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Labour MP Chris Bryant criticises Culture Secretary Maria Miller for saying marriage is the ‘gold standard’

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  1. Oh for Christ’s sake Chris, give it a rest. This is really just finding offence where there is none.

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 12 Feb 2013, 4:36pm

      Obviously, he’s insecure about his own CP to take offence. If he cared to step outside the UK, perhaps he’d realise that Maria Miller’s statement rings true. There is no universal gold standard for CPs or any other union other than marriage. He’s giving legitimacy to the opposition’s claim that they are sufficient and that equal marriage isn’t necessary in the UK. What an idiot.

      That said, I wonder how opponents in committee have reacted to his comment? If they’re against CPs for straights, then I think it proves and actually debunks the myth that CPs are less than marriage. Otherwise, why object to straights having access to them,. those who choose not to marry?

  2. True- he’s shooting hmself in the foot here!

    1. So what’s new?

  3. Maybe it’s the gold standard for her … but we’re all different. So stop trying to impose religious concepts of those that don’t want them. Just give us equality.

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 12 Feb 2013, 4:25pm

      Civil marriage has no religious concept, a totally secular construct to accommodate divorced people whom the CoE banned from remarrying in the church.

      Maria Miller is absolutely right and shouldn’t have to apologise. It IS the gold standard for the legal union of two people, universally. which is why more countries are introducing it rather than CPs or some semblance of them. He’s echoing the mythical nonsense last tuesday prior to the vote that CPs are fully equal to marriage. They’re not, hence the name, and it’s not about semantics. There are no vows exchanged, no ring exchange mandatory.

      1. I think you’ll find that there is no ‘mandatory’ requirement to exchange rings in a register office marriage between heterosexuals. Do you REALLY think the rings mean anything legally? Of course they don’t!! Personal choice. A couple I knew couldn’t afford rings when first married. The registrar didn’t turn around and say, ‘No rings, no marriage’. Why the **** would he, they are an optional extra. Sorry, but your statement about rings being mandatory is ridiculous.

  4. This guy is an asshole, pure and simple. If this Bill fails to be enacted, it’ll be thanks to idiots like him.

    1. Yes indeed, the anti equality people will clutch at straws such as this.

  5. Im no fan of the Tories neither do i believe that the Tory, Cameron, Miller have truly had a (change of heart) and feel that they have an alternative agenda.

    However although i do not trust Maria Miller due to her voting history and values, i do agree with what she has said about marriage being the (gold standard.)

    As i feel that she is referring to that Civil Partnerships put out the view less equal seperate but equal like the way the Southern US states used to treat black people. Only Marriage Equality can make Gay/Lesbian unions equal in the eyes of the law and society. :)

    1. So what if they have alternative motives? So do all MPs on all issues. I dont care why the Tories are pro gay marriage, as long as they’re for it I couldnt care less why!

      Anyway, I actually do think that Cameron genuinely wants this (and believe me, I’m no fan of his). He personally made gay marriage a big political issue before anyone else was really talking about it.

      As for MPs who’ve changed their minds, whilst some certainly are only doing so because of political pressure, there is such a thing as changing your attitudes towards people. I used to think that being gay was weird until my best friend came out

  6. In danger of being too clever here Chris. You will give ammunition to the opposition. IF we regard CPs as being on the same standard as marriage then what are we fighting for? We are pushing for marriage precisely because we know they are regarded with lesser status.

  7. I didn’t see it as criticising those who have CPs, just as a statement about the fact that marriage is accepted all over the world.

    No-one’s going to make him change his CP into a marriage if he doesn’t want to, butI think most people (gay AND straight) prefer civil marriage.

    1. I’d question whether marriage is ‘accepted all over the world’ try turning up in Uganda or Iran with your same sex spouse and see whether your Marriage is accepted as valid. (not having a go at you btw)

      We have no idea whether most people prefer CP’s or civil marriage, opposite sex couples (which includes bisexuals not just straights) will be denied the choice so we are unable to judge. what are the statistics for countries which offer the choice of either to everyone?

      Personally I’d go for a CP over a marriage any day.

      1. Robert in S. Kensington 12 Feb 2013, 7:17pm

        Anyone in their right mind, gay or straight wouldn’t consider going to Uganda, among others. Marriage is the universal gold standard, CPs aren’t and never will be. Where is the demand for them, how many countries are going to introduce them? Just because you prefer a CP, fine but they are UK centric, not much portability or reciprocity of rights outside the UK. The French PACs for example convey about 50% of a CP, so if you found yourself living in France, your CP wouldn’t have much validity whereas your marriage would.

  8. Of course it is the gold standard. That’s why we’re all fighting for it. Bit of a silly thing to say though i greatly admire Chris

  9. Chris Bryant helps set up a status secondary to marriage. In fact he said in the civil partnership debates same-sex couples are different to opposite-sex ones and should be treated in law differently.

    Then when saner voices prevail and we start working to resolve his mess he complains we are “devaluing” what he set up! *sigh*

    Same old, same old.

  10. So glad to see universal deprecation here of Mr. Bryant’s comment-cum-question.

    He seems to want to have it both ways! Sounds like he enjoys being contrary, for the sake of it!

    Is he for Equal Marriage, or is he not? If he is, then he must apologise to Maria Miller and admit that CPs are a poor substitute for full marriage equality.

  11. I don’t understand why everyone is being so hostile to Bryant here, and I’m hardly a fan.

    I favour ssm because I believe that it should not be denied to gay couples. For the same reason I believe in equal access to CP’s for opposite sex couples.

    I also believe that people should be able to choose how they wish to formalise their relationships – if they do at all, many couples take the view that ‘its just a bit of paper’.

    Suggesting that one couples relationship is less ‘gold standard’ than a married couples because they chose to have a CP is insulting.

    1. I agree with you.

      Perhaps the hostility here is because Chris Bryant’s comment is not especially helpful when everyone is focussing on “marriage for everyone”, as is largely the case in the UK at the moment. Marriage is the buzzword right now. But civil partnerships are a viable alternative in countries like The Netherlands and Belgium, they are open to all couples just like marriage is, and they are not seen as in any way “inferior” to marriage. The UK government is making a mistake by not taking the opportunity to open civil partnerships for everyone at the same time as opening marriage, and it’s a mistake for which I cannot see any justification.

  12. GulliverUK 12 Feb 2013, 6:19pm

    It does devalue Civil Partnerships in some respects, but it is also correct. If you do go to Spain your CP won’t be worth anything there. And if you go anywhere and your partner is taken in to hospital, the word “Marriage” will probably carry some weight, “Civil Partnership” probably won’t carry much. Heterosexuals in French PACs must have similar problems. Being a “Gold Standard” in this case simply refers to it being universally recognised across the planet, which CPs are not. It’s catch 22 isn’t it – some people want CPs, including heterosexuals, rather than marriage.

    What we really wanted was ONE law, which you could refer to as CP or Marriage.

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 12 Feb 2013, 7:24pm

      You really can’t compare marriage to CPs, regardless of similar rights. The two are very different in construct and the way they are contracted. Marriage is the universal gold standard. Always has been, always will be whether some disagree or not. It’s a fact of life. Obviously, Chris Bryant hasn’t lived in another country. Maybe more CPd couples should so they’d have a better understanding just exactly what Maria Miller said and intended and they would find out just how unequal their unions are in other countries.

      1. It depends on which other countries you are talking about. I used to live in the UK but have lived in The Netherlands since 1993, witnessing the introduction of civil partnerships (for ALL couples, same-sex and opposite sex) in 1998 followed by equal marriage in 2001. Civil partnerships are very popular here, and a frequently chosen alternative to civil marriage by all couples. A third option is simply a living-together contract. There is no perceived hierarchy of these different options. Generally a couple is a couple, and the exact nature of their marriage or partnership is none of other people’s business in just the same way as the contents of their bank accounts is.

  13. Chris, your CP is second class. If it wasn’t why don’t you use the proper terms “CP” and “civil partner” instead of “marriage” and “husband” when referring to your own relationship.

    Still not quite there with the semantics….

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 12 Feb 2013, 7:11pm

      Quite right.

  14. Sorry but Chris is being rediculous here.

    I didn’t believe for a moment that my relationship was inferior to heterosexual ones in all the years where it wasn’t recognised by the law at all.

    That didn’t gainsay the fact that society as a whole clearly treated it as inferior.

    The same applies to civil partnerships.

  15. Craig Nelson 12 Feb 2013, 9:09pm

    I think Maria Miller gave a very good answer – if the two were complete equivalents then there would be no need for the bill…

  16. Mumbo Jumbo 12 Feb 2013, 9:35pm

    It is second class. That’s the whole point of the Bill and what we’re fighting for you nana.

    If a CP is the same as marriage then the only possible reason for a different name has to be one of discrimination ie. to illustrate its inferiority.

    *facepalm*

  17. de Villiers 12 Feb 2013, 11:15pm

    In France 2010, there were 205,558 PACS or civil partnerships compared to 251,654 marriages. Only 9,000 of the 205,558 PACS were same sex relationships.

    Soon PACS will overtake marriages, being seen as more modern and better reflecting today’s relationships.

    1. In France perhaps, but the point being made here is that marriage is an internationally recognised status, hence the reference to it being considered the ‘gold standard’. The world isn’t one country.

  18. I’m proud of my CP but it is a stepping stone. If marriage isn’t the Gold Standard then what the `hell are we fighting for.
    Calm down, Chris. You will make us all look hysterical.

    1. If marriage isn’t the Gold Standard then what the hell are we fighting for

      Exactly!

  19. Bill Cameron 12 Feb 2013, 11:40pm

    What an idiot Chris Bryant is! If a Labour politician had said what Maria Miler did he would have been over the moon, but because it is a Conservative he makes what is such a nakedly party-political and crass comment. I suppose he is sincere and I expect he is loved by some, so I don’t want to be too harsh, but I do wish he would reserve his attacks for situations which merit it.

  20. Edmund Rodgers 13 Feb 2013, 12:26am

    First, your gurning photo does you no justice – if you must have a picture can we have the famous underpants one. Secondly, you are just point scoring, why all the debate and push for same sex marriage if it is not seen as better! Silly man.

  21. If marriage is the “gold standard” then couples in a civil partnership, which in the UK means same sex couples for whom marriage was simply not available, should have their CP automatically “upgraded” to a marriage. For a couple who have already been together for years, having to go through all the motions again just to make sure that their partnership is “gold standard” is unfair.

    Since I see no plans for this automatic conversion to marriage to be arranged, Maria Miller has no business insulting those in civil partnerships by calling marriage the “gold standard”.

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