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The East Dulwich Forum
The Bishop, The EDT, The Magnolia. The Black Cherry or another?
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messageRe: Gay marriage? Let's have a referendum
Posted by Huguenot 16 March, 2012 19:20

"I think Silverfox is of the feeling that he can no longer see the shore he once walked confidently on and is trying to pull that shore to him. "

That's a hard fought intellectual concession.

messageRe: Gay marriage? Let's have a referendum
Posted by DJKillaQueen 17 March, 2012 17:31

But SF you still haven't said if you think gay Christians should be allowed to have their relationship blessed in a church before God. That is the whole point here, not whether we call it a marriage or not. You have to decide if you are going to accept that first before you can argue the toss on what it should be called. If you think no, you are not only unfairly descriminating against gays but also supposedly fellow Christians, and knowing that, is why I think you won't say where you stand on it - better to say nothing than admit a belief in prejudice eh ;).

I think I should just give up on you tbh.....and the shore analogy is a pretty good discription I think of your moral dilemma - wanting to believe in the orthodox, when deep down you really know the moderate view is the fairer one.

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Gooooaaaaalllllll!

messageRe: Gay marriage? Let's have a referendum
Posted by Loz 17 March, 2012 17:55

DJKillaQueen Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> But SF you still haven't said if you think gay Christians should be allowed to have their
> relationship blessed in a church before God. That is the whole point here, not whether we call it a
> marriage or not.

Personally, I have no opinion on this, myself (not being a member of any religious organisation). That is up to the members of the church/mosque/temple whatever to come to terms with, within the bounds of their own faith.

On the other hand, when it comes to the state, same sex marriage should be the accepted norm.

messageRe: Gay marriage? Let's have a referendum
Posted by silverfox 17 March, 2012 20:01

DJKQ:
"But SF you still haven't said if you think gay Christians should be allowed to have their relationship blessed in a church before God..."

I see this is one of the issues that has driven The Archbishop of Canterbury to retire early.

There is no simple yes or no on this.

messageRe: Gay marriage? Let's have a referendum
Posted by DJKillaQueen 17 March, 2012 22:11

That is the Archbishops own choice I'm afraid. There is a simple yes or no answer depending on belief. I don't accept that you don't have a view in principle on this point whatever the consequences might be either way. You did in an earlier post agree that it was wrong to descriminate against someone because they merely are gay and that the law was right to outlaw decrimination. You can;t have it both ways if that's what you genuinely believe. And If we all went through life sitting on a fence then nothing would ever change. Sometimes people have to be prepared to change too.

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Gooooaaaaalllllll!

messageRe: Gay marriage? Let's have a referendum
Posted by silverfox 17 March, 2012 23:49

DJKillaQueen Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
"...There is a simple yes or no answer depending on belief...You did in an
> earlier post agree that it was wrong to
> descriminate against someone because they merely
> are gay and that the law was right to outlaw
> decrimination..."

Agreed. Race, creed, colour, sexual orientation etc - it's wrong to discriminate (also illegal), especially if you call yourself a Christian

"...Sometimes people have to be prepared to change too..."

Agreed

However, it does not follow that because a person may not agree with Gay Marriage in a Church they are homophobic. Many Christians may simply see it as 'inappropriate' given the particular Church's teaching and tradition especially as there are secular alternatives. They don't hate gays.

You could also turn this on its head and ask why some gays insist they will not be equal until they can be married in a church. sphillips seems to take the view that rather than leaving his or her church because of its stance it's worth staying within the fold and trying to effect change from within. Fair enough. It could also be seen as a divisive aim, selfish even, as such actions may undermine the shared consensus of that religious community to satisfy the demands of the few (see looming schism in the CofE between the western liberals and African conservatives).

messageRe: Gay marriage? Let's have a referendum
Posted by mynamehere 18 March, 2012 08:29

The Catholic Church is ruining my marriage: Robert Shrimsley FT magazine 16.3.12

Try this tongue-in-cheek article in the Sat FT. My heterosexual husband and I thought it about summed up most of this cultural who's better stuff

messageRe: Gay marriage? Let's have a referendum
Posted by DJKillaQueen 18 March, 2012 10:53

However, it does not follow that because a person may not agree with Gay Marriage in a Church they are homophobic. Many Christians may simply see it as 'inappropriate' given the particular Church's teaching and tradition especially as there are secular alternatives. They don't hate gays.

I have to diagree here. The orthodox teaching (and it's a tenous interpretation tbh) is that homosexuals are sinners. But there are all kinds of sins in the bible that don't then magically turn heterosexuals into inferior beings. Some religions have in the past apllied those same prejudices (or still do), such as taking a stance on adultery or abortion, but the CofE has seen sense on those issues. And yes there are orthodox versions of christianity (that frankly border on right wing fascism), such as evangelicalism and then more progressive ones too but on homosexuality, the rule seems to be applied equally.

Surely it should be up to the church to decide who they marry or bless in their church. Allow the liberal ones to welcome gay partnerships and let the orthodox ones steer clear.The debate on who should be the next Archbishop of C is also one between those who want a traditionalist vs those who want a liberal. I think the church does a pretty good job of dividing itself.

sphilips is committed to his faith but I think we can all agree that religions change their thinking from time to time. There is no reason to believe that homosexuality is something that the church can't one day also change it's attitude towards.

Imo what happens in Africa should have nothing to do with the UK. That's like saying all Islamic states should be the same...but they are not because nations have different identities and cultures. To suggest sphilips is being divisive and selfish is unfair. God is his God too and I think God personally would be horrified by the behaviour and thinking of many of the religions that claim to serve in God's name. The history of religion is pretty shameful to be honest.

Good article MNH

When otherwise intelligent people rely on such specious arguments, you have to wonder whether it isn’t because they daren’t say what they truly believe – that gays are lesser human beings who should be denied the same rights as others. It would be wrong to tar everyone in this way, but it is striking how many of the most vociferous objections come from those with a less-than-stellar record on gay rights.

This is my point entirely.

One of the most striking (and heartwarming) social developments of the past decade is just how quickly civil partnerships have become entirely unremarkable. It is hard to believe the same would not be true of gay marriage. But maybe this easy acceptance is what is really driving the increasingly apocalyptic warnings. Perhaps, what worries opponents is not that marriage and society will be disastrously undermined by this reform, but that they won’t.


Good point I think.

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Gooooaaaaalllllll!

messageRe: Gay marriage? Let's have a referendum
Posted by Huguenot 18 March, 2012 13:12

"I understand where they are coming from. I recently bought an espresso machine to which I was hugely attached until I noticed Whittard was selling the same model to gays. Suddenly my macchiato seemed cheapened; and questioned my commitment to the morning shot. Now the Illy languishes untouched and I have begun dallying with an old jar of Maxwell House I was once close to. We’d fallen out of touch after I’d committed to proper coffee but recently reconnected via Facebook. So I’m wise to the dangers of gay marriage."

A point well made!

messageRe: Gay marriage? Let's have a referendum
Posted by silverfox 18 March, 2012 13:23

I recently bought an espresso machine to which I was hugely attached until I noticed Whittard was selling the same model to gays. Suddenly my macchiato seemed cheapened; and questioned my commitment to the morning shot.

Homophobe!

messageRe: Gay marriage? Let's have a referendum
Posted by sphillips 18 March, 2012 15:06

Silverfox, you claim that the church marrying gay couples would be “seen as 'inappropriate' by some Christians, given the particular Church's teaching and tradition especially as there are secular alternatives.”

Yes, it would be a radical step to allow gay people to marry in church. Just as it was a radical step to allow divorcees to re-marry; for women to be ordained; and so on. (I refer to the C of E of course). The church (of whatever denomination) however is not an exclusive, cosy club that exists to protect people living in the past, a tut-tut brigade clinging on to discriminatory traditions because, and only because, (according to your argument) it would upset some of the regulars. It’s not our church; it’s God’s. And God doesn’t discriminate. And if the church isn’t relevant to our lives today and society as it is now; and if the Gospel cannot be interpreted reasonably and responsibly, to meet the needs of the 21st century, what’s the point of it?

“Especially as there are secular alternatives…” And what if a gay couple don’t desire a secular alternative? I assume your response would be tough luck?!

Silverfox: you also claim that those of us who try to change things from within the church could be seen as divisive, “selfish even, as such actions may undermine the shared consensus of that religious community.” There’s nothing selfish in calling for equality within the church. And if the “shared consensus” of a religious community is based on intolerance and bigotry, then it’s our duty to challenge it.

Discrimination is often based on fear and ignorance. What are you afraid of? That a gay couple might turf up one day at your local church; demand to be married and take the piss out of the whole thing? Well, straight people don’t and cannot, so why would a gay couple, who genuinely and sincerely desire to be married, do such a thing?

In Christ, “there is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for we are all equal in Christ.” Radical stuff for its time. And for today too. We could add “neither straight nor gay”. All are equal, silverfox, not just some - all.

messageRe: Gay marriage? Let's have a referendum
Posted by Huguenot 18 March, 2012 16:21

Oh silverfox, don't tell me you don't get irony now?

The essence of the church's argument is that marriage is lessened or destroyed by allowing gay people to do it.

It is pleasing that if we replace 'marriage' with 'coffee machine' you immediately see that this is homophobia.

You claim this is okay because it is the church's teachings - but then refuse to acknowledge that the church has quite happily ignored various other stone age prejudices against, for example, touching pigs or growing certain plants adjacent to each other.

If the church argues that (inconsistent) anti-gay teachings cannot be let go in a similar fashion then there can be only one reason: that they are prejudiced against gays.

messageRe: Gay marriage? Let's have a referendum
Posted by HAL9000 18 March, 2012 16:29

If one accepts the modern scientific view that homosexuality occurs naturally in humans and many other animal species, doesn’t that undermine the idea that Judaeo-religious scriptures are divinely inspired?

By what logic would God create subjects in His own image then discriminate against naturally occurring minorities?

It seems to me that Christian prejudice against homosexuality undermines its credibility as a genuine religion, in the same way that biologically false claims about the hare and the hyrax 'bringing up the cud' undermine the authenticity of Mosaic Law.

I cannot understand why anyone would want to join that circus.

messageRe: Gay marriage? Let's have a referendum
Posted by Jeremy 20 March, 2012 10:29

I'm also struggling to understand why a gay person would want anything to do with the christian church. Why would you want to be blessed by an institution which discriminates against you?

messageRe: Gay marriage? Let's have a referendum
Posted by sphillips 20 March, 2012 21:42

Jeremy Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I'm also struggling to understand why a gay person
> would want anything to do with the christian
> church. Why would you want to be blessed by an
> institution which discriminates against you?


It’s a fair point. Because we’re Christians? Parish churches vary. The world-wide Anglican Communion is very broad. Very. Ranging from inclusive parish churches in the C of E, who don’t put up with any nonsense about gay people being sinners or unequal; don’t have any issue with women vicars/bishops; all are welcome regardless of gender, sexuality etc. Broadly, and I generalise, these are parish churches within the liberal tradition of the C of E. Lots of them around, especially here within the Diocese of Southwark, including my own. Generally these parishes would support liberal movements within the church such as Inclusive Church; Accepting Anglicans; Changing Attitude; Affirming Catholicism. Interpret the bible for its relevance to today’s society. Almost certainly, sadly, within a minority within the world-wide Anglican Communion.

Then, you have the traditional, conservative parishes, sometimes called Evangelical, broadly in agreement with movements such as Reform; and the ever-delightful (not) Forward In Faith, who appear to dislike everyone. And no liberal person in their right mind should set foot inside the door of a Forward In Faith church, although I know a handful of gay Christians who do – and I find it both bewildering and a betrayal. But that’s up to them and their conscience.

Basically, some parish churches don’t give a hoot whether you’re gay, straight, bi, not sure, don’t care – and say so. Other parish churches do, and say so- and sometimes very loudly.

Does that answer your question?

messageRe: Gay marriage? Let's have a referendum
Posted by DJKillaQueen 21 March, 2012 13:22

Which is exaclty why SF's argument that you could be considered devisive and selfish is a nonsense. The church has never had a unity of belief and religions/ branches of religions that do, are usually run by dictatorships that demand it, putting the frear of everything in their followers and filling them with absolute guilt if they think otherwise.

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Gooooaaaaalllllll!

messageRe: Gay marriage? Let's have a referendum
Posted by silverfox 21 March, 2012 16:58

Article in the Daily Mail today. The case, based on specific facts under French Law, threw up these interesting points:

Gay marriage is not a 'human right': European ruling torpedoes Coalition stance

Same-sex marriages are not a human right, European judges have ruled.

Their decision shreds the claim by ministers that gay marriage is a universal human right and that same-sex couples have a right to marry because their mutual commitment is just as strong as that of husbands and wives.

The ruling was made by judges of the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg following a case involving a lesbian couple in a civil partnership who complained the French courts would not allow them to adopt a child as a couple.

The ruling also says that if gay couples are allowed to marry, any church that offers weddings will be guilty of discrimination if it declines to marry same-sex couples.

It means that if MPs legislate for same-sex marriage, the Coalition’s promise that churches will not be compelled to conduct the weddings will be worthless...

...They declared: ‘The European Convention on Human Rights does not require member states’ governments to grant same-sex couples access to marriage.’...

The judges added that couples who are not married do not enjoy the same status as those who are.

‘With regard to married couples, the court considers that in view of the social, personal, and legal consequences of marriage, the applicants’ legal situation could not be said to be comparable to that of married couples.’

The French civil partners, Valerie Gas and Nathalie Dubois, tried to secure marriage rights under clauses that prevent discrimination and protect privacy and family life.

But the Strasbourg judges said there had been no discrimination against them because they were lesbians.

Lawyers said the decisions transformed the impact of David Cameron’s planned same-sex marriage law.

Neil Addison, a specialist in discrimination law, said: ‘Once same-sex marriage has been legalised then the partners to such a marriage are entitled to exactly the same rights as partners in a heterosexual marriage.

This means that if same-sex marriage is legalised in the UK it will be illegal for the Government to prevent such marriages happening in religious premises.’

The Government’s consultation paper also said that no church would have to conduct gay weddings. It said there would be different legal categories of civil and religious marriage and same-sex couples would not be allowed religious marriages.

But Church of England lawyers have already warned that if same-sex marriage goes ahead, then equality law is likely to force churches to fall into line and perform the wedding ceremonies.

The Strasbourg ruling won praise from campaigners against same-sex marriage.

Norman Wells, of the Family Education Trust, said: ‘For too long campaigners have been using the language of rights in an attempt to add moral force to what are nothing more than personal desires.

‘In many cases they have bypassed the democratic process and succeeded in imposing their views on the rest of the population by force of law.

‘We are seeing the same principle at work in the Government’s sham of a consultation on same-sex marriage.’

He added: ‘The ruling from the ECHR will embolden those whose concerns about same-sex marriage and adoption are not inspired by personal hatred and animosity, but by a genuine concern for the well-being of children and the welfare of society.

‘Instead of rushing to legislate without seriously considering the views of the electorate, the Government should be encouraging a measured public debate on the nature and meaning of marriage.’

The Stonewall pressure group called for same-sex couples to be allowed religious weddings if churches agreed.

It added: ‘The vitriol seen in statements by many political and religious figures, particularly some senior clerics, in advance of this consultation demonstrates the persistence of deeply worrying prejudice towards gay people.’

Read more: [www.dailymail.co.uk]

Why do I cite this? Not because nasty Silverfox hates gays. It's because the premiss of the Government's Consultation Process is naive, as are earlier comments on this thread such as:

"...Finally it is staggering that anyone would imagine that gay marriage has anything to do with anyone but gay people themselves..."

This is a big change which deserves proper scrutiny by society, democratically, rather than just slipped into law

messageRe: Gay marriage? Let's have a referendum
Posted by Otta 21 March, 2012 17:35

Why has this thread reached 5 pages?

Should there be a referendum?

Hell no!

People should have equal rights by law, why give bigots a say in the matter?

messageRe: Gay marriage? Let's have a referendum
Posted by Huguenot 21 March, 2012 19:49

Isn't there an obvious question here silverfox: why shouldn't gay people have all the same rights as those in a heterosexual marriage?

What is your problem with gay partnerships?

messageRe: Gay marriage? Let's have a referendum
Posted by uncleglen 21 March, 2012 20:50

Yes Otta you are right. (BTW The Catholic church has an exemption from policy on adoption for their agencies). The European Court is obviously influenced by the church and we should therefore have a referendum on getting out. Any legislative body that enforces human rights to the extent that we are living with subversive terrorist sympathisers and yet does not acknowledge that same sex couples wish to exercise their religious freedom by getting married in a church is flawed. Brain scans have shown that homosexuality is natural behaviour for some people and therefore they should no more be discriminated against than people with blue eyes.
The anachronistic pervasion of religion into our lives (for example our taxes pay for faith schools!) is perverted in the extreme.

messageRe: Gay marriage? Let's have a referendum
Posted by DJKillaQueen 22 March, 2012 10:40

I wouldn't put too much status into the European ruling either. The Catholic church for example is far more powerful in Europe than the UK (the dominent religion of France too incidently) and it's influence is not to be underestimated. Fortunately the UK hasn't always felt the need to take notice of the European view on everything.

The ruling also says that if gay couples are allowed to marry, any church that offers weddings will be guilty of discrimination if it declines to marry same-sex couples.

This statement contradicts itself. It acknowledges that the church already descriminates agaisnt some heterosexual couples and then argues that an end to descrimination is somehow a bad thing. Pinch me if we are not living in the 21st century here!

‘The European Convention on Human Rights does not require member states’ governments to grant same-sex couples access to marriage.’...

This is only the statute in law as it currently exists, 'require', being the key word. It doesn't mean it is morally right (or that any government can't change that status if it sees fit) and like any European statute can be changed in due course if the will is there in Europe to end ALL descrimination against gays.

Also these rulings are specific to a case involving two women in a country with different local laws to the UK (and as pointed out, strongly Catholic). Gay couples are allowed to adopt in the UK for example. They were challenging the law in France as it currently stands and the basis of their argument was that they should be allowed the same rights as married heterosexual couples in relation to adoption and that it was an infringement of their human rights to be denied that equality.

The European ruling has to take into consideration whether the French government acted in accordance with their own laws and are those laws fair. Should a heterosexual couple challenge the right for a gay couple to adopt in the UK through the European court, arguing say that it infringes the child's human rights to be placed with a gay couple, the court would uphold the UK law as it currently stands.

It has nothing to do wih any proposed changes to laws on marriage by the UK government though. The UK government is free to make any changes it pleases as long as it follows the correct parliamentary procedure. And no doubt other lawyers in favour of the move, will point this out.

I would argue that if the UK government changed the law and church lawyers tried to get that law revoked through the European courts they would rule that whilst ‘The European Convention on Human Rights does not require member states’ governments to grant same-sex couples access to marriage.’...that a government was still free to do so, if they so choose.

I totally agree Otta that for this thread to reach five pages shows how sadly we still have some way to go before all prejudice is wiped out. Combatting religious bigotry is perhaps the final challenge for gays in the UK and will perhaps be the hardest one to combat. Thankfully SF is a lone voice on this forum at least.

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Gooooaaaaalllllll!

messageRe: Gay marriage? Let's have a referendum
Posted by ££££ 22 March, 2012 12:58

Anyway, in terms of the original propsal in the EDF Referendum it looks like

For a referendum - Silverfox

Against - Everyone else

messageRe: Gay marriage? Let's have a referendum
Posted by El Pibe 22 March, 2012 13:06

I don'tthink we can extrap[olate those stats nationally though.
Can someone post up the same proposal on the Southend and Stevenage forums and see what we get?

messageRe: Gay marriage? Let's have a referendum
Posted by silverfox 22 March, 2012 13:15

££££ Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Anyway, in terms of the original propsal in the
> EDF Referendum it looks like
>
> For a referendum - Silverfox
>
> Against - Everyone else

Quite right El Pibe. All this shows is about 10 people have disagreed with me. I suspect there are many in the wings who would like a say whether the meaning of marriage is changed, rather than have it forced on them.

messageRe: Gay marriage? Let's have a referendum
Posted by El Pibe 22 March, 2012 13:34

I actually suspect most people don't spare it much thought tbh and I strongly suspect the desire for a referendum would remain very low.

If there was a referendum I have no idea how the country would vote, it would certainly be interesting if a total waste of time and money [by which i mean I'm happy for the government to make it pooilicy as our elected officials without recourse to a referndum, just like it does for 99.9% of our other legislation].

messageRe: Gay marriage? Let's have a referendum
Posted by silverfox 22 March, 2012 13:47

Officials are elected on the basis of manifesto promises. This one was never mentioned to the British people

messageRe: Gay marriage? Let's have a referendum
Posted by El Pibe 22 March, 2012 14:06

Meh.
I don't think that's really the case is it.

I think they're mostly elected on the partisan nature of our politics.
In fact I'm pretty sure that most people vote based upon what their dad did truth be told.

If it was about manifesto promises then supporters of both coalition partners have a great deal more to complain about than gay marriage!!!!!

messageRe: Gay marriage? Let's have a referendum
Posted by maxxi 22 March, 2012 15:24

silverfox Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I suspect there are
> many in the wings who would like a say whether the
> meaning of marriage is changed, rather than have
> it forced on them.

What rot. The meaning of marriage hasn't changed - it has been redefined as it has been constantly since it was first introduced.

As for the involvement of religion - people were getting married for hundreds of years before the church decided to get involved and threaten anyone who didn't have their marriage sanctified.

The 'meaning' of love has also been redefined for many in recent memory because we now acknowledge and celebrate what was - until recently - called 'the love that dare not speak its name' and was illegal.

Or do you think you should have been consulted on that too?

messageRe: Gay marriage? Let's have a referendum
Posted by silverfox 22 March, 2012 20:45

"... people were getting married for hundreds of years before the church decided to get involved..."

True maxxxi, men and women were getting married for hundreds of years...

messageRe: Gay marriage? Let's have a referendum
Posted by maxxi 22 March, 2012 22:59

There is evidence that single sex marriage was accepted and practiced in Ancient Greece and Rome until the Christian Church took over and made it a sin punishable by death.

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