Saturday, November 14, 2009

Straight couple demand civil partnership

He he.

Well, why not? Just as homosexuals complain that the institution of marriage is discriminatory because they are forbidden to enter the divinely-ordained institution, so heterosexuals may complain that civil partnership is discriminatory because married couples are forbidden to enter the man-made institution on the grounds that they already have the divinely-ordained institution of marriage.

And so another ‘hierarchy of rights’ battle begins.

But Cranmer prophesies that the heterosexuals will lose. The Civil Partnership Act 2004 is clear on eligibility:

3.1 Two people are not eligible to register as civil partners of each other if—
(a) they are not of the same sex,
(b) either of them is already a civil partner or lawfully married,
(c) either of them is under 16, or
(d) they are within prohibited degrees of relationship.

The Act is inherently discriminatory, or ‘heterophobic’ and ‘offensive’, as Peter Tatchell says (and whatever one may think about him, he is at least consistent).

The Conservative Party attempted to add an amendment to the Civil Partnership Bill; one which would have granted siblings the same rights as homosexuals. Cheryl Gillan was concerned with such instances as two spinster sisters who have lived together all of their lives, or a bachelor brother and spinster sister who care for elderly relatives. The amendment was defeated, since the sole purpose of the legislation was to grant a state-recognised union to homosexuals alone.

And so heterosexual couples are barred from the institution.

Cranmer wonders, though, what is stopping two men or two women who just happen to be mates from entering into a civil partnership purely for business reasons? If they wished to (say) buy a house together in order to get on the 'property ladder', as many single people now do, it is not clear how the Act may discriminate against them in their (laudable) quest to minimise their tax liability.

It is ironic that the Civil Partnership Act admits homosexual couples of the same sex, and (apparently) heterosexual couples of the same sex, but prohibits heterosexual couples of the opposite sex. Perhaps the best way to undermine its discriminatory provisions is not for heterosexual couples to attempt to enter into a partnership by (illegally) 'duping council regsitrars', but by thousands of heterosexual same-sex couples entering into a civil partnership for 'business' reasons. The state can hardly enquire, let alone prove, that such a partnership is asexual.


Anonymous Brian E. said...

Surely, in the eyes of many churchgoers, a civil partnership is already available in terms of a Registry Office marriage?
What exactly would be the difference in status for a heterosexual couple married in a registry office, and a similar couple an a "Civil Partnership" were this possible?

14 November 2009 at 10:06  
Blogger Archbishop Cranmer said...

Mr Brian E,

The Registry Office marriage is a marriage: Civil Partnership is not marriage, though the tax and benefits consequences are identical.

14 November 2009 at 10:18  
Blogger Christopher Evans said...

This has got me thinking. Could there be a way of avoiding inheritance tax if my mother was to engage in a civil partnership with my girl friend? When my mother passes away to the other side, I could then marry my girl friend and hey presto, no inheritance tax. Would this work?

There must be other scenarios that could be beneficial also.

14 November 2009 at 10:42  
Blogger Archbishop Cranmer said...

Mr Christopher Evans,

His Grace cannot for the life of him see a flaw in your proposal. That is his point. Unless the State insists on civil partnerships being sexual (which it cannot), your plan would appear to constitute lawful tax avoidance rather than evasion.

14 November 2009 at 10:54  
Blogger Arden Forester said...

Christopher Evans! You are wickedly evil - I like you!

14 November 2009 at 10:57  
Blogger Hank Petram said...

Christopher Evans, although your proposed arrangement would now fall, as His Grace says, into the category of tax avoidance rather than tax evasion, the trouble is that the opposition can now read your post here (if they haven't already) and take the appropriate steps to close the loophole.

14 November 2009 at 11:08  
Blogger Archbishop Cranmer said...

Mr Petram,

As long as the loophole exists, it may be exploited. And yet it is not clear how such a loophole may be closed, unless the state is going to request evidence of the consummation of homosexual and lesbian unions. And it is not clear to His grace what may constitute such evidence.

14 November 2009 at 11:15  
Anonymous Nelson said...

Brilliant Mr Evans, Now let us all think of other ways to sabotage the hetrophobic statutes & earn ourselves some legal tax avoidance into the bargain.

14 November 2009 at 11:32  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

There is a slight flaw in trying to sabotage the 'hetrophobic' partnerships, namely the fact that the gay lobby will point out that marriage is still a 'homophobic' arrangement (as in fact many of them do).

What is more likely (and was probably part of their game plan all along) is that marriage will become available to all ... well, all except for bisexuals or other bigamists or polygamists, or incestuous relationships, or bestial relationships (after all, if the dog initiates the relationship by trying to hump my leg who is the state to deny & discriminate against such a loving relationship that undoubtedly often exists!)

14 November 2009 at 11:55  
Blogger Archbishop Cranmer said...

The only restriction on those who intend to enter into civil partnership appears to be the same as the prohibition on marriage relations: close siblings - mother, father, sister, brother, aunt, uncle, etc.

Conceivably, therefore, two male (or female) cousins may enter into a civil partnership in order to lessen their tax liability. Two friends may enter into a civil partnership in order to do the same.

Cranmer is not sure if he is the first to point this out. If so, it may be a little divine inspiration to undermine the (unforseen?) consequence of legislation which is perceived to undermine the institution of marriage and certainly discriminates against heterosexuals.

14 November 2009 at 12:00  
Blogger Hank Petram said...

Your Grace, I was thinking of some possible extension of the consanguinity rule. "A man may not marry his grandmother," and so on. Perhaps now: "A man may not marry the former civil partner of either of his parents."

14 November 2009 at 12:07  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr Evans has a good idea.
Yes, every widow or widower knocking on death's door should consider a CP. Prospective bank robbers should also form civil partnerships to avoid having to testify against their partner (in crime), and to get visitation rights in the unfortunate event of a conviction.

14 November 2009 at 12:23  
Anonymous Knighthawk said...

It could be that all the 'gay' hand-wringing about 'apartheid,' 'hetrophobia' and 'discrimination' is a sham. Apparent support of heterosexual civil partnerships but subtle deceit to advance same-sex prominence. In the grey world of Socialism and the mire of moral relativity it is not inconceivable that marriage could be outlawed and civil partnerships blossom as the triumphant vehicle of 'equality'.

The state can hardly enquire, let alone prove, that such a partnership is asexual.

I wouldn't bet on it Your Grace, given the surveillance mentality of the State and 'bedroom' questions in the next census.

14 November 2009 at 12:37  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

14 November 2009 at 13:01  
Blogger Hank Petram said...

You Grace may recall that Cardinal Levada, now the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, was previously the archbishop of San Francisco and that in that capacity he successfully negotiated a modification to a proposed city ordinance that would have singled out homosexual couples for preferential treatment in the case of employment benefits. The ordinance, as eventually enacted, extended to the same benefits to any designated member of the employee’s household, wholly free of any restrictions whether in the field of sexual orientation, consanguinity, or any other. This agreement became known by some as “Levada’s compromise” but, more modestly, he called it “the San Francisco solution” when he wrote about it in First Things:

As a result of our agreement, the city has codified regulations to recognize that a business or agency which “allows each employee to designate a legally domiciled member of the employee's household as being eligible for spousal equivalent benefits” would be in compliance with the law. [. . .]

Under our plan, an employee may indeed elect to designate another member of the household to receive benefits. We would know no more or no less about the employee's relationship with that person than we typically know about a designated life insurance beneficiary.

14 November 2009 at 13:08  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

to knighthawk @12:37
there was sadly a recent news article where a couple in a unit where couples are monitered to see if they are "fit" to bring up a child ie so they don't have their child taken away by the state had to make a big fuss so that their CCTV was taken away at night when they were sleeping together. The fact that any social worker, bureacrat or employee were happy with the idea is scary and disgusting and says a lot.

14 November 2009 at 13:11  
Blogger Hank Petram said...

Sorry, correcting a typo:

[. . .]The ordinance, as eventually enacted, extended the same benefits to any designated member of the employee’s household, [. . .]

14 November 2009 at 13:13  
Blogger Lord Lavendon said...

Your Grace,

I am confused and I hope that fellow communicants may contribute here with some suggestions :

There does not seem to me to be a difference between a secular registry office marriage and civil partnerships other than the name or have I missed some tiny detail?

(e.g. is it still the case that for a marriage to be legal it has to be consummated, is 'divorce' under civil partnerships the same?) .

I wonder if labour will be making sure that we legally have ‘gay weddings’ in registry offices and then Church in future legislation as that seems to be (from the gay rights viewpoint) to be the next logical step?

And doubtless, even if this is politically impossible for labour to do, the EU could direct the UK government to have gay marriages in registry offices and Churches, under some equality directive.

14 November 2009 at 13:16  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hank Petram @ 13:13
The problem in the US including San Francisco, has been to do with healthcare and other issues. over half of bancruptcies in the US are caused (before this recession) directly or indirectly by healcare bills. When people change/lose jobs, they often lose healthcare. Even with pivate healthcare, the costs to the insured are high. So in the US - and there are other issues as in the UK - I think that if other issues had been addressed there would not have been as much lobbying for civil unions for those who choose a homosexual lifestyle. However, the situation with the non-homosexual spinsters, one of whom would have to sell the house they had lived in together for decades on the death of the other, and at a time of great grief (I think, but am not certain, that he home was their parents' home) becuase of inheritance tax issues, needs to be addressed. Although with the number of laws which have been passed by Labour, which are often overly broad (ditto statutory instruments), and given that it is election season, I hope that thought is given before anything gets changed.

14 November 2009 at 13:24  
Blogger Lord Lavendon said...

Your Grace

One other matter, you show mercy in abundance by allowing communicants to sign in as 'anons' etc once more. Let us hope they do not abuse their right to be offended.

14 November 2009 at 13:27  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The state can hardly enquire, let alone prove, that such a partnership is asexual.

Given a will there is a way. You woud be amazed at the number of people and groupings who seem to be preoccupied with the sex life of others. Bizzare I know, but what consenting adults do or don't do seems to be an highly emotionally charged issue for such people??

14 November 2009 at 13:34  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lord Lavendon @ 13:16
I am concerned that 2 people who want a homesexual service in a church or registry office might say that the marriage is a service offered and therefore cannot be refused on equality grounds (although to force someone to do something against their conscience/religion including offering services -wold that negate that argument?).
Am I right to be concerned?
Also why would 2 people of the same sex want to get married in a Christian house of worship when the foundation of Christian beliefs on what constitutes a marriage blessed by God says that such a union cannot be blessed by God or a Bible-believing church?
The church is not forcing couples to get married only in church.

14 November 2009 at 13:35  
Blogger Hank Petram said...

Anonymous (today at 13:24):

Yes, I hope I didn’t convey the misleading impression that the rules governing “domestic partners” under San Francisco city legislation were as all-embracing as the UK laws on “civil partners”. Nevertheless, it would be most welcome, in my view, if the UK were to modify its “civil partnership” legislation along the lines of “Levada’s compromise,” so that any two people living in the same household would be eligible to enter into a “civil partnership”.

14 November 2009 at 13:36  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hank Petram @ 13:36
My only concern is this. In a situation where you have a vulnerable person living alone, who is unmarried, then if the only way they can protect themselves from abuse/overreach by the State is to form a civil union, then the concept of partnership is reduced.
Also, partnerships are recorded by the state, and if that costs money/filling out papers etc then those in lower income brackets and those with health issues who cannot afford a lawyer are discriminated against. With the identity card / data base issues, every change will have to be recorded etc there is a penalty for not telling the state. Freedom of association needs to be protected and regained.
Someone who is "vulnerable" already has too little power vs the state to decide ow they are treated and by whom, and when a gvernment official including social services etc can enter their home, tell them how to live etc. So in may opinion any changes need to be thought through for unintended consequences including increasing the freedom of the individual regardless of their place in society. laws whould be simple and not budensome and there should be not too many so that people do not need a solicitor or barrister for everyday matters - many cannot afford that (money or time wise), and if people accidentally break a law by applying commonsense ie to such a partnership law - they could get a caution, unaffordable fine, a devastating court case or icriminal record and have their lives wrecked.

14 November 2009 at 13:54  
Anonymous Anabaptist said...

Is it legal to contract more than one civil partnership concurrently, or would that be bigamous?

May a man have several civil partners? And would this be a way forward for homosexual Muslims?

Does the law allow a married person to be in a civil partnership with somebody else?

And will these people take the matter to the European Court of Human Rights?

The tax implications are mind-boggling.

14 November 2009 at 13:57  
Blogger Christopher Evans said...

A toast to the bride, who happens to be your mother and your future wife. Remarkable!

14 November 2009 at 14:16  
Anonymous Zaccheaus the tax collector said...

Lord Lavendon and Anon (@13.35 one) .

the issue is not that there would be thousands waiting for gay marriage in a church, but that the left simply wants to make it so, regardless of how those who run the Church felt about it.

The basis for which would be the old 'equal rights' chestnut. Look at the religious adoption agencies saga for proof, it is not the numbers who want to use a service, but the mentality of the left; they have to appease one of their key electorates with a few bones of further ‘equal rights’ laws.

As our host reminds us there is now a hierarchy of 'rights' and the gay rights come above Christian rights, which would of course dismiss the Christians as being ‘homophobic’ or ‘bigoted’ etc.

any future legislation on gay marriage would presumably have to extend to the non-Christian religions as well. This is where it gets tricky for the left. Muslims and gays tend to vote labour in great numbers, but imagine the issue if a gay Muslim 'couple' wanted to get married in a mosque. What would Guardian readers say then ?

14 November 2009 at 14:26  
Blogger Christopher Evans said...

One more question:

What about pension rights? Would my future wife retain any of my mother pension rights as a widow?

I know I sound greedy but we live in the new tax payers/banker's bonus era.

14 November 2009 at 14:27  
Blogger Hank Petram said...

Anonymous (today at 13:54)

I certainly agree that care must be taken to avoid doing more harm than good.

On the other hand, bearing in mind that Levada's compromise states that eligible "partners" are legally domiciled members of the same household, anyone living alone, i.e. in a one-person household, would still be excluded from forming a "parnership".

14 November 2009 at 14:31  
Anonymous Christian Socialist said...

The problem is that the government I support got it wrong with civil partnerships. It was a third way load of bull.

It should have been gay marriage (with churches being able to refuse to marry on grounds on conscience) full stop.

Perhaps society is not ready for this, but if the law allows gays to bring up children then why cannot the law allow gay weddings?

14 November 2009 at 14:34  
Anonymous Mack Taylor said...

To those parishoners who are talking about gay Church weddings.

Dream on !

If my Parish Church started endorsing gay ceremonies or allowing gay Vicars, then I would have to consider my options. If the Church of England did that then
it would make the women priest thing look like a sideshow.

14 November 2009 at 14:45  
Anonymous martin sewell said...

By way of a point of information, it is worth noting that for all the fuss on all "sides" about Civil Partnerships there have only been about 20,000 entered into and the rate is running at about 8000 per annum after the initial surge of interest. The average age is around 45.

This does rather confound those who spoke in terms of there being a huge enthusiasm for the project amongst the gay folk , and maybe indicates that commitment is not high on the priority list of the younger members of the gay community.

Does anyone interpret these figures differently?

14 November 2009 at 14:59  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would not want to worship in a church that endorses homosexuality or adultery or polygamy inter alia because if they approve of things which are clearly disapproved of in the Bible, then I woudn't trust their teaching on other things.

I also think that the civil partnerships business is a quagmire because you have at least 3 strands of law over this and related matters - marriage, civil partnerships and common law partnerships. Do any legal types have any thoughts on this?

14 November 2009 at 15:01  
Blogger Archbishop Cranmer said...

Mr Christian Socialist responds with impeccable logic.

And, as has been observed, the real entertainment begins with the culmination for ultimate supremacy in the hierarchy of rights: that between Muslims and homosexuals. When two gay Muslims wish to marry in a mosque, to what extent will the State enforce such a service of union? And, if it did not so intervene, on what basis will it oblige churches to adhere to the provisions of anti-discrimination legislation unless it be through an act of governmental discrimination?

14 November 2009 at 15:03  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Martin Sewell @14:59
I personally think that there has been a lot of social enginerring by those in power.
I never used to wonder who practiced homosexuality or not. People are people first, not a bunch of labels.
But since the legislation from the government and the EU has been used to positively actively cause divisions in society and churches, I have noticed that there seem to be a higher than expected number of people practicing homosexuality in government, including at the top. Have they been passsing laws which they want in spite of what society thinks, and concentrating on their own personal agendas rather than their constituents' needs? Also, the media play a role. I once read an article that said that a higher-than-average proportion of journalists were children of church ministers and were not themselves Christian - which means they might be getting back at any faults or perceived faults of the Christians they knew.

Promotion of equality is a sticky business - I know of cases where someone has obviously been dicriminated aginst, but them get smeared or the side with the better standing in society or access to better laws wins. If homosexuals push too much, they may find that "poor" homosexuals lose individual cases ro "welathier" members of other labelled groups, including groups not yet invested whose behavior causes them repugnance.
If someone assaults a homosexual person or a Jewish person or a disabled person, then I think that it should be dealt with as an assault. Such legislation tends to decrease social cohesion as well, as we all start to think about labels rather than who the person is. I should have a right to disapprove of someone's behavior. I should not have the right to commit a genuinely criminal act against them.

14 November 2009 at 15:19  
Anonymous Quietman said...

Anon @ 15.19, so you are saying we are being run by a gay mafia? I thought it was the Scottish Raj!

14 November 2009 at 15:32  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was referring to those who openly state they practice a gay lifestyle.
I also have conceerns about the effect on UK soverignty re the Scottish issue.
And as a woman, I think that some of the equality laws/schemes are unwise - I have no problem with the fact that I and many other women could not realistically enter certain professions because of their size or strength, and as a bible-believing Christian I don't feel left out not being able to become a Reverand with authority/duty of care over a congregation. I am happy being female - I don't need to shave every morning, or choose whether or not to have a beard among other things. I am at peace with the fact that men don't get pregnant, women can and marriage is between a man and a woman.

14 November 2009 at 15:47  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Anon @ 15.19, so you are saying we are being run by a gay mafia? I thought it was the Scottish Raj!"

Quietman: how about 'both ... and'? Not called the Gay Gordon's fer nicht! :)

14 November 2009 at 16:06  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wasn't speculating about the sexuality of any Gordon's.
I also need to say I have no problems with Scottish people, only those who use appear to using legislative mechanisms to legislate their grudges against the UK or English or Welsh or Irish etc etc. Even though I have known Scots (and Welsh and English and Irish and British), this whole raft of laws and rapid changing of soverignty and other constitutional changes are having their unintended (or intended by some) consequence of tempting me to think of myself and others as Scots or non-Scot or English or Welsh rather than British. I don't like that. Also is a quarter-Scot, quarter-Irish, quarter-Welsh quarter-English allowed to be British or wholly Scot, Welsh,Irish and English? Similarly, I love Europe and used to travel and learnt languages - but when I have have the EU imposed on me, then I may not like the EU and thereforefore miss out on good things in Europe which are not (yet) socially engineered by the EU, and may call myself European in the normal sense.
Too much change and too much ill thought out change leads to chaos. Ditto trying to force me to approve of other behaviors I do not like. If I am not free to say I don't like homosexuality, and if some homosexuals try to trap Christians or others into expressing their views on homosexuality in order to take them to court for whatever reason, then does it not mean that those who practice homosexuality and lobby in certain ways will increase isolation adn community cohesion because some people will be scared to interract with some gay people becuase they don't know /cannot trust that knwown gays are not discriminatory themselves against those who are not? Will gays find themselves back "in the closet"?

14 November 2009 at 16:51  
Blogger Don't Call Me Dave said...

My understanding is that any scheme entered into for the purposes of avoiding tax is automatically deemed unlawful by HMRC, so Mr Evans’s suggestion near the top of this thread is likely to fail.

In any case, once your girlfriend has inherited your mother’s estate as her civil partner, what is to say that she would still want to marry you!

14 November 2009 at 17:53  
Anonymous Can't think of a Pseudonym said...

His Grace is begging the question which group will come up on top of the rights tree. This is finely balanced, but perhaps looking at Europe might give us a clue? Wasn't their a right wing gay dutch politician( who got shot) who sweep to victory on an anti islam package ? Perhaps that might happen here ?

14 November 2009 at 19:24  
Blogger Christopher Evans said...

Don't call me Dave


"what is to say that she would still want to marry you!"

That's the bit I have to keep to my self. Dave!

14 November 2009 at 21:31  
Anonymous Scottish Raj said...

Our landslide in Glasgie by-electun shows we ra goona winn da electun! 5 More yahs of scotland labur hear we commmin !

14 November 2009 at 22:37  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I always wondered what the black flag weirds would do when they had no cause to fight

14 November 2009 at 22:50  
Anonymous Saint Michael said...

I trust that his grace would permit me to say on behalf of communicants that we have dearly miss Mr D Singh and his intelligent and erudite contributions to religio-political discourse.

I trust he will be back soon!

14 November 2009 at 23:01  
Anonymous not a machine said...

Dearly beloved we are gathered in the sight of mmmmm to witness the civil joining of A and B .

Do you A take B to be your lawfully joined partner

I do

Do you B take A to be your lawfully joined partner .

I do

for richer for poorer in sickness and in health.

I now pronunce you civily joined and let no human rent asunder what mmmmmmmmm has decreed

I dont know your grace somehow it doesnt sound the same as a high church do , although it is reasuuring to find your communicants are inheritance tax experts , your graces blogg must be upgrade "all matters religo political and probate law"

15 November 2009 at 00:55  
Anonymous IanCad said...

Most of you are lending new depth to the term "Jesuitical"
Must be reading too much Macky A'Velly

15 November 2009 at 02:25  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ooh , ooh lets blow this up out of all proportion to distract us from Labour's on going campaign of treason.

15 November 2009 at 03:44  
Anonymous Voyager said...

The EU used employment legislation to force through civil partnerships as a means of addressing 'workplace discrimination'. Thus was social and family law changed through Single Market Directives (M Thatcher please note !)

The object was to create an analogue to Marriage and parody that institution as much as possible to the point of removing Bachelor and Spinster from Certificates and replacing it with "Single"; and banning all reference to Marriage in all Government documents and forms.

Thus the Civil Partnerships are not an enhancement so much as a means of subsuming Marriage as an institution into a State-accredited Partnership matched by Divorce as a dissolution procedure.

That is why Siblings cannot form Civil Partnerships or Parent-Child, because the State has sought to impose its template as in Germany where Register Office Marriage is a compulsory precursor to Church Blessing - only The State being empowered to conduct marriage.

The English System owes everything to the Established Church status making the priest a Register Office for Marriage purposes as opposed to Birth or Death.

15 November 2009 at 06:17  
Anonymous pedant said...

Suppose I gave up work with the express purpose of avoiding income tax, and lived entirely on capital. Would that then be unlawful, as Don't Call Me Dave implies, and would I then be deemed to have an income which I didn't have, and be taxed on it even though it didn't exist?

I'm not the first to raise this very question. Forty-odd years ago it was the point at issue in one of AP Herbert's Misleading Cases (Board of Inland Revenue v. Hoe). Mr Justice Puce ruled: "The Finance Act of 1960 ... established that the subject may not ... arrange his affairs so he does not attract taxation; from this it follows that ... he has a duty to arrange them so that he does. The defendant, like any other Tax Unit, must pay the sums demanded or go to prison."

Once again, Your Grace, you have homed like a guided missile on a topic whose consequences become more and more exquisitely lunatic the more one looks at them.

15 November 2009 at 08:55  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've only appeared here via a link from another site (Iain Dale)

I hope the congregation won't be offended when I say I'm one of those in my forties in a civil partnership who fell on this opportunity with tears and gratitude.

I'm afraid the only reason these straight people aren't allowed to do what we did is at the insistence of the church.

Ultimately we didn't need God to be formally acknowledged at m
our wedding. We know that the love of God goes way beyond any man made building or any ceremony, organisation or even book written by men.

It didn't mean God wasn't there, or that God doesn't bless us or love us. God doesn't care about right or left, black or white, gay or straight, bacon or beef, he cares about what's in your heart.

Just my faith. God bless you.

15 November 2009 at 11:49  
Anonymous len said...

God is love.
That is why Jesus Christ died to release people from their sins.
Is it love to know people are heading for destruction and to say nothing but" I love you"
No!Jesus Christ came to set us free!

15 November 2009 at 15:35  
Blogger Botogol said...

civil partnerships should be available to anyone

churches should be free to marry whomever they wish

15 November 2009 at 16:30  
Anonymous Rob G said...

@ Botogol - "churches should be free to marry whomever they wish"
They are. Any religious organisation is able to deem whomever it chooses as married - it's just that the state won't recognise it unless the marriage conforms to the requirements of the Marriage Act, etc.

@ Christopher Evans - it's entirely possible for two people of the same sex to undertake a civil partnership as long as they're not in one of the banned categories. But you can only be in one civil partnership or marriage at once, so you'd have to dissolve the Civil Partnership if you met someone you wished to marry.

And of course, it's also open to a gay man to marry a woman in the same way (not sure whether non-consummation would still be a ground for annulment, at least as far as the state is concerned; conceivably, the "aggrieved" party would be barred from relying on the fact by their complicity in the whole situation).

And @ Archbishop Cranmer - "When two gay Muslims wish to marry in a mosque, to what extent will the State enforce such a service of union?", it won't. Civil Partnerships are not allowed in places of worship (nor are civil marriages).

15 November 2009 at 23:12  
Blogger ZZMike said...

"The only restriction on those who intend to enter into civil partnership appears to be the same as the prohibition on marriage relations: close siblings - mother, father, sister, brother, aunt, uncle, etc."

Let's examine that for a moment. In the real world, there are biological and genetic reasons for such restrictions (q.v. the Hapsburg family), but in this Brave New One, such restrictions are unneccesary (except in the case of incest). Homosexual men, and lesbians, cannot bring forth young.

Somebody said "The state can hardly enquire, let alone prove, that such a partnership is asexual."

I'm reminded of a quaint (though distasteful) custom in some Muslim countries, whereby the friends and family may know for certain that the marriage has indeed been "consummated". (Delicacy prevents me from supplying more detail.) Nonetheless, similar measures may be made to prove a paertnership "sexual".)

One of the Anonymii: "Also why would 2 people of the same sex want to get married in a Christian house of worship when the foundation of Christian beliefs on what constitutes a marriage blessed by God says that such a union cannot be blessed by God or a Bible-believing church?
The church is not forcing couples to get married only in church."

The couples, however, will force churches to "marry" them, in order to impose their beliefs on everyone.

not a machine: "Dearly beloved we are gathered in the sight of mmmmm to witness the civil joining of A and B."

In Massachusetts, a few years back, they re-wrote the marriage application to remove the words "bride" and "groom" and replace them with "Party A" and "Party B".

On the license, both Party A nad Party B have a check-box to which they may each reply "Male" "Female".

Botogol: "civil partnerships should be available to anyone."

We demand our equal rights!!!!!

17 November 2009 at 22:04  
Anonymous Carl Gardner said...

Gosh, a lot of nonsense is talked about this.

Peter Tatchell is among the gay activists who has argued that civil partnerships should be available to straight couples - but then I think he argues marriage should be available to gay couples, too. That would be absolute equality of course; but then at present we have equality in practice, as same-sex couples have civil partnership while opposite-sex couples have marriage. The two are identical in almost every respect, which is why there is no discrimination or human rights problem.

The only possible legal quirk is that gay EU couples who are married - and NOT civil partnered - in a country like Holland may be entitled to be recognised as married - and NOT civil partnered - for some purposes here, such as occupational pensions (which are very slightly more favourable to married couples as I recall). But apart from that, the current position is legally robust, and was designed to achieve as much equality as possible. That is why the consanguinity rules are in the CP legislation, for instance. This challenge is bound to fail.

I don't know about the tax avoidance scheme someone mentioned, but a good rule of thumb to apply is this: if it'd work if you did it by marrying someone, then it'll almost certainly work by CPing someone. The two things are the same and are designed to be.

As for "can my girlfriend CP my mum", well yes she can, if neither of them is married or CPd already. In the same way, she could marry your dad.

You don't have to be gay to enter a CP, no. The state will not inquire into your sexuality. The government deliberately drafted the law to apply to any two same-sex people (subject to consanguinty, bigamy etc.) just as marriage applies to any two opposite-sex people subject to the same qualifications. You do not have to be straight to be married.

Finally, the attitude of the Church. Had the government extended CPs to straight couples, Christians would have said they were undermining marriage. Had they brought in marriage for all, Christians would have said they were undermining marriage. Had they extended marriage to siblings, Christians would have said.... well, we all know what they'd have said. Funny how no one was concerned about marriage law excluding siblings, until the CP legislation mirrored the exclusion (rather than giving same-sex couples greater rights than are available under marriage).

But bring in CPs, and predictably some Christians moan about them being discriminatory. How many ways do they want it?

Is the truth simply that those who complain about CPs really just want to abolish them, and that they'll always complain on some factitious grounds so long as CPs exist?

18 November 2009 at 15:48  
Anonymous TheGlovner said...

Well said.

18 November 2009 at 17:11  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

“A great story . . . which makes a great point. In the US, where "theoretically" we seperate Church and State, perhaps our States should get out of the "marriage" business all together and only offer "Civil Unions," for gay or straight, with equal rights and benefits under civil law for all couples. Then, the Churches can do whatever they want . . . "marriage" . . . "blessing" . . . or nothing (should a couple decide that), and call it what they want. But seperate Church and State, as many other countries already do it.
Rev. David

25 November 2009 at 02:41  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is rediculous! this is a straight couple, they can go and get married! there is no reason for them to be going through this unless it is to sell there story and make money!
I can understand a gay couple to fight for their right to get married however even that is a little strange! people get married because they want their union to be recognised in the eyes of the lord, well in the eys of the lord being gay is an abmination and that is why he wiped out the people in sodem so the fact they have chosen the path of homosexuality means they do not believe in religion and it would not be fair to force a priest to carry out a marriage whihc is against his own religion.
The civil partnership was a way to recognise a gay couples union without forcing someone to go against their religion.
These poeple are just trying to create a media hurricane over something that isn't a problem I cant imagine that if they win this case that there will be a rush of people wanting civil partnerships instead of marriage.
This couple can get married and they are just putting an obsticle in the way just for the sake of it.
if someone wants to fight for the equal rights to get married then it should be a couple who it actually effects not a pair of opportunists.
also dont they think that gay couples have already been fighting for these rights and it has already been in front of the court and it has already been discussed and there is already a precedence on this case.
they want a story to make money and they should be ashamed of themselves to be using this subject for their own personal gain!

27 November 2009 at 21:22  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I want to have a civil partnership so that my man and i can give our relationship a chance. i am british and he is from a non eu country. we were together for three years, broke up and are now back together. we are a hetro couple and don't want to marry so as to keep him in the country but the more research we do the more we realise that that is the corner people get pushed into if they try to be in love in the uk. its sad. we just want to have a life in a country that we both love, we both work hard and yet we are pushed to do criminal acts so as to live a decent life. if we could have a civil partnership, we could at least apply for him to stay here legally and live a regular life rather than potentially reuining our relationship with the pressure of marrying too early and for reasons of visas rather than naturally developed! any (useful) suggestions welcome.

29 November 2009 at 01:09  

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