The Lady Garden

Tea and Strumpets

Quickie: A little bit of love

I’ve been pretty quiet on the whole Marriage Equality debate, mostly because I am exhausted by it all, but also, there are voices way, WAY more important than mine.

Why am I exhausted? Because I don’t understand why this is a debate at all. We have legislation that says you can’t discriminate based on sexuality, marriage the way it stands now does, so fucking change it. The End.

The anti-marriage equality people* can come up with all the justifications they want – it’ll cost us money, it’s dangerous, marriage is about family/procreation, it’s a slippery slope, and next thing you know, we’ll be able to marry dogs – but what it comes down to is that people who aren’t straight, cis, monogamous, missionary position devotees, are, well, icky.

Your church teaches you that only men and women should get married. That’s nice, but your church doesn’t run my country, and you, sir get the same right to make this decision as me. And you can bet I’ll be telling my MP to ignore you and your bigoted friends.

I’m not going to spend a lot of time dissecting your argument. You’re wrong, in any number of ways, and smarter people than me have written why. But how about you all stop hiding behind “marriage means one man and one women/marriage is about family/gender roles matter” and just say “I think this is gross, and my bible tells me I’m right, and I will pander to my supporter base by opposing this”?

Kthx, etc. Or am I just being incredibly naive?

* That link, thanks to FsOLTG, also features a delightful bit of Benjamin Easton threatening to physically harm his opponents. Delightful.

17 responses to “Quickie: A little bit of love

  1. cranapia July 31, 2012 at 11:18 am

    I’m trying to get a straight answer to a straight question:

    Why is the Catholic Church so bent about same-sex partnerships having access to civil marriage, which it doesn’t actually recognize for anyone? Or am I naively expecting a little intellectual honesty and consistency up in this room?

  2. tallulahspankhead July 31, 2012 at 11:19 am

    I should also add, that one of the things that really annoys me is that these people, making their justifications in the names of their religions, make compassionate, considerate, welcoming people of faith look really, really bad.

    • cranapia July 31, 2012 at 11:34 am

      As I noted in a comment to the linked story (still in a moderation holding pen, I guess), if you bother reading the Gospels Jesus had more to say about hypocritical moralists – and none of it complimentary – than homosexuality. (Nothing, for the record.) I think the JC got that balance right.

    • Moz July 31, 2012 at 2:57 pm

      Yeah, but if they ranted in public about the sinfulness of so-called “catholics” using civil divorce to escape social sanction for breaking their commitments to the great sky fairy the preacher-dudes would be a lot less popular. The schtick is to boldly and confidently follow from the front on issues that matter a lot to the reactionary few but wider society doesn’t care about. Since most of the “don’t really care” people are now supporting marriage equality there’s an opportunity to get the “Offended, of Merivale” types onside with a campaign against equality.

      And make no mistake, “Offended” is still angry that they can’t beat their children (rule of thumb in all its urban legfendiferous glory!) and have to see miscegenationous couples shamelessly flaunting themselves in public. Their outrage over the banning of slavery and live sacrifice is still a simmering cauldron that could boil over at any time.

    • muerknz July 31, 2012 at 11:14 pm

      You can check out Integrity which is organisation of american Episcopal clergy and laity.

      http://www.integrityusa.org/

      When it comes to Christianity there is no monolithic agreement about homosexuality.

      • tallulahspankhead July 31, 2012 at 11:18 pm

        I don’t believe i ever suggested there was, and in fact made that exact point in my first comment.

        And that’s fine, because we don’t live in a theocracy. I don’t intend to spend a lot of time investigating Rome’s (or any faith’s’) opinions, except insofar as they encroach on my rights, or those of the people I care about.

  3. Hugh July 31, 2012 at 1:37 pm

    “We have legislation that says you can’t discriminate based on sexuality, marriage the way it stands now does, so fucking change it.”

    The legislation that forbids discrimination on the basis of sexuality is the Human Rights Act. The Act specifies that other legislation is not required to be consistent with the Human Rights Act. A judge must do their best to interpret legislation consistently with the Human Rights Act, but if they conclude that there is no way to reconcile a particular piece of legislation with the Human Rights Act. Since the Marriage Act is so explicitly discriminatory on the basis of sex – it clearly states that only opposite sex couples can marry – judges have concluded that the intent of the legislation is contradictory to the Human Rights Act, and therefore the Human Rights Act doesn’t apply.

    I know this sounds kind of shitty, and I’m not saying this as an argument against gay marriage, I’m just saying this particular argument against gay marriage is incorrect IMO. And I feel it’s worth drawing this distinction, not because I’m being a pedant, but because the reason the Human Rights Act doesn’t override other Acts is quite a crucial one – the principle that parliament cannot bind its successors. If parliament were able to restrict what later, politically different parliaments could do legislation-wise, it would not always be an outcome positive for progressive causes. So while I’m comfortable with gay marriage, I don’t think “We need gay marriage because all law has to confirm to the Human Rights Act” is a good argument for it.

    • MJ August 1, 2012 at 5:54 pm

      Since the Marriage Act is so explicitly discriminatory on the basis of sex – it clearly states that only opposite sex couples can marry

      Can someone please tell me where because I cannot find any reference to gender in the Marriage Act 1955 (except in schedule 2 where it lists forbidden relationships) and I don’t know if I’m missing something or our Marriage Act doesn’t actually specify gender. Because I thought that’s what the gender clarification bullshit back in 2005(? ish?) was about? Clarifying marriage to mean between one man and one woman?

      • tallulahspankhead August 2, 2012 at 5:22 am

        You know, I am confused about that as well. The DIA website defines it as “formalisation of a relationship between a man and a woman”, but I can’t actually find that in the Act. I know there is a bunch of precedent around this, though, so if a legally-minded person wants to swing on by…

        • Emma August 2, 2012 at 1:47 pm

          Ugh, this came up on the PA thread, and someone pointed to the (different) piece of legislation it’s in. And now I can’t find that comment…

  4. tallulahspankhead July 31, 2012 at 1:46 pm

    Well, that wasn’t really my argument. My argument was that we have legislation that says we shouldn’t discriminate on the basis of sexuality, and we shouldn’t discriminate on the basis of sexuality (or gender).

    I wasn’t trying to make a legal argument, though I accept that I worded it that way. I was making a human rights argument. And, you know, a basic decency.

    • Hugh July 31, 2012 at 3:02 pm

      Right. I was confused because you mentioned the Human Rights Act, but if I’m reading you right the obligation extends simply from a need to treat people equally – a need that would exist regardless of existing law.

  5. Pingback: Update for 1 August 2012 | Protect Families

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