Defining marriage to exclude gays!

I am always busy on a Thursday night, so I always miss the politics programmes. Why do all of them have to be broadcast on a Thursday? It must be boring for those not interested in politics, and is frustrating for those of us addicts who like our daily fix of politics.

I have just caught up with Thursday’s QT and a claim by Cardinal O’Brian that proposals for gay marriage are “redefining” the meaning of marriage!

The term marriage, in my experience, seems to have a much wider meaning, than the narrow one that the Cardinal wishes to restrict it to.

When I was doing woodwork in school we had to do joints, mine were never good enough because they didn’t marry together!

When I watch antiques programmes on the telly I hear the term marriage for two bits of antiquity that don’t naturally belong together but are, however, joined together – like a 19th century mirror on a 18th century dressing table.

The person trying to redefine the word marriage is the Cardinal; he is trying to claim that the word marriage can only be used to describe Holy Matrimony as accepted by the Roman Catholic Church. But he is wrong, even there.

When Catholic people were executed for the abomination of homosexuality, they were condemned for the sin of marriage of men, so the Catholic Church actually acknowledges that gay marriage exists, even if it has never approved of it, because it has murdered people for partaking in it!

If the Cardinal doesn’t want to ask God’s blessing on the marriage of two men or two women, he shouldn’t be forced to do so; but why should a Catholic dictate that I, as a Methodist, shouldn’t be allowed by law to ask God for that blessing?

In civil proceedings what practical difference is there between a civil partnership and a civil marriage? None! Why should a man-woman civil proceeding be given a different term to that of the same man-man or woman-woman civil proceeding?


  1. As Ben Summerskill put it "If you don't like same sex marriage, don't marry someone of the same sex."

  2. you are right of course... in practice the Catholic church has redefined marriage several times in its history, and outside that church marriage has mean many things, plural marriages, marriage by proxy, child marriage etc, there is even evidence for the blessing of same sex marriages in the early middle ages.

    His language was deliberately inflammatory, and those states and jurisdictions that already have gay marriage have not yet fallen into the sea....

  3. The Roman Catholic Church tried the same tactics of using inflammatory language in the run-up to the national elections before last in Spain when the then Government was pushing gay marriage legislation through the Cortes. Of course Spain is much more of a Catholic nation than the UK, but the Government got is Bill through the Cortes and it became law.

    No doubt that wacko religious cult in the US (Westboro Baptist) and its Phelps clan put the 'recession' down to the 'gays', but I think we can safely ignore such people, whether of the Catholic faith or any other. I think there is general agreement amongst the major political parties in most parts of the UK (no doubt the DUP in NI remains an exception) that civil same-sex marriage would be a 'good thing' and it seems that the legislation will probably allow those religions that wish to to carry out these marriages, too. It would be wrong to be complacent of course, but I think the momentum now exists for the change to happen relatively quickly.

    I'm also a political junkie of course, and always listen to 'Any Questions' on Radio4 on Friday evenings (repeated 2pm Saturday) and Cristina Odone was on the panel, spouting the usual scare stories and garbled hate-speech. It's a sign of the "religionsists'" desperation, that's all.

  4. If there's one thing that should be abolished it's organised religions such as the catholic church. They are one of the most foul organisations there is.

    Here's a few of their crimes against hummanity.

    Guilty of helping spread AIDs throughout the developing world by it's banning of contraception.
    Guilty of hushing up paedophilia practiced by it's members right across the globe.
    Guilty of doing nothing to help the millions who died during the holocaust.

    Not only should same sex marriage be allowed but man/woman couples should also be allowed to have civil partnerships too. Although quite how I would be able to propose that without Mrs Stu slapping me across the head is a question for another day.

  5. I think it is up to the church to decide who they will or won't marry via their religious belief and institution's. There is ample opportunity for gays to form partnerships legally elsewhere, can't see what the fuss is about. It is pretty clear Gays do NOT challenge Islamic religious areas at all in the UK, nor would they dare. What concerns me personally is the 'war' on Christianity which is a war gays CANNOT wage on other religions in the UK, OK if they can shut the Imams up and close down their dogma and prevent preaching against gays there, I'd agree, but not until there is a clear parity under the law. Even then I would I suppose respect the right of those who have long-held beliefs in their religion to be allowed to hold them. After all it is no less than gays are asking, if you don't like what christians/catholics declare join another erlsionn or none at all, simples...

    1. MM. you're always saying this sort of that people take liberties with Christianity that they wouldn't dare with Islam. But isn't it a good thing that mainstream Christianity has become so civilised that it doesn't much go in for persecition anymore. It's not a sign of weakness but of strength that they're not bothered about mockers and dissidents. To some extent they have imbibed enlightenment values.

      It's actualy good that religion should be mocked and challenged although individuals should be respected. That proves we live in an open society. I would just draw the line at stirring up hatred or spreading vicious lies about a reigious or ethnic group. Those Islamists who stir up murder and mayhem are not strong. They're bullies, and bullying is a sign of weakness.

      I noticed that on some site you complained about people having a go at 'weak' religions, but I would suggest that if they don't respond to imagined insults with fatwas, they're strong and mature, at least comparitively. Maybe one day the Islamic world will get there too. I will just say in fairness that I have seen individual Muslims on TV who have no problem with gay marriage, and I've found people of Islamic background extremely hospitable, generous and patient.

      Marianne, Y Fenni

  6. The problem with the Catholic Church's stance is that they are not saying that they are opposed as an institution to Gay Marriage, they are saying that institutions out with the Catholic Church shouldn't be allowed to perform gay marriages if they so desire. I understand that the Quakers would welcome the opportunity to perform such marriages as would some liberal Jewish denominations; nonconformist churches tend to have a lax, it's up to the congregation and the minister, attitude.

    Registrars shouldn't make moral distinctions as they belong to the secular arm of the state.

    I thought that the Archbishop of York's intervention that the Government have got a problem because the definition of marriage is in the 1662 Prayer Book and Article 30 of the Church of England, which are both Acts of Parliament was bloody insulting to me as a Methodist – it might have escaped the Archbishop's attention, but my brand of Christianity told the Anglicans where to stick their Prayer Book over 200 years ago, and Wales was disestablished 90 years ago!

    I might agree that organizations like Stonewall shouldn't be allowed to force their beliefs about the meaning of marriage on the Methodist Church but neither should Catholics or Anglicans.

    If we had a situation where churches were forced to allow gays to marry, I would oppose it for the same reasons as I oppose the current situation where churches are forced not to allow gays to marry - because I believe that such decisions are things that churches should decide for themselves after much prayer and meditation.

  7. I would empathise if Gays were prevented from 'marriage' but they have a right in civil law don't they ? So I wouldn't see the catholic (Or any other religious Stance), as unreasonable. It isn't just the church is it ? there are numerous 'male/female' only areas that exist, gays accept and do not challenge, there isn't consistency. The gay lobby is far to powerful at present, in many views. They do appear to have it in for the poor ole Christians. I am wondering if the right of belief/Worship is being overridden or even ignored in the quest for rights. Which one has a priority is uncomfortable for me to go with. I cannot set a 'list' where one person's want is over another's. I don't see Gay people victimised here they have alternatives. Choice seems not the same as rights.

  8. MM, I take issue with every single sentence of your comment, and shall deal with them one by one below:

    “I would empathise if Gays were prevented from 'marriage' but they have a right in civil law don't they ?”

    'Gays' (sic) are prevented from marriage in civil law, that is why the government is planning to legalise civil law marriages.

    “So I wouldn't see the catholic (Or any other religious Stance), as unreasonable.”

    As your first point was false this sentence is pointless, however I would note that as the catholic (and Anglican) churches are trying to dictate dictate policy on matters that have no bearing on their church with no democratic mandate that they are entirely unreasonable.

    “It isn't just the church is it ? there are numerous 'male/female' only areas that exist, gays accept and do not challenge, there isn't consistency.”

    Could you give an example of a 'male/female area' as I can't see what you're talking about. Are you talking about things like male or female only changing rooms etc.? In which case what does this have to do with marriage?

    “The gay lobby is far to powerful at present, in many views.”

    In whose views? Who are 'the gay lobby' anyway?

    “They do appear to have it in for the poor ole Christians.”

    Are 'the gay lobby' (sic) demanding that Christians should not be allowed to get married? And that churches should not be allowed to marry people if they want? It is in fact the homophobic churches which seem to have it in for the Christians who actually do want to marry gay people. Historically it has usually been the case that when a Christian has been victimised for their beliefs, it has usually been another branch of Christianity doing to victimising! Maybe you should remember that when you next play the victim card.

    “I am wondering if the right of belief/Worship is being overridden or even ignored in the quest for rights.”

    You need wonder no more, they aren't!

    No one, not even The Gay Lobby is demanding that Christians should not have the right to believe and worship whatever they like. The only issue at stake is whether the church should be allowed to dictate public policy and impose their wishes upon people outside their church.

    “Which one has a priority is uncomfortable for me to go with. I cannot set a 'list' where one person's want is over another's.”

    There is no list because there is no conflict between a Christian's right to believe what they want and gay peoples right to get married if they want. Gay people cannot force Christians to marry a person of the same sex and Christians shouldn't prevent gay couples from getting married, it seems fair enough to me.

    “I don't see Gay people victimised here they have alternatives.”

    What are these 'alternatives'?

    “Choice seems not the same as rights.”

    It is when someone wants the right to actually make a choice, for example to choose to get married.

  9. MM this isn't an argument about "gay rights" v "religious rights", if it was I would be on religions side 100%. It is a question about religious freedom!

    The law, as it stands, says that a Methodist Minister cannot marry a gay couple. The Catholic Church and the Church of England are saying that such a prohibition should remain in force against the Methodist Church (and other faith groups).

    My opinion is that it should be the Methodist Conference which decides on the ordinances of the Methodist Church, not the Westminster Parliament, not the Welsh Assembly and certainly not the Synod of the Church of England or the prejudices of the Church of Rome!

  10. "MM this isn't an argument about "gay rights" v "religious rights", if it was I would be on religions side 100%. It is a question about religious freedom!"

    Yer pays yer money you make that choice... It is, and there is no proper platform to debate/oppose either, there is no place for compromise, and the human rights system in the UK is an in-joke for rights lawyers coining it anyway. With some luck we can deport most of them to Afghanistan where they can oppose all they like...... I cannot accept any pecking order of rights, I don't care what lobby it is. We will have to agree to differ.

  11. Actually we don't have to agree to differ because you don't seem to have grasped what the issue is, you are promoting that certain churches should have a veto over what other churches can do, and indeed what the civil authorities can do. No one is suggesting that the Catholic or Anglican Church in England be compelled to marry same sex couples. What is being suggested is that civil marriages be an option for same sex couples, no religious rights infringed at all.

  12. Sigh, this is the issue isn't it, ? people who oppose never understand. If we had an ceiniog for every time we got that response....... Most token polls in the uk so far are 6/7-4 against. Those that were 'for' could not give a real reason why they approved, they just came out with the stock "Live and let live.." which is the good old UK attitude of 'beats me mate..." Joe Public is basically apathetic, and scared witless of minority lobbies but still believe in the concept of marriage is of a man and a woman. The main reason for the NO vote given, was interference in church/religious affairs. So many of us don't understand do we .... the majority is wrong the minority is right. But we are talking people who voted NO who were NOT church going, nor declared as interested in religion.. No we won't differ, I'm with the No's now !

  13. But you have still not addressed the issue in your petulant response MM. Why should any other body, be it political or religious, define the ordinances of the Methodist Church other than the Methodist Conference? Why should Catholics, Anglicans, Atheists, Politicians or even you decide who an Unitarian minister can marry?

  14. Not my business not yours, and I am supporting those who do attend religion to act as they please, it's their belief. Petulant ? I am simply agreeing with the right to hold belief. There are more important issues than just gay rights frankly, i.e. everyone else's. As I read politica IS attempting to overrule religion by declaring its own stance on what marriage means. I have no idea WHAT you are actually saying except you support Gay rights to an religious type of marriage, which is in the church's domain not ours. Let them have a civil partnership whatever I wouldn't support an religion being overruled.

  15. MM Misery is a preacher, I think that what he is saying and you don't get is that it is up to him who he decides to marry, he is also well known for being a homophobe so he wouldn't allow gays to marry in his church, he wants to ban gays from marrying in his church himself because he don't like them not because the Tory's or the Catholics say he cant

  16. I have no problem with what a church wants to do, but its ordinances stop at its doors, it has no right to tell me what I should do or not do. It certainly has no right in telling the state that it has no right to permit people of the same sex to marry. It has no right telling another church what it may do. Marriage is not a biological construct its a social one, we have moved on from the days when some jurisdictions banned trans racial marriage, we have by statute modified what marriage is many times. Perhaps the state should replace all marriage with civil marriage letting individual churches to conduct what ever services they like, but the state will not recognise the marriage unless there is a civil ceremony as well (as happens in countries like France). That way the Catholic and other churches can continue to refuse to marry people of the same sex and the rest of us can get on with life.

  17. What a stupid comment anon, for your information I am neither a minister of religion or a homophobe

  18. Church/Civil who cares basically... this is the great British approach, Brits are almost totally apathetic, we don't care what anyone does, but, we will oppose those who do because that makes us think, and we don't want to do that or make decisions..... If not for that apathetic approach, most mistakenly assume we are a democracy, and not a nation of bone-idle couch potatoes who don't care really. Not many races can manage that balancing act, it stops us kicking the doo-dahs out of each other,just bleat "Cest la Vie" and adopt the moral high ground... I think those with that view are the biggest hypocrites.

    1. Well, MM, I don't think it's hypocritical to live and let live where other people are not doing any harm.And let's hear it for couch potatoes. Conviction and pushiness are overrated. If you think you know what's best for other people and try to impose it on them, you're one of the most dangerous people in the world. A guy who does nothing all day but lie on a couch, watching game shows and playing with himself, isn' doing any harm.