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Is it time to be Spartacus?

Here we go again.

C4M_MPU

The Archbishop Cranmer has been reported by some number of small minded bigots to the Advertising Standards Authority. These people apparently object to any opinion with which they disagree being broadcast to the general public, in this case an advertisement which supports the belief “that marriage is a life-long union between one man and one woman, in accordance with the teaching of the Established Church, the beliefs of its Supreme Governor, and the law of the land."

The ASA, in their wisdom, have had the bare faced gall to demand his Eminence justify his political opinion, and his open support for the law and the teachings of The Church Established.

Personally, I don’t give a toss about gay marriage, one way or the other. Seriously, I just plain don’t care. However, I do object to agents, or pseudo agents, of the state demanding a freeborn Englishman justify his political views under threat of violence and sanction. So feel free to enjoy the advertisement.

Who the hell do these people think they are?

H/T Samizdata

Update:  Just to keep the memories fresh, here’s Ezra again, in full flow.

54 Comments

  1. Furor Teutonicus says:

    Just posted this on the comments page of your ASA link;

    XXX XX These people apparently object to any opinion with which they disagree being broadcast to the general public, in this case an advertisement which supports the belief “that marriage is a life-long union between one man and one woman, in accordance with the teaching of the Established Church, the beliefs of its Supreme Governor, and the law of the land.”

    The ASA, in their wisdom, have had the bare faced gall to demand his Eminence justify his political opinion, and his open support for the law and the teachings of The Church Established.XX

    Go fuck yourselves sideways you shower of fucking queer bastards.

    I WAS NOT anti “gay” but are fuckers like you MAKE me so with yout “hollier than thou” pedarastic arse licking. XXX

    Probably get ignored. But…..

  2. CountingCats says:

    Furor Teutonicus,

    Do not EVER write anything as foul mouthed, homophobic and abusive as that in response to a posting of mine again. If you do not write within the day acknowledging that vile comment is unacceptable I will delete it and ban you.

    Is that clear? I point out, I have never banned anyone before, but there can always be a first.

  3. CountingCats says:

    Sigh,

    And i disassociate myself from pink triangles and zyklon B as well.

    This sort of comment renders us no different to them, and has no place in any discussion I want to be part of.

    Is it any wonder progressives are comfortable in labeling libertarians as violent, homophobic NAZI’s if the language used is violent, homophobic and NAZI?

  4. mark says:

    CountingCats,

    I’m not sure that your type (decent) are welcome here.

  5. NickM says:

    My take.

    Furor Teutonicus. Cats may ban you but I’m simply tempted to also supply you with pink triangles a natty black uniform and Zyklon B.

    I personally believe that the state has no significant role in marriage and I certainly believe it absolutely has no role in sending Cranmer to the naughty step. I read His Grace. He makes no bones about being a trad Christian. I agree with much he says and disagree with much else he says. That is the point of a blogger. I mean if we were all individuals (I’m not!) what a dreadful place it would be. Furthermore (and I have posted here on a number of occasions – most recently quoting Clint Eastwood the noted Poncho-wearing chutney ferret) that opposing gay marriage is wrong and silly. It seems to me an absurd conflation is going on. The idea from many on the alleged right is this is dreadful “proggy plot” to bring down Western Civilization. Let’s look at it another way. A UK civil marriage is almost aggressively secular. Given that and that homosexual acts have been legal in this country for donkey’s years then… Or what about the religious groups such as the Quakers, Methodists and some Jews who want to celebrate gay marriages? The idea that “the God-botherers” are all against it is hog-wash. Indeed these groups who have the right under English law to solemnize marriage and have decided off their own bat they would like to recognize and conduct gay marriages find the idea of the state saying “Nyet!” a vile reprehension of their religious freedom. That is the point. It is a libertarian point. Our gaff, our rules. Nobody and I mean nobody is trying to force Muslims or Catholics to marry lesbians or gays. It really is driven by religious freedom which I believe in fundamentally and the struggle for which has littered Europe (and elsewhere) knee-deep in blood and entrails. So by the same token Cranmer is being persecuted for his beliefs in much the same way the more “liberal” religions on this score are by being denied the right to marry who they bally well want to.

    We opine, we editorialize, we laugh, we play. We don’t contact the ASA*. I mean as I said I agree with much of Cranmer and disagree with a lot his schtick but I understand his religious beliefs or rather I understand his right to them as much as I am sure he would understand my irreligious beliefs. I mean being able to disagree strongly without getting the heavies in is almost a definition of civilization. It is private property issues and that is exactly why Cats is right to object to Furor’s PoV (if you can call it that – it sounded like foul-mouthed** inaccurate*** invective to me) so strongly but not call for him to be strung up by his genitals or whatever. Perhaps that is why Cats is not only the host here but our moral centre.

    *And what made this their issue here? It is not as if Cranmer was falsely advertising a hypersonic plane for a tenner that could fly from Gatwick to Kansai on a tablespoon of corn oil was he? That would be blatently false advertising and therefore maybe some form of fraud (unless it was true and then I’d have three) but an opinion is… Well an opinion and a free society is made of opinions.
    **I am also foul-mouthed but I am witty with it. And I tend to do it just for giggles.
    ***LGB people I have known tend to commence sexual relations later because due to societal pressures the whole coming out thing requires a confidence rare in a teenager. Therefore the bizarre conflation of homosexuals with pedophiles is almost certainly factually very wrong empirically. Theoretically it’s wrong too. Anyway I have never met a gay man who didn’t think George Clooney “dishy”. That hardly implies pedophilia. Yeah, that George Clooney – the very wealthy and successful self-possessed movie-star and director who is middle-aged.

  6. CountingCats says:

    Ok, so you deleted the original comment, but you continue with the violent NAZI imagery? After all, regardless of how mild your expression is, are not the references to pink triangles and zyklon B both NAZI and murderously violent in and of themselves? By their very nature? Contrary to everything we are supposed to believe in?

    And that is a giggle?

    Seriously?

    I dare say that Heydrich conducted the Wannsee Conference in the most civilized tone of voice, but the result was still Treblinka. Is that really the company you feel comfortable with keeping?

  7. When the Archbish offers his views on what he thinks marriage is about, fine. When he then goes on to try and impose those views on the lives of others who don’t believe in fairy stories, or even just prefer a different version – and moreover wants to do so by force of law – he can take a running jump.

  8. mark says:

    Ian,
    Do you think that society should be actively required to encourage anti-social behaviour?
    Personally, I don’t think there is anything anti-social about homosexuality (though I can understand where those who do think this are coming from) and I don’t think there is Nything particuarly desirable about the word “marriage” (the institution is a differnet matter) , but if we did consider it to be anti- social, wouldn’t we have a duty to try our best not to encourage it?

  9. NickM says:

    mark,
    You confuse our host with a gate-crashe who just urinated in the fish-tank.

    Cats,
    This is all got arse over tit. I deleted partial comments I made that the server grabbed and published. Anyway I stand by my comment. You know me. You think I’ll take a comment including:

    “Go fuck yourselves sideways you shower of fucking queer bastards.

    I WAS NOT anti “gay” but are fuckers like you MAKE me so with yout “hollier than thou” pedarastic arse licking”

    …lying down? Will I the blue fuck! From someone who calls himself “Furor Teutonicus”. The cunt might as well get the armband and sing the fucking Horst Wessel Lied. Some of my relatives shot fuckers like that 70 years ago in Belsen. When they weren’t puking due to the Dame Judy. And gays and lesbians are such an easy target. Still. You can get away with saying things like that in polite company (some polite company) to this day and I won’t have it. OK you have the right to make a right fucking NAZI tit-end of yourself and I have the right to mock. I have had and still have gay, lesbian and bisexual friends. What the fuck must they think! Just replace “queer bastards” with “niggers”. Even mark is annoyed. mark BTW I think you make a compelling point here!

    And I say “friends” but my wife fancies girls. It has lead to some amusement – she was French. I find it cool that she also fancies girls. It’s a heck of a lot cooler being able to talk about the shaggability of Cate Blanchett than Leonardo Di-fucking-Caprio. Although some might argue that was fancying a girl too. I guess he has better legs than Hitler and bigger tits than Cher but so do I. So yeah, I take this very fucking personally and when I take things very fucking personally I get very fucking abusive.

    People like Furor Teutonicus would have had her shot if caught. Fortunately that was in Leeds well after the war. Probably me and the French lass too. I’ve experimented myself. So that could have been me too.

    I don’t buy tradition (apart from in Cumbrian teashops) and I don’t buy it as an excuse to demonize a sizeable part of humanity out of sheer pignorant bastardy. Let me put this fucking bluntly here. I got married (to a woman) with neither of us having any intention of having children (of course we’d discussed it) in a secular ceremony. How is that different from a gay or lesbian couple and why should religious principles guide such a thing?

    We are supposed to be libertarians here. Private property and individual freedom and all that. My marriage is personal – very personal because I am of a generation where it was like OK to shack-up out of wedlock (we did) and the tumbrils wouldn’t roll with street-corner ranters shrieking stuff out of Leviticus or some such. That was mind in Levenshulme where morals are somewhat looser than in leafy Cheshire. Actually in parts of South Manchester you can probably wander the street with an 8″, a gram of coke whilst perusing a copy of Big Jugs monthly if you have a machete. Not as rough as Leeds (mostly) or parts of Nottingham mind.

    My marriage was not an is not about obeying some cockamamie societal norm. Or even a gimp called Norm. And what I hate about the Cranmer link is the logo of the defense of marriage being a toilet door image of a man, a woman, two youngish kids and a toddler. Is that the societal norm? I guess it was in the 1955 of legend. Why not a man a woman and a cat? That’s my “family”. Is that not equally valid? If so why not two women with a budgie or a pair of blokes with a dog or indeed even a same-sex couple with children? Is that wrong?

    Gorton Girls Know All the Words to Songs by Chaka Chan!

  10. CountingCats says:

    Ian

    the view that marriage, by definition, is between man and woman only is perfectly legitimate, and has been the universal position, to the best of our knowledge, for all human existence.

    Introducing same sex marriage is not a matter of equality, but rather a demand that the meaning of the word be redefined. In your demanding the meaning of the word be changed it is not him trying to impose his views on you, but rather you imposing your views on him.

    My own position is similar to Nicks. Marriage is a religious sacrament, and should be left to the individual religions or divines to define. If the state has to be involved it should confine itself to civil unions, whether between man and woman, man and man, and woman and woman.

    There, problem solved. Don’t shove your definition of marriage down my throat, and I won’t shove my definition down yours. What could be more libertarian than that?

    And BTW, I don’t believe the good Archbishop is a libertarian, and he is also an individual, so don’t ask me to defend his views. I merely defend his right to hold those views, whatever they may be, without state censors threatening him with violence. That is the only thing which should be under discussion on this thread.

  11. NickM says:

    “the view that marriage, by definition, is between man and woman only is perfectly legitimate, and has been the universal position, to the best of our knowledge, for all human existence.”

    This is not strictly speaking true.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marriage

  12. CountingCats says:

    Nick,

    I’m sorry, I took your comment as precisely the opposite of what you seem to have meant. I initially thought you were supporting FT and taking it further.

    Ok, you were Godwinising him.

  13. mark says:

    Nick,
    You are so vulgar.
    Btw… I think I’ve just written the best comment ever on the ‘economics 101′ thread. Any chance it can be made into a full post?

  14. [...] the meantime, I am Spartacus. They can’t close us all down. Tags: freedom+of+speech, gay+marriage, ASA Share this:EmailStumbleUponDiggFacebook [...]

  15. NickM says:

    Cats,
    I think It was obvious I was taking this piss.

    mark,
    I am not vulgar – well I am only for the working day. The rest of the time I just try to be as obscene as possible. OK, mark. We had quite a chat on economic issues recently and whilst I still think you fundamentally wrong it was fun. Now you are a cheeky bastard to ask and almost cheeky enough for me to think, “Yeah, why not – let’s kick the tyres and light the fires!”. So keep coming back. You never know! I’m interested in what non-economic ideas you might have. Mainly because I’m much more interested in socially liberal ideas than economic ones. Note I say “interested”. Mainly because sex is enormously more interesting than fractional reserve banking. And not just to me. To almost everyone apart from Gordon Brown. Of course sex with Gordon Brown must be unimaginably worse. Imagine that fucker hulking over you and experiencing neo-classical endogenous growth theory – to bagpipe music. I suspect at the moment of culmination he’d holler, “Prudence!”

    Or there is always the quantitative easing of Gideon. He’s yell, “Nursey!” and promptly foul himself. Or want “bitty”.

    Right I’d best go before being the second person to be banned today. And that would be because of speculating on what Michael Gove gets up to with his soft toys.

  16. Sam Duncan says:

    I considered putting something about this up myself, but thought I’d better clear it with Cats first. Not that I doubted for a moment what his answer would be, but when you’re exposing what is, after all, someone else’s blog to the possibilty of attacks from the sort of gits who’ve gone after Cranmer, it’s probably best to ask permission first. And I never got round to it.

    But anyway, I couldn’t add anything much to what Cats himself has said, particularly in his comment to Ian. I could put my name to that one without alteration. Yes, it is time. The only possible cause for offence in the advert is that expresses views that the complainers disagree with. There’s nothing specifically derogatory about anyone or anything in it at all. The survey quote may be factually wrong, but that’s unlikely. For that reason, I actually suspect the ASA won’t uphold the complaint in the end. But that’s hardly the point, and these days, who knows? If they do, a dangerous line will have been crossed.

  17. CountingCats says:

    Sam,

    In the words of the great Mark Steyn, “The process is the punishment.”

    Whether the ASA uphold the complaint or not free thought has been chilled.

  18. barry says:

    Might be time to divide the world into two halves……

    One for those who wish to enjoy their time on this planet ……..

    The other for those who wish to spend their time here hating everything including life itself……..

    The choice needs to be made , and the line not crossed……..

    Then each can live as they please…….

    The present system does not appear to be working too well…….

    Remember folks , we are only here for a microscopic period of time in the reality of it all……..

    And think about how much has been achieved throughout history , by hate , war , and killing …………..

    Nothing………..

  19. Greg Tingey says:

    I was really offended by an advert the vile cathoic church put out across the tube just before Eostre
    It proclaimed the sickening “virtues” of the christian death-cult.
    What’s the difference?
    Ignore the stupids, and carry on.
    In other words, bothe “furor” and the catholics and Carmer are all wrong.
    So what?

  20. CountingCats says:

    Greg,

    A death cult is one thing that Christianity cannot be labeled. It is a religion that celebrates life, as exemplified in The Christs victory over death.

    That label, whatever the faults of Christianity, is either an demonstration of your ignorance or a deliberate smear – or both.

    If you wish to discuss this matter be warned, people on this site, both believers and atheists, especially the atheists, know their theology. Be prepared.

  21. John Galt says:

    I certainly believe that if “marriage” is to mean anything in the eyes of the state then it should be open to those who wish to engage in it regardless of age, gender, sexual orientation, race, religion, etc.

    I actually have no problem with a man marrying 4 women or 40 (as long as I’m not expected to pay for their upkeep) or any other variation. As long as they are a living, breathing human being above the age of consent (after all this is a contract), then go for it.

    Why should gays and lesbians be exempt from years of suffering?

  22. NickM says:

    John Galt,

    That is priceless – especially the last line which had me in fits. But the whole comment sums it up wonderfully and so much more quickly than your literary alter-ego!

  23. Thornavis says:

    CC
    To be fair to Greg he has a point about the Roman Catholic obsession with the iconography of the crucifixion and the general Christian emphasis on the supposedly redeeming nature of suffering. It’s true that many Christians, perhaps most these days including most Catholics, have moved away from the horror movie element, it was a product of the counter reformation IMO but it lingers on – Mel Gibson for instance. The Orthodox church has always put more emphasis on the resurrection, a point in their favour even if I’m not generally kindly disposed to the Orthodox churches

  24. CountingCats says:

    Yeah, but a death cult? Seriously? Christianity is a life affirming belief system, it doesn’t encourage death in any of its teachings. For that you have to look elsewhere.

  25. Ian B says:

    Personally, I don’t give a toss about gay marriage, one way or the other.

    Well I do. I’m an atheist by the way. With a significant history of direct involvement with the gay scene for past work reasons. There was a period in my life when most of myf riends and acquaintances were gay, most of my social life was gay, and most of my other friends thought I was on the turn, in the closet, or something, and did I mind that, no. Just found it amusing. We had this joke about me being “honorary gay”. I have always supported the right of gays to live as they wish without persecution.

    I say all this as a kind of disclaimer because I am entirely opposed to gay marriage. This campaign is typical American-”liberals”-driven cultural Marxism at its most blatant, and it is naive to think it is about anything more honest than that. They are doing this purely to put hated “conservatives” in a corner where they can be denounced as “homophobic”. And while I’m on that word, I admit that I’m sad seeing Cats use that word here. It’s a non-word, a fake word, a word of dismissal. It means “anyone who disagrees with the latest activist bullshit is (a) mental and (b) evil”. People have every right to an opinion on the actions of others. They are not mentally ill because they disapprove of them. Many people find various sexual acts repellent, including sodomy. Indeed, there is an anti-porn narrative building up in strength at the moment from the same “left” wing that porn is bad because it features anal penetration of women, which is degrading.

    So presumably only male arseholes are cock compatible. Or something.

    This comes back to the same point that has made me unpopular before here. Activists are the enemy these days. All of them. The whole fucking goddamned third sector is one giant machine for promoting an illiberal value set. When they punt forward an “issue” like this, it is not done honestly. It is not because gays are being discriminated against, because they are not being discrminated against. It is done to creep the State one step forward. It is about isolating and destroying their enemies, which is anyone perceived to be “on the right” or “conservative” or “libertarian” or so on. Every bit of legislation gives them another legal bludgeon to use. Every step forward makes the next step more achievable.

    Look. Gays have a particular sexual abnormality. Or eccentricity. Or diversity. Or disorder. Pick a word you prefer. Doesn’t matter. The definining characteristic of being gay is not attraction to men. It is the rejection of women, sexually. That is abnormality or eccentricity or what have you. If you do not do something normal, you cannot participate in the cultural institutions associated with that thing. That’s just how life is.

    This is not an honest campaign for honest legislation. It is cultural marxist activism at its worst. Oppose.

  26. NickM says:

    Thornavis,
    Melanie Gibson is fucking mental. He gets pissed, crashes his car and when scrobbled by a rozzer engages in a deranged anti-semitic rant aimed at her. She was black and therefore highly unlikely to be Jewish. He called her “sugar tits”. Quite why she didn’t taser him until his hair caught on fire is beyond me. And I don’t mean the hair on his head.

    As to Catholics. Well, I have the evidence of Catholics I have met. Good people by and large and no I’m not doing the whole “I met an x once and he was alright”. Yeah the crucifix could be seen as torture porn but the point – the entire point – of the Catholic faith is that Christ transcended that death. So essentially I see it as story-telling. You know the way you can’t tell a good story if the hero has it easy and wins in the end. There has to be tension and risk and pain along the way. Otherwise Frodo would have flown on an undelayed (yeah right!) Ryanair 737 to Mordor International Airport and been back the next day to recount the amusing jaunt to the lads at the Green Dragon. Probably with duty free. You need the highs the lows to make a story that is compelling. I mean if Jesus had just pitched up and the Pharisees had said, “Yeah, well you know mate I think you got a point, me and the lads are going to have to re-think this…” there is no naritivium there. No essential tension. You need that for a myth that even aspires to truth for a certain value of truth*. The Easter story does it in spades. That is why there are like a billion Catholics.

    *This is not saying it never happened. It is just pointing out myth moves minds and that indeed even fantasy stories can contain profound truth. Perhaps more so than the mundane. How much moral truth is in The Lord of the Rings compared to like decades of Eastenders? “What is truth?” said Pilate. Indeed.

  27. Thornavis says:

    Nick
    The problem I have and I have some experience of this having been an Anglo-Catholic, is that there is quite a lot of emphasis on the suffering of the crucifixion, at Easter there is much made of the road to calvary, stations of the cross, scourging, crown of thorns etc. Yes I know it is drama to emphasis the enormity of the event but these things tend to be taken rather literally by many, perhaps most, of the faithful and it comes to be thought that suffering and death are worthwhile things in themselves. You are right about the role of myth the trouble is that a lot of people don’t get that at all, I can remember one incident that illustrates this. At my church we had a visiting priest one Sunday who spoke about just this and explained how many of the Bible stories, one in particular I can’t recall which, were not to be understood as depictions of real events but rather as powerful myths which illuminated obscure truths and that ‘myth’ didn’t in this context mean lie or fantasy. He explained it well although I thought it was just something that we all knew, not so, to my considerable surprise when talking to another regular church member afterwards an intelligent man, a retired headmaster in fact, it had all been an enormous revelation to him, he’d never come across the idea before. This is how cultural memes become played out in the real world, the result in this case is that the notion that the terrible death of another human being can be examined in all its horrible detail and thereby enhance the spiritual wellbeing of the living, a revolting notion to me now and I never really cared for it even when I was a church goer.
    This is one of the plus points of Protestant belief it moves away from this concentration on images of suffering and instead concentrates on personal salvation through faith, there are problems with this too of course but that’s another matter.

  28. UK Fred says:

    i think that all the folks complaining about Cranmer have forgotten one thing. This was not a posting, or a comment on a posting on his blog. This is an advertisement and the organisation whose views are being advertised is clearly detectable from the advertisement.

    Why is the ASA going after the blogger? Why not the advertiser? I’ll lay odds its because they think that it will be easier to shut down the blog than to get rid of the ads in any other way. In other words, Cranmer is collateral damage to them.

    I also find it hard to understand how asking people to support retention of the law as it is can possibly be a cause for complaint.

  29. UK Fred says:

    I feel that many people posting comments have forgotten one thing: This is an advertisement on Cranmer’s blog, not a Posting or a comment on a posting.

    I also have difficulty in understanding how asking people to express their support for the law of the land can in any way be seen as problematical.

  30. NickM says:

    Well, it seems patently obvious that much of the Bible is storytelling rather than history. Indeed the obvious central figure of the New Testament uses myth all the time. Was there ever a Samaritan who patched a bloke-up and put him up at the inn? Does this matter? No of course not! Otherwise all fiction would be meaningless which it clearly isn’t. Truth does not always mean what actually happened which is one of the reasons why I think of the folks who think the Grand Canyon was made by Noah’s flood are nucking futz.

    As to the pain thing. Again it is story related. It ought not to be taken… literally is the wrong word perhaps but… I dunno. Storywise it is need but our lives aren’t stories or myths. I mean one of the most heroic figures I can think of is Noel Chavasse VC & bar, MC, RAMC. His story inspires me. I do not ever want to experience anything like he did mind. And that is the point. At least partly due to elements of Christian dogma until quite recently pain-relief in child-birth was verboten. And indeed the nutters who give birth in paddling pools or in some cases claim birth is orgasmic or that a C-section is somehow morally wrong or believe whale-song is more effective than pharmaceuticals or whatever are a sort of throw back. They might not know it but they are channeling the Edenic myth where Eve is told as expiation for original sin*. That is how powerful these stories are. They are part of us whether we like it or not. We are information as much as matter. When a while back I banged my head and was a bit groggy it was the infoplex that kept me in the game. I did function of a function derivations. They proved to me I was still me.

    *I always liked Eddie Izzard’s take on that: “I’d like to commit an original sin – such as hitting a badger with a spoon”.

  31. What does it mean for a libertarian to be ‘opposed to gay marriage’? How are you going to stop it?

    The gay couples I know and know of refer to their civil partnership as marriage already. Various Christian sects want to be able to marry same sex couples.
    Whether a church considers same sex partners as capable of being married, or accepts gay and lesbians into their church is up to them. They should not however be able to impose their view on others and certainly not be able to use the law to enforce their own blinkered view of the world. Christian enforced law is as offensive and undesirable as sharia law, whether it is about voluntary contractual relationships between adults or about blasphemy.

  32. Edward Lud says:

    Eddie Izzard’s a tosser of the first water. And I’m inclined to think the gays should get their tanks awf my lawn. If they want a contract they should come up with a name for it, rather than debauching the meaning of straights’ spousal contracts.

    Ian B, whilst I think I agree with everything you wrote, I couldn’t help smirking at the (admittedly sophisticated) some of my best friends are black preamble. But I quibble :)

  33. John Galt says:

    @Edward Lud:

    The gays are not on your lawn (certainly not if it is a UK lawn anyway).

    “unless a deliberate attempt be made by society through the agency of the law to equate the sphere of crime with that of sin, there must remain a realm of private that is in brief, not the law’s business” (Wolfenden Report, 1957).

    It was on the basis of the Wolfenden Report that the 1967 Sexual Offences Act was passed which decriminalised most homosexual acts in England and Wales. Since then the state has (by and large) gradually removed its prod-nose from our bedrooms.

    Over the years the barriers of prejudice against lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans-gender (LGBT) have been broken down, but one obstacle remained. As there was no formal legal recognition of LGBT relationships, this still caused problems when attempting to assert certain rights (e.g. hospital / prison visitation rights) or in relation to shared ownership / transfer of properties on death.

    There was a NIL band for a husband/wife under inheritance tax laws, but no way of either defining or claiming equivalent rights if you happened to be LGBT.

    The Civil Partnerships Act of 2004 was a compromise to achieve this, giving all of the rights of marriage, but (in respect to religious opinion) not BEING marriage.

    For 99% of the LGBT community, this was all that was needed as it was the legal recognition which opened the doors to the normalization of everything from Inheritance Tax to adoption.

    It is true that there are a small minority of people who think that all barriers (even the religious ones), must be thrown down, but these are only a handful of the most militant sorts that you get in any community, so hardly representative of us all.

    I’m gay, but not very out-load-and-proud, so please don’t rub my nose in it.

  34. NickM says:

    John Galt,
    But it isn’t about overthrowing religious barriers. Oh, some people wish any stick to beat religion with but some religious groups actively want same-sex marriage for themselves. This is why I call this a religious freedom issue.

    IanB,
    You actually OK? That was fucking mental from the some of my best friends are to the Gotterdammerung of heterosexual anal sex which is actually totally not being denormalised. Quite the reverse. It was legally allowed a few years back when they struck the sodomy laws and is now something (and has been for a few years) discussed in like Cosmo or Sex and the City. Ian it isn’t even considered even vaguely taboo anymore but then that is your schtick isn’t it? You require sex to be “naughty”.

  35. John Galt says:

    @NickM:

    No – I hear what you are saying, but as with any community there are ultra-militant types. My friend D. who I’ve known for 30-years left France for the UK because he was subjected to continuous abuse at home for being an openly gay French man. This was a part of rural France which is not quite as liberal as the touristy parts.

    Despite this he is a deeply religious person (Roman Catholic) and has never had any problem reconciling his sexuality and his religion. I’ve always wondered how he deals with the confessional, but never had the courage to ask.

    There is already an existing tension between the LGBT community and the religious communities anyway, primarily because of their moral positions both past and present.

    Although the Anglican church in the UK and US has moved considerably over the last 40-years to be very inclusive, the Roman Catholic church has not and the majority still looks upon us as sinners to be cast into the 7th circle of Hell along with the pederasts (especially hypocritical given the activities of some Catholic priests).

    Most LGBT’s have had a hard time growing up and those that have come out openly in our teens and early twenties tend to have some very deep scars because of the abuse and cruelty of other teens. This causes them to become very defensive and protective of the ground that has been hard fought and hard won over the years.

    So when some religious leader says “thus far and no further”, the militants start making the banners and doing the fancy dress protests. It is not that they see people of faith as having no rights, but rather that they’ve fought for 40-years for to roll back the barriers and can’t see that the ones within the church are any different than the ones on the statute books.

    For myself, I’m glad that I don’t face persecution for my behaviour. I’m a strongly avowed atheist, but I still accept that people have the right to believe and practice whatever faith they choose in any way they choose as long as they don’t start throwing bricks through my windows and calling me ‘faggot’.

    Many of us accept that the church is what it is and as long as they don’t go shoving religion down my throat, we won’t start trying to break down the doors of the church.

    Coming back to the issue of Gay Marriage versus Civil Partnerships, I can’t get excited by the issue really, but I would certainly be against the state forcing Churches to open their doors to this if their minds are dead set against it (as most are).

    This is why I am a Libertarian.

  36. Ian B says:

    Nick,

    Thanks for the insult. Much appreciated.

    First off (answering Lud also) as well, I explained why I was doing the “some of my best friends are black” thing. It’s because anyone who disagrees gets called a “homophobe”. Anyone who knew me personally and knew my life would know I’m anything but homo-”phobic” but since you don’t know me or my life, I gave you a bit of history of it. It was to illustrate that I’m not writing from the position of somebody who once thought he saw a poof on the bus. It also would have been more relevant if I’d left in the paragraphs I decided to edit out about how I remember discussions at the time over beers in said gay clubs with some friends who felt that there were powerful people in the gay movement pushing the Queens to one side (e.g. on Pride marches) in order to present a sanitised, suburban professional image. Which has some relevance to this and perhaps I should have left that in.

    Secondly, I don’t require sex to be naughty. I don’t think it is naughty. Neither do I want it to be naughty. But I go poking around in parts of the Opposition that you probably don’t, because I’m particularly interested in the anti-censorship mad feminist sex-is-very-naughty-indeed driven part of the proceedings, and I’m not asking your opinion on whether I’m “mental”. I’m telling you that they are constructing a narrative mythology of porn being abusive due to the widespread anal abuse of reluctant girls beaten into compliance by the Porn Barons. And of men watching porn and forcing their girlfriends to accept anal sex because they’ve seen it on the internets.

    I used to think this boorish saloon bar thick-as-pigshit Geordie boy schtick was your internet persona, like the Devil’s. I’m beginning to suspect it’s the real deal.

  37. CountingCats says:

    I admit that I’m sad seeing Cats use that word here.

    I thought long and hard before I used it, for precisely the reasons you mentioned. However, it was either that or referring to his words as ‘verbal queer bashing’, or similar.

    I settled for that because I decided that everyone would understand what I meant.

  38. NickM says:

    Ian,
    Yet again you push the “I know about how the proggie deathstar” bullshit. You know how fucking patronising that is? You also probably know I have posted here several times on censorship of porn and similar. Have you?

    Basically Ian. Please just fuck off. You have been progressively (geddit!) getting more on my tit ends since you called my wife a “useful idiot” for supporting an animal welfare charity. You sound increasingly “reefer madness” about like everything. It’s all a proggie plot, everything! Ian knows for he has read things. Cornflake boxes mainly but whatever! For he has wisdom!

  39. NickM says:

    Cats,
    I also have the a problem with that PC neologism. But it’s the word that gets used and that means it is understood. Imperfect thing English. Prsonally I think it went downhill when they started calling velocipedes bicycles. Or something.

  40. CountingCats says:

    Hey,

    Both of you.

    And me? I am sick to death of the constant personal abuse, obscenities, sexual imagery, violent language and violent abusive obscene sexual imagery and language which make this one of the most down market sites out here. We drive people away and discourage links with unnecessary and off putting speech when we should be working towards building readership. With the writers we have here we could be one of the leading amateur sites among the British and Australian blogs, but we choose not to be by the constant repetition of fuck fuck fuck fuck cunt cunt cunt fuck shit cunt fuck fuck fuck arsehole fuck shit cunt red hot poker arsehole shit shit shit shit fuck cunt.

    Can we please give the FUCKING OBSCENITIES AND THE FUCKING ABUSE A FUCKING REST. I would sacrifice (sexual imagery alert) my left testicle to see this down market crap eliminated from both the articles and comments.

    WE ARE BETTER THAN THAT.

    All of us.

    There. Happy now?

    You want to argue, do it in private, not on the site.

  41. CountingCats says:

    Ian, you can be bloody annoying on occasion. Good, keep it up.

    Nick, so can you. Ditto.

    I for one don’t want to see all writers on this site become clones, and if anyone has an obsession, then great. It means they are focused.

    JUST AVOID THE FUCKING PERSONAL INSULTS. Please. THEY CONTRIBUTE NOTHING, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING WHATSOEVER, TO YOUR ARGUMENT. If you are reduced to ad homs it means you have failed in your intellectual objective and have lost that argument.

    I stopped reading Obo’s site years ago, I was put off by the constant abuse, insults and obscenities. I went back today, and was surprised. Even Obo isn’t Obo any more. Why do we aspire to what he has left?

    I repeat, we are better than that.

  42. Single Acts of Tyranny says:

    @ John Galt “Despite this he is a deeply religious person (Roman Catholic) and has never had any problem reconciling his sexuality and his religion”

    Well he may of course be celibate and not actually committing any abominations from Leviticus.

    Or he maybe cognitively dissonant and able to separate a clear biblical injunction from personal behaviour.

    Or he may not discuss it with the priest, I believe it’s confession rather than interrogation, so maybe the subject never arises.

    Or maybe his priest has given him an intellectual pass with some kind of around-the-houses mumbo-jumbo to justify it.

    But whatever it is, the bible is pretty clear on the issue and those who call themselves Christian because Lev 18:22-23, Lev 20:13, and it’s not just the nasty old testament because1 Cor 6:9

    Personally I don’t believe in the sky fairy and don’t think the state has any role in marriage at all. If gay people want to contract and call it marriage, let ‘em. Just don’t try to use the state to coerce other religious people to ‘believe’ something when they clearly don’t. And if I may, gay Christians ~ have the honesty to say you see the bible as a la carte not injunctive.

  43. When obscenity is used as punctuation it loses any value and becomes just noise. You can filter it out, but if the effort is too great the whole lot tends to be ignored.

    As for references to Leviticus, using that as an argument against male homosexuality (it doesn’t mention women) requires a certain amount of selectivity. For example do they wear poly-cotton shirts?

    http://www-users.cs.york.ac.uk/susan/joke/laura.htm

  44. NickM says:

    SAOT,
    Firstly the OT is not necessarily binding on Christians. As to Corinthians that is Pauline and a lot of Christians I have met regard Paul as a git basically. As to the al a carte… Most Christians take that view. Would you consider a modern Christian who kept his menstruating daughter in a shed out back normal? But it’s in Leviticus or Deuteronomy and it is what that nutcase up Ruby Ridge did. And yeah I know the Feds were like seriously heavy handed and all but he was still mental. Shouldn’t have been shot – people have the right to be mental but by the standards of most Christians and indeed Jews a nucking futter. And I have stayed with relatively orthodox Jews (he was a doctor you know – he was – her mother was cock a hoop) and did the washing-up and they did the whole milk and meat thing seperation thing but much the rest… It is not all or nothing. It can’t be.

  45. CountingCats says:

    Old Testament vs New Testament, I have been taking part in precisely that discussion on a cross posting of this article at Menzies House.

    I’m not going to repeat myself, but the issues are addressed here:

    http://www.menzieshouse.com.au/2012/05/is-it-time-to-be-sparticus.html

  46. John Galt says:

    @SAOT:

    Sorry, can’t comment on how my friend D. an openly gay man who enjoys his rumpy-pumpy can also be a faithful adherent to Roman Catholicism. When I asked, he just said that he “compartmentalizes” the two issues.

    As someone who is not a follower of faith in any form, I don’t really understand why people follow religions anyway, so I’m not in a position to comment or dissect.

    Given the various inconsistencies (mentioned previously) with the way the old and new testaments say we should run our lives with what is acceptable in a modern liberal democracy a certain amount of interpretation and flexibility would seem to be mandatory anyway.

    But what we I know, I’m just an in-the-closet faggot that’s going to hell anyway according to most of them.

  47. Edward Lud says:

    John Galt, I wouldn’t dream of it. I’m not even sure what I’d be rubbing your nose in, or why. And as to spousal contracts, a marriage is between a man and a woman. You want a gay spousal contract, be my guest, I’m the last person to try and stop you. Just get your own contract, that’s al I ask.

  48. Edward Lud says:

    Ian B, I quite like naughty sex.

    And, yes I get your point.

  49. Single Acts of Tyranny says:

    Nick “Firstly the OT is not necessarily binding on Christians. As to Corinthians that is Pauline and a lot of Christians I have met regard Paul as a git basically”

    Now this is what I mean. Didn’t Jebus (according to the bible anyway) say something or other about nothing he has said invalidates the old laws (ie the old testament) and throwing away Paul seems to make a mockery of the first council of Nicea.

    Now you may very well take the view that Christianity imposed by Constantine is utterly empty and bankrupt spiritually as I do, but anyone who calls themself a more or less mainstream western Christian surely has to accept this.

    The point about leaving women in the shed when they are up-on-the-blocks is specious and I suspect you know it. That seems like more of a trivial hygenic injunction* but if you start throwing our pretty major stuff like no man on man lovin’ then I’m off to see Father Doyle and claming adultery is okay in the context of a loving relationship.

    * A value judgement I accept, but again this is the all or nothing problem writ large. The whole thing is so full of nonsense, it becomes a la carte

  50. Thornavis says:

    SAoT
    Some good points there and this was what largely finished me with Christianity, either you take it seriously or you don’t and all this apophatic stuff about how it’s not meant to be taken literally and probably never was just doesn’t wash. Myth as way to understanding truth is simply not a fundamentally Christian way of looking at things, despite the attempts of various theologians to suggest otherwise. In the end you have to ask yourself, do I believe this or not ? In my case the answer was no.

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