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Gay MP Chris Bryant to have civil partnership in parliament

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  1. Simon Murphy 2 Nov 2009, 12:49pm

    Good for them.

    This part is interesting though:

    “A spokesman for Bryant confirmed that he and Cranney were hoping to hold their civil partnership in parliament but added that the news had been played down to avoid negative media attention.”

    What negative media attention is he talking about? Surely whatever the Daily Heil or their BNP supporters like shouldn’t matter to him?

    Bryant is not in favour of marriage equality by the way. He is happy with civil partnerhips.

  2. vulpus_rex 2 Nov 2009, 12:56pm

    Well he may be a representative of the new Labour criminals but I suppose it would be churlish of me not to offer some congratulation.

    Actually, he did go to the same college at Oxford as me so he can’t be all bad.

  3. Bugger the negative reaction. Put out the flags and flowers!

  4. John (Derbyshire) 2 Nov 2009, 2:11pm

    Whats Simon Weston doing on this page? (Nothing British about the BNP)- He doesn`t even think that gay people should be allowed to serve in the British armed services (Source-Article he wrote for the Mail on Sunday in 1996)I would have thought those views are reflected more accurately BY the BNP? WHAT a hypocrite! (Sorry to hijack the thread-but this is the page I saw him on.)

  5. Robert, ex pat Brit 2 Nov 2009, 2:36pm

    I congratulate MP Bryant but if he’s not for full marriage equality why does he state that he feels that his intended partnership feels like a “marriage”? Is he in denial or what? Just because he doesn’t support our choice to marry, he would do a lot better by supporting those of us who do. He sounds just like StonewallUK believing he has his full equality. That to me smacks of denial and doesn’t help the advancement of equality either.

  6. .

    Hope it last more than the usual 2-3 years!


  7. Pumpkin Pie 2 Nov 2009, 3:11pm

    Hope it last more than the usual 2-3 years!

    Usual for who?

  8. How long can a civil partnership have lasted? It was only legalised in the UK in December 2005. The first people off the mark are only celebrating their fourth anniversary next month. But I know at least eight gay couples who were together for between ten and twenty-five years even before CP. I don’t think 2-3 years is any kind of average relationship span for gay people.

  9. Congratulations to them. Shame that he makes the comment about marriage when the truth is gay people are second class citizens in this country and are denied the right to get legally married. There are many married gay couples who do not want a civil partnership and whose marriages, conducted in legitimate churches, synagogues, or secular ceremonies, have no legal standing or recognition here. This is very wrong.

  10. I am actually puzzled why gay people are against marriage. I understand that Stonewall refuses to back the campaign on the grounds that not everyone wants it. Can anyone explain WHY they don’t want? Because I don’t get it. I realise this is an issue that may have been discussed before, but I seem to have come into it late and would welcome a recap.

  11. Simon Murphy 2 Nov 2009, 5:18pm

    No 10: Rose: you say:

    “I am actually puzzled why gay people are against marriage. I understand that Stonewall refuses to back the campaign on the grounds that not everyone wants it.”

    Some gay people are against marriage because they view it as a heterosexual construct and nothing to do with gay people.

    I can fully understand if a gay person or a straight person is opposed to the institution of marriage thanks to the multitude of crimes the institution of marriage tolerated – wife-beating; intermarital rape etc.

    However I don’t know a single gay person who finds it acceptable that gay people are prevented by law from accessing the civil contract of marriage (if that is what they wish). Likewise it is abhorrent that straight people who are denied access to civil partnerships with their opposite sex partners if that is what they want.

    However for the likes of Stonewall to be against it is truly shocking. They are the quango that claims to represent gay people in this country. Even though not every lgbt person may support marriage I think that the vast majority of people would support the principle of equality ie civil marriage extended to gay couples who want it; civil partnerships extended to straight couples who want it.

    For Stonewall to spit in the face of the LGBT people who DO want access to the contract of civil marriage, delegitimises their organisation.

  12. vulpus_rex 2 Nov 2009, 5:19pm

    Rose – I’m not against marriage per se but would never describe a same sex union, civil or otherwise as a marriage. Marriage is the name I use to describe the union of a man and woman.

    I also happen to believe that the sum is greater than the parts so that what takes place in a marriage ceremony is to produce something new and different out of two single people.

    This is not to say that I think it is superior or better than a same sex union, or that the two shouldn’t attract the same advantages however I don’t think they are the same and as such should be known as different things.

  13. Simon Murphy 2 Nov 2009, 5:28pm

    That is a perfectly reasonable and valid opinion.

    However it is an opinion that is opposed by many people.

    If you regard marriage as a union between a man and a woman that’s fine. You can have a CP.

    However it is not appropriate to deny LGBT people who WANT to enter the civil contract of marriage. If they are a law-abiding, tax-paying citizen then there is no valid reason for denying them access to the contract of marriage.

    A suitable alternative would be to remove all legal recognition of marriages performed in a church. If the churches are so eager to cling onto marriage (even though a church wedding only becomes legal once the couple has signed the state register). In France a straight couple who wants to get married has to do so in the Town Hall. If they want the church service then that is entirely optional and has no bearing on the legal status of their wedding.

    I think it would be great if Britain adopted a similar system here – gay or straight people have the same access to civil marriage or CP; and the churches free to perform ceremonies for whoever they wish – but there is no state or legal recognition of marriages performed in church.

  14. I hope they have a BIG rainbow flag flying from the tallest flagpole on the building on their big day … now wouldnt that be a sight worth seeing!!!
    GOOD LUCK & BEST WISHES to them both!!!

  15. Ok, Simon, your post answered the question. I think I understand that point about the heterosexual construct. I disagree with that viewpoint. I don’t think marriage should be viewed as a purely heterosexual thing. I also support the idea of gay people being accepted fully by that annoyingly opinionated animal called ‘society’ and the idea of there being no difference between a heterosexual marriage and a homosexual one makes more sense to me. Surely gay people don’t want to be in a seperate subsection of society like a sort of self-imposed apartheid?

    Vulpus, you just confused matters. Why should marriage only mean a union of a man and a woman? That is just the traditional view of the definition of marriage. Tradition has to evolve. Marriage should mean a union of two people, and that is all. The sum of the two parts is still greater even if it’s two men or two women.

  16. I agree with Simon about the French system. Surprisingly, France is a prominently Catholic country and yet it has achieved a level of seperation of church and state on the issue of marriage.

    I’m not sure what France’s position is about CP/civil marriage?

  17. I hope they will be very happy.

    I think it should be publicised, as being the first same-sex couple to marry in the Houses of Parliament is pretty historic.

    I think both marriage and civil partnerships should be available to both same-sex and heterosexual couples.

    Some reactionary groups don’t want to hold same-sex weddings – why on earth should they be allowed to hold back the group that does want to celebrate same-sex unions in its churches and chapels, i.e. the Unitarians?

    Pagans have been conducting same-sex weddings for years, but as Pagan weddings don’t have legal standing anyway (except in Scotland) there is nothing to stop it happening.

  18. vulpus_rex 2 Nov 2009, 6:03pm

    Someone once rather scientifically compared marriage to a chemical process – put sodium and chlorine together and you get salt.

    Nothing else in any other combination will give you salt and that’s how I think of marriage.

    To me it is wishful thinking to try and describe the union, state sanctioned or otherwise, of two men as a marriage.

    Although I don’t want to participate in heterosexual partnership conventions or see them hijacked by the gay community, it doesn’t mean that I don’t think something equally powerful and respected shouldn’t be available!

  19. vulpus_rex, the only thing as equally powerful and respected as marriage is marriage. No marriage-like substitute will ever be socially or culturally equal to an actual marriage.

  20. the comparison with salt and sodium is pointless. Besides, two people are two individuals, even if they are from the same sex. Does any gay couple here think otherwise? Did anyone choose their partner because they were a clone of themselves? That is a poor reason to say same sex union isn’t marriage.

  21. Brian Burton 3 Nov 2009, 12:26am

    All you support and understand is out-dated and out-moded ‘Con’sevative dogma! Abnormal people like you are bound to be against GAY marrage since you totally lack any imagination and evidently humanity as well…you crass cretin!

  22. Is James Purnell going to be the Best Man?He is after all Chris Bryant’s biggest str8 buddy.

  23. Tim Hopkins 3 Nov 2009, 10:30am

    vulpus_rex (#18): It’s certainly not “scientific” to compare men and women to sodium and chlorine – it’s a very poor analogy chosen because you can claim it backs your own opinion about marriage.

    If men and women are sodium and chlorine (or is it the other way round?), what are polygender or androgyne people? Gender is not a simple binary system.

    Men and women (including trans men and trans women), and people of other gender identities, are all human beings. Marriage should be available to adult human couples, and so should civil partnership.

  24. vulpus_rex 3 Nov 2009, 11:05am

    The comparison is perfectly valid. You could use any other set of ingredients that lead to an end product but whether you like it or not marriage is the union of a man and woman.

    I do not contend that a same sex union is in any way less valid or relevant, it’s just not a marriage and I see no point in lending it the false legitimacy conferred by such a misnoma.

    The assertion that gender is not a binary system, whilst unproven, subjective and inaccurate anyway, does not help as the the union of two polgendered people (even if one accepted the existence of such) would still not be a marriage.

  25. Simon Murphy 3 Nov 2009, 2:10pm

    No 18: Vulpus: “To me it is wishful thinking to try and describe the union, state sanctioned or otherwise, of two men as a marriage.”

    That is perfectly fine. It is your opinion.

    But for those gay people who want to be legally married. Or for those straight people who are opposed to marriage but want a Civil Partnership; the law should facilitate them.

    If someone is opposed to gay marriage then no-one should force them to marry someone of the same sex. But for those who wish to avail of it then they absolutely should have the option to do so.

    Chris Bryant is happy with Civil Partnership. Good for him. But it is entirely inappropriate for him not to support marriage equality for those who want it.

  26. Simon Murphy 3 Nov 2009, 2:25pm

    No 24: Vulpus: you say: “whether you like it or not marriage is the union of a man and woman.”

    You do accept I hope that this is merely an opinion? Just like saying that miscegenation of the races is a bad thing?

    It is not an opinion shared by everyone. Therefore the law should not be written to protect 1 version of what a marriage should be.

    “I do not contend that a same sex union is in any way less valid or relevant, it’s just not a marriage and I see no point in lending it the false legitimacy conferred by such a misnoma.”

    Do you therefore support denying access to civil marriage to those gay couples who disagree with your OPINION that a marriage is between a man and a woman?

    Personally I have no interest in marriage. A civil partnership would suit me better. But I wouldn’t dream of restricting someone else from accessing the contract of marriage if they wished. Likewise I think it is entirely unfair to ONLY offer marriage to straight people. They should be allowed have CP’s if they wish as well.

    If you are opposed to law-abiding, tax-paying couples being denied equal access to the legal CONTRACT of civil marriage if they want to, then you are a bigot. If you don’t want to marry a man, well don’t. No-one is forcing you. But it is entirely wrong to pervert the secular law of the land to deny other people access to that legal contract based on their sexual orientation or race.

  27. vulpus_rex 3 Nov 2009, 2:56pm

    If I take a cup of boiling water and add a tea-bag, I reckon that will make a nice cup of tea.

    If I take a cup of water and add some coffee, then I have a cup of coffee.

    All the wishful thinking, semantic debate about definition or whether something qualifies as an opinion or not will not make a jot of difference to whether I have a cup of tea or coffee.

    Marriage is the term used to describe the union of a man and a woman just as a cup of tea is used to describe the delightful combination of boiling H2O and Camellia Sinensis.

    The above fact does not say anything about any other type of relationship, the rights of access thereto, and is certainly not to be traduced into a “If you say this, then you must also mean this” bit of whataboutery.

  28. Simon Murphy 3 Nov 2009, 3:54pm

    Vulpus – please give a 1 word answer to the following question?

    Do you support denying access to the legal contract of civil marriage to those gay couples who wish to avail of it?

    Please answer either yes or no.

  29. vulpus_rex 3 Nov 2009, 4:06pm

    I will of course when you answer the following question:

    If a gay couple put a tea bag in their hot water are they drinking coffee?

    A one word answer will do, and then to be fair I think you’ll have answered your own question.

  30. Simon Murphy 3 Nov 2009, 4:18pm

    Typical Tory. Unable to answer a simple question (or more likely unwilling to answer a simple question).

    Vulpus Rex is a gay Tory.

    If he is representive of the LGBTory Group then our hardwon rights will be whittled away under a Tory government.

    Remember LGBT people – the Tories have allied themselves with extreme-rights Polish fascists in the European Parliament (The Law and Justice Party) and senior Tories – Philippa Stroud and Iain Duncan Smith are members of the Centre for Social Justice – the organisation which is campaigning to reduce the parental rights of non-biological gay parents.

    Any LGBT person who votes Tory is voting to have their rights reduced.

  31. vulpus_rex 3 Nov 2009, 4:28pm

    LOL – and Simon is a typical spoilt brat.

    “Don’t agree with me or play by the rules I make up and I’m going to call you names, spread smear and sulk!”

    Grow up baby – or better still, try and answer my question though do have the brains or guts to?

  32. Brian Burton 5 Nov 2009, 8:20pm

    Vulpus & Simon, The walruss and the carpenter? I’m sure you two Philistines are in love. But Philistinism, your natures to a T no less. Did you know V & S that imagination is simply a manifestation of Love? and Love is fed by the imagination. I would think you both too crude to cocider such a thing?

  33. the tea and coffee analogy is just as stupid as the other one. And it still doesn’t alter the fact that marriage is only defined as ‘a union between a man and a woman’ because of cultural conditioning.

    You know, I have a bit of an interest in sci fi. I wonder how Vulpus would feel about a marriage between a human and an alien? I mean, just think about it. The same prejudice against black and white people marrying, against same sex people marrying, would then be rehashed to tell us it’s a union between two HUMANS.

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