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Tory MP claims most gay people don’t want the right to marry

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  1. and even if it is indeed a “tiny number”, what does it matter? They should still be able to if they want to

  2. Jock S. Trap 18 Feb 2011, 10:12am

    I’d like to see the info he is basing this on though I have a feeling it is a uneducated random rant rather anything else.

    His argument is baseless and pathetic and I guess typical of a ‘certain’ man of ‘his age’.

    Can’t believe these people actually choose to be idiots.

  3. So if we get married suddenly they’ll be queuing round the block for ploygamous marriage and the right to put engagement rings on the dog seems to be the hub of his argument.
    Or is he afraid that’s what he might be tempted to do if marriage was more inclusive?
    As yet bestiality and polygamous marriage are still illegal in the UK and last time I checked gay marriage wasn’t compulsory either.

  4. Claptrap. Is he a mind-reader?
    The usual homophobic twaddle that if you value one type of relationship you can’t possibly value another.

  5. How many gay people does he know then? He must know an awful lot to have this knowledge of what an entire minority group want. I suppose he knows exactly what black people want as well.

    Aren’t we lucky to have such insightful politicians to watch over us knowing exactly what we are thinking.

  6. Sigh. There’s always one who is exceptionally daft.

    As for polygamy, I agree it should be allowed. But I give him a million pounds for every 33 people he finds in UK that are willing to enter into one big loving marriage.

    Just look at the great strides the polygamy movement has made in Canada since the marriage equality was introduced!

  7. He’s a King Canute. He knows it’s coming but he wishes he could stop it.

  8. Taking into account that original ‘marriage’ were not a religious cerenomy, I am struggling on why religions feel the own the word.

    As for gay marriage: this already existed in A.D. 54 when Nero married a man. He also married another 14 years later.

  9. Edward Leigh said he was “astonished and disappointed” that a Conservative-led government intended “to do away with traditional marriage”.

    That’s a bit of an exaggeration isn’t it, heterosexual couples will still be able to marry as usual…hardly doing away with it.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/8331693/Gay-marriage-plans-are-un-Christian-claims-Tory-MP.html

  10. Peter: sorry, but while Leigh is obviously an asshole, Canute wasn’t.

    The whole “stop the tide coming in” stunt was to prove to his minions that he *wasn’t* all-powerful.

  11. If David Cameron is really the progressive PM he would like us to believe he is then he should not allow this sort of behaviour and this man should be punished. What he is saying is insulting and misinformed.

  12. Edward Leigh’s views are probably typical of the majority of Conservative MPs.

    The Lib Dems don’t want to fall out with their tory mates on this issue. Lynne Featherstone talked about a consultation last July. Equality delayed is equality denied.

    The non-policy announced yesterday was simply to paper over the differences between Lib Dems and Conservatives. Edward Leigh needn’t have bothered to say anything.

    Does anyone seriously believe the Government has any intention of legislating for marriage equality before 2015?

  13. Doesn’t he look like a swollen boozy cartoon version of Robert Redford though!

  14. Dr Robin Guthrie 18 Feb 2011, 10:55am

    “Doesn’t he look like a swollen boozy cartoon version of Robert Redford though!”

    ROFL….

  15. I don’t think the man is homophobic, just ignorant, as usual. Where does he get these findings? What actual vox-pop research has been done on the subject?

    And as Zefrog points out, even if it is a low proportion, why does that mean we cannot be given the same opportunity as everyone else?

  16. Polygamy, why is this the argument that is often raised!

    I would love to see if he can show some facts to back up his comments…

  17. This eroding marriage canard seems to draw on a kind of country club mentality. Old school conservatives see marriage as an exclusive club and they can’t just let any old riff-raff get in or else “there goes the neighbourhood”.
    Difference is that a country club is an actual place they hang out in, marriage is merely a social constuct.
    If I get married it doesn’t make his own marriage worthless (though frankly marrying him is punishment enough).

  18. Helen Wilson 18 Feb 2011, 11:26am

    Why do they always pull this crap?

    Its religion that’s more likely to bring about:

    # polygamy

    # insest

    # paedophilia

    Most religious texts encourage this crap.

  19. In the Telegraph today, a news article about how a senior Conservative MP, and a large number of back benches; believe Gay Marriage is not Christian.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/8331693/Gay-marriage-plans-are-un-Christian-claims-Tory-MP.html

  20. His exclusive language suggests he sees gays and lesbians as the undeserving enemy not as fellow humans and UK citizens, it’s not inclusive but all theys and them.

    “He said: “Why must they also have the language of marriage? No doubt because it is an important symbol to them. But it is also an important symbol to many other people.”

    As an MP he’s supposed to be working for gay & lesbian citizens too, we pay his wages.

  21. “the universally understood framework of marriage”

    Horse sh*t!

    There is no ‘universal definition’. According to the Muslims, for example, a man can marry 2, 3 or even 4 women.

  22. TheSuburbanBi 18 Feb 2011, 11:40am

    Can someone please inform the religious among us that they do not own the concept of marriage. Why do they think they do? I am heartily sick to the death of the argument that ‘we’ are trying to take something sacred away from ‘them’. And add to that all the slippery slope into bestiality arguments — there could be few things more offensive to say, and they know it.

    But I console myself that these are the last gasping breaths of a dying breed of ignorant and hard-hearted morons who cannot fathom how the world is changing (for the better) around them.

  23. The truth of the matter is that it doesn’t suit any of the political parties to advance marriage equality. That’s why it won’t happen in the foreseeable future, as became clear after Lynne Featherstone’s interview yesterday,

  24. Misogny and Heterosexism, this is what is being challanged by Gay Marriage.

    Expect to here more outrageous claims about the following:

    1. What is normal

    2. What is foundational for society

    2. What is natural for men &women

  25. “Why must they also have the language of marriage? No doubt because it is an important symbol to them. But it is also an important symbol to many other people. Must the religious and cultural heritage of the whole nation be overturned to suit the demands of a minority even of the gay community itself?”

    . . . . . . . . . . .

    No one owns the “Institution of Marriage”, and no one has exclusive rights to its symbolic, financial or psychological meaning.

  26. Pushing for religious civil unions has really muddied the water.
    Had the major gay organisations been campaigning hard for civil marriage equality we could have moved beyond much of the religious rhetoric (brainrot) that is clogging things up and giving the anti-gay industry a platform to posture and snarl.

  27. Whenever I get some idiot on a forum espousing the “Its Adam and Eve. Not Adam and Steve.” mantra I usually reply with the following.

    Throws them off guard.

    “You are indeed correct in stating that Adam and Eve are the original sinners that partook of the Apple in the Garden of Eden whilst in conversation with the talking snake.

    In the meantime, amidst all this terrible sinning, Adam and Steve were
    doing a fabulous makeover of the Garden.

  28. Representational democracy relies on the representatives listening to and then acting upon the wish of the people. Edward Leigh is yet another arrogant Tory toff who does NOT represent his constituents.
    In other words he is a stupid pr*ck! …;-)

  29. According to the story…
    It certainly wasn’t homosexuality that was the terrible original sin responsible for the fall and expulsion from the garden.

  30. Is that the “universally understood framework of marriage” that doesn’t take into consideration ancient Greece, ancient China and ancient Rome?

  31. The Economist covers this in its latest issue:

    http://www.economist.com/node/18184434?story_id=18184434&CFID=162806761&CFTOKEN=47036069

    “Seventeen countries, provinces and states permit gay marriage, including such cutting-edge places as Portugal and Belgium, says Robert Wintemute, a lawyer at Kings College London who is representing the litigants. Eleven allow civil partnerships for straight couples. Three have both: the Netherlands, South Africa and the Canadian province of Quebec. A mainstream Christian denomination in Canada has been marrying gays for years. Nowhere has society been shaken to its foundations.

  32. He is a homophobe after all.

  33. Is that the “universally understood framework of marriage” that doesn’t take into consideration ancient Greece, ancient China and ancient Rome?

    Or of pre-Revolution China, pre-20c Sri Lanka (polyandry) and Polynesia, modern Islamic cultures and many present-day Central and Southern African cultures.

  34. Steve@GayWebHosting 18 Feb 2011, 12:52pm

    The ramblings of yet another dying tory prick!

    Shame… I never did like sore losers!

  35. another tory shows its true colours

  36. wel Ihave passed my thought on to NO 10. for what good it will do. What pisses me off about all this is his statement looks like an article for the daily fail. Not telling the real truth and bending it to suit its bigotry.
    Please google NO10 and pass your thoughts on to Mr Cameron, and if you address this vile man himself then please dont use the title MP , as he does not diserve it.

  37. ‘Marriage’ has changed so much over the centuries. During the early Medieval period it was a personal matter between the couple themselves, or between their families, the church only having a (non-obligatory) role in recording the union … only later did the rules of marriage pass to the state. These things evolve with time… so it’s only right that, now we’ve reached the 21st century, those who have been previously excluded from such an important personal, social (not just religious) institution have their rights upheld. Besides… the guy’s obviously an idiot….

  38. This ignorant man is clearly taking lessons from anti-gay politicians and organizations here in America.

    The fact of the matter is, even if the actually number of tax paying, law abiding citizens being denied access to a PUBLIC institution was ONE, it would be ONE TOO MANY!

    So his argument fails on its OWN merits even if you ignore the fact that his premise and is statistics are false.

  39. This is more about him NOT wanting us to have the right to marry. As for the religious cultural tradition of marriage, excuse me, Mr. Bigot, but civil marriage has nothing to do with religion, you idiot. Saying it will lead to polygamy is echoing what those religious conservative nutters in America shout every time the issue is raised. Classic tory fear mongering.

    Let him provide the evidence of polygamy in the 10 countries that allow us to marry. He won’t be able to find one occurrence. Civil marriage for his information is NOT traditional marriage which by far outnumbers religious marriage.

  40. Well he would say this, because he is a Roman Catholic Nutter!

  41. Mumbo Jumbo 18 Feb 2011, 1:37pm

    It’s true then – you end up with the face you deserve.

  42. Wade@MaMorrighan.Net 18 Feb 2011, 1:38pm

    Sad…it looks as if the extreme Religious Right from the US has landed upon your shores. His talking points seem to come directly from our American fear-monger, Maggie Gallagher of the so-called “National Organization for Marriage” (NOM), such as the Gay comm. is seeking to “redefine marriage”; allowing Gay marriage will somehow open it up to polygamy (Maggie just leaves it with, “There will be consequences” and lets you fill in the blank; course she also believes that any laws protecting Gay people are a “threat to religious freedom” because they cannot discriminate against us!); and that most of us do not *really* want to get married (Gallagher, of course, based this on the “fact” that she knew Gay people and that Gay people actually work for NOM!).

  43. dave wainwright 18 Feb 2011, 1:52pm

    I do not wish to, nor do I ever contemplate getting “MARRIED” (again), however I DO want the right to MARRY , equal human and civil rights with my mothers other children , and what is POLGAMY? it sure does mangle the language :)

  44. This man has form – he was one of the most consistent opponents of the repeal of Section 28, lowering the age of consent and every bit of legislation to achieve equality for gay men and women. He also has form in using intemperate language to make his point. The Government is not trying to do away with traditional marriage as he claims – merely suggesting that churches may choose to offer a ceremony if they choose to do so.

  45. Sounds like he’s been taking his briefings from Ben Summerskill

  46. What a douche. He knows nothing

  47. Ask him why muslims in the UK are allowed to have more than one wife (polygamy) and ask him to illustrate which role same-sex civil marriage has played in all that.

    Does he have a website or better yet, why don’t we all bombard Cameron with emails and letters telling him that this bigot does not speak for gay people.? Its irrelevant whether few gay people really want the right and even if it were true which I doubt, it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t have that right whether some want it or not. Nobody is forcing anyone into marrying just as nobody is forcing anyone into a civil partnership, both should be available to everyone, not just us.

  48. Another classic example of how the uninformed still feel confident to talk with authority. The only sad thing is that people listen to guy, Justin Beiber and their ilk when they make dumb statements.
    It looks like this guy has a track record of voting against gay rights. Hmm, place your bets.

  49. Adrian Masters 18 Feb 2011, 3:56pm

    It is not about how many homosexual people want to get married, it is about the ABILITY to get married, to have the choice and to be ABLE to get married, without any restrictions. If that is not understood by this Tory MP then he is in my opinion unfit to represent anyone with brains!

  50. All this slippery-slope fallacy concerning polgamy, incest, bestiality – does anyone realise that there are other countries in the world? And that some of them have already legalised gay marriage? And that, shockingly, they haven’t actually fallen apart at the seams because of this?

  51. Oscar, clearly people like him don’t do much research before they open their mouths.

  52. Equal rights for all period. You either agree or disagree. And if you disagree, do not run crying when it is your turn to have your rights taken away from you.

    I don’t know where this guy gets his numbers but my guess may breach the comments policy of Pink News. Hopefully this guys rant are the inevitable death throws of a bigotted man who’s ideas have long since been disgarded by many.

  53. another tory homophobe with no knowledge of history
    marriage was mangles centuries ago when it was decided to stop same-sex couples marrying but he doesn’t know that – he should be supporting same-sex marriage but he is an ignorant homophobe

  54. If Edward Leigh is against something then it’s a dead cert that to be for it is the right place to be.

  55. Had anyone – outside Gainsborough anyway – ever heard of this twit before? Can’t say I had (and I wish I still hadn’t).

  56. There are two possibilities here. Either polygamy is harmful to participants, in which case it is morally suspect, or it is not harmful in which case it should be permitted.

    But even if polygamy IS somehow harmful, same-sex marriage is not harmful to anyone. The argument that would keep polygamy prohibited is “It’s harmful”, an argument that clearly does not apply to same-sex marriage.

    I do wish that religious bigots would stop pretending that their narrow, idiotic conception of the world is somehow normative and valid in secular policy-making.

  57. What’s gay marriage got to do with polygamy? To think some of you voted for the tory party! How sad.

  58. Edward Leigh is spot on with this point:

    “Once we have departed from the universally understood framework of marriage, there is no logical reason why the new alternative institution should be limited to two people. Why not three? Or thirty-three?”

    Once we remove the requirement for marriage to consist of ‘participants of opposite sexes,’ there is no reason (other than one rooted in ‘bigotry’) for also removing the requirement for marriage to consist of ‘two participants.’

    Surely before we introduce marriage between same-sex couples, we should end the discrimination against those who are in polyamorous relationships by ‘number-neutralising’ civil partnerships/unions and permit any number of people to join together in civil union.

    We should also seek to allow siblings who live together and share household resources to register as civil partners.

  59. Here’s bigot Leigh’s website where you can find his email address. Lets bombard him with emails.

    http://www.edward-leigh.net/p/contact.html

  60. @ ollie “We should also seek to allow siblings who live together and share household resources to register as civil partners.”

    really? what has that got to do with gay marriage? this is a gay news website. not a ‘sibblings’ news website.

  61. Ciaran McDermott 18 Feb 2011, 6:22pm

    Tory Homphobia is still there they have delayed civil partnerships from being carried out in religious buildings something which was mean`t to come into law last October as part of the Equality Act 2010

    This was done so they could take the credit for it when the next election comes around

    I do not believe they will ever legalise Gay marriage I believe their consulatantations are just a smoke screen

  62. Deeside Will 18 Feb 2011, 6:29pm

    If there is a slippery slope leading to polygamy, it doesn’t begin with gay marriage but with straight marriage. After all, if you can have a marriage between a man and a woman, why not between a man and several women? You only have to read the Bible to realise that the ancient Hebrews couldn’t see any reason why not. Abraham had 2, Esau 3, Jacob 2, Gideon “many” (exact number not specified), King Rehoboam 18, his son King Abijah 14 and King Solomon 700 (+ 300 concubines). The revered King David’s wives are difficult to keep track of, but the number was around ten, give or take.

  63. Oh, Pink News, you and your spin doctoring. The original tape has him saying, as tears roll down his tragic face, that “gay people don’t want the right to marry ME”. But you have to clip it short and make it sound like he’s a twisted old bigot rather than a lonely old closet-case…

    :P

  64. Laurie Roberts 18 Feb 2011, 8:10pm

    What a total twat this man is !

  65. Laurie Roberts wrote:

    “What a total twat this man is ! ”

    Yes… including his fcuked up, Bizarro, debauched travesty of a Robert Redford lookalike face.and all.

    (Bizarro is an old Superman comic reference, there was a Bizarro world with a Bizarro Superman where everything was fcuked-uo)

  66. Whilst he may have a point, I think he’s missed the central issue that is at the core of this debate.

    Homosexual couples want the same rights and responsibilities that a “marriage” brings – it would be far simpler legally and literally to have a single designation for a couple (be they straight, gay, man and dog or whoever).

    If a couple are simply “married” and the rights afforded apply to a married couple, then it really doesn’t matter what the sex of the two parties is.

    Dispense with the two tiered system and open the opportunity and rights of marriage to all, and this debate will be over.

  67. @Mike. Thank you for bringing up Nero. I wasn’t aware that he had married two men along the way. I remember reading how he wore a flammeum (the flame coloured veil worn by Roman brides when they married) when he married It was indeed legal in Rome, even if only a few people ever made use of it.

    Seems I learn something new almost every day.

    As for this twit, it makes no difference if only one gay person wants to marry…or all gay people…it should be available.

  68. He’s just another grab a headline arch Thatcherite MP who’s always talked out of his arse. Take no notice of him

  69. I wouldn’t worry too much about this man. I once suffered him as my MP – and he is notorious for his catholicism, inordinate number of children and in your face “know all” Toryism. I still remember the sarcastic letter he sent me when i complained that my Rates had gone up from £96 to a Poll Tax of c.300 – and that the multi-millionaire Earl of Yarborough had gone down from 17,000 to …. yes, £300! It was very much along the lines of you’ve had it so good for so long so shut up. Suffice to say, he is exactly the kind of shire Tory it will be worth nose rubbing “in it” when marriage equality finally emerges.

  70. @ ollie “We should also seek to allow siblings who live together and share household resources to register as civil partners.”

    That’s sounds very familiar, isn’t that exactly what Edward Leigh tried to do during the CP debate – it was called the CP wrecking amendment …

    I wonder if when we ever get a marriage equality bill (and lets face it in the “Church times” yesterday Lynne had said she is only taking baby steps on it!! – I note she bothered to be interviewed by the Church times and NOT by PN despite the fact that this change is about US!!!! not the Church!!!) whether Ed will propose another wrecking amendment suggesting polygamy etc…

    Sadly I don’t think Ed is alone with these ant-gay marriage comments, they’re always used and are exactly the same arguments used by a large majority of politicians in Australia in their fight for marriage equality….

    If the UK ever gets a marriage equality bill going and I agree with BS (it’s painfully slow) then do you really think Ed is the only person going to come out with this kind of rubbish…..

    Where are the standard replies to these standard arguments? why isn’t Stonewall setting up a campaign for marriage equality and fighting back against these comments and why aren’t they pushing for a marriage equality bill sooner rather than later…I’m sick of the govt’s delaying tactics …The govt has only promised that we will have religious CP by the end of the year (2 yrs!!! after it was passed), – the Quakers have always wanted to do gay marriages anyway so who exactly is benefitting from religious CPs?

  71. PinkNews is being kind when they go,

    “It is not clear what Mr Leigh, who has always voted against gay rights, based this claim on.”

    Seeing as how the head of Stonewall originally made this claim. This claim being that gay people don’t really want to get married.

    So, either Stonewall inspires social conservatives…
    … Or Stonewall paid this guy to reiterate their quote for them!

  72. Our wonderful self-appointed guardian Ben Summerskill said pretty much the same thing back in July 2009. I was concerned then his words played into the hands of homophobes… and here we are.

  73. Thought better of using the school computers, Ollie? Never mind – good to see a straight guy spending so much time on a gay site, eh?

  74. Stefan – Ollie and Edward Leigh only have to look at the websites below from the US and Australia to crib the anti gay marriage slogans, they’re not new (apart from the one about taking the govt to court in the EU!) – but unlike the US and Australia, the UK doesn’t have a campaign going as such and haven’t yet come up with the standard replies…..This is what Stonewall is supposed to be all about, isn’t it!!!!!

    http://www.australianmarriageequality.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/ame-flyerlowres.pdf

    http://arguingequality.org/

  75. Luke from Canada 18 Feb 2011, 10:21pm

    what I find astonishing is that country after country opened up marriage to same sex couples and more to follow but people still say that it will bring on the end of the world, slippery slope etc. When has that ever happened?

  76. @Ollie94 — ahh Oliver ! Welcome back … aren’t there 20 questions you avoided on this thread:

    http://www.pinknews.co.uk/?comments_popup=22703

    Look forward to your answers this time !

  77. @Ollie94 — “Once we have departed from the universally understood framework of marriage, there is no logical reason why the new alternative institution should be limited to two people. Why not three? Or thirty-three?”

    21. In any country that’s legalized gay marriage, has this happened ?

    22. Is there something unique to the United Kingdom that makes this more likely to happen ?

  78. What a complete nitwit! And someone actually voted for this guy?

  79. Where does he get his alleged figures and advice about lgbt support for gay marraige? Stonewall? ben “traitor” summerskill?

  80. It comes down to choice. Most of us do not want it or support it. Some of us just like to have a relationship with our partners without all the legal ramifications that go with it. It is true that it is only a minority that want it. Let them have it, but don’t expect support from us who don’t want it.

  81. “It is true that it is only a minority that want it. ”

    For heavens sake as far as I know we’vre only had one poll on this in the gay community by PN, it came back with a fig of 99%!!!

    In most other countries the gay community want gay marriage , what makes the UK unique in not wanting it?. CP have the same legal ramifications anyway…when you mean relationship with partners, do you mean a few weeks? Marriage and CPs aren’t this and relationships with partners without committment is simply saying shacking up with my gal…they are completely different!!!.

    Of course people think most gays aren’t interested in gay marriage, apart from this flurry this week, what publicity has it had. The general public are mostly oblivious to us wanting gay marriage. Compare the publicity in the states! Lots of people think we are already married, some even think we could have done CP in Churches anyway – there is a lot of myths about CPs and what the gays want and I don’t think Stonewall have been very helpful in dismissing them and have until now been quite harmful…they really do need to get cracking with the whip!

  82. @Ollie94 — “Once we have departed from the universally understood framework of marriage, there is no logical reason why the new alternative institution should be limited to two people. Why not three? Or thirty-three?”

    23. Are you familiar with the term slippery slope argument ?

    A slippery slope argument is one where there is a (usually glaring) non sequitur. such as:

    If we give women the vote, then we’ll have to give it to mongooses.

  83. @Ollie94 / Oliver — “We should also seek to allow siblings who live together and share household resources to register as civil partners.”

    Oh of course ! That’s what all your posts are about.

    24. Do you want to marry your sister Oliver ?

  84. Hanski, Finland 19 Feb 2011, 1:23am

    Obviously being a right-wing conservative requires a certain level of stupidity. Conservatives in my country claim that same-sex marriage leads to polygamy and bestiality.

    11 theologists announced in our local newspaper yesterday that approving prayer for gay couples leads to Sodom and Gomorrah and eternal damnation. -Oh dear.

    Right-wing conservatives could arrange a common convention here in Tampere. The temperature is -30 C just now, and our beautiful open-air theatre is vacant.

  85. Out of interest, someone said Finland was the next country to introduce SS marriage …where are you with it?

  86. Hanski, Finland 19 Feb 2011, 2:10am

    The SSM law (=two persons instead of one man and one woman) was written already two years ago, and the MPs only need to choose the green JAA button.

    But we´ll have parliament elections in April and the MPs avoid difficult issues like gay rights just now, so we have to wait until autumn.

    The problem is that the right-wing True Finns are getting almost 20 % of the votes. -Honestly, I´m skeptical at the moment. It may happen that we don´t get same-sex marriage this year.

  87. Thanks Hanski – It would be great to have regular updates from other countries (in English????) – the 10 countries ahead of us are a big worry to the opposition and I think if the UK falls it will have a big impact – we seem to be getting all the same arguments, here in Australia …it’s getting a bit predicatable…..We’re a bit like the UK, just had an election, balance of power with a party which support marriage equality but main parties officially against it…but there’s some hope, the catholic mps would even like to fob us off with federal civil union but no-one here interested in it…Lab party probably will vote on MEquality in party conf later this year..

  88. I sometimes wonder what planet conservatives are on, mars perhaps??????

    They still do not get it some people:

    It is not about wanting to marry, it is about the right to choose to get married on the same exact terms as heterosexuals currently do!!!!!

    For example a typical heterosexual man and woman will not want to marry and be together for over 10 years – while a same sex couple is banned even though they been together for over 40 years [that is not fair and it is unjust]!!!!!

  89. I don’t know why he goes on about marriages being thrown open to polygamy etc when he was the guy who proposed the “wrecking tactic” to throw open CPs to siblings, carers and other people in non-sexual relationships….and if he had his way he’d probably would have opened up CPs to cats and dogs and CP polygamy – who knows??……it’s a bit rich isn’t it!!!

  90. “Once we remove the requirement for marriage to consist of ‘participants of opposite sexes,’ there is no reason (other than one rooted in ‘bigotry’) for also removing the requirement for marriage to consist of ‘two participants.’”

    Ah,its the enlightened Oliver again. No friends to talk to on your school yard break?

    So, there are about 10 countries were same sex marriage has been permitted, some for some years now. Howe many of these have allowed, or descended into total chaos to allow, different types of polygamous relationship? Why, none. How strange, you say.

    So, why exactly does giving same sex couples the right to marry hinge on the right to allow polygamous relationships to marry? Are these linked in any way? Well, the answer is it obvious doesn’t, as it hasn’t in other countries. Its called mutual exclusivity, since you like second level mathematical terms so much. (Wait until you get to 3rd Level, the words get much bigger and far more complex…. but 3rd level is for the smart, I’m afraid)

    Time to go back to school and learn something. Oh, opps, silly me, you’re already there. Well try listening this time, you’re argument is fundamentally flawed with proof of the opposite being the case.

    And get off a gay site, or else you’re 2 friends will think you’re a closet case like we all do.

  91. Paul – this isn’t just about the right to choose. Currently trans people who are in an established marriage or CP who want a gender recognition certificate have to divorce to get it. If same sex marriage or opposite sex CP were allowed it would also allow people in established, legally recognised, relationships to maintain that.

    This isn’t just a gay and/or lesbian issue – it’s one for trans folk too. The right to choose is an important reason why these changes should be made but they’re not the only reason.

  92. Edward Leigh and Anne Widdicombe were a Catholic anti-gay double act in 2003, opposing repeal of section 28 , along with then Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith.

    “Mr Leigh and Miss Widdecombe’s obnoxious amendments faced strong opposition from some Conservatives, including John Bercow, who stepped down from the Tory front bench over the party’s line on gay adoption rights.

    “In an age of pervasive cynicism about Punch and Judy politics, it is important not to oppose for the sake of opposing …” he said during the two and a half hour debate.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/2837515.stm

  93. SIGH! More prejudice, conclusion-jumping and narrow-mindedness from a bigoted Tory MP! His opinions do not add up, because as most people are straight, gay people being able to marry cannot ‘mangle’ the meaning of marraige! What exactly is his definition of marraige? Is he married himself? Does he know any gay people or gay couples? I’m glad that this law has been passed, especially that some religious premeise can conduct marraiges if they wish to. I’m a gay Christian, so even though I couldn’t have a ceremony in a Catholic or Anglican church, I like the fact that I could have a ceremony in a Quaker or Methodist church premeises. I do feel though that straight people should be able to have a civil partnership instead of a marraige if they wish, which would be another step towards equality.

  94. Ollie94 / Oliver wrote

    “Once we remove the requirement for marriage to consist of ‘participants of opposite sexes,’ there is no reason (other than one rooted in ‘bigotry’) for also removing the requirement for marriage to consist of ‘two participants.’”

    . . . . . . . . . .

    @Ollie / Oliver

    Heterosexuality has always tried to push the boundary with regards polygmay, thats why the law of bigamy was introduced; in order to curb the wanton desires of heterosexuals.

    Your statement is hysterical nonsense . . .

    Go to your humanities class, the school bell is about to ring for morning lessons

  95. radical53, so you don’t want to support civil marriage for gays simply because you don’t want it? Well then, how about if those of us who do took the view that civil partnerships should be abolished and believe me, there are some among us who do, but they’re not pushing for it to happen? You’re no better than Leigh in his opposition to it.

    To digress, lets not forget that polygamy is an heterosexual invention still practiced by muslims and some tribes around the world. Leigh doesn’t even have any empirical evidence never mind the factual. Our being able to marry in a civil ceremony is hardly going to deter straights from marrying or procreating. The world hasn’t changed over the past ten years since Holland became the first to pass marriage equality into law and neither has marriage for that matter. Its just the same as it always was, including religious marriage. Its nothing more than a red herring to justify the ban based on religious beliefs which in Leigh’s view trumps everything else. Religion rearing its ugly head again. Why is it these intellectually challenged MPS always try to foist their religious beliefs on the rest of society? Leigh is nothimg more than a tory blowhard, hopefully in the minority and wields no influence. I’d like to hear Cameron’s response to all of it.

  96. as I said previously – many don’t acknowledge or know that marriage used to be for same-sex couples

  97. Edward, you didn’t ask me.

  98. this is an interesting one and as the article says the Church doesn’t need to do anything it doesn’t want to , they admit it’s not a legal requirement for them, they’re not being sued or forced to do what the article is saying!!!!!! – but it seems they want to move with the times at least a little bit!

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1358669/Your-marital-status-relevant-Church-tells-clergy.html

    “The Church of England has infuriated traditionalists by dropping the requirement for clergy to disclose their marital status when they apply for new posts…..

    Church officials say the changes have been introduced to mirror new secular employment and equality laws aimed at eliminating discrimination.

    But traditionalists say they further undermine the Christian view of marriage by hindering parishes from finding out whether candidates for jobs are divorced or in a gay ‘marriage’…”
    ….
    “A spokesman for the Church said that although the Church was not obliged to conform with secular employment law, the reforms brought it in line with current employment practice and legislation such as the Equality Act 2010.


    The Rev Rod Thomas, whose conservative evangelical group Reform represents 500 clergy, said the changes were unnecessary as the Church was not required to change its rules to reflect the rest of society. ”

    —-See they admit they don’t have to reflect the rest of scoeity!!!! this argument about being sued over religious CP etc and what soceity as a whole want is crap! They know they can’t be sued and they know they are completely out of touch with the world!!!

  99. I take ollie/oliver wouldn’t have been one of the kids from Fairfield High School, Bristol who pettioned the govt last year to introduce gay marriage – thank heavens most kids have moved on a bit

    http://www.theyworkforyou.com/debates/?id=2010-01-26a.780.2

  100. Dan Filson 20 Feb 2011, 5:36am

    I have no idea how Edward Leigh would know what “most gay people” might or might not want, but feel more people should see this exchange between him and Michael Gove, the Education Minister. (This is copied from Hansard: HC Deb, 8 February 2011, c165):

    Edward Leigh (Gainsborough, Conservative)
    “Can we get back to education? The previous Labour Government tried in their last Bill to bring in compulsory sex education. The Bill before us is an excellent Education Bill, which I fully support, because it is all about devolving power to schools. Will my right hon. Friend assure me that he will resist any amendments on Report that would bring in compulsory sex education for primary schools?”

    Michael Gove (Secretary of State, Education; Surrey Heath, Conservative)
    “I am grateful to my hon. Friend for, as ever, leaping straight on to sex-I know that it is a subject of great interest to him and to many in this House. I always feel that one should discuss money before discussing sex, because the one and the other are so intimately connected in the minds of so many Members….”

    Now to what can Michael Gove possibly have been referring?!

  101. “I take ollie/oliver wouldn’t have been one of the kids from Fairfield High School, Bristol who pettioned the govt last year to introduce gay marriage – thank heavens most kids have moved on a bit”

    That would be because Ollie/Oliver is sad and intellectually deficient twit, who doesn’t know one end of his own argument to the other…. than, and the fact he clearly has a few “issues” to resolve if he spends so much time on a gay site. Fire, smoke, yadda yadda….

  102. “Must the religious and cultural heritage of the whole nation be overturned to suit the demands of a minority …”

    But we’re a multi-cultural nation with either no religious views or with many differening religious views…

    Quakers, Jews,unitarians …there’s even a story out today about a muslim gay couple performing their own mulim wedding

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-12486003

  103. @Dan Filson

    “…I always feel that one should discuss money before discussing sex, because the one and the other are so intimately connected in the minds of so many Members….”

    Now to what can Michael Gove possibly have been referring?!

    Sounds like he might have insider knowledge of MP’s who pay for sex
    doesn’t it…
    Surely not Edward Leigh !!!

  104. More Ann Atkin hyporcrisy

    . . . . . . . . . .

    Commenting on the goverments plans to remove the religious ban on civil partnerships, Ann Atkins wrting in the Express; refers to this as being against freethinking

    http://www.express.co.uk/ourcomments/view/230095/Free-thinking-takes-a-blow-

    Ann Atkins supports the Gay Cure charity True freedom trust, when ever did a free thinker support a religous group; who aims to cure gays

    http://www.truefreedomtrust.co.uk/council_of_reference

  105. Thanks for the links, JohnK. Ann Atkins makes absolutely no sense whatsoever:

    Daily Express quote: “Now, which is worse? To be ­denied a couple of hymns and a blessing at your partnership ceremony? Or to lose your livelihood, your home, your means of providing for your children? We might ask if it’s worse to have single beds for the weekend or lose your business. There’s no comparison”

    Typical illogical, ignorant and prejudiced scare-mongering using the usual strategy of, well, making up a load of cr*p along the lines of Leigh’s ‘soon we’ll be marrying elephants’ argument.

  106. That’s incredible Iris ! It’s a false choice argument:

    I have to be allowed to discriminate or I will have to close my business.

    I was just looking briefly for a similar argument to satirise what Atkins had said, but I think it’s actually beyond satire.

  107. I’ve just knocked up a rough response to Edward Leigh’s statement:

    http://www.edward-leigh.net/2011/02/my-statement-on-same-sex-marriages-and.html

    and I’d be grateful for any comments. I’ve set what he said in italic, with my stuff below each paragraph.

    I am astonished and disappointed that a Conservative Government, albeit a coalition one, has announced it is consulting on whether to do away with traditional marriage which has always been between a man and a woman.

    I’m not sure what you’re disappointed with. You mention two things, consultation and doing away with traditional marriage. I find it hard to imagine that any reasoning person would be disappointed in a government seeking the opinions of the electorate; this after all is the quintessence of democracy. So I presume that you’re objecting to is what you describe as doing away with traditional marriage but I’m unsure why you think this is occurring.

    I imagine you’re talking about the consultation about how to implement aspects of the Equality Act 2010, which has already been debated in Parliament, receiving Royal Assent on 8 April 2010. The act removes the prohibition on civil partners tying the knot in churches, synagogues, and other religious settings. As you yourself point out later, civil partnerships are not marriage. Is there some other reason why you think traditional marriage is under attack ?

    The British are a tolerant people and it is right that homosexual people should be allowed to get on with their lives. But this does not extend to mangling the language of marriage so that, for the sake of the tiny number of gay people who prefer marriage to civil partnership, everyone else in society must have the definition of their own marriage altered forever.

    It’s gratifying to have hear you supporting the rights of gay people to be allowed to live their lives. I’m uneasy that you appear to be making a distinction between British people and gay people, and would welcome assurance that this is a misinterpretation on my part.
    I’m not sure why you believe that only a tiny minority of gay people prefer marriage over civil partnerships. A recent poll of the readers of Pink News, an online newspaper for LGBT people, found that 98% wanted the right to marry. Similarly, an opinion poll conducted in June 2009 by Populus for The Times reported that a significant majority of the British public supported same-sex marriage: 61% agreed with the statement “Gay couples should have an equal right to get married, not just to have civil partnerships” while 33% disagreed. May I ask what figures you’ve based your statement on ?
    I don’t understand at all what your phrase mangling the language of marriage means, nor do I see how it can be relevant. The context is about civil partnerships, which as you point out are not marriages. You say everyone in society is being forced to redefine the definition of their own marriages, but the Populus poll suggests that the majority of people are quite happy with this.

    Once we have departed from the universally understood framework of marriage, there is no logical reason why the new alternative institution should be limited to two people. Why not three? Or thirty-three?

    Your words suggest that you believe that any change to marriage laws would inevitably lead to such situations. This is a non sequitur. I can only conclude that you believe the advent of universal suffrage in 1928 will eventually lead to the franchise being extended to ducks. The reality of the situation is that no country that has enacted legislation enabling gay marriage has then enacted legislation permitting polygamy. What you think might happen is beside the point: the majority of the electorate favours gay marriage.

    Same-sex couples already have all the rights of marriage in the form of civil partnership. Why must they also have the language of marriage? No doubt because it is an important symbol to them. But it is also an important symbol to many other people. Must the religious and cultural heritage of the whole nation be overturned to suit the demands of a minority even of the gay community itself?

    It’s not a minority of gay people who wish to be married. Nor is it a minority of the UK electorate who wish to deny gay people full equality and the right to be married. I’m at a loss to understand how the religious and cultural heritage of the whole nation can be overturned by gay marriage. If there’s one thing that encapsulates the cultural heritage of the United Kingdom, it’s a devotion to fairness and equality. Allowing gay marriage is granting all people the same freedoms and privileges. This is unequivocally what the cultural heritage of the UK is about.
    We should also be concerned about liberty. This is all part of a process whereby debate and honest language is manipulated and suppressed by a kind of Newspeak. In recent years people who say things gay rights groups do not like have often found themselves being reported to the police. If the government presses ahead and replaces marriage with a unisex institution, what is the future for those who say they do not believe a man can have a husband or a woman a wife?

    I do not see how the extension of rights enjoyed by one group of people to another group is an attack on liberty. You mention Orwell’s Newspeak. The central idea of Newspeak was to remove all shades of meaning from the language, leaving simple dichotomies. I think you are speaking in Newspeak — traditional marriage good, marriage equality bad.
    You say people are being reported to the police for using honest language that offends the gay lobby. Presumably, if there was nothing to the allegations, then the police would dismiss them ? Or are you saying that the police are part of the gay lobby ?
    Marriage isn’t being replaced. Civil partnerships are being permitted in religious settings. You ask what the future is for people who say they do not believe a man can have a husband or a woman a wife. How can civil partnerships or gay marriage affect people who are already married ? And what business is it of anyone elses’ when two people make a commitment to each other ?

    This would not be the action of a government whose primary function is to protect our traditional freedoms and values. A recognizably Conservative Government would not do this.

    Again, I don’t see how the extension of rights to all people is interfering with traditional freedom. Freedom to do what ? Deny equality to minority groups ? That sounds quite a reasonable thing to do. Your argument suggests that all traditional freedoms are good. Would you wish to uphold your traditional freedom to bait bears ?

    On the separate issue of legalising the registration of civil partnerships in churches, this is being promoted as defending religious freedom. In fact, this is an attack on the bedrock of society:­ marriage and religion.

    I am unsure why you believe that removing restrictions on the registration of civil partnerships constitutes an attack on marriage and religion. Both of these institutions are in trouble. Fewer and fewer people are attending church. Surely anything that encourages people into the church cannot be attacking it ? The number of marriages that end prematurely is increasing. Surely anything that encourages more marriages cannot be attacking the institution ? Isn’t divorce a real and present threat to marriage ? May I ask how you are working to repeal legislation that permits divorce ?

    When Civil Partnerships were brought in we were assured that they were not marriage. This pledge has now been broken. A marriage is a union between a man and a woman making a sincere attempt to stay together for life with a view to raising children. Civil Partnerships, by definition, cannot be this.
    The whole point of banning Civil Partnerships in a place of worship was to make clear that they were not marriages. This distinction will now be lost.

    I’m confused about the distinction you’re making. You talk about the benefits of a religious setting for a partnership service, but you don’t discuss why you believe this should be denied to gay people. You talk about the benefits of civil partnerships for gay people, but don’t indicate whether you believe heterosexual people should be entitled to enjoy them. I’m therefore confused as to what the distinction you’re making is, and whether you think the discrimination you’re advocating should be along religious lines, lines of sexuality, or lines of terminology. I wonder whether you could clarify ? I remain unsure of what the benefits of any such discrimination.

    Why is this an attack upon religion? Because sooner rather than later a Minister of Religion will be sued for refusing to conduct a gay marriage in Church. Even if our own courts stand firm, we can place little faith in the European Court of Human Rights. It will be argued, with some justification, that it is irrational and confusing for some churches to permit this and others not.

    It can’t be an attack on religion, if some religions are welcoming it. The Quakers have formally asked the government to change the law to allow gay people to marry, and have welcomed same-sex unions for more than two decades. I don’t understand why you say that ministers or religioun will be sued for refusing to conduct gay marriages. The provisions of the Equality Act explicitly say that faiths have the right to reject gay couples. I presume you’ve read the act, and are aware that the Equality Minister, Lynne Featherstone, has said that church ministers will not be successfully sued for refusing to host gay civil partnerships. You say that it is irrational and confusing for some churches to permit gay weddings, but is it ? People would understand that certain religions would not permit gay weddings, which they could confirm by asking them. How is that confusing ? I don’t think it is confusing, but is that really an argument for denying equality ?

    The Government seems to have lost the point of the Pope’s visit in September. He was arguing, and I agree, that religious people do not seek to impose their views on others. But they must be allowed their own space.

    The Pope doesn’t represent everybody in the United Kingdom. You’ve expressed concern about the European Court of Human Rights, yet seem to unconditionally accept the authority of another non UK European institution. May I ask what attributes the Pope has that are not shared by the judges of the ECHR ? You say that religions must be allowed their own space, and they are. Perhaps you could tell me why you don’t believe Lynne Featherstone when she says church ministers won’t be successfully sued for refusing to host gay civil partnerships ?

    The Government has to recognize that this is a steam train on a collision course with the Church of England and the Roman Catholic Church. Same sex couples already have all the legal advantages of marriage and can have a blessing in those churches which want to do them without any change in the law.

    You say that the government is on collision course with the Church of England and the Roman Catholic Church, but in reality there is a diversity of opinion in both organizations. A poll in Church Times asking the question Should civil-partnership ceremonies for same-sex couples take place in church ? has 55% of respondents agreeing, and only 44% saying no. The reality of life in the United Kingdom is that fewer than 10% of the population attend a church or any denomination, and that some denominations welcome gay people, and have even lobbied for their right to equality with heterosexual people.

  108. @ JohnK & Iriis
    Yes, notice the completely casual dirsregard for gay persons faith beliefs as of no consequence, as though it’s nothing to be…

    “…denied a couple of hymns and a blessing at your partnershiop ceremony”

    and then we are expected to be so respectful of the beliefs of anti-gay Christianists. What a cheek!

  109. David Gervais 20 Feb 2011, 4:11pm

    Harry; go through this bit again, 2nd stce:
    “It’s not a minority of gay people who wish to be married. Nor is it a minority of the UK electorate who wish to deny gay people full equality and the right to be married”

  110. David Gervais 20 Feb 2011, 4:29pm

    First topic: I have noticed that many posters use the the term “gay marriage” as if it is somehow different that those other marriages. Until you get clear to yourselves that the issue is marriage equality or equal marriage, you are contributing directly to those who say “special rights” for gays.

    Second topic: Although polygamy is used by illogical people as a distraction, we should not fall into that game. Even though polygamy is a primarily heterosexual concern, we should not, must not, get trapped into denying someone else’s rights.

  111. David Gervais 20 Feb 2011, 4:34pm

    I found this in my notes, it’s from advocate.com, 10/10/2010 8:47:01 PM
    Someone else wrote it and I haven’t checked it, so take it as is:
    From A Letter to Louise… [Noted church historian] John Boswell… has discovered that, whereas the church did not declare heterosexual marriage to be a sacrament until 1215 C.E., one of the Vatican Library’s earliest Greek liturgical documents is a marriage ceremony for two persons of the same sex. The document dates to the fourth century, if not earlier. In other words, nine centuries before heterosexual marriage was declared a sacrament, the church liturgically celebrated same-sex covenants.

    The religious right hates it when this is posted.

  112. Thanks David. What do you think about this instead:

    The majority of gay people want to have the right to be married, and they’re supported by the majority of the UK electorate. There’s more to the country’s religious and cultural heritage than the denial of the rights and privileges of the majority to a minority. Surely, the one tradition of our culture that shows us at our best is our absolute commitment to fairness and equality ? Allowing gay marriage is a fair and equitable thing to do, and it’s the will of most people.

  113. David Gervais 20 Feb 2011, 4:38pm

    I’ve emailed this I’ll let you know if I ever get a reply:
    leighe@parliament.uk;

    Edward Leigh MP:

    I have read your statement, and found that it raises several questions. Perhaps you can clarify some of it for me?

    You wrote: “for the sake of the tiny number of gay people who prefer marriage”.
    Unlike you, gays who do not wish to marry don’t think someone else shouldn’t either. I can see that if you don’t want a gay marriage, you won’t have one, but why should you decide for anyone else?

    You wrote: Why must they also have the language of marriage? and you wrote: When Civil Partnerships were brought in we were assured that they were not marriage.
    You are old enough to remember the crisis the US went through determining that separate is not equal. Remember, you were in Parliament at the time, you know the issue is equal civil marriage, not some separate special gay only marriage/civil union and not any religion’s own form of marriage.

    You wrote: “Same-sex couples already have all the rights of marriage in the form of civil partnership. Why must they also have the language of marriage?” and “make clear that they were not marriages.”
    So, are they the same or not? If so, then one word is sufficient, or are you trying to create a second-class type of marriage?

    You wrote: “that religious people do not seek to impose their views on others” To me it seems exactly what your entire statement on Feb. 17th is all about. If I’m wrong about that, could you please explain it to me?

    Your statement has reached out a long way. I really don’t understand the apparent contradictions in your statement. I would appreciate the courtesy of a reply.

    Thank-you,
    David Gervais
    Vancouver

  114. @David — you may not get a reply ! According to:

    http://www.writetothem.com/stats/2008/mps

    he has a low rate of responsiveness — 603rd out of 638.

  115. @Harry

    Great . . .

    A thorough and pointed response to Edward Leigh’s statement, which I think challenges some of his feeble attempts at argument; if you can call some of his ideas arguments.

    One of my favourite responses was was when you addressed the polygamy hysteria:

    “Your words suggest that you believe that any change to marriage laws would inevitably lead to such situations. This is a non sequitur. I can only conclude that you believe the advent of universal suffrage in 1928 will eventually lead to the franchise being extended to ducks”

    I think it is allows good to bring a historical perspective to an argument, since there is nothing more grounding than to highlight what radical legislative changes have; or have not furnished on a nation through the passage of time.

    It is a pity that Edward Leigh does not allow a comments section on his website, but despite this; I think it is worth sending him a copy to see if he will attempt a reply to your reponses.

  116. David Gervais 20 Feb 2011, 4:57pm

    Harry:
    Simple, declarative sentences are best. Remember, here we can follow you, but when you’re writing to people who can’t put two logical thoughts together, simple is their environment.

    N.B. EQUAL marriage, not some “special” gay marriage

  117. Thanks John ! I started off trying to address each point he made, but his arguments are so unintelligible that a coherent response isn’t possible. Jefferson said:

    Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions. Ideas must be distinct before reason can act upon them.

    and I’m afraid to say that Edward Leigh doesn’t have any intelligible propositions on this matter.

  118. Good point David. I think it needs another couple of passes. I’ll add something along the lines of ‘I assume when you say “gay marriage” you’re referring to equal marriage …’ and then use equal marriage from then on.

    I’ve just been having a look into your stuff about the late declaration of marriage as a sacrament. This is a gold mine ! I’ll do a bit more digging around.

  119. David Gervais 20 Feb 2011, 5:08pm

    Harry: I just got this:
    I have, of course politely requested a detailled response. I think I’m about to have fun with this guy.

    From: LEIGH, Edward
    Sent: Sunday, February 20, 2011 7:36 AM
    To: David Gervais
    Subject: Your email message to Edward Leigh MP

    Thank you for your email to leighe@parliament.uk. Please note that, as per Parliamentary protocol, we are only able to reply to correspondance from constituents. If you did not provide your full postal address in your original message, please resend your email with that information provided.

    Thank you for your cooperation and I look forward to being of assistance.

    Edward Leigh MP

  120. David — that’s interesting. According to http://wiki.openrightsgroup.org/wiki/Letter_writing MP’s are not required to respond to non constituents.

    I’m still going to write to him, and if he doesn’t respond, then I’ll consider asking Mr Cameron to respond.

  121. David Gervais 20 Feb 2011, 5:24pm

    Hey everybody:
    I just got another non-response from leighe@parliament.uk
    His excuse is that you have to be a constituent to get a response. So, someone please call someone in his riding to play cut and paste with my original email and then report back to us.

    NB Harry, I think you’ll bump into the same problem

  122. So the idea that David suggested — that the church did not declare heterosexual marriage to be a sacrament until 1215 CE — comes from the work of John Boswell, who was a historian and professor at Yale. He was a devout Roman Catholic. Wikipedia’s article on him is at:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Boswell

    His writings touched off detailed debate in The Irish Times, and the article that triggered off the debate, a major feature in the “Rite and Reason” religion column in the paper by respected Irish historian and religious commentator Jim Duffy:

    http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/features/1998/0811/98081100088.html

    has been reproduced on many websites, for example at:

    http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php?topic=10381.0

    From the article:

    The very idea of a Christian homosexual marriage seems incredible. Yet after a twelve year search of Catholic and Orthodox church archives Yale history professor John Boswell has discovered that a type of Christian homosexual “marriage” did exist as late as the 18th century.

    Contrary to myth, Christianity’s concept of marriage has not been set in stone since the days of Christ, but has evolved as a concept and as a ritual.

    Interesting stuff …

  123. David Gervais 20 Feb 2011, 5:50pm

    Harry and anyone else who wants to:
    try a letter to the editor to:
    editor@lincolnshireecho.co.uk
    or
    news@lincolnshireecho.co.uk

    the contact page is: http://www.thisislincolnshire.co.uk

  124. David Gervais 20 Feb 2011, 5:57pm

    Harry: thank you for the recognition, however what I passed on is just my note of someone else’s post about John Boswell’s work. Too far a reach for me to take any credit.

  125. So what if some gays do not want to get married? There are plenty of heterosexuals who, also, do not want to get married. Therefore, all straights should be denied to right to get married.

  126. Senior Guardian writer opposes Gay Marriage

    . . . . . . . . . .

    According to the Christian Institute . . .

    “Michael White, writing on the Guardian’s politics blog earlier this week, said: “Aside from all the theological, moral and cultural freight, there’s an important practical distinction here which goes to the root of any society – namely that heterosexual marriage is there to produce and raise children in a more or less stable environment.

    Mr White, an Assistant Editor of The Guardian, went on to warn that no amount of technology could “eliminate the need for a female egg and a male sperm to make a baby. On that fact rest all successful societies since the year dot.”

    http://www.christian.org.uk/news/strong-opposition-to-homosexual-marriage/

  127. Harry – I don’t know but that polygamy argument may have something to do with Canada – aren’t they now debating polygamy over there and I think some of these guys are using Canada as the example of the “slippery slope” argument…

    The Ed Leigh reply is standard, it’s virutally impossible to contact a mp if you’re not a constituent of theirs, so you need to get someone from Ed Leigh’s constituency to contact him alterntaively contact the govt directly (eg lynne feathertone, cons party or get stonewall , Peter Thatchel to contact him). I just wish there was a campaign going for everyone to contact their own mp , lynne featherstone and stonewall to hurry them all up on marriage equality becase as individuals you’re stuck with your own mp who may be totally crap, catholic or a right wing tory!

    Look I contacted Steve Gilbert who isn’t my mp, he’s someone who is very pro marriage equality, but I still got the standard reply about my address..

  128. I don’t care how many gay people you ask, they don’t speak for all of us.

    We have just as much right to choose too marry as I feel a straight couple should be able to choose a civil Partnership!

  129. David Gervais 21 Feb 2011, 4:21am

    On the topic of polygamy:
    see:
    “Girls married to U.S. polygamist: docs
    Two sets of parents from Bountiful, B.C., drove their 12-year-old daughters across the U.S. border in 2005 to marry a 49-year-old fundamentalist Mormon leader, according to court documents.”*

    Just like this story, in the BC court case, polygamy is being used to distract from the real issue, child abuse.

    *Source: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/story/2011/02/19/bc-polygamy-court.html

  130. ” … Or thirty-three? ”
    and there you have it – the discrete backlash aware that it can’t be too overt
    in its onslaught.

    or is that wishful thinking on his part ? perhaps he’s like 36 mates ? i certainly don’t want his projected assumptions on my shoulders. Nor for that matter those of that wag and skilless Mr Summers kill. Strange how others ‘know’ what we want.

  131. Most gays want to be excluded from the right to marry …says Edward Leigh MP.

    Yeah right, it really doesn’t sound so convincing put that way does it.

  132. JohnK…that worn out old mantra regarding the “christian” bigot view on marriage as the proper environment in which to raise children is nothing more than a red herring to justify discrimination. If that is the christian view, then they’d have to ban heterosexuals who don’t want to procreate or can’t, including old age pensions who marry late in life. They can’t have it both ways, all or nothing. Since when do religious cults have a say in a what is clearly a civil matter anyway? If anything, the C of E and Roman cults are on a collision course with British society in general. The more they spew this nonsense, the more irrelevant they become. We need to start a movement to remove state religion once and for all, stop funding them, starve them and at the same time, abolish the House of Lords that is infested with these parasites.

  133. “…that worn out old mantra regarding the “christian” bigot view on marriage as the proper environment in which to raise children is nothing more than a red herring to justify discrimination.”

    . . . . . . . . . .

    I know . . . as if marriage has some sort of divine monopoly on psychological wellness, making it a superior institution for raising children.

  134. Hey folks.

    Just to respond to Harry’s comment comparing the ‘gender-neutralisation’ of marriage to the ‘species-neutralisation’ of voting rights.

    Let’s first of all remind ourselves that marriage in the UK is currently open to the sole relationship type/permutation out of which procreation without assistance has been observed.

    I dare say that if ‘natural’ procreation actually occured when three eggs were fertilized by seven sperm, marriage would only be open to units of three women and seven men. However, would this be ‘heterophobic’ or ‘homophobic?’

    Voting (before the 1920s,) on the other hand, was open to males only. This was based on the belief that women were intellectually deficient (much like our chum here Will,) inferior to men and hence emotionally unable to ‘cope’ with casting a vote for a political party.

    Let’s imagine a debate between Mrs Pankhurst and one of her opponents in the 1920s:

    The opponent of giving women the vote may have stated:

    “Currently, voting is available to
    1) male
    2) adult
    3) human beings
    4) residing on Earth
    ,
    hence, once we remove the requirement for a voter to be male, there is no rational reason for removing the requirement for a voter to be an adult or a human. (Hence a duck could vote”) Or indeed for the requirement for a voter to live on Earth.

    Is this a sound argument? On the basis of your sensory experiences, do you believe a duck will vocally express its disdain for not being allowed to cast a vote? Will a duck feel ‘discriminated’ against and demand ‘voting equality?’

    Hence, your ‘duck point’ is ‘quackers’, on the premise that animals (including ducks) are not rational beings. Ducks do not (as far as I’m aware) chime away about their right to cast a vote. For the record, I do not believe marriage between man and beast will ever occur either and I’m not aware Mr Leigh has argued that it will.

    However, those in polyamorous relationships are people! Same as you and me.

    Once you legalise monogamous same-sex marriage, you are terminating the ‘discrimination’ against those in monogamous same-sex relationships. However, you are retaining the ‘discrimination’ against those in polyamorous relationships.

    Those people in polyamorous relationships are far more likely to be vocal and demand ‘marriage equality’ than ducks demanding the right to vote.

    And if my two girlfriends, boyfriend, two hermaphrodite love-chums and myself wanted to join in marital union, what’s wrong with that? I mean, it’s all love, right? If you don’t want to have a ‘poly-marriage,’ don’t have one? Eh?

    If marriage is open to a relationship permutations out of which procreation can not occur, why not modify it to accomodate another relationship permutation out of which procreation can not occur?

    Going back to the ducks, Harry, if a flock of ducks began protesting against voter ‘inequality,’ they may indeed get Caroline Lucas on their side!!

    I’ll look at your ’20 questions’ on Thursday.

    Nighty-night.

  135. “I dare say that if ‘natural’ procreation actually occured when three eggs were fertilized by seven sperm, marriage would only be open to units of three women and seven men.”

    You continue to use nonsensical and irrelevant arguments to back up our claim. What you continually refuse to say where you get these ridiculous definition of marriage from. Are we to assume you just make them up?

    “This was based on the belief that women were intellectually deficient (much like our chum here Will)”

    Yawn. I see your rapier wit is as dull as your mind. You should find more friends, it will help you’re social skills.

    “Will a duck feel ‘discriminated’ against and demand ‘voting equality?”

    Oh dear. Another clanger. LOL! Are you fcuking serious?!?

    Ollie, you’re quite the silly child, aren’t you?

    If you show me where the demand is for ducks to vote, how they have made a case that their civil liberties are affected, the court cases, the studies into their Suffrage. When you can do so, then you have a analogy. You’re comparisons show the weakness of your argument and are utterly invalid.

    “However, you are retaining the ‘discrimination’ against those in polyamorous relationships.”

    Again with the same nonsense. Are you suffering from OCD? Broken record.

    Well, lets look at this logically and scientifically, Ollie, two concepts alien to your infantile mind it seems:-

    (1) Show me the demand for such unions. Is there recorded and noted public demand for these? Where are the stats?
    (2) Heterosexual marriage and polagomy are mutually exclusive to same sex marriage. Your glaring mistake is assuming they are some how interrelated. You argument is based on permitting same sex must include other relationships, OR they affect other marriages. This argument is not only flawed, its proven nonsense.
    (3) If, as is the case we have established, marriage between same sex and ducks, is mutually exclusive, so me how a small number of same sex marriages affects the stability and childrearing potential for same sex marriage? Oh, wait, it doesn’t. So, wrong again, Ollie.
    (4) Same sex marriage exists in 10 other countries. Hence precedent has been established and we have observable context. Has this led to a demand for polygamy? Or ducks crying out for a vote? No? No, indeed.

    “why not modify it to accomodate another relationship permutation out of which procreation can not occur?”

    It does. Not all marriages result in children. Choice, dear boy, exists even in opposite sex marriage too. The primary goal of marriage is protection for ones relationship. Hence most of the legal rights are afforded to the spouse:- next of kin, inheritance, pension, preservation from non-interference, etc. This statement is only true if every marriage resulted in children. Hence, you are incorrect. Again.

    “And if my two girlfriends, boyfriend, two hermaphrodite love-chums and myself wanted to join in marital union, what’s wrong with that? ”

    Nothing. By all means lobby your politicians for it. Throw in your sister too, for all I care. Obviously you’re obsessed with orgies, but that’ll pass Ollie, its just your hormones making you irrational. Still, by all means do it, it’ll save you from embarrassing yourself on gay site…. but in all fairness, you should probably stick with the “boyfriend” you mentioned, its statistically more likely you’re interested in him given you’re presence here and the obsession with intransigent anti-gay rhetoric.

    It seems repetition and nonsensical “debate” is your bread and butter Ollie. Suffice to say, we’ve more then refuted your reasoning, if you could call that last post “reasoning”

    I notice you still can’t produce any scientific studies to back up your claims? No data? No empirical studies? Why, we are all aghast, surly you can find ONE, just ONE, piece of data to back up your argument?

    But one last question, which I’m sure you’ll avoid like any other question that challenges you delicate world view: Einstein defined insanity as doing the same repetitive action, but expecting a different result each time – so why are you in here using the same flawed argument to a bunch of people that will never agree with you, and can easily prove you wrong? Is this not the definition of futility? What exactly are you trying to prove by spouting anti-gay nonsense in a gay site???

    (I have a fair idea, but I’m sure its not related to your “girlfriend”, the poor naive girl)

  136. Bravo Will, really excellent post.

    What’s a duck got to do this this marriage lark? *rollseyes*

  137. Actually, Robert, it was Harry that used it originally to demonstrate the preposterousness of mutual exclusivity with regards to how one person’s marriage affects another. Harry summed it up beautifully in “I do not see how the extension of rights enjoyed by one group of people to another group is an attack on liberty”

    But you are right, it was Ollie that took the analogy on face value and to base his “polygamy argument” on deriding a clearly facetious comment.

    But appreciate the thanks :)

  138. @Ollie94 — when I mentioned voting for ducks, it was to satirize your reasoning and to highlight the slippery slope fallacy therein.

    I’m sorry you are unable to abstract ideas. Perhaps you’ll find it easier if you consider the following instead of my anas suffrage parody:

    In America, during segregation, there were anti-miscegenation laws, that enforced racial segregation at the level of marriage and intimate relationships by criminalizing interracial marriage and sometimes also sex.

    Your reasoning concludes that the repeal of these laws to restrict marriage would lead to polygamy. It hasn’t. Just as the introduction of marriage equality in Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Iceland, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Sweden hasn’t.

  139. I stand corrected, Will. So ducks have nothing to do with his argument, no more than polygamy does? So, basically, if someone can marry their gay partner, polygamy is the result. If someone doesn’t have children in marriage, polygamy is the result. If a dog barks near a gay bar, polygamy is the result. I’m beginning to see Ollie’s very insightful argument here :)

  140. ps still love your post, though. Great counter argument. ;)

  141. @Ollie94 — just to try and close the loop on this one. Several people have pointed out the faults in your reasoning, the principle one being the slippery slope fallacy. Your reasoning — similar to that of those who sought to prevent marriage between people of different race — has been satirized, and your erroneous conclusion as to the consequences of equal marriage, has never occurred.

    You believe that polygamy is the ultimate evil. Most people however, think that inequality is far worse. A moment’s research on polygamy ( defined as a heterosexual marriage which includes more than two partners ), finds that:

    According to the Ethnographic Atlas Codebook, of 1231 societies noted, 186 were monogamous. 453 had occasional polygyny (where a man has multiple simultaneous wives), 588 had more frequent polygyny, and 4 had polyandry (where a woman has multiple simultaneous husbands). At the same time, even within societies which allow polygyny, the actual practice of polygyny occurs relatively rarely. There are exceptions: in Senegal, for example, nearly 47 percent of marriages are multiple.

    So it appears that the majority of societies permit polygamy, but in those societies it very rarely happens.

  142. @Ollie94 — “If marriage is open to a relationship permutations out of which procreation can not occur, why not modify it to accomodate another relationship permutation out of which procreation can not occur?”

    It is already open to people who can’t have children. Or are you advocating that a man and a woman who are too old to have children, or who know they cannot have children should not be permitted to be married ? What about a man and a woman who don’t want to have children ? Would you allow them ?

  143. Ollie, I’m tempted to laugh, but your ignornace is so shocking it makes me weep. Either you’re stupid or you’re of average intelligence but unable to extract meaning from words.

    People have DISPROVED what you are saying; they’ve given analogies that show it’s WRONG. They’ve done that from the very beginning and you STILL don’t get it (and I do think it’s ‘don’t’ not ‘won’t’).

    How simple do you want it to be? There is no reason why same sex marriage would lead to polygamy. It demonstarbly hasn’t in the countries that already allow it, and logic shows it’s a complete non sequitur to say that gay marriage would lead to polygamy. The two things aren’t related.

    Your narrow, immature little world view also demonstrated that you were unable to understand the miscegenation comparison that I raised early on and that Harry repeated. I don’t care if you’re 16 or 18 – you’re a CHILD not only when it comes to reasoning, but in your whole attitude to the world. It is PAINFUL to watch you on here, making a fool of yourself.

    And why are you on a gay site, eh? I’ll tell you – because you clearly harbour an interest in gay relationships. Most straight boys your age wouldn’t be the SLIGHTEST bit interested in spending time on a gay news site.

    And your comments about procreation are infantile. Gay people can and do have children. They are no more or less fertile than straight people and can choose to have chikdren in whatever way suits them just as straight people can.

    What experience of life and physical relationships do you have? That’s a rhetorical question because the answer’s obvious – none.

  144. “And your comments about procreation are infantile. Gay people can and do have children.”

    I fully agree Iris. So one anyone ho had the neural pathways above that of a sparrow. But Ollie, for some unfathomable reason, don’t see this as natural. Unless a gay person gets married to a lesbian, for the stupidest of reasons he accepts this
    as “natural”. The mind boggles. You are quite right, his intelligence level is quite appalling.

    Ollie somehow classed IVF as “unnatural” too. Have no idea why, its simply assisted conception. I assume Ollie has issues with taking an aeroplane, as that’s as “natural” as humans trying to flap their wings and fly of a cliff. The “naturalistic fallacy” is a popular one among idiot class, and is the hallmark of a stupid argument.

    Somewhere in an antic, there is a painting of Ollie getting smarter.

  145. (attic)

  146. ‘Somewhere in an attic, there is a painting of Ollie getting smarter.’

    *Like*

    ‘Fraid I’m going to have to shamelessly steal that in the future.

  147. I’d guess that Ollie classed IVF as unnatural for religious reasons. If he removed his god glasses for a moment, he’d realise that most things in the 21st century are ‘unnatural’ – including the computer he’s typing at. However, as he’s obviously very keen on polygamy might I suggest a good source for that, namely the Bible.

    P.S – I love your attic comment too! :D Brilliant!

  148. He may well be correct but is that an argument against affording the right to marry?

  149. Iris, Will, Harry et al., The ‘Olly94′ character is not really interested in what is true. As you can see from his repetitive, vacuous interjections in various threads, he is here purely to ‘wind up some queers’ for the sake of it. Being shot down again and again must make him feel really cool I guess. Hopefully some reasoning will sink into his thick skull.

    1. If he’s trying to wind me up, he’s failing at that too, Adrian !

      1. And we’ve got proper threaded replies at last !

      2. Oops, sorry, Harry, I posted my reply to you, and found I had reported you instead :-)

        Teething problems…

    2. I think I’ve done that to someone also.

      If one of the powers that be is looking at this, the report and the reply links are too close together; poor design.

      1. Lads and Ladies, a moment silence please, for our poor departed Ollie… he was only with us for a few repetitive moments. And now he’s gone. How tragic.

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