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Editorial: The Times now for all to show their hand on marriage equality

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  1. Strong and powerful editorial challenging others to show their views.

    I like your challenge to other media groups. It would be interesting how they would respond to PN writing to their editors directly with a challenge.

    I also like your suggestion that laws could be enacted within the Diamond Jubilee year as a fitting tribute.

    Thank you PN.

    One slight gripe. Whilst you clearly refer to equal marriage within the editorial, you do still persist in the use of the phrase “gay marriage”. Its equal marriage or marriage!

    1. not sure if PN is influential enough or has enough weight get its editorial noticed in the mainstream public life, well i just hope it does

      1. It would seem be influential enough to get the attention of the Religious fundamentalists. I’ve seen PN quoted as being an example of the mythical ‘gay lobby’ and ‘militant homosexuals’

  2. I agree. The more this is aired, the more opportunity there is to explain why our opponents’ arguments are wrong. Our side has reasoned arguments, and will benefit from light on this debate; theirs will not.

    But it is time for the equality side to take the initiative. So far our opponents have been dominating the news; we need more prominent supporters, including straight conservatives like Francis Maude, to show support, highlighting how extreme the opposition has become.

    The Times, Guardian, Independent and The Mirror will be pro, as will the London papers.

    The Telegraph, Mail and (probably) Express will be anti.

    I think the big question is which way the Sun jumps. If it comes out for equality, that will be a very big step forward. And I think the Sun might well do so, if only to try to wipe off some of the “nasty paper” muck from its brand.

    I’ve often criticised PN, but on this you have been first-rate. We all owe you.

  3. Dr Robin Guthrie 8 Mar 2012, 11:07am

    The fact that the topic is even up for a bun fight in the media and the churches is in itself a disgrace.

    Their is human rights and human wrongs and they should NEVER be up to a common show of hands.

    Personally, having read all the current lies and obfuscation in the press I’m sick of it.

  4. Mumbo Jumbo 8 Mar 2012, 11:16am

    Who ever would have thought that on the day that The Times (the bastion of conservative Britain) published that editorial, the chief political correspondent of The Guardian (the vanguard of progressive Britain) would support apartheid:

    A disgrace to himself and his newspaper.

    Btw. Good to see that old Economist article getting an airing. It was the first mainstream newspaper to “come out” and I still have a copy featuring a front cover with the two little plastic grooms on top of the wedding cake.

    1. Has PN asked The Guardian if the position of Michael White is the editorial position of The Guardian?

      I think Alan Rusbridger should make it clear if he endorses Michael White and if so why he supports segregation based on orientation. I White’s position is not The Guardians corporate (or Rusbridgers personal) view then why was White given the space to endorse segregation based on orientation?

      We deserve answers.

      1. Michael White is not the editor of the guardian therefore his opinion is just what it is, a personal view given platform in the debate

        1. Rusbrudger should still distance The Guardian from Whites comments to avoid confusion!

          1. I disagree. Michael White should be free to publish his views – it is a good thing that there is a pluralistic approach. The very last thing we need is a closing down of debate.

          2. @Jaz

            I did not say that the Guardian should not publish Whites opinion. He is entitled to it, and it is responsible of The Guardian to publish it.

            The Guardian should make it perfectly clear that his view is not the official view of The Guardian by distancing themselves from Whites opinion.

            Given the commentary on this matter both on PN and elsewhere its clear that I am far from the only person to hold this view. There is plenty of concern that the Guardian are not being clear on their views and that this view is muddied by the publication of Whites comments. Its perfectly acceptable for the Guardian to publish them, but without saying the paper or editors position then they risked (and this has been the outcome) some people being concerned that The Guardian are not being as supportive of LGBT rights as one might have expected!). It is also another crutch for the C4M conspiracy to latch onto.

          3. it could be the case of having debate first before deciding on editorial

          4. Dr Robin Guthrie 8 Mar 2012, 1:55pm

            “The very last thing we need is a closing down of debate”

            What is there to debate.

            My rights to equality are NOT debatable and NOT negotiable.

            I am either equal or not.

    2. bobbleobble 8 Mar 2012, 11:30am

      I saw that article and I couldn’t believe what I was reading. His reasoning is pretty flawed, just as that of the Archbishop of Canterbury was. However, it’s good to see that the Guardian are putting this right by having an editorial in favour sometime in the next week. I think we can say that this is just the view of Mr White and not the Guardian as a whole.

      1. Why do we have to wait till next week?

  5. Robert in S. Kensington 8 Mar 2012, 11:57am

    Excellent article, PN! I concur with Stu, kindly refrain from the term “gay marriage”. It iis a term often employed in the U.S. to foment the emotions of our opoosition. Why not use a more fitting term such as “same-sex civil marriage”?

    1. I prefer the terms marriage equality or equal marriage. Because marriage is marriage: when two people marry, whichever gender they are.
      The vote didn’t suddenly become the men’s and the women’s vote respectively on it being extended to women, it remained the vote. No change, no redefinition. Same institution, same commitment, same love. Equal.

      1. I think the entire institution of marriage requires reform to sort out the issue with trans people having to divorce their opposite-sex partners if they want to get registered with their preferred gender.
        Also humanist and Pagan weddings have no legal standing.
        And what about polyamorists?

        1. Is there really a clamour for polygamy?

          1. Polygamy is only one form of plural relationship.

          2. Is there a clamour for legal recognition of any form of plural relationship?

          3. Homosexuality is legal. Polygamous relationships are not.

            Morally I have no problems in consensual plural relationships. I see no case that there is a demand for there to be legal recognition of such relationships. There is nothing incompatible in my seeing that with my pursuance of human rights. Your comment (as usual) is (at best) strawman.

          4. To clarify – my above comment was in reply to one of our regular trolls, whose comments were (as usual) reactionary. Thanfully PN have removed this post!

  6. Mr. Ripley's Asscrack 8 Mar 2012, 12:29pm

    Great comment piece.

    The Torygraph wrote that: “gay marriage “raises profound questions about our society more broadly: how we raise our children, which family units and values we prize…”” PRIZE ALL OF THEM!! No, not prize – that’s the wrong word – but support all of them! Regardless of who the couple are, where they came from and what their lifestyles are. Support all of them!

    All I would say to Michael White of the Grauniad is get a grip, boy – cultural change happens regardless of the noise coming from bishops! (I prefer the word static myself.)

  7. “The brave support for marriage equality from the leaders of the Conservatives, Liberal Democrats, Labour, SNP and Green party”

    Just to point out that it does not require ‘bravery’ to support equal civil rights to all people. It simply requires some human decency.

    Anyone who does not support equal civil rights for all (and marriage is a civil right) is a bigot.

    Also the churches are already perfectly clear on their positions.

    Some very minor (in terms of followers in Britain) churches – quakers, unitarian, liberal and reform jews – support equality.

    The major churches (in terms of followers in Britain) – catholics, anglicans, muslims, hindus remainly as hideously bigotted and monstrous as they have always been.

    The only message that should be sent to ALL cults is ‘Civil marriage is none of your business, your opinions are no more relevant on the issue of equality than the opinions of the British Trainspotters Society.

    1. A stick the middle finger to everyone and doing it anyway is not the way for us to do things. I’d much rather have the debate, challenge and disprove everything that can be thrown at us. Civil marriage will happen, and if some religions wish to carry out then even better. But I don’t want us to simply impose it without discussion first, that will only create more enemies than friends

      1. But you cannot ‘debate’ with religion however.

        It is at its core irrational and unreasonable, claiming as it does that the world is created by some fictional ‘god’.

        Debating with religious groups is an utter waste of time.

        The correct response to ALL religions (even those tiny, minor ones who support equality) on the subject of marriage equalty is ‘Thanks for your input, but the discussion is about civil marriage, therefore it has NOTHING to do with you.’

        1. Nawal Husnoo 8 Mar 2012, 7:11pm

          That’s not the point of “debating” with religious fundamentalists. The point is to make sure it is too obvious that they are being unreasonable for anyone around them to take them seriously.

          In this way, they lose their one weapon: FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt).

          I personally have some experience with this issue:

    2. Out of Order ! !

      Comparing the British Trainspotters’ Society with ‘All Cults’ is as grotesquely unfair as comparing Marriage Equality with Slavery…

    3. You said:
      “The major churches (in terms of followers in Britain) – catholics, anglicans, muslims, hindus remainly as hideously bigotted and monstrous as they have always been”
      and yet a recent poll, reported on her at PN, found that 61% of Christians in this country support gay marriage.

      You can’t have it both ways.

      1. Oh for Cher’s sake – surely you can grasp the principle thaty the followers of a cult should not be judged by the leadership of the cult.

        When a cardinal or archbishop or imam or rabbi speaks people seem to think they are speaking for large numbers of people. They are NOT. They are speaking for their cult hierarchy alone.

        61% of christians support marriage equality you say.


        I’ll bet about 95% of the cults hierachies in Britain support sexual apartheid and oppose equality for gays and women.

  8. Wait a min?? isn’t that the ring from ‘Lord of the Rings’??

  9. Beautifully written. Next week it’s all really going to go off like a frog in a sock :o)

  10. It should be noted that the Daily Telegraph is owned by the Catholic Barclay twins and edited by Tony Gallagher, another Catholic. IMO their anti-equality position should be seen through the lens of yet more Vatican meddling.

  11. Gordon Patten 8 Mar 2012, 2:50pm

    Me and my partner Lee are engaged – I propsed on valentines day and my firm belief is that love is between anyone, not just a man and a woman. As long as two people are commited to each other, then what does it matter. Whilst the Civil Partnership Act is a step in the right direction and indeed we have the equal rights of married hetrosexuals, what is the issue about gay people getting married. As stated in the consulation document/propsoals, religious buildings could allow such weddings on a voluntary basis. There are a lot of other venues that offer straight weddings and so gay weddings can be offered there. So to summerise, I really cannot see what all the fuss is about apart from the church trying to do its usual things, scaremonger and use its bible when it wants to control everyone to its way of believing, regardless if that does go back so far in time that it can be seen as somewhat irrelevant. Come on church faiths, move with society, your neighbours and time.

    1. “As long as two people are commited to each other, then what does it matter.”


      And even if people are NOT committed to each other then what does it matter.

      Straight folk hardly take the institution of marriage seriously (seeing as about 50% of straight marriages end in divorce.)

      We need to pretend we are more devoted to each other at the moment, but once we are equal we don’t need to regard any more seriously than straightfolk do.

      1. Dr Robin Guthrie 8 Mar 2012, 9:00pm

        We are not playing some game here. Some of us are committed.

        1. Don NOT feed the troll

  12. Dr Robin Guthrie 8 Mar 2012, 3:48pm

    OK everyone. Sharp intake of breath. Please sit down before reading:

    I’m shocked. However the comments will reveal the usual bile.

    1. Hodge Podge 8 Mar 2012, 4:14pm

      Thats crazy. Is that going to get printed tomorrow or will it be web only?

      1. Dr Robin Guthrie 8 Mar 2012, 4:34pm

        Not sure.

        I popped a “Well Said Sir…” comment up.

        And then a comment stating “Awaiting red arrows”.

        I’m pretty sure that assuming the comment makes it past the moderator it will be replete with read arrows by tomorrow.

        1. I see the comments have been disabled.

          I am wondering if that is because they have had too many homophobic comments or whether they just have too many compliments to screen ….

          1. Dr Robin Guthrie 8 Mar 2012, 8:57pm


            The comments were definitely open when I posted around 17:15.

            I think I will copy the page before it is pulled.

            Melanie Phillips must be choking on her bile by now.

          2. Stu, try again.

            t’s 9:45pm on Thursday and I’ve been able to submit a comment. They are all being moderated in advance.

          3. @Gerry

            Thanks I shall have another try.

          4. Dr Robin Guthrie 9 Mar 2012, 2:04am

            02:20 – Still at zero comments.

            Hedging bets perhaps as Eric Pickles came out last night in Question Time in support.

            Do these newspapers not understand that they are being watched. And accountable for their nonsense.

            Thats why the PCC is being disbanded in favour of PCC2 under their own management.

          5. Well I put on two comments and neither appeared … disappointing!

  13. Pagans support equal marriage, and have done for decades.
    Unfortunately, in England and Wales, Pagan opposite-sex weddings have no legal standing, and the government has no plans to change that. So – among Pagans, marriage is already equal – a Pagan priestess or priest will happily do your handfasting (wedding) for you, but it won’t have any legal standing whether you are marrying someone of the opposite sex or the same sex. A Pagan priest or priestess will also happily do a wedding for transgender people, poly people etc.
    In Scotland, the situation is different. Pagan opposite-sex weddings are legal, and Pagans have joined in the lobbying for same-sex marriage and religious civil partnerships.

  14. Imagine the shock horror if a poll was suggested which asked whether equality should be dependant upon ethnicity?

    1. Exactly what I was thinking. Also, imagine saying that a separate ‘partnership’ thing for interracial couples was fair – “why do ‘they’ need marriage? After all, an ‘interracial partnership’ is just the same really, etc”

      It disgusts me that some people can’t understand the inequality. Civil marriage should be gender neutral.

    1. The christian institute may as well just rename themselves The Anti Gay institute, ’cause its all they ever go on about. I just looked at their twitter and nearly every tweet has got something to do with being anti gay. You’d think they’d be tweeting about feeding the poor, helping those less fortunate, being charitable, like jesus wanted them to, but all they ever say is ‘we hate gays’. I reckon if christ were alive, he’s sue the christian institute for defamation of character.

  15. What should the position of a public service broadcaster be on this diversity issue? Should it be neutral or should it be in favour of equal rights for all its audiences? This is something I briefly considered in a recent blog entry on marriage equality –

  16. George Broadhead 8 Mar 2012, 9:10pm

    dAVID writes:

    “The major churches (in terms of followers in Britain) – catholics, anglicans, muslims, hindus remainly as hideously bigotted and monstrous as they have always been.”

    There is no doubt about the hostility of the Anglican and Catholic Churches to gay marriage, as well as that of Islam of course, but is this really the case with the Hindus? And what about the Buddhists and Sikhs? Does anyone know?

    1. Perhaps they have had the common sense to analyse the argument in a bit more detail and actually realise we are discussing civil marriage and that it won’t actually affect them so feel they are above involving themselves in making embarrassing comments

    2. In terms of Sikhs a survey of Sikhs showed a majority in favour of same sex marriage in 2009. However, in 2005 a senior Sikh issued an edict stating that same sex marriage and homosexuality should be condemned. The worldwide Sikh leading authority sought to seek to put pressure on the Canadian government not to legalise marriage between partners of the same sex. On of the leading UK Sikh authorities is a prominent signatory of the C4M. So, at face value the position of Sikhs is not dissimilar from the RC church where many members support equal marriage but the leaders are opposed. There are examples of Gurdwaras who have sanctified same sex partnerships though.
      Hindu is very difficult as there is no real organisation structure or set of authorities. Some svamis support marriage of same sex partners and some do not. Some Hindi scholars see Rigveda as not only supporting gay people but also seeing it as part of a cyclical constancy of sexuality – indeed some medeival Hindu

      1. temples have art depicting homosexual and bisexual scenes/

        Buddhist scripture and teachings do not take a consistent stance against homosexuality, and do not specifically proscribe nor endorse same-sex marriage; thus, there is no unified stance for or against the practice.

    3. Well, given that Churches are made up of followers and that a recent poll, which was reported on here at PN, revealed that 61% of Christians supported gay marriage then i think that the noise in the Churches is being made by a bigoted rump and that castigating all Christians – as people are wont to do here at PN – is not necessary or helpful.

      As a gay Christian I have frequently been on the receiving end of patronising bile in these comment sections but when a poll reveals that that which I have maintained for some time is true – that a majority of Christians support us – then the least I, and other gay Christians, expect is some acknowledgement of that fact.

      It would be excellent if somewhat fewer sweeping statements about ‘Churches’ were made for a start off. Also if some of you could just see the noisy anti-gay rump at C4M for what they are – out of touch dinosaurs who have no place to go and who are squealing far louder than their numbers warrant as that recent poll revealed.

      1. And what are YOU doing to rid your own cult of its bigotted leadership.

        You do accept I hope that marriage equality is none of your cult leadership’s business don’t you.

        What are you doing to ensure that your cult leadership realises that civil marriage equality is none of its Cherdamned business?

  17. It would certainly be good to know whether our own MP supports “gay” marriage.

    I’m lucky enough to have Stephen Williams as my British MP and he has just written this blog.

    At least I know I don’t have to work on him but some of us could be working on our their own MPs.

    I could write to the peers but I haven’t got a clue which ones to bother with.

    Here in Australia, the marriage equality campaign has written a computer programme where you just write your letter and click a button and it get’s sent to all the relevant MPs and senators. That would be a good thing for the UK as well perhpas???

  18. With the greatest of respect, despite all the talk of equality, heterosexual marriage and intended gay “marriage” – have vast differences. The mechanics of sex for example. The ability to biologically produce children is another. With such significant differences, why get so hung up on trying to make it the same? In the eyes of the law, it is already the same legal union. Unfortunately, one cannot change the biological aspects. Why not leave the semantics alone to preserve the natural biological distinctions.

    1. Ok I understand the bit about how babies are created but missed the point about what the differences were between “straight” and “gay” marriages ie marriage equality.

    2. Dr Robin Guthrie 9 Mar 2012, 1:44am

      Humanity moves on.

      It eventually outgrows its silly prejudices and ignorance.

      “natural biological distinctions”

      An STD ridden whore and a drunk tramp can “produce a baby” via rape.

      Your point is a non-sequiter.

      Grow up and move on.

    3. Civil marriage is a contract which same sex couples are denied access to because they are gay.

      So the purported differences between gay married life and straight married life are 100% irrelevant.

      Civil partnership apartheid is a stain on Britain’s pretence that it is a world leader on LGBT rights..

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    1. Dr Robin Guthrie 9 Mar 2012, 2:13am

      Do you have lots of cash. If not then please go away. I’m 46. Old and boring and have zero interest in vaginas or interacting with people I have no interest in.

      Your marketing experience clearly comes from the back of a fag packet.

      Now go away.

      1. Dr Robin Guthrie 9 Mar 2012, 8:56am

        I am a bot. So Ditto.

  20. Eric Pickles supported marriage equality on Question Time (BBC One) earlier this evening.

    1. Dr Robin Guthrie 9 Mar 2012, 2:09am

      I watched that and was seriolusly surprised given that it was he who backtracked on the council meeting prayer guff.

  21. It is good to know who is on your team. Clearly the Catholics, Mormons and Evangelical Christians who spend millions of dollars to stop gay marriage are not on the side of equality.

    1. Neither are the anglicans, the hindus, the muslims, the orthodox jews, the scientologists, the sikhs.

      The VAST majority of religions / cults support bigotry.

      The message that must be repeated over and over again is simple.

      ‘Civil marriage equality has nothing to do with religion, so why is a platform being given on this subject to poisonously bigotted cults?’

  22. Dave North 9 Mar 2012, 8:55am

    Please die. There is a fungus somewhere that requires the oxygen.

    1. But would it want 100% proof oxygen? ;)

  23. Do not feed the troll

  24. Dr Robin Guthrie 9 Mar 2012, 11:19am

    Oh dear. Apologies.

    That was a drunken rant I had last night.

    Must be the stress of all this………………..

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