Here\’s the danger over gay marriage

But a further 28% of voters thought that gay people should be allowed to get married to each other and religious organisations should be required to provide wedding ceremonies to gay people.

That\’s what the problem is. Someone wants to start the \”Catholic Church which provides gay marriages despite Il Papa\”?

Go for it. Have fun.

No, really.

Someone wants to insist that the current Catholic Church, which does indeed see Il Papa as Christ\’s personal rep here on Earth, must provide gay marriage?

Sorry matey, fuck off.

And therein lies the problem. For once religious gay marriage is allowed then in come all those EU laws about human rights and non-discrimination on the grounds of sexuality and so on.

The correct solution to this is the Portuguese one. There is, as a legally recognised anything at all, only one form of marriage. State marriage. Which is indeed available to any pair of adult human beings in all of the varied and delightful variants of gender, sexuality and genetic makeup.

Religious marriage simply does not exist as far as the State is concerned.

It clearly and obviously exists as far as the churches are concerned: but they are free to make up any damn rules they like about it. And as such they cannot be coerced into offering any form of it that they don\’t wish to.

Which is, as the private organisations that they are, the way it should be.

So I\’m afraid that I\’m against the current gay marriage proposals. What we need to do instead is strip all legal responsibility for marriage from all of the churches. Marriage, by law, is what happens at the registry office. Where you have the party afterwards, who and how you celebrate it, what further promises or statements you make, are entirely up to you.

And do have fun with your liberty and freedom, won\’t you?

71 comments on “Here\’s the danger over gay marriage

  1. I agree with that solution, but it may require disestablishing the Church of England (which is probably a good idea anyway).

  2. And do have fun with your liberty and freedom, won’t you?

    Yes, but as I keep pointing out, liberal Britain is dead. This is not what anyone (of any importance) wants. After all, the market for any sort of Gay marriage is roughly three men and a mangy daschund. No one is interested. What they are interested in is bullying the Catholic Church (and some others). The aim is to make everyone toe the party line.

    So the Portuguese solution is a non-starter. It would be humane and civilised. Thus no one is interested. This is about power.

  3. I agree with Tim and indeed suggested this as a solution to my MP over a year ago. Needless to say she was horrified at the suggestion.

  4. The UK has a state church, so that church does what the state tells it to do. That’s the price of being in the bosom of the taxpayer and having unelected bishops in the legislature. If the CoE doesn’t like it they can terminate the relationship.

  5. Sorry Tim. The Church is where you make a solemn committment to another person in the sight of the community. The Registry Office is for tax, property and benefits purposes. Render unto Caesar and all that jazz.

  6. @GOM, you can do the former in a registry office as well. You even have to say something like “I promise to be, like, you know, married until we get divorced”.

  7. Actually, I’d go the other way. There is no longer any reason to keep “marriage” as a state recognised by the State, at least given its treatment in the UK. It has very little effect on anything (tax, birth, adoption, inheritance). Abolish the concept in law, but provide a replacement for managing joint property rights (to cover inheritance).

  8. On the other hand, churches have been permitted to refuse to marry transexuals for some time now. The “T” part of the LBGTQ* lobby is one of the more activist. Yet we haven’t had any court cases …

    And, of course, divorcees. Some of whom might want a church wedding. Less organised, of course. But rather more numerous.

    * I don’t apologise if I’ve left an pressure group off this irritating list.

  9. The Church is where you make a solemn committment to another person in the sight of the community.

    Considering how little of the community actually goes to church, never mind your specific one, the only community you’re demonstrating anything too is your church. Many of whom would come to your registry office wedding if invited.

  10. Yes, let’s disestablish the CoE and leave it (like other clubs for consenting adults) to manage its own affairs.

    GOM: no I don’t

    JamesV: no you don’t. All you have to do is say that there’s no legal impediment to the marriage, and that you agree to marry – there’s a choice of the exact words. And you can add whatever vows you like, within reason.

    CHF: marriage (or civil partnership) bestows the right to tax-free inheritance.

  11. I agree with CHF.
    There is no need for the state or the law to have any involvement.
    Religious aspects should obviously not be a state matter.
    There a no impacts on Tax and Benefits, once the Conservatives drop the ludicrous married tax-break idea. If there is an exception of inheritance it needs fixing anyway; it is insane to punish those who have been cohabiting for 40 years and reward someone who married 6 months ago.
    So IMHO the government has no need to define it, conduct it, legislate over it, count those who have entered into it, etc etc etc.
    Problem solved. And much time and money saved.

  12. After all, the market for any sort of Gay marriage is roughly three men and a mangy daschund.

    Bollocks. Utter bollocks.

  13. SE – “* I don’t apologise if I’ve left an pressure group off this irritating list.”
    You did. Queer. Or that’s what was claimed by a commentator on a thread here a while ago. Although what exactly ‘queer’ means was somewhat elusive. Maybe sexually attracted to shoes or something.
    S’pose that’ll be the next big issue. Discrimination against footwear. A gumboot’s right to adopt. Or would that have to be a consenting pair?

  14. When did they drop the “til death do us part” or equivalent from the civil marriage?

    Sensible to drop it, since the ready availability of divorce made it a nonsense.

    But I think it was still compulsory only around 15 years ago (reading the registry office blurb while bored at one of the wife’s relative’s weddings).

  15. Mildly interesting fact; the first true divorce in England (in the modern sense, where there was no annulment and the original marriage was accepted as fully valid) was that of the Earl of Macclesfield in 1698.

  16. SMFS.

    Yes, but as I keep pointing out, liberal Britain is dead.

    Yes, but as I keep pointing out, that’s fucking hilarious coming from an unapologetic supporter of Generals Franco & Pinochet.

  17. C’mon Tim, don’t give in that easily: you shouldn’t really agree with the Murphmeister!

    Our Murph seems to think that you’re married when the State says so. So he wants the church to bless the State’s declaration: in his eyes, the church can only sanction what the State has created. He’s making the State the author of all good, as usual.

    But as you say, you are only married in law when the State says so; you can be married in the eyes of society without the State’s invention at all.

    What matters is the promise, not the State. So you are married when you first promise, in public, to have and to hold etc. In short, it doesn’t matter in which order the events take place, because you are married at the first promise. What counts is society and promise, not State and law.

    In other words, you should flatly disagree with him, because in his conception he has confused the State with society.

  18. You did. Queer. Or that’s what was claimed by a commentator on a thread here a while ago.

    Oh, I thought i had written “LBGTQ” and, in fact I had. I think the last Q in “LBGTQQ” stands for “questioning”?

    So, I checked. And apparently it is now LBGTTQQIAA. Trans-sexual and trans-gender are splitters (although I always remember my latin teacher saying ‘nouns have gender, people have sex’); the second Q is ‘questioning’; there is now something called ‘inter-sex’, which I suppose is what you have on the internet; and the As stand for Asexual and Ally or Alliance.

    I bet you they have some outstanding committee meetings about what order all these letters should be put in (the Priory of GLBTetcetc seem to be the main counter-revolutionaries.) Proper Two Ronnies or Monty Python gag stuff but taken with a mixture of outraged hurt and po-faced seriousness by the pitiful participants.

  19. Richard: The Act for Marriages in England 1836, which legalized civil marriage ceremonies, stipulated simply that:

    in some Part of the Ceremony and in the Presence of such Registrar and Witnesses, each of the Parties shall declare,
    ‘I do solemnly declare, That I know not of any lawful Impediment why I A.B. may not be joined in Matrimony to C.D.’
    And each of the Parties shall say to the other,
    ‘I call upon these Persons here present to witness that I A.B. do take thee C.D. to be my lawful wedded Wife [or Husband.]‘

  20. Tim, I entirely agree with you. If someone wants a marriage recognised by the state for legal reasons, they should have a state marriage. Outside of the state marriage, anyone can be entirely free to have any kind of religious marriage ceremony they desire, but obviously nobody else is compelled to lay it on for them. If necessary, it’s up to them to arrange their own religious ceremony. Nobody is forced to do anything against their will. Everyone’s winner.

  21. Barking mad, iznit? Imagine saying in 1967 that legalising buggeration would end up here. Imagine putting it in a novel, back then. It wouldn’t even read as plausible, but you might have got away with it as some kind of Logan’s Run type satire. Gay marriage. Execution at age 30.Whatever.

    When I was a youngster and started to get a knowledge of history, one thing that fascinated me was the Christianisation of Rome. I couldn’t understand why nobody- the majority (initially) Pagans- just put a stop to it. It seemed to me that surely, they would have got together and said, “this worshipping a dead Jew, it’s a bit silly isn’t it?” but they didn’t. So I wondered what it was like to live in a society descending into that kind of “hegemonic insanity”.

    It was only later I realised I was actually living in one.

    Of course, this will happen, just as from our retrospective perspective, it was inevitable that eventually the Romans would be legally bound to prostrate themselves before an executed criminal. Societal madness has an inertia. In the early stages- when the hammer is still in the air- the threat seems so ridiculous that nobody takes it seriously. So what if a few slaves and vagabonds, footsoldiers and minor artisans, and a few daffy old matrons, are fond of this new Oriental cult? By the time the hammer falls, it is too late. All you can do is sit there with a cup of wine and an expression of mesmerised disbelief, watching the nutty hordes.

    Ultimately, a pagan had no argument against Christianisation other than “it’s barking mad, this”. It is a good argument, but useless against the glassy eyed mob of fanatics.

    And now, here we are.

    It’s barking mad, this.

  22. Tim, I agree with you, but would hope that it would not be beyond possibility that the state may consider it safe to devolve the legal function to certain trustworthy groups, be it the Catholic Church, the C of E or (as in Scotland) Humanist Society of Scotland.

    I think it is wrong for the State to ban gay marriages in C of E churches. That decision is for the church, not the state. But at present, the C of E is obliged to marry people in church, even if they are professed atheists. Though the Establishment of the C of E may well be a reason why it is so wishy-washy (starting with Elizabeth I’s desire to keep her throne). But there is clearly a piece of nonsense here which needs to be resolved.

  23. I think it is wrong for the State to ban gay marriages in C of E churches.

    Don’t worry. There may be an initial show of doing this, but it won’t last for any appreciable time. The Proggies have a long history of introducing some measure with promises like “A will not include B” and “A will not lead to B” and “anyone who says A will lead to B is a scaremonger shilling for [insert demonic enemy here]“.

    Then after the dust has settled, B is brought in because, you know, “circumstances have changed” or a legal challenge or, most usually, “it is silly for B to be an exception when we all agree that A” and there is a fait accompli.

    It is really quite important I think to apply the simple rule that one must never trust anything a Progressive says. They are intrinsically programmed to lie about what they are doing, lie about why they are doing it and, particularly, lie about what they intend doing next.

    “I won’t come in your mouth” is generally followed by “now my penis is in your mouth, it makes no sense to discriminate against ejaculation” followed by, “there, that wasn’t so bad was it? I think we can both agree that we made the right choice.”

  24. I hope there is no-one left in this country credulous enough to accept any guarantees coming from the cast iron cameroid.
    This proposal would achieve only one tangible addition to the suite of right and responsibilities of a civil partnership, and that would be the ability to ambush the established churches. And lawyers familiar with the ECHR have already warned that any case brought against the church for denial of a wedding service on the ground of sexual orientation, would succeed.

  25. For SE’s benefit, I’d like to state that I’m trans and I think the laundry list of letters is ridiculous. I don’t see myself as part of their movement either. Particularly in this case they aren’t doing themselves any favours.

    As to the marriage question, I’m pretty much in agreement with CHF and the other Alex. As for the Church, they should certainly not be forced to go against their consciences. Failing that, the Portuguese system seems a pretty good bet.

    The battle within the Church on this topic would be better resolved I think with a split. Numbers on each side might be smaller, but I think each group would be healthier for it. But what would I know? I’m not religious.

  26. There is a strong argument for all state-recognised civil partnerships to be carried at the Mairie, as in France, let alone Portugal, while marriage reverts to being a purely religious ceremony recognising a private agreement between two people before God (by whichever name you choose to call Him).
    @ SE #9
    You are wrong – anyone can attend a church wedding (I’ve attended two or three where I wasn’t invited and there were about a hundred people without invitations at mine – most registry offices have space for half-a-dozen witnesses; do you think Hyde Park is a registry office?). The point about calling banns is to give everyone who might have reason to challenge the marriage an opportunity to do so but Registry Office weddings are almost in secret.

  27. I have no real problem with Tim’s proposal – civil marriage for whoever wants it, and religions can do what they like. But the actual article was about Farage seeking to exploit Tory dissent on the issue because (according to him) the drinkers in one of the many pubs he claims as his local are against gay marriage. Can we stop the pretence that UKIP are libertarian please?

  28. Luke; gay marriage is neither libertarian nor, er, non-libertarian.

    Denationalising marriage is libertarian.

    On that basis- classical liberal or libertarian- to “strip all legal responsibility for marriage from all of the churches” is as wrongheaded as you can get, unless you also strip it from the State. Traditionally, marriage in England (as in most other places before modern governmint) was a private matter. It required neither Church nor State. Hence, you married outside the church, then went in to have God bless it as well. It took the Church centuries to drag marriage inside the Church. Then it took some more centuries to drag into into a grim council office to be approved by a bureaucrat.

    The libertarian position should be that marriage- like most other things- should be returned to the people, not be in the gift of any institution, either religious or the State.

  29. With all this marriage liberalisation going on, I was thinking up other people/things people could marry. People marrying their pets is an obvious one. People marrying children is out of fashion nowadays, but could make a comeback. People could marry robots and artificial intelligences, or characters from video games. People marrying flat-mates, business partners, cult leaders, or people provided by agencies for various tax and legal purposes are perhaps a little more mundane, but seem faintly plausible.

    Then I thought, companies are a sort of legal ‘person’, in that for a variety of purposes (like being sued) they are treated as distinct from the employees and shareholders/owners. “Legal personality” they call it.

    So could you marry a company? With all the legal rights of marriage over the company assets? I don’t know if there’s any application for it, but I’m sure there are people who would try it just to get on TV. And if there *are* financial applications, this could be *big*.

    I note that countries and some temples can also have legal personality. What happens if they have children…?

  30. there is now something called ‘inter-sex’, which I suppose is what you have on the internet;

    Intersex is where you’re born with physical characteristics that aren’t 100% male or female. Kleinfelter’s syndrome, for instance.

    The general rule with the letters is the same as that old saw about driving on the motorway. You know how when you’re driving, everybody going faster than you is a dangerous idiot and everyone going slower is a drooling moron? With the LBGTABCWTF, your “speed” is the letter you wish to identify with. Everybody who uses less letters is an ignorant bigot and everybody who uses more is a screeching oppression junkie. If you’re straight you have zero letters so everybody seems like an oppression junkie.

  31. Ian B: happily the Marriage Act 1994 has allowed couples to enjoy a civil marriage outside grim register offices, in the approved premises of their choice – there are many available. Thanks are due to the celebrated libertarian Gyles Brandreth.

  32. Ian B @ 32

    “Traditionally, marriage in England (as in most other places before modern governmint) was a private matter. It required neither Church nor State. Hence, you married outside the church, then went in to have God bless it as well. It took the Church centuries to drag marriage inside the Church. Then it took some more centuries to drag into into a grim council office to be approved by a bureaucrat.”

    I genuinely have no idea what you are talking about. Now,marriage (in the eyes of the law), includes C of E, and registry. Nothing else. That’s been the case for ages. Like our host, I’m a papist. The law has not acknowledged our church’s marriages for several hundred years. What are you on about?

  33. That’s because you are an unpleasant, illiberal, reactionary, authoritarian golf player. Stay in Spain or wherever, and let those who actually live in modern Britain run it.

  34. I agree that your solution is a fine one, but I doubt that legal gay marriage would have the anti-discrimination implications you fear. Marriage in a church is a holy sacrament of the church – at least for Anglicans and presumably Catholics. I would be amazed if churches are forced to provide this for unions that they belive are contrary to their religion. The religious have rights too. I’m sure I could dig out a whole bunch of caselaw, but I don’t think it’s necessary.

    Cameron’s fudge of allowing gay marriage but banning CoE from doing it is probably contrary to human rights, however. There’ll be some gay couple somewhere who attend a church with a gay vicar who’ll argue that the imposed selective ban is a discriminatory interference with their right to marry in a way which can’t be justified.

    It’s one thing to allow churches to discriminate. It’s another to require them to do so.

  35. Sand_ viper, I think you’re doing your beat to be reasonable.

    But let’s hear someone from the supposed libertarian party (UKIP) just say something libertarian – how about “I support gay marriage”?

    Come on Mr Worstall, it wouldn’t hurt.

  36. Luke, was that addressed to me? I’ve never even been abroad, let alone specifically to Spain. The only golf I’ve ever played was crazy golf in my tiny years. What the fuck are you talking about?

    On the rest of it, I’m a social liberal (and overtly so), and libertarian, as numerous posts here and elsewhere would indicate.

    Are you on some kind of hallucinatory chemicals at the moment? I really am at a loss.

  37. ^^^Above was in response to Luke @38

    In response to Luke@41, there is nothing “libertarian” about imposing the desires of special interest groups on the entire population by force of law. Which definition of “libertarian” are you using? The one in which all social and civil matters are defined by and managed by the State? Because I hate to tell you this, that definition doesn’t actually exist and may be another artifact of your current hallucinatory dysfunction.

  38. My understanding (and I’m open to information to the contrary) is that until 1753 marriage was defined by canon law, i.e. it was whatever the Church of England said; from 1753 it was governed by civil law, but had to take place in a CoE church, with exceptions for Jews and Quakers; and from 1837 civil marriages and marriages in any licensed place of public worship (including Roman Catholic churches) were recognized.

  39. Paul, if you go back you find that the Church originally had nothing to do with it, hence Chaucer’s wife of Bath having had “five husbands at the Church door”.

    The marriage was a secular ceremony; in the centuries after Christianisation, it became customary for it to be “blessed” in the church, so you had your marriage outside “at the door”, then went in for the blessing. A marriage was formed simply by declaring it to be so by the participants; hence the need for witches.

  40. Paul B, not sure about the position in 1837, but most Catholics who get married in an RC church do the registry office as well. Maybe we’re wasting our time…I have no real problem with this – I’m
    an atheist, and quite accept that we’re not an established church. But thanks anyway – Quakers I know nothing about.

  41. Still waiting for the libertarian party to say “I’m
    in favour of gay marriage.”
    Come on… It won’t hurt.

  42. When I grew up marriages were registered; all CofE rectors/vicars were automatically registrars and any Free Church or Roman Catholic minister/priest could preside over a marriage but had to apply for a licence which was granted virtually automatically. Any CofE Vicar who wanted to perform a marriage other than at the bride’s parish church had equally to apply for a special licence. The discrimination cut in when the bride was not being married in front of her own community, defined in terms of her parish church.
    Luke should learn about the rules before lecturing us.

  43. Bad, bad solution. This will allow men to “marry” in some church and get away freely when they decide they want to “upgrade” to a “newer model”, because they were never married before the law in the first place .

  44. Ian B: I don’t follow you. How are the Wife of Bath’s five church weddings evidence that the church had nothing to do with weddings?

  45. Sand_Viper – “I would be amazed if churches are forced to provide this for unions that they belive are contrary to their religion. The religious have rights too. I’m sure I could dig out a whole bunch of caselaw, but I don’t think it’s necessary.”

    Start digging. Because the Churches have already been forced to give children to Gay couples for adoption. There is plenty of precedent about this.

    Chav Queen Bess – “Bad, bad solution. This will allow men to “marry” in some church and get away freely when they decide they want to “upgrade” to a “newer model”, because they were never married before the law in the first place .”

    Really? Suddenly I am warming to this after all.

    Notice this is precisely what some members of the Muslim community are doing – they are marrying legally once and then any extra marriages are religious ones. So I take it everyone here is fine with a return to polygamy in a formal sense?

  46. Paul-

    It’s not the fiveness of the weddings, it’s the “at the church door” bit. The marriage was outside the church, because it was not a religious ceremony. Since however Christians desired the marriage to be approved by God as well, they then went into the church for a blessing by the priest. But they were already married by that point.

    Just outside the church (“at the door”) was thus a convenient place to get married. Saved a long walk, kind of thing.

  47. Luke: my understanding is that one needs to notify the Register Office of one’s intention to get married in a Catholic Church. But no marriage ceremony there is required.

    Tim adds: No, Luke has it wrong above. The basic system is that the sacristy doubles up as the registry office with the priest, vicar, whatever (I assume also Rabbi, wouldn’t be surprised at Imam etc) being the registrar for those minutes.

    In a Catholic wedding, that’s the bit after the vows and while the organist plays something fun and jolly for 5 minutes. They’re off in the sacristy doing the legal part of the marriage.

    My argument is, essentially, strip all religious of this ability. A legal marriage takes place at the registry office, nowhere else.

  48. SMFS-

    I’m not sure we could “return” to polygamy since so far as I know (I could be wrong of course) it has never been a general custom in England. Even diggin back pre-christianisation, the kings only seem to have one wife each. Maybe it was to save confusion because everyone’s initial was “Æ”.

  49. Sorry Ian, but no. There are 12th century religious quotations – from about the time of Thomas Becket – specifying the church door as the venue. If you go back further than that, yes, there was much less Christian involvement in marriage, but you can’t cite Chaucer in evidence.

  50. Paul,

    I don’t really want to get into a big row about this (that’s what Keynes is for :o) but I’m working so I skipread the article, but it seems to support what I am saying. There is a historic process over which the marriage gradually moves into the church and becomes a christian ceremony, but it originally was not, hence the church door thing.

    I suspect we’re in one of those occasional situations where we’re both arguing the same thing at crossed purposes, but again I might be wrong. Is there a particular quote in that article that you think disproves/undermines/whatever what I said?

  51. SMFS: marriage is a sacrament; adoption is not. Catholic priests are all unmarried men (*), because the church is exempt from discrimination laws when it comes to such matters, which obviously include marriage too. I haven’t noticed anyone outside the RCC demanding that it be forced by law to allow women priests.

    (*except former married Anglicans who left over female ordination, because bashing the old enemy is more important than upholding doctrine)

  52. The most profound change takes place during the twelfth century. This is where we first see mention of a ceremony held at the door of the church. A pontifical from Lire, France reads: “Before all else let those who are to be joined in the marriage bed come before the doors of the church…” (qtd. in Brooke 248-249). Also, the marriage rite set out in the Bury St. Edmunds missal begins: “Benedictio annuli ante hostium templi” Translation: “Blessing the ring at the door of the church” (qtd. in Searle and Stevenson 149).

    You’re right, we don’t have a major disagreement here. It’s certainly true the church’s involvement in weddings increased as it became more powerful, but we’re talking about changes that happened eight hundred or more years ago.

    I think you’re reading too much into the “church door” thing. Baptisms used to start at the church porch also. I suppose there was some religious significance in being blessed before entering the church proper. Also, before the late middle ages churches were typically quite small.

  53. Ian B – “I’m not sure we could “return” to polygamy since so far as I know (I could be wrong of course) it has never been a general custom in England. Even diggin back pre-christianisation, the kings only seem to have one wife each. Maybe it was to save confusion because everyone’s initial was “Æ”.”

    William the Conqueror didn’t. Nor did his Dad. Obviously. But the histories were written by Monks who had an interest in presenting a Christian face, so who knows? Certainly polygamy goes with great wealth disparities so you would not expect much of it before the modern period. But it was common enough in places like Ireland even if it was only de facto and not de jure.

    58john b – “marriage is a sacrament; adoption is not. Catholic priests are all unmarried men (*), because the church is exempt from discrimination laws when it comes to such matters, which obviously include marriage too. I haven’t noticed anyone outside the RCC demanding that it be forced by law to allow women priests.”

    You have not been paying attention. There are people who want the Catholic Church – and anyone else – to be forced to admit women priests (or Rabbis in other cases). It is just that they are fighting one battle at a time. Today it is Gay marriage, tomorrow it will be Gay priests. And so on.

    Whether it is a sacrement or not is irrelevant. You think that Peter Tatchell gives a flying f**k about the details of Catholic theology? He has already demanded that the Church allow Gays to receive Holy Communion. Which is also, you will note, a sacrement. And Tatchell is one of the sane ones.

    The Churches are exempt but I doubt they will be for much longer. Why should they? Who could make a case for allowing them to remain so? Obama – in America with a much stronger tradition of tolerance – wants to force the Church to fund abortions. The fact is the Left is flatly not even remotely tolerant. Stalinism has shaped the Western Left, even among non-Communists, and the only thing standing in their way is the inheritance of a long-dead past no one believes in any more.

    “(*except former married Anglicans who left over female ordination, because bashing the old enemy is more important than upholding doctrine)”

    Celebacy is not doctrine, it is discipline. There are plenty of married priests in the Catholic Church. The Maronites can and do. The Uniates generally are allowed to. Obviously breaking one sacrement is a serious matter and celebacy is not so important it is worth doing. But hey, who needs facts when they have bigotry?

  54. Larry – “Yes, but as I keep pointing out, that’s fucking hilarious coming from an unapologetic supporter of Generals Franco & Pinochet.”

    Yes but all that proves is what an idiot you are. First of all, diagnosis is not support. I could also point out that Communism is dead. Which it is. I do not need to be a supporter of Communism to do that. Nor do I need to be a liberal to point out that liberalism is dead. A point that escaped you.

    Nor is there the slightest conflict with my views on Pinochet or Franco. The question is not whether these were good people worthy of support in and of themselves, but what was the lesser evil in the circumstances. As the only alternative was Stalinism, no sane person could do anything other than support both Pinochet and Franco. There is simply no moral issue to even talk about over that.

    So your comment remain fatuous. But we knew that.

  55. Matthew @ #34 – yes, sorry, that was supposed to be humour. Clearly didn’t work well.

    Luke @ various

    Still waiting for the libertarian party to say “I’m in favour of gay marriage.”

    Right, okay. Firstly, UKIP isn’t a libertarian party. It goes quite some way because it wants to free us from the deadweight of the hideously statist authoritarian EU. But, anyway, Tim is not a UKIP spokesman and was brought up a Catholic and still has strong leanings that way (see discussions about abortion …)

    From a statement from the UKIP leader:

    While of course UKIP supports those denominations who wish to conduct gay marriage ceremonies

    That good enough for you?

  56. Slightly interesting tidbit: there was civil marriage under the Commonwealth in the 1650s. All you had to do to be married was to announce it in a market place.

    I’m not totally sure that the Act stipulated man and woman, either.

  57. there was civil marriage under the Commonwealth in the 1650s. All you had to do to be married was to announce it in a market place.

    I’m not totally sure that the Act stipulated man and woman, either.

    There may be some truth in this, but I can find no sign of an Act supporting it.

    There’s the 1645 “Ordinance for taking away the Book of Common Prayer, and for establishing and putting in execution of the Directory for the publique worship of God”:

    Although Marriage be no Sacrament, nor peculiar to the Church of God, but common to mankinde, and of publique interest in every Common-wealth, yet because such as marry are to marry in the Lord, and have special need of Instruction Direction, and Exhortation from the Word of God, at their entring into such a new condition; and, of the blessing of God upon them therein, we judge it expedient, that Marriage be solemnized by a lawfull Minister of the Word, that he may accordingly counsel them, and pray for a blessing upon them.

    Marriage is to be betwixt one man and one woman only, and they, such as are not within the degrees of Consanguinity or Affinity prohibited by the Word of God. And the parties are to be of years of discretion, fit to make their own choice, or upon good grounds to give their mutual consent.

    And then the 1653 “Act touching Marriages and the Registring thereof; and also touching Births and Burials”, which replaced the presiding Minister with a JP:

    the Man and Woman having made sufficient proof of the consent of their Parents or Guardians as aforesaid, and expressed their consent unto Marriage, in the maner and by the words aforesaid, before such Justice of Peace in the presence of two or more credible Witnesses; the said Justice of Peace may and shall declare the said Man and Woman to be from thenceforth Husband and Wife

  58. Although Marriage be no Sacrament, nor peculiar to the Church of God, but common to mankinde,

    This is basically the point I was trying to make.

  59. SE @62: I took it as humour but I figured some people here genuinely wouldn’t know what intersex meant. I’m a great believer in education over compulsion and it seemed like a good opportunity.

    Dan Savage for a while used “lgbtqitslfaomgwtfbbq”, which about covers how relevant the whole thing is.

  60. Matthew L
    I grew up in that environment – surrounded by the truest and purest Shire shite.

    They keep their antique farm equiment very well, almost lovingly.

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