Once again a celebate man in a dress tries to tell the world we have to believe his mythology

From the BBC today

The government’s plans for gay marriage have been criticised by the most senior Roman Catholic cleric in Britain.

Cardinal Keith O’Brien, the leader of the Catholic Church in Scotland, said the plans were a “grotesque subversion of a universally accepted human right”.

He said the idea of redefining marriage, which David Cameron has said he supports, would “shame the United Kingdom in the eyes of the world”.

Full article here

Dr John Sentamu, Arch-Bishop of York said similar on the 1st Feb.  They are, of course, both wrong.

Oddly they both say they agree with Civil Partnerships for the gay community.  Do they know the legal difference between a Civil Marriage and a Civil Partnership? It is Absolutely Nothing (apart from the second word).  Both partners have EXACTLY the same rights as people in a marriage. Legally they can’t be called ‘marriages’, but everyone does – ‘civil partnershipped’ is such an awkward phrase.

At this point I’d like to give a belated ‘Congratulations’ to Suzie, a friend of mine, who proposed to her girlfriend on Christmas day- two years to go and I’m already looking for a new suit!  Here’s the thing.  They haven’t been going to civil partnership fairs, they haven’t been looking at civil partnership dresses, nor trying to find an affordable civil partnership photographer.  Guess which word is used instead?  It turns out they are the same events as straight people go to.

I asked the LGBT rep at work how the gay community felt about the legality of the word ‘Marriage’.  She said while they would prefer the word ‘Marriage’, it is the only difference, and the Gay community have better things to try spend their time on.

So what the clergy are arguing about is a word.  They want it to keep it associated with religeon.  Orwell pointed out in ‘1984’ if you control language you control the way people think.  They seem to want to redefine the history of marriage.

Modern marriage in the UK is a reletively recent phenomenon – the law was tightened up in 1753, mainly to stop disputes about who was actually married to who. Before then it wasn’t uncommon for a couple to just live as married, often after a short informal ceremony along the lines of ‘Oh well, if you really must’, though with no legal rights, and every one in the village knew they were ‘married’. (Today’s fact, many of these informal marriages were ‘solemnised ‘ by the couple jumping over a broom, hence the phrase ‘living over the broom’ for an unmarried couple living together.)  Sometimes a ‘wandering priest’ would give a blessing, though this still had no legal validity. Basically the law of 1753 said “You have to tell everyone in advance what you are going to do, where you intend to do it (in case of objection) and sign a legal document to say you have done it.”  It was less about religion, and more about record keeping.  Every village had a church, so the bureaucracy was already in place.

Which brings me on to Civil Marriage.  In the UK a civil marriage ceremony may make NO reference to religeon (one couple were told they couldn’t have ‘Angels’ by Robbie Williams playing at the ceremony).  If two atheists who can’t have children get married it is still ‘a marriage’, not a ‘civil partnership’.  The Church knows that the boat sailed long ago on that one, and don’t object.

So exactly what ‘values’ is calling it Civil Marriage, rather than a Civil Partnership undermining?  It can’t be religeon – there is no religeous test for marriage.  It can’t be parenthood, there is no requirement married couples have children.

So, Cardinal, how is gay marriage a “grotesque subversion of a universally accepted human right”.  Exactly how are you being subverted?  If it is a “universally accepted human right”, then how is denying it to gays making it a “universally accepted human right”?

Or is the clue in the word “grotesque”?  Could it be that O’Brien (who was against civil partnerships) and Sentamu find the whole ‘gay thing’ just a bit icky?

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