42 comments on “How the meaning of a phrase changes, eh?

  1. I much prefer* “confirmed bachelor with a love of musical theatre”.

    * as a description, not of me! Can’t stand bl**dy musicals.

  2. Anyone else remember Daly Thompson’s t-shirt at the LA Olympics?

    IIRC, it said, “Is it true the world’s second best athlete is gay?”

    I think that was about the last time “gay” in British English was just about capable of being taken to mean “happy”, although Thompson was obviously enjoying the play on words, too.

    Other offenders: rubber (used to be a johnny and a, er, rubber was an, er, eraser), and hooter (used to toot other motorists).

    Current bete noire (not quite of the same Ilk): math, instead of mathS. Commenters here kindly note!

  3. There is no reason to think the meaning of the word has changed. Gay males do not want to get married. There is simply no demand for Gay marriage. The US has seen fewer than 100,000 Gay marriages – over three fifths of them were Lesbians. Which figures.

    So if there are some 30 million Gay people in the US, or even 7.5 million of them, they ain’t interested.

    It is just an excuse to bully the rest of us. As with the Mozilla guy – forced out of his job for holding the same opinion as Obama until about the day before yesterday.

  4. I’ll be interested to see if the meaning of the word has, in fact, changed. Passing a law on a legal definition is one thing. The way society sees something’s a whole other thing.
    There’s legal equality for homosexuals now. Don’t kid me homosexuals are treated equally, outside of a legal setting.
    So the response to “We’re married” may be “Not to me, you’re not” And laws can do nothing about this.

  5. Completely, and I do mean completely, off-topic, I’ve just wikipediaed Bulgaria and Romania.

    The population of the former is 7.4m. Of the latter, it’s 20.1m.

    I make that 27.5m. Although Nige did say, and this has been ignored by the MSM, that 2m have already left for other EU countries

  6. I’m not old enough to know what the earlier meaning of “not the marrying type” was. Could someone enlighten me?

  7. No business of mine who people shag or shack up with, and I’ve long held that if you disagree with gay marriage, don’t marry a gay. Personally I welcome the change – a chap introducing another chap as his ‘husband’ tells you something about the relationship as distinct from as his ‘boyfriend’ in much the same way as ‘wife’ would from ‘girlfriend.’

    But I must say I was somewhat amused by the number of people – both gay and straight – who got their knickers in a twist over schoolchilren increasingly using ‘gay’ as a synonym for ‘rubbish’. They basically used the exact same lines that the retired lt. colonels in the shires used half a century ago to bemoan ‘gay’ coming to mean ‘homosexual’ instead of ‘happy.’

    Each generation of revolutionaries becoming the next generation of reactionaries and all that.

  8. Mr in Spain, I dispute that gay marriage or, to take another example, that requiring Christian hoteliers against their will to accommodate gays, gives gays equality.

    What it does, I think, is to carve out an enclave in the law for gays to exercise power not given to others. It’s about cultural dominance, not equality.

    I cannot, for example,and nor can anyone else (not even a gay) as far as I am aware, use a contract of insurance contractually to buy a banana (and when I buy a banana, I am indeed effecting a contract). But a gay can now use a contract of marriage contractually to cement his loving relationship.

    Similarly, I cannot oblige a nightclub admitting only those under 25 to admit. Nor, for that matter, can a gay over 25 (unless, I suppose, he were to argue successfully that such a policy unfairly discriminates against gays because a higher proportion of them are over 25). But the point is, it’s all about enclaves, special entitlements for particular groups, it’s not equality before the law.

  9. sam – “No business of mine who people shag or shack up with, and I’ve long held that if you disagree with gay marriage, don’t marry a gay.”

    Trotsky once said that you may not care about politics, but politics cares about you. When you find yourself bullied into silence because you would not speak out for the bigots, you may well regret thinking it is not your business.

    “Personally I welcome the change – a chap introducing another chap as his ‘husband’ tells you something about the relationship as distinct from as his ‘boyfriend’ in much the same way as ‘wife’ would from ‘girlfriend.’”

    What does it tell you? If a man introduces a woman as his wife, you know that he does not shag other women. Or at least that he knows he should not and will feel some degree of shame if he is caught. A Gay man introducing you to his husband is not telling you the same thing.

    “They basically used the exact same lines that the retired lt. colonels in the shires used half a century ago to bemoan ‘gay’ coming to mean ‘homosexual’ instead of ‘happy.’”

    Well in fairness to said supporters of Gay people, no they are not. Those children are using Gay in exactly the same way that the Gays do. They are using it in its modern meaning. With the intent to cause hurt to said Gay people. They are not subverting the meaning. They are not changing it. They are simply defying their elders by using words in ways designed to offend.

    It is not the same at all. When a pimply sprog says “wicked”, they are using it like someone used to use “gay”. But when they use Gay they are using it just as a skinhead uses the n-word.

  10. @ Mr Lud
    Oh, I do so wholeheartedly agree with you, there.
    I’m thinking back to a club sarff of the London River. Pretty good place to go if you like black music. Except they had a door policy of not admitting non-blacks. Which meant being persona non grata unless one could rustle up a tinted accompianatress to plead one’s case..
    Turn that around & imagine a venue with a non-black door policy. Legally there’s equality. But I’d imagine finding a legal remedy for exclusion would prosper as well as an ice cube in the Sahara at noon. In one case, all reasons not to admit would be inferior to ethnicity. in the other, ethnicity would be the least regarded.

  11. @SMfS
    A little less with the “bigot” word, please.
    As far as I can work out, it generally translates as “someone I despise for not sharing the same prejudices as me”

  12. When you find yourself bullied into silence because you would not speak out for the bigots, you may well regret thinking it is not your business.

    Oh, balls. By all means be homophobic, by all means say homophobic things, but gay marriage has nothing to do with freedom of speech. You can tell that by the hundreds of articles written by people saying “you can’t even criticise gay marriage now, people like me have no freedom of speech!” as they exercise their freedom of speech to do just that (that ghastly Odone woman is one of the leading idiots in this case). Now, I’ll grant that there should be no way in which a gay couple could vexatiously sue a church for declining to marry them, but I don’t see that this need be an issue; churches can decline to marry divorced couples, I believe, should they so wish. I would personally question the motives of a couple that wanted to be married in a place that didn’t want to marry them; I’d think they were probably being wankers. But that doesn’t mean that gays who want to get married shouldn’t be able to in a place that’s happy to marry them.

    Nor does the church own marriage as a concept, since we recognise divorced couples remarrying, we recognise registry office marriages, and those that take place in temples, synagogues and mosques.

    So I’m fine, thanks, I’ll continue to argue for absolute freedom of speech, and I’ll continue to think gays should have just as much opportunity to get married as the rest of us.

    If a man introduces a woman as his wife, you know that he does not shag other women.

    I’ll assume that’s a joke

    Or at least that he knows he should not and will feel some degree of shame if he is caught.

    Oh good, it was. Well, up to a point, Lord Copper. What about wife swappers and swingers and all that lot? not my bag, but if both parties are happy with it I can’t say I’ll lose much sleep over it.

    A Gay man introducing you to his husband is not telling you the same thing.

    well, he might be. I wouldn’t bother asking, qv above re swingers &c. What it tells you is that someone is a permanent life partner. Which is distinct from ‘possibly temporary life partner.’ Which can be useful.

  13. Mr in Spain, I shall have to remember “accompianatress”. I like it, although “accompaniatrix” also has a ring to it.

    I think we’re agreeing on principle but not on law, though. You see, I don’t think that in law altering the definition of marriage to allow gay people to do it gives them equality in law. I think, to coin a phrase, it makes them more equal than others, provides a special dispensation, if you will.

    But all of this is an aside to the more fundmental point, made frequently by other commenters here and elsewhere, that the problem* is with the state having the power to sanction and licence the marriage contract. I mean, the state as a general proposition doesn’t sanction the contract of sale when I buy a banana (although for sure it sanctions, int. al., Tesco’s ability to sell it to me).

    * Another problem, actually, is with aggressive gay lobbying on this point. I mean, if gays had got there first, in terms of setting up a contract by which they publicly-affirmed their commitment to one another, and say they called it, I dunno, “barriage”, and barriage carried on for millennia, whilst I might be justifiably peeved if legal privileges were granted only to barried couples, my argument would be against the legal privileges, not in favour of redefining barriage to mean the thing that suits me. To do that would be the defining summit of presumptuous and narcissistic self-regard.

  14. @ Mr Lud

    think I agree with your wider point, actually, although I still think taht since we grant those legal privileges to men and women who marry, it’s only equitable to do the same to men who marry men &c.

    It’s a bit like the whole B&B thing. I don’t think that committed fundamentalist christians should be compelled to let rooms to gay couples if they don’t want to. But then I don’t think they should be compelled to let rooms to white people, black people, foreign people, English people, Welsh people, short people, posh people or ginger people if they don’t want to. However, since the law says that they have to let rooms without regard to those things, I don’t see why that shouldn’t apply to gay people.

  15. Sam, for sure, gays aren’t the only group with what I’ve called enclaves carved out for them in the law. But the problem with this is that it is so, and and the answer is that it ought not to be. The answer is NOT, “oh, well, those guys get special treatment, so why shouldn’t these, too?” And the reason that’s not the answer is because, and this is why governments love it, it installs government as the arbiter of what is due in life with regard to one’s perceived station. In other words, if the modern world was defined by the move from status to contract, the post-modern world is defined by the move back from contract to status. And when you put it like that, when you realise that’s what is happening, who thinks that’s a good thing except those already at the top of the heap?

  16. @ Mr Lud

    I suppose another problem is that it’s defined by who is the most demanding and whiney. For example, there are plenty of women-only clubs, which I, in common with most men, don’t have the slightest desire to join. But if women want to join male-only clubs (eg, if we’re being topical, golf clubs), they kick up a massive fuss about it. You see this all the time.

    For the B&B issue, I’d be perfectly happy to let the mechanics of the market sort it out. Exclude whom you like, go out of business if you exclude too many.

  17. @MrLud
    I think we ignore what marriage actually is.
    With the “gay marriage” thing it’s been treated as if the contract is between two people & therefor everyone is supposed to respect their wishes.
    But marriage of two differently sexed people was never a contract between the two, except in a strictly legal sense. It’s not necessary to have a contract between two consenting individuals.
    Marriage was always an assumed contract between the couple & the wider society they lived in. For a start it was a marriage between the two families & an establishment of obligations. In fact, historically, the agreement of the two people were not necessary. The marriage contract was to bind them together, whatever their wishes. The whole arranged marriage thing, which is all through Brit culture, whatever we may think of other cultures. A marriage requires the consent of the community. Hence that “Does anyone here have reason…?” bit in the church marriage ceremony. Because it places obligation on the community.
    So “gay marriage” only stands if the community, within which it takes place, recognise it as binding on them. We’ll have to wait & see.

  18. If a man introduces a woman as his wife, you know that he does not shag other women.

    Unless he comes from outside an English-speaking country, Scandinavia, Finland, Germany, or Holland. Otherwise, best to assume he does, and often.

  19. @BIS

    fair point, hadn’t necessarily looked at it that way. Although I would pick up on

    “Does anyone here have reason…?” bit in the church marriage ceremony.

    as far as I know, right back to the BCP, the congregation are only asked if they know of any ‘just cause’ – and more recently ‘or legal impediment.’

    viz: they are already married.

    I mean, let’s face it, plenty of openly gay people have been married to women in the past. I recall Osbert Lancaster wrote a satirical ballad about Tom Driberg’s lavish society wedding, which contains the lines

    But hark, the Bishop’s on his toes /To Ask if anybody knows /’Just impediment or cause . . .’/(There followed then an awkward pause)…

  20. Mr in Spain, yes I’m focusing on the pure black letter legal aspect as well as on the principles at stake. But, again, as a matter of law (and I’m no matrimonial lawyer), I don’t think it’s correct to say that it’s a contract between families, or communities, or the wider society. Putting aside the issue of consenting parties – although I think I’m right in saying that English law has never recognised a contract where one party did not consent – in strict law the parties to a marriage contract are the respective spouses. Yes, people outside the enforceable ambit of that contract have a proper interest in the success of the contract, but I don’t think it can be said that in law they are parties to it.

    I realise that a lawyerly focus such as this can be irritating in a discussion of such broad sweep, and I agree that if enough people say of gay marriage, “no it’s not”, then it’s unlikely to gain traction or acceptability, in other words, that lawyers and legislators can talk and legislate but if enough people ignore that talk and legislation, then it has no force. But whilst the jury may still be out on overall societal acceptance of the concept of gay marriage, and of acceptance of the legitimation (in the purest sense of that word) of gay marriage, what has undoubtedly changed is the legal definition, which is widely said to have been in the name of equality. Legal equality. And I say it’s not legal equality, it’s legal inequality. It’s not unique legal inequality, there are other instances, effected at the behest of other self-regarding whingers, but legal inequality it remains.

    And this strict legal analysis is important, I think, because it helps us perceive the movement from contract back to status and it should fortify us in an attempt to re-assert the proper meaning of equality before the law, because such equality has no regard for status.

  21. IIRC, one of Tim’s earlier commentaries on gay marriage was how you establish the whole consummation thing. Tab A in slot B type stuff.

    I guess at leas theoretically possible for most gay men, but not to the taste of all of them. With women, you have an insurmountable definitional problem.

    @BiS, the “does anyone here have reason” is asking for stuff like “she’s his sister”, or “she’s already married to me!!! Give ‘er back!!!”. Or even “she’s already pregnant with Jimbobfred’s kid!”. In other words, just causes or impediment, not the unjustified refusal of the community to sanction the marriage.

    And the contractual aspects – the only person who gets to enforce is one party to the marriage against the other. Society doesn’t get to enforce marriage contracts legally. Of course it is useful to society since it puts pressure on people to sort their problems out and stick together rather than splitting up at the first sign of trouble. But when it ends up in court, society is not represented, only the parties to the marriage.

    This is even more the case now, where in most places one party can sue for divorce, the other agrees, and that is the end of it.

  22. @Sam
    I’d imagine, when those words were inserted, they may have had a wider concept of just cause. Like the bride being a bloke, for a start. But marriages had all sorts of things tied in with them, back when. Because they were an arrangement spanned the community, not just the couple. I’d imagine the bride’s dowry lying in a field with its feet in the air might have been just cause.

    I appreciate where you’re coming from Mr Lud. But I don’t think it hurts to put the original concept of marriage in context. I’d maintain a lot of it still applies. A couple geezers tying the knot may be marriage in law, but whether the families accept it’s a whole other matter. And that bears on whether the loving couple get invited to cousin Sydney’s bar-b-Q. Which is actually what all this is about. Not property rights. For those, we have you guys.
    And law is supposed tp be the servant of the people, not its master. No?
    Wholly concur on the inequality aspect.

  23. @Edward Lud, on barriage, I see your point but we have the state involved here.

    There is zero chance of the state’s elected politicians removing the remaining privileges afforded to the married, since this would be political suicide. It might be the logical thing to do, in the interests of equality, but extending the privilege to gay couples is a path of far lesser resistance (you will get a few thousand barriages, as against the effective dissolution of millions of currently state-recognised marriages) , and you still meet the goal of “equality” in that those of either sexual orientation can choose to marry and take advantage of the privileges that entails; regardless of the fact that you thereby retain some inequality between the married and the unmarried.

    The privileges are quite modest these days. Essentially you promise the state to keep a faithful and stable family, and get, if you are lucky, a small tax break for the privilege of not being allowed to shag more than one person. And looking at typical divorce settlements I don’t understand why any sane man in Britain would be prepared to get married at this time. I can only assume there are a lot of insane men in Britain.

  24. @BiG
    You’re ignoring there, privileges granted have a price on those granting them. The privileges attached to mixed sex marriage were granted on the basis there were advantages to the granters. Raising children within marriage, basically. It’s hard to see a similar benefit.
    And you do seem to have got the original principal of marriage upside down. Originally it was almost entirely a way of securing property rights without requiring a bunch of mates with sharp cutlery.hanging around. Whether the couple were true love personified was the least important aspect. A lot of the time it was the first time they met.
    What’s left now is some approval points across families & friends & a useful pro forma property contract. Even family rights to wardship of children of has been largely supplanted by the SS.

  25. Mr in Spain, “And law is supposed tp be the servant of the people, not its master. No?”

    Just so.

    Mr in Germany, in our lifetimes have men ever been favoured in divorce settlements?

  26. @bis, yes, because the societal basis of marriage, and persons understanding of what it is has changed over time, and the law is usually last to catch up.

    Since now the privilege granted by the state is much lower than in the past, it doesn’t represent much of a cost to extend it to teh gayers, especially as takeup is likely to be very small. The added cost in pension rights and such is more than outweighed by the resultant political goodwill in a society that views marriage as far less binding in the past, far more about the individuals than the security of clan property, and is now rather behind the whole gay rights thing. The “married people are more equal” debate is too academic when you can at the stroke of a pen have “equality” by recognising gay marriage.

  27. BTW, I think “barriage” sounds more like something a barrister would do.

    For gay marriage as a distinct hypothetical entity predating marriage, I’d like to propose the term “farriage”.

  28. sam – “Oh, balls. By all means be homophobic, by all means say homophobic things, but gay marriage has nothing to do with freedom of speech.”

    Yes it does. As Gay people do not want to get married. This is just their thin edge of the wedge. Their attempt to boil the frog. To move forward incremental step at a time. It has an overt political agenda that has nothing to do with Gay marriage at all. Which, as I said, is not an issue of any interest to the Gay community.

    “You can tell that by the hundreds of articles written by people saying “you can’t even criticise gay marriage now, people like me have no freedom of speech!” as they exercise their freedom of speech to do just that (that ghastly Odone woman is one of the leading idiots in this case).”

    And the CEO of Mozilla has just been forced to resign for holding the same opinion on Gay marriage as Obama did. So you’re wrong. It is a free speech issue because the first casualties have occurred already. More to follow. Because that is the point of Gay marriage.

    “Now, I’ll grant that there should be no way in which a gay couple could vexatiously sue a church for declining to marry them, but I don’t see that this need be an issue; churches can decline to marry divorced couples, I believe, should they so wish.”

    How naive can you be? Should be no way? I agree. Will be no way? Don’t be silly. The entire point of this campaign is to bully Churches into marrying people. As soon as this change has been solidified they will be on to the next step. At what step do you think you will want to speak out? For the Churches’ right not to marry Gays? I doubt it myself. Remember that Peter Tatchell’s previous campaign was to force the Catholic Church to give communion to open homosexuals. He is just getting smarter about his campaigns these days. So the Churches have a temporary right of refusal. Which will be challenged about this time next week. And of course all the spineless cowards who are afraid of the bigot label will be too spineless and cowardly to object.

    “I would personally question the motives of a couple that wanted to be married in a place that didn’t want to marry them; I’d think they were probably being wankers.”

    No sh!t. And people who want communion in a Church that did not want to offer it to them? How about people who want to be members of a club that did not want them? You notice something about every campaign Gay activists have been behind since the 1970s?

    “But that doesn’t mean that gays who want to get married shouldn’t be able to in a place that’s happy to marry them.”

    Nothing stopping Gay people having a big fat Gay wedding ceremony anywhere they like. Never has been. That is not the issue is it? They could have had Civil partnerships which offered them every benefit of marriage – more in places like France where they are popular for non-Gays. No they did not want that either. They wanted a tool with which to bully everyone else. And people like you have given it to them.

    “Nor does the church own marriage as a concept, since we recognise divorced couples remarrying, we recognise registry office marriages, and those that take place in temples, synagogues and mosques.”

    That is not the issue either.

    “So I’m fine, thanks, I’ll continue to argue for absolute freedom of speech, and I’ll continue to think gays should have just as much opportunity to get married as the rest of us.”

    I don’t recall you speaking up for the CEO of Mozilla. Nor do I expect you to. But let’s see where you will draw the line in protecting the rights of others. Not for B&B owners I am guessing. How about for Christians and their right to stand on street corners and say homosexuality is a sin without being arrested? Ever support those rights?

    “I’ll assume that’s a joke”

    Assume away.

    “Oh good, it was. Well, up to a point, Lord Copper. What about wife swappers and swingers and all that lot? not my bag, but if both parties are happy with it I can’t say I’ll lose much sleep over it.”

    Nor will I. But no one introduces themselves as swingers because they know it is shameful. So my point stands.

    “well, he might be. I wouldn’t bother asking, qv above re swingers &c. What it tells you is that someone is a permanent life partner. Which is distinct from ‘possibly temporary life partner.’ Which can be useful.”

    So you have replaced a traditional cliche with a modern cliche? I don’t see that conveys any useful information as no one introducing anyone is introducing you to their life partner. It is a trite, meaningless and mostly untrue statement. Given Gay people’s attitudes to fidelity, in so far as anyone can tell and any generalisation applies to the whole community, Gays mean something very different to heterosexuals by marriage. But don’t worry. We have debased heterosexual marriage over the years so I am sure we will agree with their definition soon enough.

  29. Bloke in Germany – “Since now the privilege granted by the state is much lower than in the past, it doesn’t represent much of a cost to extend it to teh gayers, especially as takeup is likely to be very small.”

    As I have been criticised before for saying, Gays are not interested in marriage so the take up is likely to be small. To non-existent. Criticised by you I believe. Anyway that is not the point. The costs of debasing marriage are huge. As we see with the prison population, the mentally ill community, the crime figures, the underclass and so on. Given we have not reached rock bottom yet, the costs of debasing marriage further are likely to be even higher.

    Although it is hard to put a cost on something like Baby P’s life.

    “The added cost in pension rights and such is more than outweighed by the resultant political goodwill in a society that views marriage as far less binding in the past, far more about the individuals than the security of clan property, and is now rather behind the whole gay rights thing.”

    It is interesting to see we are in basic agreement about what is going on but with very different conclusions.

    But I would not sell how much society is behind the whole Gay rights thing. As Gays rely more on bullying than persuasion these days. Do not underestimate how much quiet resentment is out there. The Gay rights lobby may find themselves like the Romanian dictatorship, caught by surprise when the mob chants something else.

    “The “married people are more equal” debate is too academic when you can at the stroke of a pen have “equality” by recognising gay marriage.”

    You cannot have equality by recognising Gay marriage because Gay marriage is not the same thing. You can try to bully people into ignoring reality in favour of a politically correct fantasy but I doubt it will work in the long run.

  30. “The entire point of this campaign is to bully Churches into marrying people.”

    Too right! I fully expect (as one of them) this will be the issue which finally results on the evangelicals in the C of E upping sticks and leaving.
    This probably is no bad thing, but will result in most of the rest of the C of E going under financially (the evangelicals pay an in astonishing percentage of the total income, while not accounting for a huge percentage of spending).

    All so teh gayers can have big fat weddings in Anglican churches. Yippie.
    Anyone would think some sections of teh gayers hate the church or summat.

  31. @SMFS, obviously what teh gayers want is to pinkify the fruit of your loins, nothing more.

    Whatever marriage has been in the time since the Romans codified it and the Christians adopted it, it is now little more than a contract, mainly one that enables women to claim a portion of the man’s income following its dissolution. The historically sound reasons for that are overdue revision. As a result, liberals like me recognise that the argument that the State should not set limits on who may enter into such a contract (and with whom) without a watertight reason is a good argument.

    The protection of clan property has taken a back seat in the last century, the shagging element has long since been rendered irrelevant by reliable contraception and changed social attitudes, and as already observed by other commentators, the troo luv element was only briefly important in the mid 20th century. The state’s interest in the stability of nuclear families has been dealt a blow by both people not wanting to do that, and others proving it can be done quite satisfactorily without a bit of paper signed by a priest.

    Again, this liberal here is dead set against churches being forced to marry gayers if they don’t want to. I would make an exception for a church that suckles at the taxpayer’s teat. Such a church should do what its paymasters tell it.

    The cat lick church has long run havens for all manner of gayers. Back when I was deluded I attended one that was run by a gayer priest who made no secret of his orientation (while camply feigning disapproval of my cohabitation), and had about a half gay congregation. The cat lick churches great strength is its flexibility, its willingness to appeal to all people everywhere and absorb all manner of traditions and practises, never expressing more than mild disapproval of things and offering weekly sanitation to all sinners. Since saying boo to a goose and getting rodgered by six different men every night are equivalent in the eyes of the Lord (both get you eternal damnation if you die without confession), the acceptance of sexual deviants has rarely, outside of periods of intense inquisitorial fervour, been a problem.

  32. the Prole – “Too right! I fully expect (as one of them) this will be the issue which finally results on the evangelicals in the C of E upping sticks and leaving.”

    Sorry but what would that do? Their aim is not to make the CoE marry them. Their aim is to make everyone marry them. So even if the Evangelicals left, what could they do? Their new Churches would be forced to marry Gays too.

    “This probably is no bad thing, but will result in most of the rest of the C of E going under financially (the evangelicals pay an in astonishing percentage of the total income, while not accounting for a huge percentage of spending).”

    This is a good thing? How?

    “All so teh gayers can have big fat weddings in Anglican churches. Yippie.”

    But they will anyway. Presumably the Gay lobby is not interested in what they will get peacefully. They are interested in what they need the power of the state to give them. So they want Catholic weddings, Wee Free wedding, Orthodox Jewish weddings and so on.

    Bloke in Germany – “obviously what teh gayers want is to pinkify the fruit of your loins, nothing more.”

    There has been a strong movement to use the school system and State-controlled media to teach children that homosexuality is the best. So yes, they clearly do. That is not surprising given men tend to like young girls – and the Gay lobby has a strong record on defending sex with children.

    “Whatever marriage has been in the time since the Romans codified it and the Christians adopted it, it is now little more than a contract, mainly one that enables women to claim a portion of the man’s income following its dissolution.”

    I agree marriage has been debased. But a contract that screws over men *and* looks like a scene left on the cutting room floor from Priscilla is not going to appeal to men. The Gay marriage issue is not an issue. Heterosexual marriage is. We will end up with family structures like, say, Jamaica. How is that working out for them?

    “As a result, liberals like me recognise that the argument that the State should not set limits on who may enter into such a contract (and with whom) without a watertight reason is a good argument.”

    It is not a good argument. Because it is backwards. We do not know what makes the West rich and free. But we know we have it and it is next to impossible to teach anyone else how to do it. So what is it? I don’t know. Marriage is clearly one of those issues that is important. Polygamous societies struggle with democracy and development. Jamaica got all the British institutions they could want. They even got a reasonable share of British genes. They did not get British marriage structures. How is that working for them? Or for Haiti?

    So if you want to propose a radical change, you need to give a watertight proof that it will be destroy what is left of Britain’s functioning society.

    “The state’s interest in the stability of nuclear families has been dealt a blow by both people not wanting to do that, and others proving it can be done quite satisfactorily without a bit of paper signed by a priest.”

    No one has proved it can be done without a priest. By all measures, couples who are not married do worse than couples who are. The State’s interest has not been nullified by the State’s cowardice. They have chosen not to do anything about it even though everyone knows it is a disaster. Gutless. But the State still has a compelling interest in the stability of family life. Given the lack of that stability is at the heart of virtually all the very expensive social dysfunction we see in the West.

    “Again, this liberal here is dead set against churches being forced to marry gayers if they don’t want to. I would make an exception for a church that suckles at the taxpayer’s teat. Such a church should do what its paymasters tell it.”

    Your opinion is worthless given that there is no reason you have the moral courage to stand up to the Gay lobby. It is perfectly reasonable to expect you will fold rather than be called a bigot. That is the point of their campaign – small, baby steps which no one can resist individually, even if in the end they reach a goal that no one would have agreed to at the start.

    “The cat lick church has long run havens for all manner of gayers.”

    Boll@cks. And irrelevant.

  33. “This [evanglicals leaving the C of E] is a good thing? How?”

    Because as an evangelical, I’m not really that keen to see my money spent on keeping liberal vicars in jobs. I’m not really interested in what happens to the liberal wing of the Anglican Church.

    “Their aim is to make everyone marry them. So even if the Evangelicals left, what could they do? Their new Churches would be forced to marry Gays too.”

    I can’t see how non-Anglican churches can be forced to marry anyone. They can’t legally do it anyway without bringing in a registrar for the day, and unlike the local parish churches, they aren’t obligated to marry anybody. It’s the legal status of C of E churches that has given the gayers a big stick to beat them with.

    Not to say that the militant gayers won’t want to go after independent non-comfomist churches too, but it will be much more difficult, and thus may take them a lot longer…

  34. Not to say that the militant gayers won’t want to go after independent non-comfomist churches too

    It will be amusing to see just how polite the non-conformists manage to be while essentially saying “fuck you and the horse you rode in on.”

  35. the Prole – “Because as an evangelical, I’m not really that keen to see my money spent on keeping liberal vicars in jobs. I’m not really interested in what happens to the liberal wing of the Anglican Church.”

    Then isn’t the sensible thing to do to encourage the liberals to f**k off and leave the CoE to people who, you know, believe in God? I am not and never have been a member of the CoE but, you know, institution, pillar of the community and all that stuff. Much better if the women and Gays were purged than the people who actually believe in God. At least if it is to survive.

    “I can’t see how non-Anglican churches can be forced to marry anyone.”

    I don’t see how B&B owners can be forced to take people they don’t want either, but there you go. Churches have an exemption from discrimination laws, but not for long I would guess. Remember that Tatchell’s previous campaign was to force the Catholics to give communion to the openly Gay. This is not a group of people who are going to leave any stone unthrown or any corner of society alone.

    “Not to say that the militant gayers won’t want to go after independent non-comfomist churches too, but it will be much more difficult, and thus may take them a lot longer…”

    It would take a trivial change in the law. And then they could sue to their heart’s content. While the BBC labels anyone who objects a bigot who burns crosses on the weekend.

    Surreptitious Evil – “It will be amusing to see just how polite the non-conformists manage to be while essentially saying “fuck you and the horse you rode in on.””

    No it won’t because they won’t be able to.

    ukliberty – “If “there is simply no demand for Gay marriage” why is SMFS worrying about churches being forced to marry gays?”

    They got those B&B owners because two activists went out to the wilds of God knows where and deliberately sought a confrontation. There was no demand among Gay people for places at that B&B either. The Gay Mafia only need two people who are willing to pretend they want to get married to force this change. It is not driven by Gays as a whole, it is not driven by an unmet need. It is driven by a hatred of anyone who does not conform to the PC line.

    As any child with three brain cells would understand.

  36. “Then isn’t the sensible thing to do to encourage the liberals to f**k off and leave the CoE to people who, you know, believe in God?”

    I’ve no problem with that in principle – it’s just never seemed to work out terribly well in practice – mainly because the top brass of the C of E is largely liberal. Thus, they can be shown the door, but will refuse point blank to step through it.
    If I thought the C of E could be reformed, I’d be all for it – but I see little or no chance of that happening when 30% of clergy don’t even believe in God!

    “Surreptitious Evil – “It will be amusing to see just how polite the non-conformists manage to be while essentially saying “fuck you and the horse you rode in on.””

    No it won’t because they won’t be able to.”

    I’d imagine that they will be very polite and courteous while providing similar sentiments. I also very much doubt they gayers will “win” against them – they may drive non-conformist evenglical churches “underground”, but I’d think them number of actual big fat gay weddings conducted against a congregation’s wishes will remain a big fat zero.

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