I would take the view that once civil partnerships give the same rights as marriage I couldnt give a dogs <unt what they are called. Marriage is a religious thing anyways, once we get the same rights as married couples they can do what they want. Flaps!
Part of me shares your view, but marriage does predate Christian or other faith involvement.
Why shouldnt people who want to be married get married (provided there are no other legal issues to prevent them)
I agree with you, Stu. Marriage certainly does predate Christainity. Even today, religious marriage has no validity in law. Marriage was, and is, a civil matter, so why are we allowing religious considerations to interfere with our civil law?
I get your point Chutneybear but this isn’t so much about being given Marriage or CPs in this case.
It more about people telling the LGBT community that we aren’t worthy of having the same.
It’s still that message of we are less human because we just happen to be LGBT.
To demand a seperate name is just egos making a stand of superiority.
Surely the best thing is people have the same rights with regards marriage and have the same rights to choose weither they want to wed or not.
Please stop insisting that marriage is a religious thing.
Civil marriage equality is what matters to me, I do want the civil right to get married and be accorded exactly the same rights that opposite sex couples get when they have civil marriages.
Jock, I agree. It is Rosa Parks all over again. We are ‘allowed’ to have recognition of our union, but so long as we sit at the back of the bus.
These bigots are just scared to accept us on an equal footing, so they have to come up with these ‘clauses’ that give us ‘eqality’ on paper, but not in reality…
Whilst, I am with you that civil marriage equality is a priority and is what matters to me, personally. I do also recognise that, for some, the religious component of marriage means something to them. Whilst, I do not see it as a priority to get that resolved immediately – because I suspect the majority want a legally recognised form of marriage to be available to them – it would be wrong not to recognise that there is a perception of religious involvement in the marriage process for some. Thus, we need to be able to resolve that issue. Personally, I think it will be a gradual process and that much as the Quakers, Unitarians and others are already voicing their readiness to legitamise marriages between same sex couples in a religious sense, so others such as the Methoists, URC etc will come in a relatively short period of time and then the CoE may well follow in part. Not sure the RC will ever comply in my lifetime. We do still need to persuade them though.
Stu, the RC are confined by their absolute theology; change one belief or practice, and their entire edifice shatters.
No, marriage is NOT a religious thing! Only a religious marriage is a religious thing. CIVIL marriages have NOTHING to do with religion.
Quite right. The majority of marriages in Scotland are civil marriages. On top of that there’s a fair number of humanist marriages.
Civil marriage should be available to same-sex couples, and so should religious marriage performed by those religious organisations (and in Scotland, humanists) who want to.
Tim – THANK-YOU!!!!!!…..hope you are one of the stakeholders in the consultation process on equal civil AND RELIGIOUS marriage due in 2 weeks time….I won’t be happy with only civil marrigae and if we ever did only get civil marrige in the UK for gays which was on a par with straight ones then I honestly feel that I would challenge the govt in Europe. I can see no way that the gvot can offer us one tpye of marrigae when straights have an option for both. I understand the Europe ruling on not having to give us marriage but once we are given it in the U to limit it to civil only would be unequal and unfair and some relgiious bodies want to do them in any case.
Exactly, which is why we have to question Why religion feels the need to hijack marriage?
Its hardly just marriage they use their man-in-the-sky to justify outrageous megalomaniac tendencies over others with no connection to their faith. The list stretches from before the cradle to the grave. Birth control, abortion, through education, to how we die. Did you miss the debate over assisted suicide?
Even shopping. I don’t know where you live, but it was a revelation to me find that whilst supermarkets in England have to close at 10pm on Saturdays, and only open for 6 hours on Sunday, those in Scotland are open 24/7. The difference is entirely down to the power of the churches, which is less north of the border.
Because it is one of the few remaining areas of life where organised religion in the West feels it is dominant. In pre-modern societies it had little interest in it because its brief in pre-scientific societies was to dominate definitions of reality itself – a role in which it was rarely challenged. Christianity was notoriously indifferent to marriage for centuries and generally regarded it as a remedy for sin and a concession to the weak, with little positive to recommend it. Church weddings were privileges for the powerful or special favours. Now Christianity’s relatively marginal position makes it claim marriage as a territory it has to defend as its own – a piece of anti-historical nonsense that has to be challenged and exposed.
I normally entirely agree with you, and see you as a voice of reason – but on this I think you are partially mistaken.
I do wholeheartedly agree that civil marriage is not a religious issue at all – and in that sense it has nothing to do with the Synagogue, Church, Mosque, Temple, Chapel or whatever … I also agree that civil marriage should be our priority for ensuring equalisation.
However, this ignores two key issues (which I perceive that many LGBT who would not wish a religious element to any marriage they were party to seem to be at times blinkered to).
Firstly, some religious organisations and premises already hold rights to register civil marriages and act as registrar. Do we remove this right? If so, what about those LGBT and heterosexual couples who wish to enjoy or have enjoyed this access to a combined civil/religious ceremony in the past?
Secondly, some LGBT people will wish a religious element to their wedding. Whilst ensuring that equal access to civil..
Stu, you (understandably :D ) misunderstood me. I was only making a brief reply to Chutneybear so I ddin’t cover all those things you mentioned – only the fact that marriage is not necessarily religious.
If some LGBT people want a religious marriage then I have no problem with that at all, and I believe that religions who CHOOSE to offer that should be allowed to, just as they are with divorcees. So no, I don’t think religious marrigaes between two people of the same sex should be forbidden, nor do I think they should be compulsory.
I wasn’t purposely ignoring these important points – mine was only a brief comment on one aspect. Apologies if I insinuated something that I ddin’t mean to. For me, I think any LGBT people who want to marry should have the same options as any straight people – that is, the option to have a civil marriage, and the option to have a religious marriage if that’s acceptable to their particular faith. That’s what ‘equality’ means to me – being treated the same.
If I misunderstood you, I apologise – as per normal – I agree entirely with the logic of your opinion!
No need to apologise, Stu, but thank you. I just didn’t want you to think I thought something that I didn’t – if that makes any sense at all :D
… marriage is available should be the priority – failing to recognise the religious component and ensure some level of equity in these areas risks alienating a proportion of the LGBT communities by not seeing their desire for equality as being important or worthy of recognition.
Civil marriage is marriage
Religious marriage is marriage
Religious marriage can be civil marriage
I agree with Tims view regarding religious organisations agreeing to perform religious marriages but I think that the LGBT communities should be seeking to persuade as many religious organisations as possible to participate.
Good points, Stu. But I think concentrating on civil marriage first is wiser because that clearly has no religious element and isn’t stepping on anyone’s toes. Then move on to religious marriage, as I detailed above.
Why? Because I fear trying to do both at the same time will lead to conflict and prolong the fight. Also, I think it’d also help by keeping the two branches of marriage, if you will, clearly separate. In that way, if we have civil marriage equality, no religion need fear they’d have to change whom they marry as it would only refer to NON-religious marriages. Then move on to religious ones and do that as a separate negotiation.
Just my opinion :)
Iris – if we feel like that then we should be concentrating soley on marriage equality only but in fact we are also going to cover CP equality which is a huge big unknown and may thru the whole process in disarray much more than the question of religious marriages. It’s utterly ridiculous to have religious CP(open to gays and straights) and only have civil marriags for gays….it’s illogical and unequal and unfair..
Can I summarise what everyone is saying?
We want marriage, on an equal basis with straight people. That means that all the ways that a straight couple can marry must be open to us. Anything else would be to perpetuate discrimination.
Some of us may well reject religion (as it has been used as an excuse to abuse us over such a long time) and a false moral justification for inequality. But it is for those very reasons that we cannot afford to ignore it – we must challenge at every stage any excuse for homophobia.
John, I see what you’re saying about CPs. I personally don’t want one but I do know that some LGBT people DO want a CP in preference to marriage, so it would be unfair to get rid of CPs.
Personally I’d leave CPs as they are for the moment too, and concentrate on getting equal marriage. Then any opening of CPs to straight people or other changes to CPs could be done later. That’s just my opinion though and I realise others may disagree.
Excellent summary and reflects almost entirely what I mean – with recognition that it might be a two stage process.
@John / Iris
I personally do think that CPs whould be left as they are for the moment and then reviewed when marriage is equalised (or at least more equal) and considered for heterosexuals too (I know 2 heterosexual couples who would prefer CPs and there must be others).
Marriage is NOT a religious thing. it really p…ses me off when people damage the cause of equality with remarks like that. Frst, twice as many heterosexual marriages in the UK are non-religious ones as religious ones. Marriage is therefore primarily a secular institution. Secondly, the gold standard for a committed, permanent and exclusive relationship (such as I have with my “civil partner” in the UK is the simple word “marriage”. Please do not undermine the UK campaign for marruage equality just because you have a mistaken view that marriages are religious; or that gays do relationships differently: it isn’t and they dpn’t.
As much as a civil marriage can be non religious – a marriage can be religious and just because 66% of heterosexual couples have a civil marriage does not mean the 34% remaining should be regarded as though their union is not a marriage – which is effectively what you are saying if you say that marriage is never religious.
It also fails to take into account those LGBT people who would wish a religious marriage – I don’t, you clearly don’t and I know many others don’t but some do (including some of my gay friends). Merely because they are in the minority does not mean they should have any less equality.
I would vehemently say that the only difference in gay and heterosexual relationships is the composition (in general).
It’s not the point.
As people, we should be given exactly the same rights as everyone else. We pay taxes, work hard and contribute to society.
It’s not a question of marriage equality, it’s a question of human rights.
As I understand it, English law permits what has been termed ‘separate but equal’, which is an American phrase.
English law, French law and the law of most (hopefully all) EU Member States on discrimination flows from various European Directives. According to the European Directives, discrimination does not necessarily arise from different treatment between people of different protected groups. It will only exist if one or other group is treated less favourably.
The term “less favourably” seems to refer to the content of the treatment. Therefore, if a civil partnership provided exactly the same rights as marriage then there would be no discrimination notwithstanding that they operate with different names and pursuant to different statutes.
I have read there is a legal challenge to marriage laws – not in the European Union Court of Justice but in European Court of Human Rights. It will be interesting to see the outcome of it.
Interesting, de Villiers.
But once a country has introduced “civil” marriage to both straights and gays but has left one group being allowed to do religious marriages as well whilst the other group is only allowed to do “civil” can be right. In addition in the UK we are now introducing religouis CP when the bodies that want to do them actually have said they want to do religious marriages. The UK is ok now probably but it can’t surely just introduce civil marriages for gays.
Stonewall’s response to the Marriage Equality Consultation July 2011
I cant believe that peoples lifes and futures can be held in other peoples hands, and even worse 1 persons hand.!!
So much for Yankland being a bastion of freedom….
That a country can be so split on humanity.
Mind you each time you just know it’s because a Republican is behind it.
They just don’t get what Civil Marriage is at all.
They don’t get that committed people, regardless of orientation surely helps a society progress.
It is so shameful that whilst some states in the US are now allowed marriage Equality others are doing all they can to ban it.
Chris Christie has an image problem – mostly that people see him as a complete crook. His career is doomed and he will be swept away as little more than a tiny footnote in history.
As for saying that GLBTQ should not have marriage, they should settle for “civil union”. Yeah, “separate but equal” has been historically shown to not be equal at all. The state provides the marriage licence, the state decides who can solemnise the ceremony. The nature of the ceremony itself if irrelevant.
Time for a new governor.
This is confusing reporting.
Christie isn’t ‘pursuing’ civil unions. New Jersey has had civil unions since 2007, after a 2006 court decision. Christie can’t repeal them, whether or not he wants to.
And @Chutneybear, civil unions have failed in New Jersey.
In the UK, ‘everything but the name’ has worked quite well. Businesses and individuals understand that a CP gives almost exactly the same rights as marriage. Indeed here in the UK straight people often use the word ‘marriage’ for CPs.
But the US has a patchwork of DPs, CUs and marriage. ‘Everything but the name’ rights are not understood or respected. In New Jersey, an official New Jersey Civil Union Review Commission in 2010 assessed the impact of ‘everything but the name’. The Commission found that there was “overwhelming evidence” that the law was being ignored by employers, hospitals and many others within society. The Commission considered that only marriage would ensure widespread compliance.
It’s nice that straight people will call CP “marriage” in the UK, but as soon as you travel to more progressive countries like Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Iceland, Netherlands, Norway,, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, your CP is worth less than toilet paper, since it wouldn’t be very gentle.
OK just to clear up my ignorance (excuse it ) what is the difference between marriage and a CP in terms of equality ? Say we want marriage and get it, how would it differ from CP?
As soon as you travel to more progressive countries like Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Iceland, Netherlands, Norway,, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, your CP is worth less than toilet paper, since it wouldn’t be very gentle.
Marriage in the UK would hold the value of marriage in the abovementionned countries.
I think largely it is symbolic in one sense (and symbolism is important to some including law makers etc). It also has a set of values attached to it that some may wish to share in, these allow others socially to feel permitted to acknowledge the marriage as equal to that of a heterosexual couple. There is a sense of this from some people in the UK to CP’s but not entirely. I guess there are choices for legislators to make – do we want to make CP have an equal value to marriage in culture – and if so, why not just make it marriage?
Chutneybear, I think there are pension benefits too. Someone explained it very well on PN a while ago, but I don’t remember all the details.
However, in my opinion, that’s irrelevant. I personally don’t see why I should have to have something different because of my sexuality. It’s wrong and unnecessary. Civil marriage should be gender neutral.
Or, as a person in apartheid-era South Africa, or certain mid 20th century southern US states, might have said “what is the difference between the drinking fountain for whites and the drinking fountain for blacks, in terms of water quality? What is the difference between sitting at the front and sitting at the back of the bus in terms of cost and time of getting from A to B?”
Tim I thank you for that analogy, that is what I think sums it up for me perfectly and rationalises it all. We are all on the bus in a way and we should all be able to sit where we want. I think my ignorance of the issue is slowly dissolving!
“what is the difference between marriage and a CP in terms of equality ?”
Well the name for starters.
So when you have a name thats difference and people passing of with ‘almost all the same benefits’ you really don’t need to look further.
Anyway isn’t Civil Partnerships yet again another thing from heterosexuals with the “Well look you got your Version, now run along?”
I am greatful in part as yes it was progress but when these Republicans etc deem our relationships not worthy of anything, then we need to fight for Equality in all and name!!
It is my understanding that there is no difference save for the name – that a civil partnership makes available to civil partners essentially every material right and responsibility arising from marriage, with the exception of the form of ceremony and the actual name and status of marriage.
Wrong, de Villiers. Try saing that to my civil partner, who will get a much smaller pension if I predecease him than he would if I were married to him.
I will take what you say as correct – although I do not understand how the pensions benefits work.
The EU have disguished betwen them in their Green paper on the recognition of civil status in the EU and they go down seperate legal paths, gay/straight marriages under marriages and civil unions/pacs/cp under civi unions, if that’s the case then there might knock on effect of EU level with differring rights…they’e aren’t ultimtely not the same law and nver will…personally I find the distinction offensive and feel it’s a lower type of relationship than a marriage…and that’s all that matter to me, feeling unequal!
Civil partnership is purely defined through its registration process and does not (as marriage does) come with vows to commit for life, although many couples choose to say some similar words before they register as part of the ceremony.
Nor is there a duty to cohabit or a duty to have sex, both of which are at least implied in marriage. Since there is no definition of what the quality of the relationship of civil partners entails, the words “living as if they were civil partners”, which is used in English legislation in many places to describe cohabiting same-sex couples is pretty meaningless.
Chutneybear…this is for you. Iris, this might explain the pension issue.
State final-salary pension schemes will only pay out survivor’s benefits for years of service after 1988, although widow’s pensions in most schemes and widower’s pensions in some are based on years of services starting from earlier dates. Private occupational schemes only need to use years of service after the civil partnership came into force for survivorship benefits, although most use all years of service. The UK basic state pension is complicated and the benefits are not entirely equal for civil partners as compared to married couples
Chutneybear, just because people sometimes refer to CPs as “marriages”, is meaningless. Under the law they are NOT. This isn’t even a question of semantics as some like to pretend it is, it isn’t when you travel to countries where there are varying degrees of same-sex unions outside of marriage. CPs are in no way identical to France’s PACs for instance in the number of rights conferred. CPs provide far more, PACs do not, and that’s just one example. A British couple living in France wouldn’t benefit from all of the rights they enjoy in the UK, whereas, a French couple would if they lived in the UK.
Chutneybear and Iris…here’s more.
The rights arising out of civil partnership are not backdated. Couples who may have been together for years before 2005 could not register, some may have been bereaved then or have to struggle without a survivor’s pension, which they should have received if marriage had been available to them. This is illustrated in a case about the calculation of child maintenance by the child support agency that came to the House of Lords after the Civil Partnership Act 2004, but concerned the time before then. The lesbian woman in that case did not get the same rights she would have had if she had been in an opposite-sex relationship.
Robert, thank you for all that information.
That said, it would be practical for many reasons to simply make civil marriage available to gay couples. 10 countries have demonstrated that, Mexico City and now 6 states in the U.S. A. Actually, civil unions in the U.S. haven’t worked that well. Employers still aren’t complying with the laws affecting same-sex couples. They’ve been a total failure in the delivery full equality, inadequate even.
The differences in the US between civil unions and marriage are glaring:
1. Civil unions do not have the same rights as marriage. The biggest difference between civil unions and marriage is that they are not portable over state borders. A domestic partnership from Lake Tahoe, California is not valid only a few miles away in Reno, Nevada.
2. Civil unions do not come with any of the more than 1,000 federal benefits of marriage, such as the ability to sponsor one’s spouse for immigration, social security, Medicare and veteran’s benefits.
3. The fact is, by calling it something different, it is different. And telling one group of people that they can’t have the same thing as everyone else creates two classes of citizenship.
And to Governor Christie:
I’m sorry you’re not a “fan” of same-sex marriage. Well, I’m not a fan of hippopotamuses wearing suits. Next time, pass on the ice cream.
Anyone can ‘get married’ in Church if the Church is willing to conduct the ceremony BUT such a marriage has no standing in Law. Legally the couple are not married until they have signed the relevant CIVIL documents. Most religious ministers are licensed by the CIVIL authorities to officiate at the Civil mariage as required by law. Of course, Christie was never one to have much respect for the democratic will of the people -he seems to consider himself above the Law, he’s only really happy when he’s sucking up to the super-rich, big business and kicking everyone else! Roll on the next Election!!!
Thank goodness that the LibDems have promised marriage for gay people in Britain by 2015.
Thank goodness ….. I’ll sleep easy in my bed knowing the Lib Dems will get it al sorted !!! Yeah, right….
Iris, you’re most welcome. Hope it clarifies everything.
Dana, he’s a disgusting man, a big fat bully too. Apparently, he’s lost the vote of the majority of women voters in his state, the largest group who vote. He doesn’t even know his own state’s laws. He said he was heading toward civil unions ( he favours them apparently, but New Jersey has had them since 2006 and they’re not working that well. He’ll veto any marriage bill. I feel so sorry for the thousands of gay couples in his state as well as women, having to wait another four years before the next election to get him out. He’s bad for his state and for the people he represents.
He’s ‘not a fan of gay marriage’ well that’s because he’s a hetro and already has the right to abuse that institution… Equal rights you retarded yank means for all not just those who lifestyles you are ok with -
Civil Unions still relegate you to Second Class citizen. Interracial couples don’t have a Civil Union, No one does.T hey can get married. This is something so stupid, creating something that doesn’t exist to make the Religious Right happy. Every one is entitled to get “Married”–It’s a Civil Right, not a religious right. I thought these RR freaks hate doing “special” things for the Gay community–then WHY create someting different JUST to Please them?
confused, do you really believe politicians making promises actually carry them out? Clegg is the minority party in the coalition government of Cameron. I’ve not heard Cameron saying he’ll support it, only “consider” it. That’s far different from saying “support” it. That said…he should take a cue from New York and just do it. Two major international centers on both sides of the Atlantic sends quite a powerful message to the rest of the world.
The New Jersey Governor is only copying Tony Blair.
I doubt he sat down and thought … what would Tony Blair do?