All entries for December 2005

December 19, 2005

Undermining Marriage

Follow-up to Civil Partnership Act from Jane's Blog

What the Government should do in terms of public policy is support marriage rather than undermine it…to put beside marriage an alternative or what appears to be a perfectly approved legal alternative lifestyle I think does not help the institution of marriage at all – Most Rev Peter Smith (Roman Catholic Archbishop of Cardiff)

Why do civil partnerships undermine marriage? Why does the institution of marriage need 'helping'? How can the government 'help' the institution of marriage through public policy? What is 'helping' marriage anyway? Are civil partnerships really an alternative to marriage as there is no choice between the two?

I'm really not getting it…


December 05, 2005

Civil Partnership Act

It's about time. The Civil Partnership Act came into force about thirty minutes ago. This act gives the same rights and responsibilities to homosexual couples as straight couples. I am not sure why it doesn't extend to straight couples wanting an alternative to marriage (and all that it stands for) but who am I to challenge the wisdom of our MPs?!?

One of the opponents of the Civil Partnership Act is Patrick Cormack and my parents are in his constituency. He votes against all motions that seek to promote homosexual practise as a valid lifestyle. This includes motions that permit or encourage such teaching in schools, reduce the age of consent, give additional rights to homosexual couples, allow homosexuals to adopt or create state recognised unions between same-sex couples. I asked them not to vote for him, but they probably did. Does this mean that they agree with him on these issues, or didn't consider it important enough to base their choice of party on? I don't know what to feel about this but I don't think that it is good to dwell on it for too long.

But I am happy today, as the UK has come another step closer to equality for all of its citizens. It's good to know that no one can challenge Ms right to be with me when I have to have another operation or that if anything happens to either of us, there are inheritance tax rights the same as any other married couple.

But what to call M? I wouldn't say 'wife' because that suggests marriage which I don't want to be associated with. I wouldn't say 'girlfriend' either because it sounds too temporary. 'Partner' is out of the question as it sounds like you're in a gym lesson. 'Hi, this is my spouse' is just plain silly. Also, civil partners won't get divorced, we will get dissolved. Just pop us in some water and we disappear, just like that! Magic.

As hard as I try, I can't get to grips with the counter argument to rights for homosexual people. The argument invariably includes the following: "It's a choice", "It says that it's wrong in the bible", "It's not normal", "It undermines family values". The argument grinds to a halt after a few minutes and there is very little chance in changing anyones mind about the above. It is an eternal stalemate. I find that it is the religious argument that I really struggle with. It has become clear to me that it is acceptable to use religion as an excuse to hate by taking a one sided interpretation of a book (the translation of which is debatable) as an absolute truth. My God loves you, but hates what you do. Or just, my God hates you. You are wrong…but you can be saved! Hurrah! I will pray for you. Stop the damned praying. Where is that damned asbestos blanket?


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