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David Cameron promises to allow churches to hold civil partnerships

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  1. NOT GOOD ENOUGH!!
    Most of us don’t give a toss about the church.
    We want to be married in the eyes of the law, not the Lord.

  2. Certain religions and their churches also want gay marriage, Cameron.
    Why did you say you weren’t going to go after that, huh?
    Excuses to try and make us happy with Civil Partnerships when civil and religious marriage should be what is enjoyed.

  3. Make sure churches are “permitted” to hold civil partnerships or “forced to” act against beliefs?

  4. Obviously we should have full marriage, under exactly the same laws and procedures as opposite-sex couples. That should go without saying. Anything else is apartheid, pure and simple – just as offensive as having separate schools, buses and drinking fountains for black and white people.

    But whether it’s full marriage or the nauseating apartheid of civil partnerships, I don’t think religious groups should be allowed to choose whether they hold the ceremonies or not. They are offering a service to the public (virtually all of them charge for it too), and by not offering that service to specific groups they are blatantly discriminating contrary to the laws of the land.

    Is a church currently allowed to refuse to marry a heterosexual couple because they are of mixed race? Or because one or both of them is disabled? No, they are not, and if any religious group tried it there would be national outrage. Yet there is just as solid a scriptural basis for both of these things in judaeo-christian myth as there is for homophobia. Why are churches allowed to refuse their services to gays when they are not allowed to do so to mixed race couples, the disabled and so forth?

    The answer is simply that homophobia is not considered as bad as racism or discrimination against the disabled by many in our society – because nobody thinks that the irrational and arbitrary sensibilities of the religious ought to trump full equality in those cases.

  5. Why do we need a half-hearted stepping stone? Come on! Full marriage equality NOW!

  6. “we shouldn’t let some legalistic nonsense get in the way of people who want to celebrate civil partnerships in churches”

    Most people want to get married in a church, not “civil partnershipped”.

    “The truth is we will never really tackle homophobic bullying in schools and we will never tackle homophobic issues in the workplace just by passing laws”

    If it makes no difference, why not pass a law allowing gay couples to marry? Not allowing gay couple to marry is discrimination!

    Basically this amounts to nothing.

  7. BobbetStillTheSame 17 Jun 2010, 4:55am

    Lame, lame, lame… The right wing mantra that he dares not to speak is: Marriage is between a man and a woman. But that’s exactly what he is saying, just using other words. This man is promoting apartheid. He’s gonna be on a constant “journay” on gay rights, actually getting nowhere.

  8. Well done Mr. Cameron, certainly another step forward. At least it gives the chance for religions like the Quakers, Liberal Judism etc to perform CPs. Something these churches have actually asked for and something the Catholics have been trying to stop, full stop! If it upsets the Catholics… tough.

  9. Where I live the catholic church refuses to marry a catholic to a protestant – would that be against the law in the UK? I guess I don’t mind sects doing their own thing among themselves as long as there’s no children involved and they don’t interfere with legal decisions.

  10. BertieBotts93 17 Jun 2010, 9:01am

    This is really stupid, we want gay marriage, not more civil partnership!! Gawd!!

  11. Jock S. Trap 17 Jun 2010, 9:24am

    But Civil Partnerships IS gay marriage!!

  12. “The right wing mantra that he dares not to speak is: Marriage is between a man and a woman. But that’s exactly what he is saying, just using other words”

    Agreed. He’s purposely ignoring what people want and pretending to make some great announcement while subtly reinforcing the message that gay people are only entitled to CPs, whereas any other group in society – all races, the disabled etc – are able to get married.

    Again, back to the separate drinking fountains analogy, it’s like studiously ignoring the offensive discrimination of that set up to announce that the number of special black drinking fountains will be increased so that black people will be able to find them more easily. Offensive and despicable.

    Once again, absolutely NO explanation of why we can’t have civil marriage.

  13. I share everyone’s desire to finally see marriage equality in this country but we must recognise that the issue is not even being discussed at the moment. Outside of the PinkNews forums, people think that civil partnership IS the same as marriage. 

    That includes a lot of gay people I know (who look at me funny when i say i will not get a civil partnership in this country but prefer to marry abroad) and even the major LGBT charity, Stonewall thinks CPs are adequate..  

    I don’t know how you move the issue into the public arena but I think the first step is to recognise that at the moment it isn’t there so the conservatives can’t really be blamed for not bringing up an issue that’s not on anyone’s agenda in Britain. 

    Perhaps we must make ourselves heard, which we are not at the moment. I went to a panel discussion on same-sex marriage a few months ago with Peter Tatchell advertised here on PinkNews, there were about 20 people and not even all in favour of going after same-sex marriage. How can we possibly expect to get results when no one really cares about the issue?

    We all read what’s going on in California and think that that same political climate exists here. It doesn’t and if things don’t change i can’t imagine same-sex marriage being even talked about in Britain over the next 10 years. 

  14. Sister Mary Clarance 17 Jun 2010, 11:08am

    “not even all in favour of going after same-sex marriage”

    I think you’ve hit the nail on the head there Val – we don’t all want it.

    I want a separate (but equal) institution. I want when everyone hears the term civil partnership that it is a celebration of two gay people entering into a long-term committed relationship. I don’t want those relationships airbrushed out of notice with the term marriage.

    The waters are forever being muddied but civil partnerships in the States which are inferior and un-alike, sharing name only, and people hacking on about them not being fully recognised in other countries, but countries to not simultaneously change their legislation over night, and in time this will alter.

    There is far greater injustice in this country and in the world than us being ‘force’ to endure civil partnerships, that have been extremely popular outside the pages of pinknews.

  15. Please forgive my ignorance but could someone kindly tell me the difference (apart from the name) between a C.P. and civil marriage?
    I really don’t know – so please don’t flame me!

  16. F*** off Cameron. This isn’t even your idea. Labour were trying to fob us off with that homophobic solution before the election.

    I do not want to get married in a church.

    I want the option of emtering a same sex civil marriage in the same way as a straight couple.

    Who gives a damn if a church will allow a same sex religious marriage. It will remain entirely at their discretion (which is also the case for opposite sex religious marriages – for example try getting married in a catholic church if you are divorced – it ain’t going to happen).

    The only solution to the current Apartheid marriage regime in Britain is as follows:

    1. Civil marriage extended to same sex couples
    2. Civil partnership extended to opposite sex couple.

    NOTHING else is adequate.

  17. Sister Mary Clarance 17 Jun 2010, 11:24am

    Well if Martin (Simon) says it, we’d better all to the line or we’ll be bad homosexuals.

    Marriage and civil partnerships are absolutely equal under law. They are not ‘the same’, but we don’t all want to be the same. They are ‘equal’ and it used to be that equality was what we all hoped for.

    Can’t get my head round the never happy, victim mentality of some on here.

  18. @ Ian Bower,

    Apart from the name the only thing that is difference is the recognition between countries.

    All my life I grew up with most gay people saying they wanted the marriage thing but under a different name. Now we have it some can’t stop whinging about that. Ya damned whichever way you go.

    I married my man in a Civil Partnership, that is in the eyes of the law and quite frankly my dear MartinM I couldn’t give a toss about other backward countries/people that don’t wanna see it! They can’t take it away from me.

    We have marriage, it’s called Civil Partnerships and it’s the same as Civil Marriage! It gives us the Same rights as marriage. How others choose to see it is their problem.

  19. No Sister get it right, we’re all homophobic homosexuals!! DOH!!

  20. Thanks Squidgy.
    As I thought.
    I get got at (such clumsy grammar – I know) for suggesting that Civil Partnerships are good. All I hear is that LGBT’s want to ‘ape’ a heterosexual institution. I am happy to be ‘civilised’ and get really fed up with people asking me if I am the ‘husband’ or ‘wife’.
    Good grief – GLF must be turning in its grave!

  21. Mihangel apYrs 17 Jun 2010, 11:44am

    No Squidgy, SMC, there are certainly differences in pension provisions for those of us old enough to be affected (partners are only reconised since 1988 rather than when one started contributing), and the affect could be costly. There’s also the matter of recognition, even in countries that recognise SSM. There may be other things that aren’t covered because the legislation talks about “marriage” and “spouse” but not “civil partnership” and “civil partner”: there is a hell of a lot of law out there!

    If they are the same thing, why not use the same name which also has a world-wide resonance?

  22. Because most people I’ve met don’t want it to be the same name. Most wanted the right to celebrate a committed union but to be recognised for gay relationships not melted into the same bracket as marriage.

    I personally would be quite happy calling it either but do like the fact that Gay Marriage has it’s own name. I certainly wouldn’t change anything of what I and my hubby have.

  23. No matter what way you try to dress it up, the fact that same sex couples are denied access to the legal contract of civil marriage based solely on our sexual orientation is homophobic. (especially seeing as they were invented SOLELY to deny us access to civil marriage)

    If some people do not want to get married then that it fine. they can have a CP.

    But to deny those couples who do want to get married access to the contract based on their sexual orientation is homophobic.

    Britain is operating an Apartheid regime – a ‘separate but not quite equal’ policy.

    It is so grossly offensive to those of us who have entered civil marriages in more advanced countries than the UK (for example Mexico, portugal, Spain, Canada etc) to be told when we come back to Britain:

    “Despite your marriage abroad, we will not recognise it. Your relationship is being downgraded to a civil partnership because of your sexual orientation’

  24. The idea that “separate but equal” is acceptable is utter nonsense. “separate but equal” is apartheid, pure and simple. Civil partnerships are NOT marriage, just a patronising parody of it. If they were marriage, why is it that the only straight couples seeking to get one in this country are doing so precisely to highlight the apartheid injustice of it all?

    It is vitally important that we call our marriages marriages. Why? Because marriage is a culturally prestigious word. Because our culture honours and respects and appreciates the word marriage, and it carries massive positive connotations of love, solemnity, committment, respect and mutual togetherness. It is the word we have used for our deepest connections for centuries. “Civil partnership” on the other hand is anaemic, bureaucratic and toothless. We talk of business partnerships, or tennis partnerships, and would consider it most odd to talk of “business spouses” or a “tennis marriage”. Why? Because we all know, deep down, that the words marriage and spouse are reserved in our culture for deeper and more profound commitments than mere “partnership”. Adding Civil on the front doesn’t help either. We have civil servants, the civil aviation authority, civil law and the civil list. Does the “civil” in any of these make them any more special and profound?

    Why should gay people be legally denied the use of prestigious language, and forced instead to use demeaning language? Would those who are happy and comfortable with “civil partnership” be just as happy calling their marriages “filthy queer sham families”? Because to my ears the two terms are virtually the same.

    I am unlikely to ever get a boyfriend. But if my beloved ever does consent to marry me, I would certainly not want to demean our marriage by having it called a civil partnership. And I am not alone in this sentiment. Why should gay people for whom the word marriage is important be denied it? Why should everyone be forced into using the language of a patronising sop to the religious lobby just because a handful of same-sex couples are too lacking in imagination to realise how demeaning it is?

    The bottom line is that there is no difference between same-sex marriage and opposite-sex marriage, so there are no grounds at all for cynically and divisively calling them different things.

  25. dave wainwright 17 Jun 2010, 12:02pm

    we must demand the same services and full equal human rights for all our mothers children , no one should be allowed to “OPT OUT” and to discriminate with prejudice, Full Equal Human Rights, it is not negotiable.

  26. Mihangel apYrs 17 Jun 2010, 12:05pm

    Squidgy: you haven’t got a “hubby” since a husband is the male partner in a marriage: you have a civil partner. Using the word “hubbie” is aping the institution of marriage

  27. “I am unlikely to ever get a boyfriend.”

    No offence but after Reading that negative crap mate, I can see why!

  28. @ Mihangel

    Since I wrote in comment (22), and I quote:

    “I personally would be quite happy calling it either…”

    I think I’m perfectly entitled to call him ‘my hubby’ if I wish to do so. Oh and guess what, I do so!!

    Please ensure you read All the message not just selected words or versions of it.

    Thanking you!

  29. Civil Partnerships. Marriage. Both the same thing. How you choose to be with it is up to you. My ‘Hubby’ and I will certainly Not make ourselves ‘victims’ because under the eyes of the law we have the same equal rights esp in the UK as anybody else does.

  30. Sister Mary Clarance 17 Jun 2010, 12:37pm

    “I think I’m perfectly entitled to call him ‘my hubby’ if I wish to do so”

    I think this is the point they are not getting Squidgy, we can call our civil partner whatever we want and if enough of us do it, it will become the norm.

    Cameron has already stated that when he refers to marriage he is referring to both marriage and civil partnerships, and that is how me move along the slippery slidy road to the two becoming one.

    The oppressed victim syndrome is well embedded with so many of the readership here.

  31. Marriage – millenia of female subjugation, women used as a means of enhancing men’s capital wealth via sale or inheritance. Rings or other tokens exchanged as a symbol of the husband’s dominance. It is only within living memory that for tax reasons women ceased to be classified as a husband’s wasting chattel (an asset with a limited useful life).

    An extreme view possibly, but why anyone would want to copy this arrangement when the possibility of developing something completely new is out there is beyond me.

    I guess though that just because I don’t want something isn’t a good reason to deny it to others.

  32. What a moron Cameron is, he’s proud to stand up for equal rights? Hello…..we’re still banned from marrying you arse hole, until that happens, we don’t have equal rights, not even under a different name.

  33. Mihangel apYrs 17 Jun 2010, 12:40pm

    Squidgy, I did read your entire posting: I merely drew attention to the anomaly of assigning the term “hubby” to a civil partner. You may call him anything you want, of course, but legally he ain’t a husband.

    Incidently, your snipe at VP trying to explain the cultural resonance that “marriage” sustains is a little off.

  34. The truth is that I am a very negative person in general. I do not take accusations of negativity as insults any more than I take accusations of homosexuality as insults – they are simply true statements about me. I suffer terribly from clinical depression, and tend towards the obsessive, misanthropic, bitter and pessimistic at every turn. I would be the first person to admit this about myself, and the first to admit that it is why I am unlikely to ever find a boyfriend. In fact, if I remember rightly, I WAS the first to bring it up here…

    Nevertheless, my mental demeanour does not change the fact that marriage is a culturally loaded term and denying same-sex couples its use is discrimination pure and simple.

  35. Squidgy No. 29….civil partnerships and marriages are not the same. If they, where is that written down in law? Just because Blair, Brown and Cameron treat them as marriages, they are not. Those who rail against marriage are hypocrites. Calling your civil partner hubby….hello…..you’re imitating the very thing you’re so opposed to. The very essence of civil partnerships is modelled on marriage, further proof of the hypocrisy. If those of you want a civil partnership, fine, I have nothing against that, but don’t say we shouldn’t marry lor don’t need marriage just because you don’t want it and if you really believe in full equality, support those of us who want the freedom to marry. We’re not asking for a ban on civil partnerships, they are an option that both orientations should have access to simply for those who don’t believe in marriage. None of you who advocate against marriage see the larger picture. Why do you think 9 countries chose marriage as the norm? They can’t all be wrong. Why will that number continue to grow and civil partnerships in other countries won’t? If you can’t figure that out, then you have no concept of what equality means. So do you mean to tell me if same-sex marriage were the norm in our own country instead of CPs, that none of you naysayers would ever marry?

  36. NOT all of us want to have a civil partnership either but we don’t want them banned. Nobody has come up with a logical, rational justification (Cameron can’t even provide any) why we should be banned from marrying. Proof that civil partnerships are NOT equal. If they were, they wouldn’t bear the name, no matter how you try to skew it. This is all about denial. If they’re so equal, why did nine countries abandon them? If blacks were barred from marriage, and told they were only entitled to a civil partnership, there would be riots and all of the gay anti same-sex marriage haters would be singing a different tune. They just don’t get it either. Ignorance is bliss for some I suppose.

  37. “NOT all of us want to have a civil partnership either but we don’t want them banned”

    Precisely. And I do wish people would stop harking on about marriage demeaning women/copying heterosexuals/being a dreadful hideous tradition blah blah. It’s the recognition of the formal union of two people in love.

    It’s what you make it. You don’t suddenly get taken over by straight/misogynistic/old-fashioned stereotypes the minute you enter into it. Nor is it compulsory. It’s a choice open to everyone – except gay people. That’s not equal and it’s not fair. saying that isn’t because I’m a ‘victim’, SMC – far from it. I just don’t like to see any human being discriminated against because of their race/age/gender/disability/sexuality.

  38. I think this conversation truly highlights the fact that it’s pointless to complain that Cameron doesn’t promise to introduce same-sex marriage when it’s not even clear how many people actually even want it.

    Personally i disagree with those who want to maintain the two institutions separate. I don’t really understand what the value is in continuing to say we’re different, we’re not like you… when we are like everybody else, we meet someone we want to be with and some of us, gay or straight, want to officialise that relationship making that person our partner in life.

    Calling that partner one thing if you’re straight and something else if your gay, to me, makes no sense at all and having separate institutions adds to this sense of segregation. Why not also have an institution for 2 men and a separate one for 2 women then? But we don’t have that, because all everyone needs is to draw a line between the gays and the straights. How that’s ok with anyone who claims to believe in equality I can’t really understand.

    It also seems to me that our two champions of CPs on his forum, as they continue to discuss this issue, end up contradicting themselves.

    Sister MC says “we can call our civil partner whatever we want and if enough of us do it, it will become the norm”. Why would you want that to become the norm? If your point was that you want to create something different from marriage, so that when you hear it you are not reminded of a heterosexual institution, how does calling your civil partner a “husband” or “hubbie” achieve that goal? Yes, you can call your civil partner what you want, you can call him puppylove but the law will keep telling you that he’s neither a puppylove nor a husband. He’s your civil partner.

    And we shouldn’t delude ourselves that the 2 institutions are equal. The fact that Cameron refers to CPs too when he says marriage, but doesn’t call a marriage a CP, shows you that the 2 are not equal.

    SMC, you say “that is how me move along the slippery slidy road to the two becoming one.” So do you want them to become one or not? If you want them to become one, the easiest way is to go after same-sex marriage, then they are truly one. As long as they are separate institutions, they are never going to be one.

    What VP has said is very right. Across almost all societies, marriage is a unique institution which has certain emotional connotations. We can invent all the institutions we want but they will not rewrite thousands of years of history so they will never be “equal” to marriage.

  39. Squidgy, you can call as many people as you want “hubby” but the plain and simple fact is that in the UK you cannot have a husband. You can play word games with yourself, but they are just that. The term has a legal meaning and you can’t will it to be whatever you want. Unless the US courts nullify my marriage I have a husband. I do not have a Civil Partner. When we use the institutions of this country we always have to clarify this. When we lived in Henley we were harassed about it all the time. “You’re not partners, well you’re not married either, so go away.” We have taken to bringing our California marriage license whenever we need to deal with an institution in order to clarify things.

    I also don’t get why the anti-marriage proponents always make it about them and what they do or don’t get. For me, I want to die in a world where gay and straight kids grow up having the same options in life. That’s the only time this homophobic apartheid will end.

    VP, I loved what you wrote. Squidgy can piss off.

  40. Actually, ironically, the only discrimination my hubby and I have recieved over our Civil Partnership/Marriage is from other gay people!

  41. Jock S. Trap 17 Jun 2010, 2:10pm

    I’m happy for those in CPs and will point out that very few here who have CPs are actually opposed to marriage but it should be marriage for all, civil or religious. If they have the same rights as CPs then why not the same name?

  42. No. 38, Val, I couldn’t have said it better myself. Interesting isn’t it when CP proponents who object to marriage yet use the words such as “hubby” to describe their partners. That’s the first clue that they’re in denial.

    No. 39, similarly our country can’t even read let alone recognise a same-sex marriage certificate for what it is. Instead, successive governments deliberately ignore it but treat it as evidence of a civil partnership which it is not of course. The reason they construe it that way is quite obvious. They’re afraid of the inevitable happening, as they see other more enlightened countries go for full marriage, a trend that will continue to grow while CPs will NEVER be the norm anywhere in the world, least of all in Europe. Six countries there have already proved it, seven come 2011 when Finland legalises same sex marriage.

    No. 40….you’re part of the problem. You oppose the rights of other gay people to marry and by doing so, you’re complicit in the ban on same-sex marriage in our own country. You don’t even know what equality is. If you couldn’t have a civil partnership but could only marry, I would assume you would refuse? I suppose you would have to since you’re so strongly against it.

  43. But 10f18000 you dont actually have the tax benefits that British civil partners get.

  44. Wow. The man begins to take steps on furthering gay rights within weeks of taking office and all you lot can do is squawk. Labour didn’t give you marriage equality either, you may have noticed, while small steps like these help to normalize gay unions and gay families in the eyes of the larger community (which is what “cultural change and behavioural change” means if you’d bother to read the article). If you insist on making gay rights a blindly partisan issue, or force people to choose between gay rights and religious freedom, you undermine your own cause. But some of you would rather be angry than effective.

  45. As I’ve said before I think most LGBT people in the UK are very happy with civil partnerships and don’t give a toss about gay marriage. Hardly anyone will want one. Even the number of civil partnerships is a tiny fraction of what was expected in some quarters.

    It’s a hobby horse of the smug ‘gay elite’ and most importantly a distraction from much more important issues.

    Who is to say that civil partnerships are inferior to marriage anyway? I would say it’s the other way around for any heterosexual couple who despise religion, as marriage is tainted by that connection.

  46. I cannot believe that the likes of Squidgy actually thinks that gay couples who do NOT want to enter a civil partnership, should be denied access to civil marriage.

    No-one on these boards is demanding that Civil Partnership registration be abolished.

    If a couple or 2 flatmates or 2 friends (either gay or straight) wants to enter a civil partnership then they should be allowed to do so (like they are in the Netherlands)

    I am appalled that the likes of Squidgy thinks that same sex couples who do not want a civil partnership but instead want a civil marriage be denied that chance, simply because they are gay.

    Britain is operating an apartheid regime when it comes to marriage.

    Good for you if you are happy with your civil partnership.

    But don’t you f***ing dare tell me that I should be satisfied with it.

  47. @ Robert

    Please read threads properly. I have NEVER said at Anytime that I oppose same-sex marriage. Your making it up as you go along to suit yourself…. Again!!

    tut-tut!! No doubt what you say fits your own agenda.

  48. No 44: Clay: “The man begins to take steps on furthering gay rights within weeks of taking office and all you lot can do is squawk.”

    No he is not.

    He is merely continuing Labour’s ridiculous idea that instead od granting marriage equality, that churches should be able to offer CP’s to those who want them.

    And it remains ENTIRELY at the church’s discretion whether or not they will do CP’s.

    That is not progress. It is merely a PR stunt to shut the uppity queers up.

    Those repellent Gay Uncle Toms in Stonewall and LGBTory Group are allowing the government to get away with maintaining the British Apartheid system

  49. @MartinM

    Where have I ever said “gay couples who do NOT want to enter a civil partnership, should be denied access to civil marriage.”

    Answer:- I have NEVER said it. Another one with his own bitter agenda making it up as you go along.

    The point I’m trying to make is you get the same rights under Civil Partnerships as you do Civil Marriage. That is my point. At NO point have I ever stated your comments!

    tut tut!! Please do get your facts right mate! :)

  50. @ Clay

    Excellent Comment!!

  51. No 45: GS: “As I’ve said before I think most LGBT people in the UK are very happy with civil partnerships and don’t give a toss about gay marriage. Hardly anyone will want one. ”

    Even if your comment is true (and quite blatantly you can’t prove 1 way or the other whether it is), why should those law abiding, tax-paying, same-sex couples be denied access to the legal contract of civil marriage if they want to access it, simply because they are gay?

    You are the type of person who would have said that women over the age of 30 gaining the vote after World War 1 was sufficient, and that they did not need the vote at age 21 like the men had.

    If you are satisfied with CP’s then good for you. But that does not mean I should be satisfied with 2nd class status.

  52. No 49: Squidgy: you say: “Where have I ever said “gay couples who do NOT want to enter a civil partnership, should be denied access to civil marriage.” Answer:- I have NEVER said it.”

    OK.

    Well do you support the right of same sex couples to enter the legal contract of civil marriage if they so choose.

    If your answer is ‘yes’ then surely you accept that David Cameron’s refusal to grant them this right is homophobic. To deny a law-abiding, tax paying citizen from entering a legal contract based solely on their sexual orientation is homophobic.

    No ifs, ands or buts about it.

  53. I reckon if some research was done into those people who are most vociferous about being able to ‘get married’ many would be found to have some deep-rooted unhappiness about being gay and ‘different’. And one they are able to get married they will just move onto something else to whinge about). This obsession about being exactly the same is very depressing.

    I have always found marriage to be stifling and a bit creepy. But then again I didn’t have the notion of having to conform and be a sheep rammed down my throat by parents or a church when I was young.

  54. @MartinM – being second class is actually in your head and you will continue thinking that way whatever changes come. In the entire UK there have been just 70,000 people in a civil partnership. Out of a population of 60 million and out of a gay and lesbian population of 3.9m (if 6.5% is gay or lesbian).

    That figure means slightly less than 1.8% of the gay and lesbian population who have had a civil partnership. Though in fact many of those partnerships won’t be in existence now and some of those 70,000 people have probably had more than one.

    If it’s allowed how many gay marriages do you think there will have been after five years? 10,000?

    Our self-appointed ‘community spokesmen’, activists and others who claim to speak for all of us have chosen something that actually affects hardly anybody. I wonder why when there are so many other more important issues?

  55. vulpus_rex 17 Jun 2010, 3:18pm

    “then surely you accept that David Cameron’s refusal to grant them this right is homophobic”

    Don’t be ridiculous – it might be disappointing and frustrating for some that DC isn’t instantly introducing same sex marriage legislation, but to describe it as homophobic devalues the currency of the word homophobic.

    David Cameron patently isn’t homophobic, he simply has a different set of priorities, this doesn’t mean he is afraid of or hates homosexuals.

  56. The only way we’ll ever know if people prefer marriage to CP is if EVERYONE has a choice instead of NO ONE having a choice.

    What are the tax benefits of CPs that I don’t get as a marriage recognized as a CP?

  57. GS – you say – “@MartinM – being second class is actually in your head”

    No it’s not.

    I was legally married in a same sex civil marriage in the Netherlands.

    I did not enter a civil partnership (I could have as that option is also available to couples regardless of their sexual orientation).

    Britain does not recognise us as married.

    Over here I am in a CP.

    I do not want to be in a CP.

    However solely because I am gay my civil marriage is not recognised here.

    That is homophobia. It might not be serious homophobia, but it is homophobic discrimination regardless of how you look at it.

    As for David Cameron not being homophobic – perhaps not. Although we’d best not judge him on his abysmal voting record on LGBT issues then.

  58. @1of18000 – in all of this no one ever considers the downside…

    In fact a huge percentage of people don’t have a ‘choice’ at all because they don’t have a suitable partner to marry. So it’s an irrelevance. Given that relationships between two men are so difficult (and inevitably so because of the way men are) this whole focus on marriage being highly desirable only serves to make a lot of people very unhappy.

  59. Wow. Ever heard of respecting other people’s beliefs? Just because you view calling a long term committed legally ratified relationship between two men or two women “marriage” as the ravings of unsatisfied gay people seeking to be facelessly identical to their straight neighbours or because you view calling it a civil partnership an arrogant attempt to be different does not mean you have the right to deny other people from contracting either. As far as I see it if same-sex relationships are of equal value to opposite-sex ones, then why deny them civil marriage? Some of the things people are saying on here are really quite unpleasant attacks!

    It’s not as if you can argue history, because marriages between men and between women existed in Ancient Rome and China- in the case of the former probably with full legal recognition, as the Christian Emperors Constantius II and Constans felt it necessary to outlaw them expressly and order that people in same-sex marriages should be executed.

    I believe Civil Partnerships (like the French Pacte Civil de Solidarité) should be available to heterosexual and homosexual couples- as should Civil Marriages. Let people choose which name they prefer to call their relationships by!

  60. @MartinM – what interests me is that, increasingly, the focus seems to be on a tiny percentage of people. The ‘pink pounders’ who are on the scene, go to pride events, have a civil partnership etc. It’s amazing how often a figure of between 35,000 and 100,000 keeps popping up in everything gay-related. It’s as if this is the number of people who are ‘out there’. While the other 3.8m are invisible.

  61. silly billy 17 Jun 2010, 5:12pm

    Well, I feel so much better, and there was me thinking that we were going back to the days of the last Tory government when men were deliberately lured into cottages and virtually seduced by plain-clothesers, and then arrested for soliciting. This has sorted it all out. David (Con)and Nick (Neo) have shown such tremendous commitment and leadership in this matter that one wonders why neither of them got the full mandate of the country to govern at the end of three terms of Labour and a Prime Minister portrayed in the press as gormless.
    Or:
    1) Where was Norman Tebbit the night of the party?
    2) They have granted the absolute minimum they could get away with without enraging those of us who have any political nouse and our friends and colleagues who would be absolutely outraged if they tried to turn back the clocks from where Labour have set them.

    This is unjustifiable crap and not worthy pf press announcements. Even if one considered that it may be only a matter of time until the churches relinquish their bizarre control over sexual expression, surely these two hapless fools could have shown an ounce of leadership in the matter? Who do they risk displeasing more than the pink-pounders? Where was Norman Tebbit the night of the party, by the way?

  62. This is a very minor side issue in regard to the whole marriage equality issue.

    If marriage and civil partnerships have equal standing why do the government force transsexuals who are married to devoice and the recommit in a civil partnership? If they don’t they wont legally recognise their new gender and issue a new birth certificate.

    I think the fact this happens shows civil partnerships do not have the same legal standing as marriage.

    I would say conservative party policy is marriage is the idea state of existence and those in civil partnerships are second class citizens behind that.

    That’s not and never will be equality.

  63. GS – what’s the relevance of your last point – why have you gone off topic?

    The fact remains that in this country law abiding, tax-paying citizens are denied access to a legal contract SOLELY because they are gay.

    The fact that a ‘separate but not quite equal’ Civil partnership Apartheid system was created to shut us up, not the point.

    The government refuse to legislate for equality? All they are doing with this irrelevant crap about churches is merely tinkering with the existing Apartheid regime.

    The apartheid system is not being dismantled.

    I really cannot understand how people like you can defend the homophobic status quo.

    No one wants the CP system dismantled (in fact it should be extended to everyone).

    However for 1 gay person to say to another ‘Oh you do not have the right to decide how to legally define your relationship because you are gay’ is abhorrent.

    And the government’s refusal to remove the apartheid regime is homophobic to its core.

    It’s not hardcore homophobia of course. But the messsage David Cameron is sending the LGBT community (with the blessing of the wretched Gay Uncle Toms at Stonewall) is ‘You are a 2nd class citizen and don’t you forget it’.

  64. Mihangel apYrs 17 Jun 2010, 7:27pm

    GS
    it’s the 35,000 and 100,000 people who are ‘out there’ that really make the difference for the other 3.8m who are invisible (your figures).

    It’s us outnones screaming and making a nuisance and spectacle of ourselves that influences, not the silent, hidden, unorganised people who don’t act as a pressure group

  65. Sqidgy: So what you are saying is you want to be “equal, but different”. I for one do not want to be seen in a “Civil Partnership”, “Gay marriage”, “Queer contract”, or “Shirtlifter’s spousage” – I just want to be seen as simply ‘married’ along with everyone else, without having to suffer the indignities of bank tellers snickering when I divulge my marital status.

    You might be out and proud, but most of us just want to live a normal life without having to wave a fcuking placard in front of us stating ‘we are the only gay in Newport Pagnall’, or wherever.

  66. I was born in Newport Pagnell Spanner :) I can tell you it has more than one gay :D

  67. How about a separate system of racial partnership for mixed race marriages? There are Christians who are against mixed race marriage on moral, biblical grounds and mixed race marriage is illegal in some countries and has been illegal in many more, including the USA.

    My point is that gay people having to make do with second rate civil partnerships is equally ridiculous…

  68. @ Spanner

    I’M not saying anything of the sort. I couldn’t care what it’s called so long as it’s equal. I said I heard lots of gay people, friends, friends of friends when I was doing the scene and making friends from the mid 80′s onwards that said they wanted the right to marry but wanted something that recognised is as a gay marriage. Something with a different name. I can remember plenty saying they thought the ring should go on the opposite hand to straight marriage.

    I have what I have with my hubby and neither one of us thinks we are ’2nd class’ in Any levels. But then I never have. I have the attitude that if people can’t handle it don’t bother me so never surrounded myself with negative people. My hubby and I have never had a problem with others accepting us from the hetrosexuak community and I know that makes us very lucky. Some though do choose to take a positive and create a victim out of it that is unhelpful and demeans the gay right cause.

    Like I said any negative remarks and discrimination we’ve had tend to come from other gay people not accepting us for being married/CP’d. It seems this may indeed be where the main problem lies. While we seem to be getting more and more equals and freedoms some still feel we need to be special with special rights. There is actually Very few things in the UK in which we are not totally equal yet some will carry on whinging no matter what. It’s kind of a habit I think.

  69. de Villiers 17 Jun 2010, 8:48pm

    First, it is worth remembering that the Conservative party is conservative. Like all conservative institutions it resists new ideas before, over time, submitting to them and embracing them.

    The Conservative Party is not going to give gay people gay marriage. That might, one day, come from the Left. But not the Right. It is not even a valid criticism of the Right to say that they will not legislate for this insofar as it really is out of its range. It is like criticising the Left for not cutting taxes. (For those of us on the Right, it is enough for the Left not to raise them.)

    Compare, however, the behaviour and attitude of the Conservative Party in the UK with those centre-right parties on the continent. Compared to our closest neighbours – Spain, Portugal, France (my country), Italy, and Germany it is easily the most liberal and tolerant. It is also more tolerant on sexuality than the SNP and much of Labour in Scotland.

    Given that this is what is the political Right – the question is do we support the fact that the Conservative Party not only will not reverse but in some areas will extend gay policies or is worth complaining about their failure to implement policies that, by its nature, it is never likely to propose.

    For myself, although I admit that I am on the centre-right, I think it not fruitful to criticise the Conservatives for not doing something that they would never do – and which Labour itself never proposed to do. Those on the Left may have to be content that the Conservative Party will not reverse the gay rights that we have and will, in some area, extend them. We can all be happy that the Conservative Party has publicly proclaimed that they were wrong on gay issues in the past and that they accept the desirability of the liberal development of gay equality.

  70. Mihangel apYrs 17 Jun 2010, 10:25pm

    de Villiers, I will take your word concerning our European neighbours, noting in passing that Spain has same-sex marriage. However, while the tories may not overtly cut ourrights, acts of omission can be as troublesome as acts of commission, viz: beefing up religious rights could have an adverse effect on us.

    We know the right tends to side with the religionists: we will be able to judge their attitude in the future.

  71. Squidgy: “I’m not saying anything of the sort. I couldn’t care what it’s called so long as it’s equal”

    But you are and you do!
    “they wanted the right to marry but wanted something that recognised is as a gay marriage. Something with a different name.”
    That isn’t fcuking equal then, is it!!??
    My whole point is the majority of us want to be just ordinary, suburbanite, dyed-in-the-wool people, not some fcuking fringe faggot cul-de-sac. If your queeny friends want to mince about with silly rings, that is entirely up to them, but it should not be seen as the norm. No wonder gays get such a bad rap with bloody antisocial isolationist claptrap like that.

    Sorry mate, I’ve always had a lot of respect and support for you, but you just sank to the depths with that bollocks.

  72. Bill Perdue 18 Jun 2010, 12:53am

    You can’t have it both ways. If CPs and marriages are separate then they’re not equal. CPs are based on the christer belief that LGBT people are second class citizens who don’t deserve what straight people deserve by right.

    People like twisted sister who claim that they want “a separate (but equal) institution” are simply shilling for Tory bigots. The claim that “The oppressed victim syndrome is well embedded with so many of the readership here” turns reality on its head.

    Proponents of marriage equality same are honestly angry about the mean spirited prejudice of separate institutions. Those who defend separate institutions and a second class status for us are simply expressing Queersling shame and self-rejection. It’s very sad to see.

    vulpus rex tells us that “David Cameron patently isn’t homophobic, he simply has a different set of priorities, this doesn’t mean he is afraid of or hates homosexuals.”

    Who cares about his personal feelings? They’re immaterial, and in any case change to suit his political ambitions. If christer evangelists become a political force he’ll morph into a Thatcher clone overnight. What matters is his opposition to same sex marriage. That opposition is bigoted. He’s a functional, if not a personal bigot.

  73. @ Spanner

    Please go learn the difference between the words ‘They’ and ‘I’

    I have said that ‘They’ = the many people I’ve met over the years. Not once have ‘I’ said I agree with it. ‘I’ am quoting what ‘They’ have said to Me in the past.

    Don’t shoot the messenger and Stop changing my comments to suit your cause. Stick to how the messages are written, then maybe you’ll get with the program and start to debate properly.

  74. @ Spanner

    May I suggest it’s not marriage your having the problem with but being gay seems to make you all the more bitter. Don’t go into old age bitter love learn to embrace it and not be such a bitter ol queen. I doubt you really the only gay in your village!!

  75. Sister Mary Clarance 18 Jun 2010, 8:22am

    Its like a great big group of petulent over tired children on here.

    Before we are all forced into sacrificing civil partnerships in favour of all being straightened out a little bit further and forced to marry instead, could we maybe take a step back and look a the facts.

    Despite the fact there are clearly from the comments on here, a number of gay people who do not want to be assimilated into the straight world the Conservatives/Lim Dems do appear to be moving us more towards a one sized fits all, lookie-likie heterosexual marriage.

    Cameron has stated clearly that when referring to marriage he means north marriage and civil partnerships.

    The new benefits geared at promoting families apply to both married and civil partnerships.

    Civil partnerships will be allowed to be held in churches.

    Sadly, it does actually look like the manoeuvrings are going on to make the two one over time.

    I’m sure it not going to be quick enough for some on here, but then that’s was being never happy is all about isn’t it!

  76. George Broadhead, PTT 18 Jun 2010, 8:53am

    David Cameron said: “I am pleased to announce today that … if religious organisations, if churches, if mosques, if temples want to have civil partnerships celebrated at religious places of worship, that should be able to happen.”

    He added: “Of course those organisations that don’t want that to happen have their rights too.”

    There are two glaring inequalities in these plans for religious civil partnerships.

    First: any religious group, or individual place of worship will be able to opt out. In reality, this will mean that only a tiny number of LGBT friendly churches – Liberal Jewish synagogues, Unitarian churches and Quaker meeting houses, for example – will actually offer civil partnerships on the premises. The vast majority will deny access. But of course that is their “right” – the right to discriminate.

    Second: we still can’t get married. Despite Cameron’s promise before the election to “consider” marriage for same sex relationships, he has now abandoned the idea. Imagine if one of those groups he alluded to – Jews, for instance, or Muslims, weren’t allowed to get married, but were given something similar, but not quite the same. We are being told that we’re being given equality, but it’s merely second-class citizenship, beautifully wrapped.

  77. No 75: SMC “Its like a great big group of petulent over tired children on here.”

    And do you also think that the women who were protesting the fact that after World War 1, women over the age of 30 were given the vote whereas men over the age of 21 were allowed to vote , were also ‘petulant children’.

    Would you have told them them that they too should have been happy with their 2nd class status.

    I’ve said it many times but I will say it again.

    The sexual Apartheid regime in Britain may not be virulently homophobic. But the fact that law abiding, tax-paying citisens are denied access to a legal contract solely because of their sexuality is homophobic.

    And it is source of shame and embarrassment for this country.

    And those pathetic Gay Uncle Toms at Stonewall will not be remembered kindly by history due to their support of the sexual Apartheid regime.

  78. “Its like a great big group of petulent over tired children on here.

    Before we are all forced into sacrificing civil partnerships in favour of all being straightened out a little bit further and forced to marry instead, could we maybe take a step back and look a the facts.”

    “Straigtened out”? What is that supposed to mean? What a load of heterophobic nonsense. You know, gay men like you are the reason our community gets such a bad reputation. Why shouldn’t gay men integrate into society, just as ethnic minorities are expected to? Why do we hold such a special place? Why should we have our own special institution? I intensely dislike gay men who feel so sorry for themselves they are determined to hang onto their minority status so they can keep feeling sorry for themselves. If we integrate properly (including getting marriage) we can be part of society and do away with this perception that we are a minority once and for all.

    It SHOULD NOT be one rule for them and one for us. If they have marriage, that is what we should have. We aren’t special, that is the entire point, and Civil Partnerships just perpetuate the idea that we are special and different, which in turn leads to homophobia.

    Full same sex civil marriage is the only way for us to get respect.

    “straightened out”. Please, get a life and stop feeling sorry for yourself.

  79. Well said, Patrick!

  80. Sister Mary Clarance 18 Jun 2010, 1:02pm

    “And do you also think that the women who were protesting the fact that after World War 1, women over the age of 30 were given the vote whereas men over the age of 21 were allowed to vote , were also ‘petulant children’.”

    No not at all – its entirely different, and the only place we are second class is in your head. You are a victim, and you always want to be a victim. You have no desire to be considered equal because what you do is complain about being a victim, to be anything else would take away your whole purpose.

    There is no point in any sort of rational debate on the issue. You cannot distinguish between ‘the same’ and ‘equal’.

    You’ll be banging on about male and female toilets next, and you’ll be right of course, never the same amount of cubicles in the gents (oops probably that’s a discriminatory phrase) compared to the ladies room (blimey there I go again), and never and urinals in the ladies. What’s that all about!

    Injustice all around!

  81. Bill, No. 72, pretty accurate, thank you.

    MartinM, No. 57…..exactly! It is appalling that our government refuses to recognise legal same-sex marriages for British gay couples performed elsewhere. Its pretty obvious though isn’t it why it doesn’t? Recognising them for what they really are would force the government to allow us the same right of every straight man and woman in the country, thereby giving us FULL equality. All of the anti same-sex marriage haters who post here are in denial. If our government had approved same-sex marriage instead of CPs, I don’t think any of them would be resisting it or having the argument against it. What galls me about them is that just because they scorn or don’t want marriage for themselves (the StonewallUK mindset) they want to deny the rest of us that freedom and right enjoyed by the majority population. Like you, I don’t want to be different or singled out under a different name, the antithesis of full integration and equality as Patrick so eloquently points out in no. 78….well said Patrick, excellent, I couldn’t have said it any better.

  82. SMC – look at reality, many whine about ‘victimhood’ when they realise they’ve lost so they resort to smearing opponents

  83. No. 63, MartinM, you raise yet another excellent point in regard to gay taxpayers. Since we are banned from marrying, this is clearly taxation without full representation, not that we live in a fully democratic society. The marriage haters have yet to provide a rational, logical argument to justify a ban on same-sex civil marriage for those of us who want and demand it. Their opposition to it is anti-equality and homophobic. Most are nothing more than self-loathers taking their cue from the equally self-loathing StonewallUK. Nine countries can’t be wrong, “straight governments” voluntarily supporting full marriage equality, full integration which we don’t have in the UK. If CPs are so equal, why did 9 countries abandon them for marriage? I can’t even name more than two countries offering CPs (Ireland to be the second with even fewer rights), can you? They’re outnumbered and they know it, hence their retaliation and insults.

  84. Sister Mary Clarance 18 Jun 2010, 4:16pm

    “just as ethnic minorities are expected to”

    Sure Patrick and the day I paint myself white before I leave the house, I’ll accept your argument.

    It as always about equality and we have equality, now people want something different.

    Never happy.

  85. again you missed the point SMC – full equality is what many are after not just breadcrumbs!

  86. vulpus_rex 18 Jun 2010, 5:14pm

    @80 an imaginitive use of metaphore SMC, but spot on. A very good exmaple of how the pursuit of equality for equality’s sake trivialises the bigger picture.

    Same sex marriage fine by me for those that want it, but I don’t remember voting to put it top of any equality agenda and am a little bit fed up with being told that somehow makes me a homophobe.

  87. Sister Mary Clarance 18 Jun 2010, 5:49pm

    Me neither Vulpus, and it wasn’t second on the agenda either … or third for tat matter

  88. Marraige generally consists of husband/wife. A marraige of husband/husband does not conform to this ‘prestigpus traditional’ institute that some have been eulogising here. I have lived in the Nl Most people assume that married Gays are Straight, unless they explain. The automatic assumption is to place ‘wife’ beside ‘husband’, or ask a man about his wife, and vice versa. AS a matter if fcat, the word \partner’ is in greater use in the NL, than ‘spouse’

    All I am saying is that the word ‘marraige’ is not a magic wand, because it connotes opposite sexes. Since they will always be the majority, it will remain so.

  89. True, Nikki, but ‘partner’ does the same. When I’m at work and someone’s talking about their partner, I have no idea of the gender of the person until they use a pronoun. The straight majority may indeed assume that ‘partner’ means someone of the oposite gender, but that’s just the way they think and I’m not particularly interested in that. Nor do I think the word ‘marriage’ is a magic wand. It holds no special ‘fluffy’ connotations for me.

    All I care about is that the same choice is open to me as to anyone else. I may choose NOT to get married, but I’d like that choice, just as straight people have. I object to being denied it soley on the grounds of my sexuality.

  90. No. 86, Vulpus_Rex, I’m glad you are not opposed to same-sex marriage. Nobody is saying that it should be number one on the agenda, but its an important one that shouldn’t be ignored but legislated for. Nobody should be banned from one of the most important civil rights in any society. Until we achieve that, we do not have our full equality, no matter how some here try to skew it. FULL equality can be realised by striking down the ban and the issue will be put to rest once and for all. Just because some don’t want it, doesn’t mean they should not support it. None of us who want that right would want to ban civil partnerships and the least we should expect from the naysayers should be reciprocity. When they want the ban to remain as some obviously do, they in effect are approving of government sanctioned discrimination against their own people which in turn translates into homophobia of the worst kind. Giving us rights under a different name is nothing more than legal segregation, an exercise in regression, the antithesis of a true democracy of which we are not. I know of no other group of people in our country who have been subjected to this kind of treatment. Certainly, no straights.

    Iris, as always, well said and thank you.

  91. GS: “I reckon if some research was done into those people who are most vociferous about being able to ‘get married’ many would be found to have some deep-rooted unhappiness about being gay and ‘different’”

    You are half-right there, but it is everyone else that has a problem with gay lifestyles, and CP only widens that gap. Until the general populace accept gay people like anyone else (which I think will almost certainly be ‘never’, I would rather not cause any more aggro than is necessary, and just “get married” like everyone else.

  92. Sister Mary Clarance 19 Jun 2010, 2:27am

    When I woke up this morning I was no better and no worse than another else. I was no more than anyone else and I was no less. I was neither inferior or superior. I was equal.

    It may be that some other people in the world believe that I am better or worse than them, more or less than, superior or inferior.

    However what they think doesn’t change what I am. I am equal.

    I do not need to change, their opinions do.

    Civil partnerships are equal. That a few may view then differently makes them no less equal

    Civil partnerships do not need to change. Their opinions do.

  93. The very simple fact of the matter is, and this has NOTHING to do with semantics, and you can skew whatever way you want to, if they are so equal, why call them by a different name? Explain why 9 countries, soon to be 10, didn’t go for civil partnerships, they can’t all be wrong and why should we be banned from marrying in the first place? Explain the ban and please, don’t use the objection or backlash by religious cults to justify it. Those who insist they are equal are in denial. There are no marriage vows exchanged, no marriage certificate issued, no declaration as being legally married once the papers are signed, no divorce but dissolution and some discrepancies in pension rights. They should be identical if they’re equal, without exception. If I were to marry my partner in any of the six countries in Europe that allow it, explain why my government refuses to recognise my marriage certificate for what it is and why do I have to leave my own country to do it? What you naysayers are doing are supporting discrimination against other gay people. You should be supporting our right to marry even if you don’t believe in it. We don’t need to change our opinions since we don’t support a ban on civil partnerships, but people like you do who support a ban on our right to marry if we so choose. That’s what full equality is all about.

  94. Val, 13 – you complained that at a panel discussion you went to not all those who attended were in favour of homosexual marriage. So their views don’t count then? You infer that they don’t really care about the issue. They probably do care, they just have a different opinion from yours.

    To your way of thinking, it’s like having a homosexuals-only referendum on h. marriage, then counting only the ‘for’ vote.

  95. “However what they think doesn’t change what I am. I am equal.”

    Very true, SMC – but if a minority is TREATED unequally, then they are unequal. I think what you’re saying is with regard to value. You and I are just as good as anyone else and neither of us think otherwise, but that doesn’t mean that we’re automatically treated equally, does it? And that’s the problem.

    Robert – well said. Separate isn’t equal. And the cheek of the UK government in altering gay people’s marriages abroad to CPs is gobsmacking.

  96. “Sure Patrick and the day I paint myself white before I leave the house, I’ll accept your argument.

    It as always about equality and we have equality, now people want something different.

    Never happy”

    Actually SMC, technically, we don’t have equality. British Civil Partnerships aren’t recognised in countries which have same sex marriage, where heterosexual marriages from Britain are recognised as marriage in those countries, so technically, we don’t have equality.

    As for being never happy, you are absolutely right, I am not happy, and won’t be until we are fully equal. You might be happy to stop short of full equality, but I am not.

    Your “straightened out” comment shows you for what you truly are: a heterophobic bigot. Discrimination goes 2 ways and we are just as capable of it as heterosexuals are.

    Heterophobia is no different to homophobia or racism.

    You should be ashamed of yourself. Disgusting. No excuse.

  97. Sister Mary Clarance 20 Jun 2010, 1:45am

    “Actually SMC, technically, we don’t have equality. British Civil Partnerships aren’t recognised in countries which have same sex marriage”

    Quite true Patrick and is it not the case that slowly countries are changing that. They must change their own legislation , we cannot do it for them.

    How many countries accept same sex marriages, and how many don’t?

    How many heterosexual people deem civil partnerships to be any less than, or anything different to marriage? I would guess not many at at.

    It all about the gay community self identifying as the victim – bleat all you like, but I have no time and no patience for stupid argument about stuff that exists only in your head

  98. “It all about the gay community self identifying as the victim”

    No, it’s not. It’s about not wanting to be treated any differently from anyone else. When I go to the bank I don’t expect to walk through a separate door marked “Gay People” while everyone else walks in the front door. The fact that that door leads into the same bank foyer as the main one would be of no consolation.

    CPs were a step forward, and I welcomed them at the time because it was better than nothing and a move in the right direction. I also (wrongly) thought it would shut the religious extremists up, but it hasn’t, so Labour might aswell have called it ‘marriage’ in the first place.

    There’s no reason why gay people shouldn’t be able to have a civil marriage – no reason at all except bigotry.

    I wouldn’t lie down and accept it, if I was told that I (white) wasn’t allowed to marry my girlfriend because she’s not white. That’d be highly offensive. And neither will I put up with being told that I can’t marry her because she’s female.

  99. Sister Mary Clarance 20 Jun 2010, 12:27pm

    Iris, this is going nowhere. It seems to me that you want the use of the word ‘marriage’, irrespective of that fact that ‘civil partnership’ gives you the same status.

    It is not equality, it is assimilation

  100. 97. SMC….Actually 9 countries accept, grant and support full civil marriage equality. In 2011 that number will be 10 with Finland acceding, maybe more before then. Can you name 9 countries that have civil partnerships based on the British model? If they’re so wonderfully equal as you claim, why did 9 countries abandon them for full marriage? Nobody has yet provided a logical, rational answer as to why we in Britain are banned from marrying, not even you. There is absolutely no reason to maintain the ban. Civil patnerships though better than nothing at the time they were introduced are nothing new and in fact have now been proved regressive by nine countries already, they can’t all be wrong. Another thing, those countries voluntarily legislated for civil marriage equality, they weren’t compelled as Britian was to not only have civil partnerships but our military allowing us to serve openly. Our successive governments do NOTHING major for LGBT people out of their own volition and goodness of their hearts.

    Since you are an opponent of same-sex marriage and a supporter of the ban on it in our own country, I would assume you would have been ok with the anti-miscegenation laws that America once practiced? How would you like it if black people, accorded all their rights, were forced to sit in a separate part of restaurant away from white people, or any other minority for that matter? Having the same rights under different names has absolutely NOTHING to do with equality but a whole lot more to do with segregation, in our case government sanctioned segregation. Cameron can’t even come up with one simple explanation as to why we should be banned from marriage if we want that option. What if there were no civil partnerships and only civil marriage for gay people. Would you support a revocation of their right to marry even though you don’t believe in it? Most of us who want that right, wouldn’t dream of banning civil partnerships for those who want them. We support them but we should be allowed to marry if we choose. Banning and not supporting our demand for marriage endorses discrimination against our own people whether people want it or not. We do NOT have full equality while that ban remains in effect.

  101. “It is not equality, it is assimilation”

    Ah, SMC – is THAT what you dislike then? The idea that you’ll ‘be the same as straight people’? I ask that with all respect, not in a goading way.

    See, I no more see being able to marry as assimilation into straight society as I do being able to vote as assimilation into male society. I have nothing against straight people or men, and I prefer to see them as simply human beings, not label them according to gender or sexuality (or anything else).

    It’s not about assimilation, it’s about equality. Above somewhere you suggested that people who wanted gay marriage liked to be victims. I presume you’d never want to get married if you were able (because of your ‘assimilation’ comment), but I don’t understand why you’d deny others that choice simply because you don’t wish to choose that path.

    If we had both CPs and civil marriage for anyone regardless of gender, would that be something you’d be happy with?

  102. And (sorry, but your assimilation comment fascinated me) what counts as assimilation then? Surely we’re all individuals? I don’t feel the need to be anyone other than myself. I don’t ‘act in a lesbian way’ (apart from sleeping with girls ;) ), I don’t examine my lifestyle every day to check it’s not becoming too straight – because there’s no such thing. Gay or straight – we’re all different and we all lead different lives. And straight people don’t own marriage any more than religion does. Each marriage is different because it’s made by the two people involved. It’s not a mould you have to squeeze yourself into.

  103. “Iris, this is going nowhere. It seems to me that you want the use of the word ‘marriage’, irrespective of that fact that ‘civil partnership’ gives you the same status.

    It is not equality, it is assimilation ”

    Now it all becomes clear. You are so stuck inside your little make believe world feeling sorry for yourself that you have missed the point: most of the gay community want to integrate. We are not all obsessed, as you apparently are, with maintaining a distinct status. It is clear you have some major issues.

    The gay community is not special and should not have a special status. They should be made to integrate like everyone else. People with issues like you need to get over it.

    If you want to feel sorry for yourself and be angry at the big bad world out there, feel free. However don’t stop those of us who are happy to integrate, who aren’t afraid of the big bad world, and who want equality. We want marriage equality, and we want it now. You need to respect that choice.

    By the way, I am not sure if you noticed, but the divorce rules for CPs are the same for marriage, so by accepting CPs we have essentially accepted the rules of marriage, ergo we have “assimilated” as you say. If you are so determined not to “assimilate”, don’t do even a CP! Stay single!

    “”Actually SMC, technically, we don’t have equality. British Civil Partnerships aren’t recognised in countries which have same sex marriage”

    Quite true Patrick and is it not the case that slowly countries are changing that. They must change their own legislation , we cannot do it for them.”

    Why should other countries change their laws and recognise British Civil Partnerships? There are currently 9 countries (soon to be 11 and rising all the time) with same sex marriage. Those countries all recognise same sex marriages from other countries automatically, so if British same sex marriages were introduced, they would automatically be recognised in those countries, no extra legislation needed just to recognised British CPs, no tax payer money wasted.

  104. Is that how desperate you got Patrick, answering and agreeing with you own earlier comments?

    tut tut

  105. Iris, 101…no, they wouldn’t be happy having both marriage and civil partnerships available to everyone. Its ironice that in some way, CPs do “mimic” marriage, the very thing they’re so against. It is clear these people support the ban on marriage equality by defending Cameron’s and prior to that Blair’s and Brown’s stand with the collusion of StonewallUK of course. Its apalling to think that some of our own fellow gay brothers and sisters support the ban. Ironic isn’t it that those of us who want the freedom to marry don’t demand the abolition of CPs just because we don’t want them. This is proof that our own foes don’t believe in full equality, let alone support it.

    Patrick, No. 103, I so agree with you on every point. I don’t want to be different from the rest of society and I don’t want a separate label to validate it. Civil Partnerships are most certainly NOT about assimilation but about legal segregation under a different name. That isn’t democratic nor is it equal. Our partnerships are simply NOT recognised in the same way that marriages are and not regarded the same way. Yes, Cameron and others equate the two as parallels, but then that’s all about denial. If they were that equal, we wouldn’t be calling them partnerships. None of them can grasp the concept of full equality. Separate is simply never equal, no matter how they try to skew it. You only have to look at the way CPs are formed, nothing resembling marriage, no vows, no divorce procedure but dissolution. They are treated very differently and regarded as such. There are also some discrepancies with pensions too, some companies honour CPs with the same benefits as heterosexual married couples but some do not, and are not mandated to do so.

    None of our opponents have yet provided one logical, rational reason why we should be banned from forming a civil marriage contract, not one. I suppose if we only had civil marriage equality, they’d probably not want to marry their partners since they oppose it so much.

    Actually Patrick, a small number of countries do recognise Civil Partnerships but they are not accorded identical benefits of marriage in the 9 countries that allow us to marry. They’re not treated as married couples. In America for example, they’d be recognised as civil unions or domestic partnerships which both straight and gay couples can enter into I might add, unlike our own backward society, but none receive the full rights and recognition of marriage. Its preposterous for Cameron and others to pursue EU recognition of British CPs when only one other country (Ireland) is going that route while others are pursuing full civil marriage equality. Six in the EU already, 7 with Finland getting on board in 2011. Civil partnerships will never be the universal standard for gay couples, anywhere. Our opponents can’t even provide yet another reasonable answer as to why there are now 9 countries with same-sex marriage and why they went that extra step, a step that we’ve failed to take in the UK. What is so annoying and offencive in my view is that in Canada for example, British CPs are recognised for what they are, yet a British gay couple marrying in Canada face blatant discrimination when they return home with a legal certificate of marriage. Our government refuses to recognise it as a marriage but as a CP which of course it is not since civil partners do not receive a marriage certificate. Its outrageous and not only disrespectful to the couple, but disrespectful of Canada’s laws, a commonwealth country. Nothing but British arrogance of the worst kind to assume that 9 countries have to change their views to suit our version of “equality”. You’re quite right about that.

  106. Squidgy:
    > Because most people I’ve met don’t want it to be the same
    > name. Most wanted the right to celebrate a committed union but
    > to be recognised for gay relationships not melted into the same
    > bracket as marriage.

    You should point out to such people that by insisting on a different term according to the sex of those involved they are being sexist, and also transphobic. The latter because, when people change sex, or gender (if thats possible outside the fiction of terminology) a different contract depending on the sex of those involved causes them, and their family, considerable otherwise unnecessary problems.

    Like, for example. a gay couple who were both born female can have a civil partnership, but if one of them gets a gender recognition certificate (GRC) the CP would have to be dissolved and they’d have to marry, because then one would be legally female and the other legally male. If the second decided to get a GRC, they would have to divorce and get a civil partnership again.

    Why not both get GRCs at the same time and stay in a CP, I hear you ask? Because the law says no GRC without any marriage or CP being ended first, even when it stays a gay couple.

    Equal access to marriage just sweeps all that away.

    Now, is the affectation of a “different term” worth all that trouble and expense? Besides all the other problems it causes, like perpetuating inequality? Like still allowing kids to taunt “you’ll never get married”?

  107. val
    > Personally i disagree with those who want to maintain the two
    > institutions separate. I don’t really understand what the value
    > is in continuing to say we’re different, we’re not like you…

    Some people just want to be different. As a wild guess Sister Mary Clarance, for example. And they get noticed and sometimes it gets them disproportionate influence.

    Sometimes I wonder if they’d let us have marriage if they could have “sparkly queer couplings”.

  108. VP:
    > The answer is simply that homophobia is not considered as bad
    > as racism or discrimination against the disabled by many in our
    > society – because nobody thinks that the irrational and
    > arbitrary sensibilities of the religious ought to trump full
    > equality in those cases.

    Not quite, its because the continued use of anathematisation (literally “making outside the church”) is apparently considered largely permissible in respect of sexual minorities, even though, under the 1948 Geneva Convention on Genocide it is supposed to be illegal, as potentially leading to persecution, in every signatory nation (Uganda included). That convention was of course a “never again” measure after recent events, which included the rounding up of sexual minorities and some very nasty fates (I’m avoiding the use of the N word here after finding that nothing including it gets posted).

    During the passage of the CP legislation it was made shamelessly clear by government spokespeople that it was all due to their religious beliefs, which obviously differ from those of others. Under international human rights law (ECHR) state discrimination on religious grounds is illegal, but again, because of continued use of illegal anathematisation in respect of sexual minorities, it is permitted in the UK.

    With so many here now speaking out why do we not have any proper campaign in the UK for full equality?

  109. John-boy,

    Sorry, I’ve only just seen your message. I think you misread my post. All I said is, for those who are in favour of same-sex marriage, we can’t be surprised we don’t get results if no one cares about the issue. We need to accept that there is not a lot of interest at the moment in same-sex marriage in the UK so we either start campaigning or we stop complaining.

    The debate I mentioned was about same-sex marriage so obviously there was a speaker for and one against it. The majority of those who attended were in favour but like I said it was about 20 people… The issue is not perceived as very pressing in British politics at the moment.

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