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Sir Derek Jacobi: Equal marriage debate a ‘squabble over nothing’

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  1. Whilst its good that he is able to voice his opinion, and good that he agrees the church is the problem …

    His views on CPs being equal is factually untrue and the important thing is that whilst he may not choose a marriage – he is not able to make such a choice at the moment, nor are those who would wish to who are in a same sex relationship.

    Half hearted equality is inequality.

    1. There are no significant differences between marriage and partnerships. Look it up on the UK gov website. There is a document which lists the differences which is taken from the common’s library. There are about 3 differences and they’re about procedure. Nothing significant.

  2. Erm, it’s about equality across the board, Derek.

  3. That There Other David 3 Jul 2012, 12:55pm

    Oh Derek, way to miss the point. It’s not the word that’s the problem, it’s the fact we are expected to settle for something that is “separate but equal”, something that isn’t recognised outside of the UK, and something that allows those who continue to be conned by religions to look down upon us.

  4. Perhaps equality isn’t as important to SIR Derek as it is to some of the rest of us.

    1. Spanner1960 3 Jul 2012, 1:54pm

      Get off your lefty horse.

      1. Spanner1960 3 Jul 2012, 3:29pm

        Ouch! That hit a few nerves, eh Comrade? :)

        1. Jock S. Trap 3 Jul 2012, 4:03pm

          Erm… are you drinking again Spanner?

          1. Spanner1960 4 Jul 2012, 9:20am

            Nope. I’m as sober as a Lord.
            “Don’t you mean sober as a judge?”
            “Yes, sorry m’lord.”


  5. He’s right, it is a squabble about nothing i.e. there should be no squabble and there should just be equal marriage. No fuss, no squabble. Easy.

    1. Jock S. Trap 3 Jul 2012, 4:05pm

      Indeed and the fact that the Church wouldn’t accept Civil Partnership replacing all marriage (being that they are so equal to marriage… I jest!) shows that the No Squabble Just Equal policy should be in place. Marriage is a priorty, society with be much better for it too.

  6. “The word doesn’t mean anything to me. It’s a squabble over nothing.”

    Yeah, the clue in that sentence are the two little words “to me”. Marriage may not mean anything to you, but there are plenty of other LGBT people who would love to be able to legally use that word to describe their relationship.

    It’s great that he recognises the church’s flaws in their thinkig over this subject, but I do so hate it when an LGBT person uses their own feelings on marriage to invalidate the feelings of all LGBT people on the matter.

    I have no interest in marriage personally, but it’d be nice to at least have that option open to me if I ever changed my mind. And even if I didn’t ever change my mind I would still fight for it for those LGBT people for whom that one little word does mean a lot to.

    1. In fairness, these remarks were in the context of a much wider-ranging personal interview, he wasn’t being asked to make a statement about equal rights.

      1. True. Some of which, including his comments on Turing and Bacon, is very interesting.

        However, he made the comments on equality and linked it to his CP – therefore it is reasonable for others to comment on this.

      2. Jock S. Trap 3 Jul 2012, 4:09pm

        Yes Very true Rehan… as Stu says a lot of the interview was very interesting.

    2. Jock S. Trap 3 Jul 2012, 4:08pm

      Agreed Ace!!

      It’s so simple… if Civil Partnerships are the same as marriage…. why the different name? Something the religious extremist doesn’t get even though it’s staring them in the face….. both of them!

  7. I’m going to be honest. If you’re a gay couple, who doesn’t travel much and who doesn’t give a damn for transgender rights (shame on you), then civil partnerships are a bloody good approximation to marriage. But that is all. An approximation. They are different.

    This is a mental thing, a personal thing if you will. I cannot argue for this in a legal sense. This is all about my feelings. How can I stand in front of my heterosexual family and friends and take vows to love and honour my boyfriend, when I know that it’s not the same law that will govern my relationship as governs theirs? I cannot bring myself to do it. I don’t want to play at marriage, pretend to be a husband, be recognised under a special law just for the gays. I want to be equal. I want to be able to say that my love is no different to love they have for their dearest one. How can I, when the Government doesn’t recognise them as the same?

    We all know separate but equal is not equal. One doesn’t expect to have use a

    1. “gay water fountain” or choose the gay seats on a bus, so why should we accept a “gay civil partnership”?

    2. Jock S. Trap 3 Jul 2012, 4:13pm

      Very true Steve.

      I guess what this does is show the need for both marriage Equality AND Civil Partnership Equality. Though I do wish that those who wish to stop at Civil Partnerships could see that plenty of other want the choice of marriage and support it.

      That way we would All have the right to chose to entering marriage or a civil partnership or indeed not to have either … but it has to be Our choice nobody elses.

  8. As the law stands same-sex couples are banned from getting married, and are instead restricted to the separate and symbolically different ‘Civil Partnership’, an institution that is not available to mixed-sex couples.

    Whilst civil partnership offers most – though not all – of the same legal rights and responsibilities as marriage, it does not carry the same social significance and cannot be described as equality.

    The existence of a ‘separate but equal’ segregated system of family law deliberately treats same-sex couples as though they are different and inferior, and sends out the wrong message at a time when the Government is seeking to tackle homophobia in society.

    We don’t want special ‘gay rights’, we just want equality – the same laws, the same rules, and the same rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people as for all other citizens.

    It doesnt matter if we want to exercise this equality or not. I am not currently in a relationship, but I would like the

    1. option to marry in the future if Mister Right comes along! I also believe my friends, family and others (irrespective of their orientation) should have the option to marry if they are in a loving, commited relationship which they wish to celebrate and form a contract together.

      1. Robert in S. Kensington 3 Jul 2012, 1:25pm

        What this jackass doesn’t get is the larger picture. CPs are not portable outside the UK in terms of reciprocity with the varying degrees of non-marital legal unions for gay couples. If a CPd couple were to live in France for example, their rights would not be fully reciprocated under PACs law. The ignorance and stupidity of the comments he’s made are beyond the pale and only serve to enable the haters of equal marriage.

  9. Robert in S. Kensington 3 Jul 2012, 1:22pm

    Well Derek, if you had to move out of the UK, you’d soon find how unequal your CP is. It sounds as if he doesn’t give a toss either way, on the fence. Just because he’s comfortable in a CP doesn’t mean the rest of us should be. I never supported CPs introduced in the UK because it was a deliberate attempt to avoid equal marriage. I knew this would be a convenient excuse for the haters not to legalise same-sex marriage even though many of them didn’t even want CPs either. It would have helped if Jacobi had said he supported equal marriage but he didn’t. Typical bloody selfish gays who are our worst enemy at times. I don’t like CPs, but I wouldn’t call for a ban on them, each to his own, but please, couldn’t he have at least said equal marriage is important even if he doesn’t want it for himself?. No thanks, Jacobi, I don’t welcome your comments one bit. You do more harm than you know.

    1. Exactly, Robert

      Marriage differs from country to country, but, generally, only by a small amount and in most countries they will be recognised on an, for all intents and purposes, equal footing. Civil partnerships are far more complicated. Obviously civil partnerships won’t be recognised at all in countries that don’t recognise same sex relationships. Not much we can do about that. But in those countries which do, civil partnerships can be recognised in all sorts of annoying ways.

      For example, will Argentina recognise a UK civil partnership as marriage? It’s not so, why would they? Some countries with equal marriage do recognise civil partnerships as marriage, some don’t. Some have civil unions as well as marriage and may well recognise civil partnerships as a civil union instead (and those civil unions might be even less equal to marriage than our civil partnerships). Can you guarantee that, if you go to a foreign country and fall ill, they will recognise your civil partner as

      1. such and allow them to speak on your behalf? No you can’t.

        And when someone is married in, say, Canada, when they arrive here they are not treated as a married couple but as civil partners. How is that fair? How is that acceptable?

        It’s a muddle. An international confusion. If we have equal marriage those other countries with equal marriage will automatically accept things and those that don’t will “downgrade” them like we do to their own civil unions. And hopefully one day we’ll get them to accept equal marriage too.

        1. Robert in S. Kensington 3 Jul 2012, 3:04pm

          Steve, I absolutely endorse everything you say. Jacobi just doesn’t get it, like a lot of gay people who are content with CPs. They seem to think that CPs are unique.. They were nothing novel at the time they were introduced and not ground-breaking by any stretch of the imagination. I find it revealing that when you ask a straight married couple (as I have done numerous times), if they would rather have a CP, the responses were overwhelmingly NO. I asked them why and all of them more or less said…”it’s not marriage and doesn’t mean the same thing”. It doesn’t get any plainer than that. Not that I would object to equalising them for straight couples for those who don’t want to marry, but the demand or desire for them just isn’t there in my view even though there should be choice for everyone. Jacobi’s commnts were not helpful. He’s echoing more or less what Ben Bradshaw said and look at the negative backlash from the right wing nutjobs that elicited. Shame on him.

    2. I agree with your points, Robert – and with Steve’s too. However, I do take issue with you on your assertion that the introduction of CPs were a way to avoid equal marriage. They were in fact a vital stage on the journey to full equality. I believe Equal Marriage will be approved soon but it wouldn’t have been in 2005 and it wouldn’t be now without CPs having blazed a trail and calmed public nerves on the issue. I believe that in this matter New Labour knew exactly what they were doing.

      1. Not convinced, Cal.

        Other nations have gone (or ntend to go) direct to equal marriage without a stop off point at the halfway (not quite equal) house of CP

  10. The church has nothing to do with marriage – I wish the bloody christians would do what their sacred text demands of them and stop bloody lying.

    And if it IS a fight about nothing (it’s not) why is it that LGBT people shoykd yield. I see so many people arguing over how it is a waste of parliamentary time… fine…then get out of the bloody way, let’s get it done and move on. But that’s never what they want, is it.

    And just because Jacobi is happy sitting at the back of the bus doesn’t mean that the rest of us want to join him.

  11. Peter & Michael 3 Jul 2012, 1:26pm

    As we have stated before, a Civil Partnership is not equal to a marriage, if he is happy in his partnership with his partner, that’s fine, but don’t impose your views on those that wish for a Same-Sex Marriage which is an equal right with equal benefits that cannot be enjoyed with a Civil Partnership.

  12. “There are emotional reasons (why Civil Partnerships are not equal to marriage) — marriage is an institution/ritual/relatio nship that has existed for thousands of years, one that has tremendous resonance in our culture in a way that civil unions simply don’t. And there are moral reasons — as history has born out, separate but equal is pretty much by definition not equal.”

    As well as its cultural and historical significance, “Marriage” is a term that is universally accepted and acknowledged, while “Civil Partnerships” are not nearly as widely recognised, and are virtually unheard of outside of Europe and North America. There is also the emotional weight on Religious gay people, who feel that Marriage is the only way their relationship will be sanctified before God and the church.

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 3 Jul 2012, 3:07pm

      Well said, Elaine and furthermore, CPs will NEVER be the universal standard for gay couples as we’re seeing more countries introduce equal civil marriage. Surely, that’s evidence enough. Even the French are going to beat us to the post within a year. What more evidence do the opponents need that there isn’t demand for it?

  13. That this man, one of the finest and most talented actors there is, can dismiss and denigrate ‘words’, verges on a degree of contempt for language, his own profession and art, and a degree of naïvete bordering on the despicable. A poor comment, Sir Derek, unworthy of an artist I’ve admired for decades.

  14. San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders, who once argued that Civil Partnerships were a fair alternative to Marriage, gave a speech on the 3rd of November, 2008, in which he announced that he had “searched his soul” for the right thing to do when faced with a resolution in support of gay marriage that he could either sign or veto:

    “As I reflected on the choices I had before me last night, I just could not bring myself to tell an entire group of people in our community they were less important, less worthy or less deserving of the rights and responsibilities of marriage — than anyone else — simply because of their sexual orientation…Two years ago, I believed that civil unions were a fair alternative. Those beliefs, in my case, have changed. The concept of a ‘separate but equal’ institution is not something I can support.”

    Civil Partnerships are not equal to marriage precisely because gays do not have the option of getting married. Giving gays the same legal rights but excluding them from

    1. the institution of marriage is not only undermining to gay relationships, it is insulting; after hundreds of years of persecution and periods of virtual invisibility, our government now recognises gay couples as responsible, consenting adults. As such, it makes no sense to bar their inclusion into the institution of marriage, and instead offer a second-class institution called a Civil Partnership.

      I have debated this issue over and over, and I come up against some resistance ; should I not be celebrating what we have here in the U.K., instead of arguing over terminology? For me, however, words hold a lot of weight, and the philosophical as well as the societal and cultural implications of defining life-long gay commitments in a separate category from life-long heterosexual commitments is profoundly damaging. Unlike Elton John, I cannot accept Civil Partnerships simply because the word ‘marriage’ “puts people off.” I cannot support an institution that is, by its very essence

    2. “separate but equal”, which pretty much by definition is not equal.

  15. Sorry, Sir Derek

    You might be satisfied with a similar standard of rights that Rosa Parks have – but you do not speak in my name.

    1. . . . and he does not speak for my name either

      1. I think it really is quite clear from the interview that he was speaking in no-one’s name but his own.

    2. You cannot actually be seriously comparing the difference between being allowed to call your relationship with your partner of the same sex a marriage instead of a partnership with the plight of black people in America? That is ridiculous and you should be ashamed.

  16. His remarks seem a lot less inflammatory in the context of the whole interview (which was in the theatre section to promote a new production he’s in).

    1. Yes there are some good comments, but if he wishes to make a comment on a controversial area he should expect responses

      His comments on Turing, Bacon and religion are very interesting though

      1. From the way I read it, it sounded like a fairly affable chat in his home, the focus being on his upcoming role. He seems to have been pumped for opinions on subjects he didn’t bring up, and while he should by now be accustomed to interviewers’ techniques, I also understand he’s quite shy amd probably gabbled away without thinking too much.

        1. Maybe true.

          As you say he should be well aware of interview pitfalls given his experiences with the media.

          Equally, in my opinion, he comes across as pompous and selfish in his comments on marriage.

  17. Very disappointed to read his views.

  18. Spanner1960 3 Jul 2012, 1:59pm

    I would have thought that as a gay Lord in a CP, Derek Jacobi would have been one of the few people to recognise the inequity of the differences between Civil Partnerships and Marriage. A straight Lord or Lady confers their title to their married partner., in a CP, they do not.

    Come on Derek, you really can do better than that, you are right, it IS an argument over nothing, so if it is such a simple matter, why haven’t we got it?

    1. That There Other David 3 Jul 2012, 2:05pm

      A Knight isn’t a member of the peerage.

      Just saying’ ;-)

        1. That There Other David was pointing out that you said Sir Derek Jacobi was a Lord when he isn’t, he’s a Knight. Your link to the other PN article in reply doesn’t prove David wrong.

          1. Spanner1960 4 Jul 2012, 9:25am

            OK, so I confused the two.
            Nevertheless, if you are knighted you become a “Sir”, does your wife not become a “Lady”?

          2. Yes, everyone from the wife of a marquess to the wife of a knight is referred to as ‘Lady’. As titles were originally military ranks, it says more about how irrelevant women were once considered than anything else.

    2. And, just to be pedantic, a Lady – as in a female Life Peer, or indeed a peeress in her own right – does not confer a title on her married partner.

      1. Spanner1960 3 Jul 2012, 3:28pm

        Maybe a life peer, but I was referring to the *real* hereditary Lords, not the jumped-up pay-for-a-peerage career types.

        1. Ths husband of a titled woman does not automatically receive a courtesy title whether hereditary or not. It’s only wives of titled men who automatically become a Lady, Countess, Duchess or whatever upon marriage. If a woman holds a title in her own right, her husband does not automatically receive a courtesy title.

          1. Exactly my point.

          2. Spanner1960 4 Jul 2012, 9:22am

            Ah, OK, I stand corrected on that.
            I was unaware of that difference.

  19. I have no doubt that if Sir Derek had taken the time to research what he was talking about then I suspect his mind would change quite quickly.

    I daresay that he is unaware of the legalities for his CP should he die? If he knew what they were then I am sure he would move heaven and earth to protect the man he loves from an unfair and unjust system.

    Research Sir Derek then come back and tell us that it is a squabble over nothing!

    1. OK now correct me if I’m wrong, but I thought one of the few areas that CPs and marriages are alike is to do with being officially next of kin and therefore not paying inheritance tax. In what way will his civil partner be left vulnerable if Jacobi dies?

      1. You are correct in that respect. The point that I was tryign to make, albeit quite badly is it his partner would be treated as a female in terms of any pension that would be bequeathed to him, and that is just the start of it!

        1. actually thats incorrect a heterosexual couple have a greater entitlement whereas a same sex couple be they 2 men or 2 women will always be treated as 2 men for tax and pension purposes and therefore have less entitlement – this is not something being addressed by the current proposals although it would have been easier to just make a “couples rate”

      2. Paul.Essex/London 3 Jul 2012, 3:43pm

        Pension rights aside, it will as long as he stays in the UK. But not if he and his partner were he to move to say Portugal which has equal marriage but where his CP isn’t recognised. If one partner owns the house and dies then the surviving will have to pay inheritance tax on it. Which is what happened to the surviving civil partner who couldn’t afford to pay the tax and found herself homeless.

        1. Portugal would recognise a SS marriage but not a CP? Wow – thanks, I didn’t know that.

  20. The word isn’t meaningless, this guy is just a bored and boring old man. The lack of romance in his life, his acceptance of complacency is no excuse for bashing the civil rights of the rest of us.

  21. Presumably, if they had extended civil marriage in the first place, instead of civil partnerships, he would be married by now.

  22. Sir Derek, It is all about equal rights and being able to choose and not having our rights chosen for us. It is about not being treated as second class citizens and having to take second best and second place. It is about being treated fairly with no discriminiation in the workplace or in the suburbs. It is about having all essential legal backing in our choices. Gay marriage is just one of the many battle fronts we are fighting and believe me, Sir, we are not going to give up until we have got what is rightfully ours and even then we shall keeping on fighting to maintain those rights. When will it all end? It will end when the LGT Community has full rights in everything, everywhere and is fully accepted throughout the world.

  23. He’s a good actor, but not very smart. He’s a twit.

  24. My civil partner and I were rather unimpressed with Jacobi’s behaviour during the documentary he narrated following “The Hollow Crown” last Saturday evening. It seemed clear to us that Jacobi displayed an ego problem and was revelling in the big name he once was and would apparently still like to be.

    At the end of the day, Jacobi is just another ego-driven actor who likes to have people watch him perform. He is not a Thinker.

  25. Jock S. Trap 3 Jul 2012, 3:01pm

    He’s entired to his opinion and he is right to say the problem is the church.

    However it is more than just a word it’s the right to have the same rights as marriage.

    One being that it should be recognised in all countries unlike Civil Partnership that are not. Plus a number of other rights given to married couples that aren’t to Civil Partnerships.

    Those lack of rights and equality carry on suggesting a two tier system where two men or two women getting together is automatically graded as second class and somehow inferior to marriage.

    This cannot be right in ant circumstances. If it were the other way around it would not be acceptable so why should it be just because we happen to be Gay, Bi or Lesbian?

    Not to assume too much but I gather Sir Derek comes from a believe that he is grateful for what he has got following a life pre 1967 therefore can’t see for the better, for equality. It’s probably his upbringing but Sir Derek shouldn’t we improve ourselves by fighting for better?

  26. Robert in S. Kensington 3 Jul 2012, 3:13pm

    I’ve now grown to despise Jacobi whose comments now enable opposition even more. Vile, disgusting and not a supporter of full equality. No wonder the bloody Telegraph printed his asinine comments. Despicable man.

  27. Gemma Gillon 3 Jul 2012, 3:17pm

    Bye bye lgbt bought and sold for government gold

  28. Gemma Gillon 3 Jul 2012, 3:17pm

    Bye bye lgbt rights bought and sold for government gold

  29. Kornelijus Norvidas 3 Jul 2012, 3:26pm

    R.I.P. Derek Jarman will be in favor of same-sex marriage, I think. Its enough, to be confident in rightness of this issue.

  30. As long as the word doesn’t mean anything “to me” that’s all that matters? Or so people like this seem to be saying. Equivocation like this is leapt upon by the haters, who by the way Sir Derek, despise you, but will be happy to use your words for their own ends.

    Do people like this ever, for one moment consider LGBT of the future who will benefit from equality? It really does seem to be a case of “Me me me” with people like this.

    1. Well said! I’ve read this article in the Telegraph a number of times and I still can’t get over what Derek Jacobi said, or, rather, WHY he said such a thing. Whatever he meant or how ‘sprung upon him’ the question was, he sounded utterly selfish.

      1. Jock S. Trap 3 Jul 2012, 4:22pm

        I agree but wonder how much is due to how they were taught to think pre 1967.

        I site the story of Mariam Margolyes and her struggle with acceptance and even acknowledgement of who she is. I guess it must be very difficult coming from a generation where such openness was quashed and frowned upon and yes I know 40 years have past but it is hard for some to see change even now.

        Having said that Sir Derek is in a Civil Partnership so….

      2. I totally agree that he sounded entirely selfish and a little arrogant in his comments – I could imagine him saying that this issue didn’t matter to him, so why should it bother “the little people”. That might be doing him disservice, but it was how I read his comments.

        In ensuring fairness and equality it does not matter whether we wish to take up rights that are given to us, what matters is that the opportunity to take up those rights and entitlements is available.

        There is freedom of religion in the UK, but its not a choice I choose to make – although I would vehemently defend the rights of those who would seek to make such a choice were a government to seek to dilute the right to freedom of religion.

        In the same way, I will choose to marry my boyfriend – but even if that were not the case I would strongly support the campaign for equal marriage both for those who would make the choice and in case my life choices changed.

        Its a shame Sir Derek appears to not be interested in

  31. He’s entitled to his own opinion, but he must realise that as an openly gay actor his views will attract attention and be presented as representative of all gay people, especially by the anti-gay side.

    1. Jock S. Trap 3 Jul 2012, 4:24pm

      Indeed. While he’s view is his to have we all know the Church and the Daily Mail will probably make people like Sir Derek their champion on why we don’t need this Equality.

      It’s low but we all know they will, sadly.

      It’s as if the church, or indeed the Daily Mail don’t have differences of opinion, they All speak with one voice….. only we All know they don’t so why is it different for our community?

      1. Is he a friend of Ben Bradshaw? ;-)

      2. And they’ll only use those few gay people like Derek Jacobi who aren’t in favour of marriage equality to “prove” that even gay people don’t want it, while not mentioning the majority of gay people who do want it.

        I know everyone has a right to their own opinion but I just wish they’d think about the consequences of what they say if they’re an actor or politician whose views will attract attention.

  32. This is the logical equivalent of a child whose lunch has been stolen defending his bully on the grounds that he hadn’t planned on eating that sandwich anyway.

    Sir Derek immediately undermines his claim that marriage is “nothing” and a word that “doesn’t mean anything”, by saying of his own CP that “we don’t think of it as marriage, it’s a partnership”.

    Obviously, Sir Derek knows exactly what marriage means to him because he says that he doesn’t consider his CP to be one. He’s right – there is a real difference.

    He’s happy with that difference. Good for him. Most of the rest of us aren’t.

  33. Do you not think that the journalist from the Telegraph might have been “leading” his interviewee a smidgen?

    1. Clearly, but more fool Derek for falling into his trap so easily.

  34. Robert in S. Kensington 3 Jul 2012, 4:51pm

    I wonder if this traitor signed the C4M petition? I bet he didn’t complete the government survey supporting equal marriage or bothered to add his signature to C4EM. In my view, he’s an enemy to equality and should be admonished and held accountable for his actions. He’s no friend of LGBT people nor does he speak for us but the likes of those hate rags, the Mail and Telegraph will exploit his comments as giving support to their opposition. He IS a traitor to the cause for full equality. I will never forgive him.

  35. I had a dispute recently with my employer on potential access for my civil partner to my pension scheme in the unfortunate event of my death.

    They informed me that the scheme I was in only covered married coupled and that if I wanted my partner to gain benefits I would have to switch to a new but lesser scheme which recognised civil partnerships.

    I had to dig out the relevant statutory instruments and present them to my employer to prove their interpretation was incorrect.

    Thankfully this happened prior to any tragedy befalling me and my partner then being left in a position where he would have had to fight for an entitlement.

    I’m a firefighter and with that comes some risk. It’s an organisation drowning in human resource management yet that department didn’t understand the consequences of entitlement under civil partnership.

    It is for reasons like this that we need one title to the recognition of commitment and not one that can be viewed as lesser in some circumstances.

    1. Firstly, shocking that an organisation that should be very aware of public policy was so shockingly inept in its knowledge of the Equality Act and the requisite SI’s.

      Good to hear they have resolved it. I think you should name and shame them though! ;-)

      Equal marriage would resolve this, and other similar events, once and for all.

  36. He does realise that civil partnership cannot occur if one is seriously ill and hospitalised right? Whereas straight couples can do this – meaning that a person’s would be civil partner is cut of inheritance whereas their would be spouse is not.

    1. Tim Chapman 3 Jul 2012, 9:03pm

      I didn’t know that, james. Can you tell me more?

      1. It was in the consultation paper published by the government, there is another website on the website which outlines which rights you do and don’t have – I haven’t memorised it but if they are meant to be essentially the same then both sets of ceremonies should at least have the same rights if not the same name.

  37. “Legendary stage actor Derek Jacobi said he views the debate over equal marriage rights for gay couples as a ‘squabble over nothing’

    Strange how some Churches, some MPs and various pressure groups beg to differ . . .

    When the foundations of heterosexism are challenged, because marriage equality reveals the privileges of heterosexuality, of course there will be a battle to retain ones supremacy.

    Only second rate actors would fail to recognise epoch making times!!!

  38. TheLizzie12 3 Jul 2012, 8:09pm

    Crabby old fart. He’s just p***** off that Dame Ian McKellen gets all the juicy, highly paid movie roles he wants to play (Gandolf and all that crap).

    1. Staircase2 4 Jul 2012, 1:07am


  39. Dr. Charles 3 Jul 2012, 9:35pm

    Sir Derek needs to realize that he is a “public figure of influence and admiration,” and that many straight and gay people have now heard him say something which ought to have been kept private between himself and his partner and close friends. Whereas it is “fine” for Sir Derek to go his own way as if untouched by a very crucial debate around the world, it is NOT FINE to have a disabling, negative, deflating, completely selfish public response which is directly hurtful to other gay people less fortunate than he. In no way can I approve his public behavior.

  40. He is right and it needed to be said.

    Of course nobody has the right to trivialise legal parity for gay people, but same-sex marriage is one of the most boring topics in gay rights imho. If marriage were a private affair (as it should be) and nobody legislated for or against certain kinds of relationships or sexual morality, nobody would be having this “debate”.

    I think Jacobi’s comments are a welcome antidote to the histrionics of David Furnish who calls gay marriage “the next great civil rights battle”. Lets be honest. Whatever your opinion of how the black civil rights movement and the struggle for gay rights compare, the former did not define itself exclusively by marriage or the words of the US president in the absence of actions. It was about transforming the everyday conditions of their lives. This is what I think we need to focus more on.

    To me, the scope of gay rights activism (especially in England) seems so tediously parochial a lot of the time.

    1. what about the right of mixed race couples to get married, it wasn’t that long ago that was illegal.

    2. If you really think that equal marriage is the only aspect of gays activism in the UK or that the symbolic nature of it is not important, then you are very unaware of what is happening.

      If you also consider that the UK is the only nation this is happening, with 14 nations (3 partially) already having equal marriage and more than 50 others debating it – then you also lack awareness.

      Equal marriage is important to many LGBT people both practically, emotionally and symbolically.

      Seeking equal marriage does not preclude seeking other forms of equality. Its not a case of concentrating on one issue to the expense of others.

      Seeking equal marriage also is a very visible victory which eases the way for other changes.

  41. Staircase2 4 Jul 2012, 1:06am

    Derek is right – it is…

    Its fine for people to point out on here that Civil Partnerships are not the same as Marriages but I’ve not been made aware of how they actually differ aside from in name.

    As I’ve said here on many many occasions before, I fully support the push for Equal Marriage on the basis of Human Rights. I do however agree with Derek that having a piece of paper in real terms means nothing which the partnership doesn’t already have.

    I thought it was interesting how many commentators on here chose to respond as if Derek was attacking the notion of Marriage Equality (which of course he actually wasn’t at all)


    1. and have you read the consultation it makes it clear which rights are nto extended to those in a civil parternership

    2. Peter & Michael 4 Jul 2012, 8:20am

      Not recognised outside England and Wales, one has to make a Will naming their Civil Partner, if not any Estate is divided up between family relatives, ie, the first £125.000 goes to any civil partner. any over is divided between family members. A Civil Partner would have to sell the house they lived in to pay off the family members. There are other anomalies too. Same-Sex Marriage would solve all these problems.

    3. Peter & Michael 4 Jul 2012, 8:21am

      Any Will made can be challenged in the courts.

      1. Suddenly Last Bummer 4 Jul 2012, 11:50am

        Where there’s a willy there’s wahey!

    4. And Staircase2, you are entitled to your views – you do not speak for me.

  42. Suddenly Last Bummer 4 Jul 2012, 11:49am

    Wizened old chuff. Derek is happy with his title and his dwindling insignificant career. *shrugs*

  43. Completely agree and I’m glad someone is finally talking sense. We’re squabbling over words and it’s become a bit laughable.

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