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If you only do one thing today... - dorsetgirl
June 14th, 2012
10:50 am
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If you only do one thing today...
Originally posted by dickgloucester at If you only do one thing today...
Originally posted by inamac at If you only do one thing today...
Originally posted by la_marquise_de_ at If you only do one thing today...
Originally posted by seph_hazard at If you only do one thing today...
Originally posted by ozisim at If you only do one thing today...
...make sure that ALL Geeks can get married if they want to!

As a straight person, all of this doesn't impact me, which I sort of feel gives me some kind of moral obligation to stand up and say, "I have the choice to marry. And I see no valid reason why certain other people shouldn't."

My personal view on all this, to be perfectly honest, is that I can't see why anyone would want to get married. All that ownership stuff, all that history of married women not being allowed to have their own tax returns, etc, etc. (Look at the date on that link! I was well into adulthood - thirty-three in fact - before things changed in England & Wales, and it was a major factor in my not marrying in my twenties). Still, that's just me.

The main sticking point to allowing same-sex marriages seems to be that the Church of England is saying "Marriage is for having children" and "Marriage is defined as being one man and one woman". Or words to that effect - forgive me if I can't be arsed to look up the exact quotes right now. Clearly the Church of England never allow anyone who doesn't meet the first criterion to marry in their hallowed buildings, so I quite agree they shouldn't be forced to allow those who don't meet the second.

Basically, I believe that religion should be a private thing, and no-one should be allowed to impose their religious views, habits, or rules on anyone else. It follows that no church or other religious organisation should be allowed to impose their views on the laws of the land. In my view they should definitely retain the right to say who marries within their particular cult or sect, but they should not have any say in who is allowed to marry at all.

(I presume that any new legislation on the matter would specify that both parties to the marriage must be human and of a certain age and mental competence. That being so, I think we can discount the scare-mongering that says legalising gay marriage will lead to bestiality and whatever.)

Anyways, if you're interested, or just neutral, you might want to follow some of the links below. There isn't much time left to show the politicians that society is no longer unthinkingly homophobic, and that societal norms should not be driven by people whose first concern is keeping a god happy rather than developing tolerance towards people who aren't wired the way they are.

The Re-Post:

Three things to do before you go to bed tonight (if you haven't already)

1/ Go here and sign the C4EM's petition for marriage equality. This is the simplest and probably most visible way to show your support. It currently has 60,000 signatures -- the petition against (by C4M) has over 500,000!!!

2/ Go here and fill out the government's consultation. It might take a little bit longer, but you can bet that for every pro-person who doesn't find the time, there will be dozens of 'anti' people who will.

3/ Email your MP. There's a handy template there for you to use so you don't even have to think of what to say. Also, you can go here to see where your MP stands on the issue. A hugely important thing to do because the majority of MPs will be voting with their conscience rather than following the party line, so make sure you let yours know your feelings.

4/ Okay, so I lied. There's actually a fourth thing. And that is simply spread the word. The consultation ends today - it's our last chance to get as many people mobilised as possible. So tweet it, Facebook, blog it, beat your friends and family around the head with it until they give in!!! And if you want to repost to your own journal (and please feel free to edit), here's an ever-so helpful button

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(7 comments | Leave a comment)

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Date:June 14th, 2012 12:17 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the petition link, have signed it and passed the details on to others. I'd already filled out the consultation document.

I'm a member of the CofE and totally resent the way the powers that be are dealing with this.
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Date:June 14th, 2012 12:31 pm (UTC)
Thanks for commenting; it's very easy to get the impression from the news that being religious - of whatever sort - equates to thinking gays are disgusting. I'm interested to hear that this isn't necessarily the case.
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Date:June 14th, 2012 01:15 pm (UTC)
In my ideal world, there would be a complete separation of church and state re: marriage. Since one has to buy a marriage license from the government, any two consenting adults could do so and all the laws about marriage (also any rules any employers, insurers, etc. have about married people) would apply equally to anyone who had purchased a license and had it signed by someone legally capable of performing a marriage ceremony (and who that person was would be up to the couple.)

Then it would simply be up to a religion whether they performed ceremonies for certain given values of "a couple," and the fight about performing / recognizing a marriage would stay strictly within the religion. But no religion would have any influence on what would make up "a couple" legally, and any religion receiving any money from the government would be forced to obey all the insurance / family leave / inheritance laws re: their employees, whether or not they "recognized" an employee's marriage in the religious sense. (Of course, in places like Britain where the head of state is also the titular head of the Church, or in countries where there's a state religion, this'd take a lot more work to happen than here in the States.)

Isn't it Monaco where you actually have to get "married" twice, once in a church and once in the courthouse, because the religious marriage is not legally recognized by the state? There's a big part of me that thinks that might not be a bad idea. Of course, there's a gajillion years' worth of history where clergy are legally able to bind a marriage that'd have to be fought...
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Date:June 14th, 2012 06:45 pm (UTC)
I'm a family historian and there's a significant part of me that says "There would be very little family history without the three hundred years of church record-keeping before civil registration." But overall, yes, I agree with your ideal world.

...any religion receiving any money from the government...

Huh, shows how much I know. I had no idea any religions got money from the government!
[User Picture]
Date:June 14th, 2012 09:43 pm (UTC)
An example: over here, none of the hospitals are run by the government except some "veterans' hospitals." Some (many?) hospitals are run by some religious body or another, but not all of their employees are of that religion so of course the hospitals pay sales (VAT) taxes on supplies, income taxes for employees, etc., etc. as appropriate for their location, and they accept as partial payment Medicare, Medicaid, and other forms of government health subsidies. But -- these hospitals are arguing that they should not have to pay insurance coverage for their employees to have birth control covered by their medical insurance, or that they should not have to recognize and pay insurance / death benefits to "unmarried" domestic partners, because that particular religion is against birth control / living as partners w/o a license from the church and state / whatever.

I have no argument with your recognition that the church is our best historian, but I will point out that many countries, civic registration of "property" is the only reason POCs can trace their ancestry.
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Date:June 14th, 2012 05:00 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the reminder, DG. I'd already signed the petition, but promised myself I'd do the consultation later. It's all done now, though :)
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Date:June 14th, 2012 06:48 pm (UTC)
I'm sure I've signed three or four petitions on this matter already, but hopefully it can't hurt to sign more. I did the consultation too, and spent quite a long time trying to formulate my instinctive "leave 'em alone ffs, they're people too" into something a little more articulate.
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