Erm, creepsville – is the man in that photograph marrying himself? In some sort of photoshopped shotgun wedding??
(Re gay marriage – coming like a train. Watch with awe while Mrs Buggins from Aberdeen casually redeems all sorts of unlikely organisations from themselves – from Stonewall to the Church. The opposition will be overcome by a great tidal wave of heterosexual acceptance….)
Very good news particularly as Angus Reid polls tend to produce a lower percentage of support than others (F.e Populus polls), probably because of the wording they use, so 58% on an Angus Reid poll is fantatsic.
Can Scotland pass marriage equality without the rest of the UK? then we can all go and get married there…
Yes, Val, but then if you return to England/Wales/N Ireland the nice government would ‘downgrade’ your marriage to a CP whether you like it or not, just like they do to gay people who marry in Canada or the Netherlands or elsewhere the minute they return to the UK. Discrimination pure and simple.
What did the survey say about the fate of Civil Partnerships in the event that Gay Marriage was allowed? Did people think they should be abolished or automatically converted into marriages, or should the remain as Civil Partnerhips? Did the survey identify whether most people were in favour of Civil Partnerships being opened up to heterosexual people, or whether they should stay exclusively for gay people? Did the survey explore whether most people were happy for “gay marriages” to take place in church, and if not whether the reasons for this or whether they thought it was discriminatory (i.e. the same but different)? Did it ask whether people thought “gay marriage” was something different to just plain “marriage”?. Maybe this issue of “marriage equality” is not as simple as some people think…
Paul, I don’t think this poll asked detailed questions (please correct me if I’m wrong, anyone who knows me than me :) ). I think it was just one question to gauge the strength of feeling. I might be muddling polls but I think this one asked the question: How much do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Gay or lesbian couples should have the right to marry one if they want to.
I know you’ve referred to the details of any equal marriage legislation on other pages and I’m (genuinely) interested in what you think and if you anticipate any problems. Me, I originally believed that equal marriage should be brought in and anyone in a CP could have it coverted to marriage if they chose but that CPs should be halted because, in my opinion, they already copy civil marriage anyway and aren’t necessary ie we should just be able to have a civil marriage no matter what our sexuality, race, etc etc. BUT I then read a couple of people on here saying that they would want a CP not a marriage, so, in fairness, I now say that we should keep CPs but introduce equal civil marriage. And, yes, the next step on from that, being fair, is that CPs would be open to straight couples. However, having talked to my straight friends who’ve chosen not to marry for various reasons, none of them were interested in CPs anyway. They either had strong reasons not to get married and saw CPs as ‘marriage with a different name’ or said that if they were to enter a legal contract, they’d choose ‘proper’ (their word not mine) civil marriage.
The religious bits are irrelevant to me. Religions already choose whom to marry amongst straight couples, so this would be the same – ie they could choose if they wished to marry gay couples.
And ‘gay marriage’ the same or different? Well, to me it’d be exactly the same. We don’t consider civil marriages between two people of different skin colours to be ‘different’ in some way so why should a civil marriage between two people of the same sex be different? I like the term ‘equal marriage’ – just a gender neutral civil marriage open to all. That seems best to me personally and looking at it objectively.
You’re right that it’s not necessarily simple because there are CPs to consider, but I don’t think that’s the reason the government hasn’t introduced equal marriage.
* Oops! Should be “anyone who knows MORE than me” :)
Iris, every one of the ten countries that allow us to marry have gender neutral civil marriage for gay couples and none of the religious denominations are compelled to perform or recognise them. I don’t think Cameron will support it because he takes his cue from Summerskill who thinks that 20,000 members should determine who can and cannot marry. Summerskill is no leader and he doesn’t represent the majority of us who far outnumber them. If he were worth his salt, he’d actively support it regardless of the opinions of his membership. That’s what leadershp is all about. He has none and he has no concept of what full equality is all about. Our being able to marry doesn’t change civil marriage one bit, in fact all it does it expand it to include us. Its not going to impact hetero marriages one iota and I think that’s why we’re seeing growing support among the straight majority. Isn’t it amazing that Summerskill can’t see it that way? Maybe we should have a straight man or woman running StonewallUK since Summerskill works against us? As for CPs, I’m all for keeping them for those who want them but they should be available to straights just as civil marriage should be available to us who want it. I don’t see any difficulty getting that done, do you? Everybody will be equal and everyone benefits.
French PACS are for opposite sex couples as well. My opinion is that CPs ought to be open to all in oorder to facilitate free movement within the EU. Very difficult to force other EU countries to reconise the British CP when we do not receiprocate. Who knows the EU may force the UK to bring in CPs for straights anyway… you should not lose your civil status as you move around the EU and a French straight CP is a valid civil status…
Robert, we agree, which gives me confidence. To me what you say is the logical and fair answer. I don’t think things need over-complicating because even if people initially have different ideas – like I did regarding CPs – then they usually reach a common consensus based on good old common sense and a sense of justice.
In the countries where they have gender neutral marriage are there any ones of those that previously had an equivalent to CPs then moved on to marriage? Didn’t Iceland do that? Surely lookint at countries like that can give us a good idea of how to proceed and let us take into account any possible problems. I know each country is different and has different concerns, but it’s still good to take a look at how it works in other countries.
@ Iris – Thank you so much for really engaging in the issue and considering all of the questions I pointed out. I don’t really think the survey did ask all those questions – I was just trying to make the point that we shouldn’t be too critical when people don’t immediately say they support “gay marriage” because it is evidently clear (even on here) that this means different things to different people. If Governmnet do pursue gay marriage it will cause knock on consequences that need to be thought through. Gey people need to try to achieve a general consensus on *ALL* these issues before any porogress could possibly be made in Parliament. I’ve just got a bit sick of reading the hysterical anti-Stonewall comments on here of late – It’s extremely damaging, not just to Stonewall, but to the “gay marriage” cause. If the Government sees such deep and bitter divisions opening up on the issue it will not touch it with a barge poll. I imagine Stonewall will come out in support of equality once it’s got answers to all those other questions. It’s never good for any lobbyist to go into battle and, when faced with difficult questions all those other issues I mentioned earlier to say “I don’t know, we’ve not thought about that – we don’t really know what our supporters think”. And all those people thinking about demonstrating outside the Stonewall Awards and ranting on these forums about them, I really think you’d be better off writing to your MP or David Cameron instead or maybe demonstrating in front of the Houses of Parliament – after all, it’s the politicians that make the decisions, not Stonewall – MP’s always prefer personal testimony over and above the views of lobbyists. A lot of you are wasting your time getting so aggitated with Stonewall and your just creating a distracting and harmful sideshow. I bet the Daily Mail is loving it.
…and judging by the Spending Review today and the massive cuts to public services and welfare benefits, I don’t think that this Government gives a toss what *any* Lobby group thinks – even Stonewall.
Apologies for the numerous spelling mistakes too.
Paul #11 – No problem. I could see your point and I wanted to respond because what you said was valid. I particularly agree that we don’t want to start in-fighting and arguing because then it might seem like we don’t know what we want so the government will use that as an excuse to not do anything. That is a big concern.
I was thinking more about it this afternoon, and as regards CPs, then I think I would do the legislation in two stages. First, make civil marriage gender neutral. This would allow gay people to marry and stop transsexual people from having to divorce and re-marry just because they change gender. Also at this time, anyone who’d previously had a CP could CHOOSE (not compulsory) to convert it very simply to a civil marriage. I would keep the issue of CPs separate from that and deal with it in following legislation after seeing how that went, how many people converted their CPs, and how many people still said they didn’t want a civil marriage, just a CP. I’d give it a reasonable length of time, then proceed with the next step – CPs. Unfortunately – or very thankfully, some might say :D – I’m not PM!
Iris is right that this survey only asked one question: “Do you agree or disagree that gay and lesbian couples should be allowed to marry if they want to” (from memory, but that’s pretty much the wording).
The wording was copied from the Scottish Govt funded Scottish Social Attitudes Survey, which asked the same question in 2002 and 2006. ‘Agree’ was (again from memory) 43% in 2002 and 52% in 2006 – 58% now.
Paul, London, the Equality Network at the start of this year conducted a much more detailed survey of several hundred LGBT people in Scotland, asking the kind of questions you raise. 85% wanted marriage opened up to all, which divided into 32% who thought CP could then be abolished, and 53% who thought that both marriage and CP should be opened up to couples regardless of gender.
People in Scotland can hear and phone into a debate about this starting at 8.50am on Friday, on Radio Scotland, featuring Patrick Harvie.