Reader comments · MSP John Mason: We don’t force doctors to perform abortions, so why make registrars marry gays? · PinkNews

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MSP John Mason: We don’t force doctors to perform abortions, so why make registrars marry gays?

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  1. The Bishop 3 Oct 2013, 7:18pm

    It would be more appropriate to see if devout Catholic Registrars can currently refuse to marry divorcees. If they can’t, there is no basis to single out gay couples. That would be pure homophobia.

  2. This is a ridiculous argument.

    It’s as relevant as saying, we don’t force Muslims to eat pork or Hindus to eat beef so why should we force public officials to do the job they are paid for as it’s only a human rights issue the gays are complaining about.

    If you want to consider the abortion question as a genuine comparison then you may also want to consider the woman in Ireland who was denied an abortion as ‘it’s a Catholic country’, and died as a result of it not being performed.

    1. What sort of conscience allows this sort of thing to occur, frankly, If your conscience allows you to treat people less favourably for how they are born – race, gender, sexuality, ethnicity or as any other natural innate human; then there is something fundamentally wrong with your conscience and it does not require to be accommodated, and that includes forcing your religious beliefs on others, in the case in Ireland, in spite of the medical knowledge and known science, resulting in the unnecessary death of another human being.
      I have been listening carefully to John Mason and he comes over as an inveterate bigot, and not a subtle one at that.

    2. Gabe, regarding the abortion in Ireland, get your facts right. Not the case. Don’t ask for like for like comparisons then use one incorrectly.

  3. It seems that the SNP only support equality for LGBT people under certain circumstances – i.e. when bigots can opt of out of it.

    1. That would drive a coach and horses through equality legislation, not least- to not discriminate on grounds of religion, which is a two edged sword, and is equally likely to impact negatively on the religiously devout. They are really deluded into thinking that theirs is the only real true belief, and it will prevail; incredulous!

      1. The SNP government already asked for catholic adoption agencies to be exempt from UK equality legislation back in 2007, but the UK Labour government at the time refused. So the SNP advised a catholic adoption agency on how to use a loophole to get around that legislation. The SNP education minister gave his full support to this adoption agency just a few months ago when the Scottish charity regulator said it was breaking the law.

        So the SNP have shown that they are perfectly happy with opt outs on equality legislation for bigots under the guise of religious belief.

  4. bobbleobble 3 Oct 2013, 8:09pm

    That he can’t see the difference between abortion and same sex couples marrying is very troubling. But the abortion opt out is not a religious thing, it applies to any doctor who does not wish to actively participate in abortion for whatever reason. Allowing registrars to opt out on the basis of religion would enshrine religious bigotry in law and that is unacceptable.

  5. abortion / equal marriage – I just don’t see the similarity.

    At least he’s not using the ‘it will end the world’ line.

    1. There is time yet!

  6. I think this and the previous comment from the Scottish health secretary shows the real level of support amongst the SNP for SSM. We all know the arch homophobe Brian Souter is one of their main backers. How much influence must he be exerting to stop this in it’s tracks. The problem for him and the SNP is this has gone to far and has large popular support to try and stop it. I suspect as someone else has said the SNP will slop shoulders and blaim the equality’s act from Westminster for forcing registrars to do their job. Ridicules to suggest that registrars can opt out of doing their job in Scotland but not in England and Wales. Are the SNP really in favour of SSM or is this a vote and attention grabbing move?

    1. The SNP government knocked back the chance to legislate for equal marriage during their first term in office. The Public Petitions Committee recommended that they do so, but they said no less than 6 times that they weren’t interested.

      In a Pink News interview with Alex Salmond before the 2010 UK election, he said that the Scottish Parliament didn’t have the power for same sex marriage, that it was reserved to Westminster, so they couldn’t legislate for it – which was not true. No such powers have since been transferred to Holyrood, yet they’re doing it now.

      A month or 2 before the Scottish Parliament election in 2011, a Labour MSP asked if the SNP government had any plans to bring in same sex marriage and Kenny Mckaskill, the Justice Secretary, said no.

      They promised a consultation in their 2011 manifesto and did meet that. But they wouldn’t commit to it until they heard all views. Their attitude to it has been muted and not at all enthusiastic like their other policies.

  7. John Mason has been pushing this comparison throughout the hearings on Marriage Equality, and has been called out a number of times by witnesses.
    I could rebut John Masons argument with – if you are a devout Jew you do not seek employment in a non- kosher butchers any more than a vegetarian should be employed in a similar establishment and then claim exemption from handling meat because it is against her beliefs.
    In other words a public servant is duty bound to deal with everyone without discrimination and specifically not less favourably because they are female, gay, their race or ethnicity,their religious affiliation or any disability.
    Discriminating against same sex couples fails on two of those, Gender and sexual orientation.This man is a religious fanatic and a bigot.
    Last time I checked secular, registrar office marriage has nothing to do with ending or continuing with a pregnancy. and no medical procedure is in any way involved.

  8. The ‘phobes will be comparing SSM to assisted dying next. A warning to any Scottish gay people who believe the ‘Yes’ hype that independence is guaranteed to deliver a fairer, more socially liberal Scotland than the UK which has gone ahead and introduced SSM already. I don’t fancy the idea of a country where the likes of Souter & co have their finger on the windpipe of government. They’ll be waiting for their payback if it all goes through.

    1. theotherone 3 Oct 2013, 8:49pm

      i am becoming increasingly worried with what’s coming out about the Scottish government.

      this is my country and i love it but i fear i may not be welcome in it regardless of what happens with the independence vote

  9. theotherone 3 Oct 2013, 8:47pm

    i’m 39 this december, all but seven years of my life have been lived in scotland.

    i love this country but i may have to move if we get independence given the amount of stories about homophobia in the snp and the way they cave into the church.

    1. The SNP have caved into the catholic church on several occasions.

      When the catholic church demanded removal of any mention of condoms from safe sex literature to accompany cervical cancer vaccinations, the SNP government removed it from the literature given to all Scottish schools, not just catholic schools.

      The SNP advised St. Margaret’s adoption agency to defy equality laws and refuse to provide service to gay people. When the Scottish charity regulator said a few months ago that St. Margaret’s was breaking the law, the SNP education minister gave them his full support.

      Homophobic, catholic government minister, Roseanna Cunningham, was allowed to shirk her ministerial duties and not deal with the equal marriage legislation despite being the minister responsible.

      When the Scottish government were still deciding whether to legislate for equal marriage, senior ministers, including Salmond, held talks with the catholic church, church of Scotland and Glasgow mosque.

      1. theotherone 3 Oct 2013, 9:10pm

        best get out just like i did when the clause 28 thing was happening then.

        same old same old – scottish queers may love their homeland but it does not love them back

        1. John-Duka Thoral 4 Oct 2013, 4:21pm

          In that time I was demonstrating in Amsterdam when she was visiting the city.

      2. theotherone 3 Oct 2013, 9:11pm

        their health minister (not the present one, one a few years back) singled out a particular gender variant woman i know and discussed her fvcking medical history in the chamber of the parliament.

        1. Nicola Sturgeon? She was the previous Health Secretary. I didn’t know that. I hope your friend complained about it.

          1. Jane McQueen 3 Oct 2013, 11:52pm

            Unfortunately, the way parliaments are set up, any member of one be it in Scotland or in Westminster has absolute privileged and can say what they like without fear of any consequences. Though something like that is a blatant abuse of the power.

      3. Wait tile they go completely crazy after marriage passes next year. as expected

  10. Btw, why is John Mason, and Elaine Smith the other day, giving evidence to the committee? Surely as MSPs, they’ll have their chance to debate it and put forward their bigoted views when it comes to the chamber of the Scottish Parliament? Or can we look forward to them repeating their hateful bigotry?

  11. Likening same sex marriages to abortions is outrageously offensive.
    When “Christian” registrars refuse to register the subsequent marriages of divorcees and people who have had premarital sex, when they refuse to register the births of children of unmarried couples then it might look less like the sheer homophobic prejudice that it is posinbg as religious conscience.

    1. Couldn’t have said it better myself, Pavlos! It’s funny how their christian consciences only ever bother them when it’s about gay people.

      1. I think it is quite obvious that Christian “conscience” is just a polite euphemism for spiteful anti-gay prejudice.

    2. The stupidity of the religious in this regards is infuriating; you can’t tell us it’s about “sin” and following “the word of god” when you so blatantly ignore pretty much every other “sin” in the book and focus almost exclusively on LGBT people. God knows how thick they must think we are if they think we don’t notice such obvious hypocrisy.

  12. Robert in S. Kensington 3 Oct 2013, 9:27pm

    This was the same notion put forward by opponents south of the border and it was defeated overwhelmingly as a wrecking amendment put forth by the bigots in both chambers. It too will be defeated in Scotland, I’m confident of that.

  13. Lord Justice Laws said legislation for the protection of views held purely on religious grounds cannot be justified. Presumably, this would apply if any case was eventually taken to the British supreme court.

  14. Colin (London) 3 Oct 2013, 9:49pm

    Really what are we saying…is the individual more important than the many or the state, or should the state come first as it is responsible for everything.

    Scotland i’d suggest that actually the comment about Doctors and abortion is wrong but they manipulated.

    Please the world is trying to move on again. Do you really think religion takes responsibility for housing, food, environment, education, jobs etc.

    Please people of Scotland and I grew up there and you are good people face the future.

    Is gay human rights so difficult. we a minority group add more economically to you than any church or historic belief.

    We are of the now and future.

    Please good people speak up against this.

    Robert the Bruce moment eh.

    1. Colin (London) 3 Oct 2013, 9:56pm

      Who is the one responsible for failing families. Who is the one who works daily to provide incomes for you. Your Scotch Whisky and Oil and technological businesses.

      I know many talented Scots and this is not them. These people are out there in the world promoting and fighting for you. Please be big enough to embrace change. You know Scotland has a history of welcoming people from other countries and ways of life and integrating them.

      Well human rights for gay people as other countries have shown the way is your heritage.

  15. A doctor is required by the hirocratic oath to saving lives. If he objects to terminating life, I support that. A registrar on the other hand is there to register marriages. I don’t see a correlation AT ALL – you nasty bigot.

  16. wants ToKnow 4 Oct 2013, 2:45am

    Why? Maybe because Registrars are public servants.

  17. That, boys and girls, is the very definition of a “red herring” argument. It’s an apples and oranges comparison.

    An apples to apples comparison would be, “should doctors who perform abortions be allowed to choose who they will perform the abortions for based on their race, or their religion, or their political affiliation.”

    These people aren’t fighting to not have to perform marriages, they are fighting to be able to selectively choose to perform marriages for some people but not for others.


  18. Staircase2 4 Oct 2013, 3:03am

    …er…possibly because one is about taking a life of an unborn child while the other is about two grown adults deciding they WISH to come together as a married couple…?

    …yeah – so similar no…?

    …bloody idiot…

  19. The classic false equivalence argument of comparing apples with turnips,
    seems to be particularly common with religious fanatics.
    If you don’t have a valid argument lets mix it up by raising spurious and irrelevant issues, and don’t let the actual facts get in the way, It will stir up the “faithful”.

  20. i wouldn’t want to be married by bigoted and miserable looking registrar but at the same time i wouldn’t want them to get away with their bigotry by having the right to opt out. its a tricky one

  21. CH Brighton 4 Oct 2013, 7:51am

    John Mason is presumably trying to have his Easterhouse Baptist Church cake and eat his Equality cake at the same time. He shouldn’t. The mix will poison him.

  22. Mihangel apYrs 4 Oct 2013, 9:09am

    would he also support their right not to register deaths reported by SS spouses?

  23. GulliverUK 4 Oct 2013, 9:55am

    I don’t agree with doctors having any exemption on religious grounds, nobody else has that sort of exemption. It needs to be removed from the legislation. Doctors are forbidden from discriminating against people who are gay – just like registrars.

    1. James Campbell 3 Dec 2013, 7:34pm

      I am a doctor who would refuse to perform an abortion, but fortunately that is not my field. My reasons are NOT religious, but based on my knowledge of how sentient an embryo/foetus is. I therefore have a moral reason to object to abortion, unless the life of the mother is deemed at serious risk. It would be impossible to legislate to force doctors to destroy a life. However, in the UK no doctor is permitted to discriminate against a patient, including those who are gay.

  24. Why is it so flippin’ hard, for anyone to understand Equal Rights? It goes well beyond the right to marry. Heterosexuals tend to take for granted, rights they’ve always have had. LGBT’s merely want the exact same thing and we are being denied those rights. It’s not that hard but apparently in some countries, it is. The Netherlands got it right. Canada got it right and slowly but steadily, certain parts of the USA is getting it right. Keep fighting for Equal Rights. For those who “don’t get it” it’s time to do your homework. Like I said, this is by far much deeper than Marriage Rights.

  25. Jock S. Trap 4 Oct 2013, 10:23am

    Weird argument and rather pathetic since some of those ‘against’ abortion are fine with it if it’s based on gender!

    It’s a baseless argument and one these people never think through. We all pay taxes equally. Gay people have basically paid for straight people to get married whilst being denied.

    You wanna deny marriage to someone, become a Catholic Priest, or Christian… clearly the bigotry is already there but stop interfering with state marriage.

    All taxpayers fund registrars to do a job. If they don’t like that job there are plenty of people looking who do.

  26. “…So why make registrars marry gays?”

    The inference of the question is that gays alone may be singled out as being not like other human beings and that public services can be denied to them alone on the basis of an individual registrar’s arbitrary prejudice.

    I don’t understand why Christians are involving themselves at all in the business of registry marriages that are without religious content. .

    How do Christian registrars manage to square the role they play in facilitating the non-religious marriages of any couples with their fickle religious consciences?

    There seems to be no consistency in the way they apply their conscientious objection, it appears to be ordinary anti-gay prejudice and discrimination masquerading as religious conscience.

  27. Following this A holes logic – rascists shouldn’t have to marry immigrants, Blind people shouldn’t have to Stay on pavements, and I should be able to refuse my services to Daily Mail readers and Tory scum –

  28. I’m not so sure that doctors ‘should’ be able to be excused from performing abortions. If it’s part of your job description, then you should be prepared to do it. Or leave your job. It’s the same way, if a vegan (and I am one myself) decided to work at a fast food restaurant, but then refused to serve meat because of my personal views. Now, I’m entitled to those views, but I’m also employed to do a job. And it’s even less appropriate to be able to discriminate members of the public based on your private beliefs.
    That said, I’m no fan of abortion, but I’m even less of a fan of the gov’t telling me what I can and can’t do with my own body. As crude as this sounds, until a life form can support itself, it’s still a parasite. And so, the rights of the one carrying the parasite should be considered first. As for excusing registrars from performing their jobs? I’d sack those who don’t.

  29. What’s even more worrying about this is that John Mason is a member of the Equal Opportunities Committee who are scrutinising this bill and who will recommend any amendments (good or bad) and who also recommend if the bill should even proceed any further or not.

    It’s bad enough that bigoted MSPs can vote on bills, but the Scottish Parliament is deeply flawed if a homophobic bigot like this can actually influence the progress of the bill on the Committee too.

  30. John Mason is an individual, a sad individual as it happens in my eyes with his narrow minded opinion, however it is his opinion and no matter how unsuitable it’s his. He DOES NOT represent the vast vast majority of SNP MSPs who do support the movement so please don’t use this as a political football. There are also those in other parties who although their party may be in the majority in supporting equal marriage do not themselves support it. The only thing that is important is these people are allowed their views, narrow minded as they may be – but it allows the issue to be highlighted and discussed I the media and through discussion and education the public understand the issue more clearly and support it – as the majority of people and MSPs already do.

  31. A spurious comparison. It may well be against a doctor’s conscience to take life, just as it may well be against a registrar’s conscience to engage in gay sex. But they are not being asked to take part in gay sex – simply to carry out their job and marry taxpayers who pay their salaries.

  32. James Campbell 3 Dec 2013, 7:40pm

    Comparing a medical procedure with the civil duty of a paid registrar is ridiculous. Doctors are paid to make decisions which may (or may not) result in saving lives, but are not in a position (in the UK at least) to decide whether they will treat the patient or not. However, registrars are paid to do the job they were appointed to do *without exception*.

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