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Lib Dems Marriage Without Borders petition

With thanks to diffrentcolours:

I'd just like to promote a new campaign by Nick Clegg and LGBT Lib Dems calling for Marriage Without Borders - removing the gender restrictions on marriages and civil partnerships, and improving international recognition of same-sex relationships.

Please sign the petition; if you're on Facebook you can become a fan, but do make sure you sign as well - and pimp it to your friends! Get HTML code to copy and paste!

Click here to view this entry with minimal formatting.


( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
Jan. 14th, 2010 01:47 pm (UTC)
Thanks! Yes, I definitely don't envy queer people living in Italy. I've noticed on my own visits that things like same-sex hand-holding can pass without comment there because that sort of contact is more normal between friends in Italy than it is here in the UK. But if anyone suspects that there is more to it than friendship, it becomes quite a different story.
(Deleted comment)
Jan. 14th, 2010 02:58 pm (UTC)
Thanks, that's very interesting. Mind you, I wouldn't want to imply that there aren't plenty of people in the UK capable of being just as narrow-minded about it. But I can certainly see that the Catholic context provides an easy avenue for it.
Jan. 14th, 2010 01:55 pm (UTC)
Signed, though I'm not sure it'll count as I'm not a citizen. (Legal alien here in Cardiff ;).
Jan. 14th, 2010 02:00 pm (UTC)
Good point, though for this particular petition it doesn't seem to matter. I don't know whether they deliberately set it up like that because the issue of pursuing better recognition of same-sex partnerships across different nations means that this is an issue which applies beyond the UK citizen body, or just because they run all their petitions in the same way.
(Deleted comment)
Jan. 14th, 2010 03:11 pm (UTC)
Hooray for the Lib Dems. This is so what needs to happen.
Jan. 14th, 2010 07:29 pm (UTC)
Done. :)
Jan. 15th, 2010 08:57 pm (UTC)
Penny, you're one of my very few non-straight friends, so I hope you don't mind me asking this so I clarify my own thinking. You can probably appreciate my position isn't entirely straightforward. I fully support same-sex relationships having legal recognition, but I would want to reserve the notion of sacramental marriage to heterosexual couples. Why is it important, do you think, that same-sex relationships are termed 'marriages'?
Jan. 15th, 2010 10:41 pm (UTC)
I think the main point here would be that the notion of 'marriage' as it is understood in modern society is not limited to what I take you to mean by 'sacramental marriage' - i.e. an explicitly religious ceremony conducted in the sight of God and believed to confer grace. For generations, heterosexual atheists (for example) have been engaging in state-recognised bonding ceremonies with no religious element, but nobody has protested about calling those 'marriages'.

My view is that to say that state-recognised bonding ceremonies between people of the same sex do have to be called something else (even if they allow the same rights) carries the strong implication that queer people and their relationships are not equivalent to straight people and their relationships, and need to be seen and understood in a different way. That is, in principle, something that I want to see being addressed and overturned.

Obviously whether individual churches or any of the particular branches of Christianity want to allow same-sex couples to participate in sacramental marriages is a matter for them (as I'm sure you know, the Quakers have decided that they do). But that is in my view a separate matter from whether state-sanctioned unions between same-sex couples should be called marriages.

If you want some further reading on the pro-gay marriage perspective, I can recommend the article 'Why Civil Union isn't Marriage' - it's written from an American perspective, but the substance of the arguments apply equally here.
Jan. 17th, 2010 02:59 pm (UTC)
Thank you, Penny. I'm persuaded by that argument (if I wasn't half-persuaded before). I don't want to convert your LJ into a debate about this any more than about Dr Who! but I suspect the challenge for Christians will be that allowing same-sex couples to have the word 'marriage' as well as the legal substance will force them (us) actually to think through why what the Church does is any different from what the State does, and so long as only straight people can marry we can hide behind the status quo. At vicar school we didn't so much as touch on the subject, and I've only gained any real insights into what marriage means by talking to the couples I take through the process. In retrospect I find this rather shocking.
Jan. 17th, 2010 04:42 pm (UTC)
No problem - glad to have helped you in your thinking. You make an important point there about the position which the Church would be placed in if the state were to make this change, which I hadn't thought of before. I can well see that that might provoke some quite painful and potentially divisive soul-searching - though of course, from my point of view, necessary.
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )

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