you are saying, there seems to be some differences between the civil and marriage, legalities that will be ironed out in time I’m sure, but in every way that matters, are they not the same, just called different names? Is that not acceptable, as we ARE different from straight people? And believe me, I celebrate that difference as a very positive thing every day. I just don’t feel a need to emulate the straight masses, I have always cherished being not like them… if I did want to be like them, I’d be living a lie with a wife in a very, very unhappy marriage, with feck all education and a crummy job. That is what the average straight has, and what my partner and I do not. (Unfortunately in Ireland, we are no where near the British level of protection for LGBT people)I hope you get the marriage you all seek. Personally, I think society’s attitudes are a bigger battle for us all, not the minor details of civil partnership versus marriage. But I do believe credit where credit is due:- the UK has made tremendous advances in the recent laws, and it is a credit to British society and government that you have these rights available to our kind, especially when only a few years ago we were criminals. I do not think Sister Mary et al is advocating the status quo, simply that, like me, civil partnerships as provided by the British Law is what they want and need, and are to be celebrated, not condemned as insufficient.

  152. MarcoMilano 5 Jan 2008, 7:57pm

    William…Where is the difference between me and my straight friends?I’m a very outgoing, promiscuous and libertarian guy… my straight friends are outgoing, promiscuous and libertarian too. I CANNOT see any difference.Then, you shoud consider that “difference” does not mean “exclusion”: black people are people that have a different skin colour from white people… but the Government does not exclude them from marriage. There must be a justification for treating someone differently… the “difference” is not sufficient.-

  153. Sister Mary Clarence 5 Jan 2008, 8:05pm

    Marco, you are not excluded from marriage either. You are quite at liberty to marry a nice girl if you can find one. Just as there is nothing to stop one of your straight mates or mine finding a same sex partner and forming a civil partnership.

  154. MarcoMilano 5 Jan 2008, 8:22pm

    Sister Mary Clarence…The right to marry is the right to marry the person you love… the person of your choice. People don’t marry their teachers, their friends, my neighbors, ecc: people merry their loved ones! I’m gay… so the person I love is/will be a man… The fact that I’m gay excludes me from the possibility to marry.Your words are like the woirds of the Americans of the past… those who said that the ban on interracial marriage didn’t discriminate on the basis of race because anyone could marry a person of their race!It’s an absurd argument. An absurd argument that also diminish my loved one: HE is not replaceble!-

  155. Robert, ex-pat Brit 5 Jan 2008, 8:59pm

    William, having a “crummy” job, a failed marriage is not a result of marriage. We each are in control of our own destinies. One can have a crummy job without having to be married.The only difference between straight and gay is with whom we sleep, nothing more. Other than that, we are the same. We don’t need more class structure in a society notoriously renowned for it. I’m not denigrating anyone for wanting or insisting on an civil partnership in place of marriage. We in the UK don’t have any other option. Both straight and gay should have the option, to marry or not to marry. Clearly some of you don’t want that. I do as do the majority of gay people around the world. Even if that is not yet feasible, we will never be deterred from securing that right. Its happening, slowly but surely, there is no turning back.I can live with civil partnerships as long as my government and the law recognise them as marriages under a different name. I have no problem with that.As for apYrs’ problem with pension rights that would have been avoided had he been married to a woman, clearly more needs to be done to bring these partnerships into parity with married couples, all things being equal which they are not, obviously.

  156. Robert, ex-pat Brit 5 Jan 2008, 9:15pm

    Marco, absolutely right, there is no difference between us and straights and the only one is that we prefer having an intimate relationship with same sex, nothing more, nothing less. In ALL other areas, we are the same.Sr. Mary, your response to Marco is beyond condescending. You know damn well he could never marry his boyfriend in the UK, so don’t be so smug. Another thing, what would you and all the other anti-marriage naysayers do if the government were to abolish civil partnerships in favour of marriage, just as Sweden is about to do and as five other far more progressive countries have already done? Lets hear it.

  157. Robert, ex-pat Brit 5 Jan 2008, 9:25pm

    Marco, well said. The miscegenation laws in the U.S. which forbade white people from marrying people of African descent was only rescinded as recently as the 1960s. Its the same difference we are seeing today in the form of civil unions/pacs/partnerships. Separate never was nor will it be equal, no matter how many rights one may gain, identical or not. They should never be segregated to a different category ever. This is about denial, Marco.Another thing Marco, foreign same-sex couples whose own countries already offer civil unions/pacs/partnerships long before the UK had any such thing, are NOT permitted to form a civil partnership in the UK if they so wished (some foreign straight couples marry overseas as a matter of choice). Whereas, foreign straight couples are permitted to marry in the UK, if they so choose. That alone tells you that partnerships are indeed NOT equal.

  158. OMAR KUDDUS 5 Jan 2008, 9:42pm

    What is the problem .You are different and so need to be treated differently. Right? MarcoMilanoYAH. In your dreams and not whilst there is a breath left in my body.I am shore that if given the chance now those who said that the ban on interracial marriage didn’t discriminate on the basis of race because anyone could marry a person of their race! would still agree and argue that their stance is morally correct.Or sit at the back of the Bus, or allow discrimination on the grounds of sex, colour religion etc.I am assured and given EQUALITY by Statutory Parliamentary and EUHR laws, and I am never ever going to be treated like a second-class citizen, even if others feel ok in being labelled as such.You are right that it is an absurd argument, an absurd argument that not only diminishes your loved one and you, but states that you are different and not “normal” like the rest of society.Robert, I too could live with civil partnerships as long as the government and the law recognise them as marriages under a different name. I’d have no problem with that. I would have no problem if they would just let me get married / partnered with my lover, but we are not going there.The issue is not marriage or civil partnership but equality and choice and not to be labelled differently from the rest of society, as sexuality has as much a right in society as all forms of freedoms, choices and all the other rules that govern and make up a civilised society, of equal peers.

  159. OMAR KUDDUS 5 Jan 2008, 9:54pm

    Thank you for making the point for me. Foreign same-sex couples who are not from the EU whose own countries already offer civil unions /partnerships are NOT permitted to form a civil partnership in the UK if they so wished, whilst, foreign “straight couples” are permitted to marry in the UK, if they so choose and have been able to for a long time as long as they get the necessary clearance and stated their intentions to the HOBIA. Non-EU gay couples however are totally restricted to form a civil partnership in the UK.And as if ,“That alone tells you that partnerships are indeed NOT equal”, I could not have put it better myself ,Robert.

  160. William - Dublin 5 Jan 2008, 10:55pm

    “Where is the difference between me and my straight friends?”Look, saying that we are all the same is PC nonsense. Differences are not a bad, diversity its the essence of nature. Gay is not straight. They are different. The difference Marco, is that straight people sleep with the opposite sex and have always been accepted, while gay people sleep with same sex and have been oppressed. If you think this is “the same” then you need a lesson is life, I’m afraid.

  161. MarcoMilano 5 Jan 2008, 11:55pm

    William…The fact that the person that I love has a penis, and that society has/had a problem with it, doesn’t make me a ‘different’ person. I am an outgoing, liberal, promiscuous guy that loves reading, listening to music, going out with friends, make promiscuous sex, etc etc as every other man. I’m exactly as my straight friends.Then, I repeat you that, even if you were right to say that I’m “different”, there wouldn’t still be a reason to treat me in a different way. “Difference” does not mean “worthy of a different treatment”. If you say that it is right to exclude me from the right to marry you need a justification. To say that I’m “different” is not sufficent, no matter if it’s true or not. You have to give me a justification.-

  162. William - Dublin 6 Jan 2008, 2:43am

    Marco, perhaps you can avoid the histrionics for one moment and make an attempt to actually READ what I wrote. Firstly, I never said that being different is the same as being treated differently. That is obviously your own interpretation, and a wrong one at that.Secondly, you may want a homogeneous society where you don’t acknowledge differences, but I don’t. Diversity with equality is the core of gay rights.You say “I’m exactly as my straight friends” and “make promiscuous sex”. Well, this might be a shock to you, but not all straight people are promiscuous, and I’m pretty sure straight people don’t have sex with the same gender. That’s difference. You make the mistake in assuming difference is bad. That, my friend, is your cross to bear in life, I am not a counsellor, nor do I share that view. I am different from straight people. I celebrate that difference, it contributes to my individuality, no more or less than my eye colour or hair colour. It does not detract from my belief that I am equal if not better, than those around me.I never said that you do not deserve gay marriage. That is your own insecurity projecting on my words. Nor did I say anything about not supporting a choice, if anything I have already said I can understand why someone would want gay marriage and that’s fine for them. It doesn’t mean I have to agree or accept gay marriage for me, simply because you think I should. I said I prefer civil partnership. I am entitled to that view, and your hissy fit aside, you have said nothing by way of a logical argument that convinces me otherwise. It would seem you have an axe to grind with someone for what I can only assume is your lack of self esteem. That not withstanding, I am entitled to my opinion, and I expect you to read what I say, not what you think I say. If you don’t understand, feel free to ask a question. After all, questions, not assumptions, are the beginning of wisdom.

  163. William - Dublin 6 Jan 2008, 2:51am

    “William, having a “crummy” job, a failed marriage is not a result of marriage”Robert, I was merely pointing out that the vast majority of people (in every country) are uneducated in menial jobs with wife + 2.5 kids. What is defined as “normal” is a majority concept. But if this is what is “normal”, I was simply implying that I don’t want it. I wouldn’t be where I am today if I wanted to be “normal”.My other point was that in my view marriage has been historically a straight institution, and I’m happy for them to keep it, once the civil partnerships have the same rights, they can call it whatever the hell they want… after all, the devil is in the detail.

  164. MarcoMilano 6 Jan 2008, 11:04am

    William…Listen, I’m respecting your personal preferences and aspirations. I never talked about about you personal desire not to be married. This conversation is about the legal status quo in the UK. You wrote things that seemed to “justify” it a bit (the argument that gays “are different from heteros”, so it is right for them to have a different legal union) so I’m criticizing your words. Simply put!The right to marry is of the individuals, not of the groups! The fact that NOT ALL straight people are promiscuous means nothing: I am exactly as my straight friends are, so I don’t understand WHY I’m excluded from the same right to marry that thay have. Then, not ALL gays are promiscuous: thee are some gays that refuse to have promiscuous sex… I personally know a gay couple that is very much against promiscuous sex. Some of them probably never have sex (see: some gay catholic priests… that are continuing to serve the church notwithstanding the Vatican’s ban).You say that stright guys/men don’t have sex with the same-gender. it’s not always true… Italian newspaper are full of reports and statistics saying that a lot of straight people kiss, and have sex with, persons of the same gender… se the adolescents in need of experimentation for example.Even if it was… I repeat you that the mere fact that you say that i’m “different” from my straight friends is not a justification for telling me that I should not have the right to marry, for telling me that I’m worthy of a different union.I don’t assume that differences are bad. And I, too, want a society that acknowlegdes and respect differences. I don’t know why you’re saying the contrary. The only thing I’m saying is that I cannot see the difference between me and my straight friends, and that I don’t think that the mere fact that I sleep with men can be considered a justification for legally treating me in a different way (see: UK’s exclusion from the right to marry, creation of the civil partnership). -

  165. Robert, ex-pat Brit 6 Jan 2008, 2:10pm

    Marco, you make a good point, there is absolutely NO justification.

  166. Robert, ex-pat Brit 6 Jan 2008, 2:22pm

    Marco, you said to William:” don’t assume that differences are bad. And I, too, want a society that acknowlegdes and respect differences. I don’t know why you’re saying the contrary. The only thing I’m saying is that I cannot see the difference between me and my straight friends, and that I don’t think that the mere fact that I sleep with men can be considered a justification for legally treating me in a different way (see: UK’s exclusion from the right to marry, creation of the civil partnership.”I totally agree, there is NEVER justification to treat anyone differently based on who they sleep with, absolutely none. I have no objection whatsoever to any same-sex couple forming a civil partnership but what I do object to is to deny same-sex couples having the same right as every straight couple, ergo..to marry if we so choose, nothing more.The fact that most here don’t want marriage raises the question…what if civil partnerships were eventually replaced with marriage, and that could well happen? What would all these naysayers, anti marriag equality people then do? Decline them? They mouth off their disapproval of marriage claiming that its for straights only. Marriage is not about defining once’s sexuality anyway, its an absurd statement to say the least. Its the universally accepted form of legal union in every country on this planet. Civil Partnerships/Unions/Pacs/Domestic Partnerships will never have the same status. Five countries to date have realised that because they quite correctly believed that segregation and sexual apartheid is not about equality. Even South Africa acknowledged that, a country that knows more about apartheid, discrimination than any other.

  167. Sister Mary Clarence 6 Jan 2008, 2:55pm

    Don’t talk to me about ‘smug’ Robert. You and you’re we’re all a f**king victim brigade can’t actually define what the difference is between a ‘marriage’ and a ‘civil partnership’ is. You keep coming up with ‘you can’t do this’ and ‘you can’t do that’, but on closer inspection in actual fact you can.You in particular have raised a number of issues that aren’t actually issues at all. Non-UK resident gay couples can’t enter into a civil partnership (although why they’d want to do it here rather than their own country, I still do not know). It transpires that in fact they can and they have to go through exactly the same procedures as straight couples. You have then latched on it Omar’s situation stating that you are sure straight couples would not be treated like this. Turns out of course that the procedures (convoluted as they are), are again exactly the same for gay and straight people entering into marriages and civil partnerships.You and your cronies lambaste us for accepting second best and vilify anyone who does not conform to your notion of what is acceptable for us all and what is not. We apparently are in a minority and yet you can produce no evidence, other than comments from the marriage mafia, to support that.It is patently clear from the number of false assumptions about the UK Civil Partnerships Registration Scheme that you are not in fact that well informed about it as you would have us believe. You are however prepared to declare it inferior at the slightest suggestion that they may be any sort of issue, irrespective of whether that issue does transpire to be any issue. Further when it does turn out to be nothing at all, you have an uncanny knack of still referring to it as an issue, when you have generally you have been involved in the debate as it is clarified.God knows there is enough wrong with this country and the lives that some people are forced to lead without the likes of you running your own little propaganda war like Lord f**king Haw-Haw.The government has made every effort to mirror marriage with civil partnerships. Unlike marriage it has no religious overtones, one of the issues that was raised as part of the consultation – gay people did not want to be seen to be buying into a religious institution. A large number of people made it clear that they wanted separate but equal, and not use the same processes as our straight counterparts. I have previously commented on how unusually it is for the government to take such notice of consultation as it appears to on this occasion.If you care to read up on the subject, you may be a little more able to make comments about it, but I can only assume that you pick up your information from the posting of other people on these sites and not from reputable factual sources, before rubbishing civil partnerships.We have over the long course of this debate had various people posting comments stating that they are in a civil partnership and that they are pleased with it. Not one has given the slightest indication that they would rather have entered into a marriage, in fact quite the opposite, as I recall ever one has said that they most certainly did not wish to marry. These people are living civil partnerships and I am infinitely more inclined to take note of their impressions and experiences than people on distant shores telling us we’re all shite.

  168. William - Dublin 6 Jan 2008, 4:28pm

    “Marriage is not about defining once’s sexuality anyway, its an absurd statement to say the least.”Remind me Robert, who said that it does?

  169. Robert, ex-pat Brit 6 Jan 2008, 5:51pm

    Sister Mary, whatever absurd name you call yourself, I’m not going to dignify your response with an answer, especially when you resort to foul language. You’re abusive, ill-mannered, intolerant and a bully, you can’t accept opposing views that don’t fit in with your very conservative agenda, and you can’t even agree to disagree, so from now on, I will ignore you.

  170. OMAR KUDDUS 6 Jan 2008, 7:46pm

    Robert, ex-pat BritAs I said to William, “if you go back, I don’t respond normally to anything SMC says because I don’t think it’s a valid argument and the facts distorted”. If you feel that SMC is “abusive, ill-mannered, intolerant and a bully,” who “can’t accept opposing views that don’t fit in with” their” very conservative agenda, and ” they ” can’t even agree to disagree, so from now on, I will ignore you” I am shore as you and I are not the only ones who feel that way.SMC will in time learn that when ignored, no one is really listening.

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