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It's now legal, it can now happen.

We haven't planned on a date to do it - we were tempted to make sure we got in asap, but it felt like jinxing it - like if we made plans then we were just asking the powers that be to knock us back. Planning seemed too hopeful and I'm leery of hope

But it's here, the law has changed, it is in reach and we have so many decisions to make - on when and exactly what we will do to commemorate this - whether to go full on ceremony (and if so, does that remove the ceremony we had? Do we have two? Which one should we count for any kind of officialdom? All these little questions and poking we have to work through caused by the confusion of the broken laws)

The law has change and it's going to happen - and I don't think that will sink in until I have the paperwork in hand.
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 Congratulations - another step forward in the US towards removing injustice. 

 

Remember to the haters - this is a right owed, an injustice corrected and equality denied. Nothing has been given, nothing has been granted - this is taking one more step to gaining what all straight people have every day. Anyone trying to imply unfairness, or - bogglingly - favouritism or injustice from this needs to wake up and see that truth.

 

As far as I can see it's a first step. Prop 8 only applies in California and DOMA being struck down will grant federal benefits to states (and DC) that acknowledge marriage equality - but not to states that are still bigoted


I don't THINK that bigoted states need to acknowledge marriages made in equality states - but I can't be sure on that

 

Still, another step forward - keep on fighting!


And to the haters - keep on crying!

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Beyond those 3 that are attracting a whole lot of attention and are designed to destroy the bill entirely, there are a number of other, more genuine, amendments as well, some of which are worth commenting on

 Religious freak outs. We have a whole load of amendments that say, basically, the churches need protecting from the icky icky gay folk. These are pretty much redundant since the bill already lets religious groups be bigots over and over again including with that ridiculous quadruple lock. There is no need for these amendments and their inclusion just adds fuel to the fire that poor religious groups are being forced by the nasty gay folk.

 Chaplains. A provision to protect chaplains from the icky icky gay folk. I vehemently oppose this. It’s one thing for private religious bodies to practice their bigotry (which I strong disapprove of anyway) but that goes beyond the pale when chaplains provide services for the government and are paid with tax payer money. My tax money shouldn’t be paying for bigotry against me.

 Adultery &Consummation. These archaic concepts are, at the moment, defined by penis-in-the-vagina (PIV) sex and are generally inapplicable to same-sex couples. But, to be frank and as I have explained before, they’re also pretty ridiculous for opposite sex couples as well. The amendments would remove all mention of both of these outdated concepts from the law – I approve wholeheartedly.

 Trans provisions: there are a number here. Firstly one that preserves pension rights for couples when one partner transitions – an obvious yes and needed.

 The current law allows a marriage to be voidable should one party be trans and not tell the other. The amendment would remove this – and I heartily agree. Should they wish to end the marriage there are already tools to end it. I do not think being trans is such a super-special clause that it needs its own voidable clause, nor do I like pressures of disclosure being pushed on trans people.

 The law as it stands requires a cis person in a marriage to a trans person to statutorily declare they want the marriage to keep on after the trans person transitions. This is exceedingly icky and the amendment removing it is badly needed – this sets a presumption that they will want their marriage to end, it sets a presumption that cis people automatically need an out from marriage with a trans person – it sets up an ideal that being married to a trans person is a terribad fate that people need rescuing from and that most people would – should – flee from. As I say above, nothing will force you to remain married, we already have a pathway to ending a marriage without having to impose this insulting presumption of dissolution and forcing couples to take steps NOT to be automatically divorced.

 There is also an amendment allowing the altering of marriage certificates to reflect a trans person’s gender and birth certificates of their children to reflect their parents’ gender. Definitely needed.

 In the past, trans people have been forced to annul their marriages to transition (since same-sex marriage was illegal). There is an amendment to allow these people to reinstate their marriage and have it listed as continuous. Definitely something to support – they did not want their marriage to end and had that forced on them by a bigoted law, time to correct that.

 

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The marriage equality debate comes up for debate again today, as you can probably tell by the number of Tories frothing and spreading bigotry on various news channels – and someone’s rattled Lord Carey’s cage again.

 We now go into the amendment stage. When we did this with Civil Partnerships, this was when the Tories did everything they could to scupper the law by throwing as much mud at it as possible in the hope that it would stick and drown the law – things like sibling marriages et al. No doubt the same is going to happen here.


Some ones that have pinged the radar:

  Referendum. Yes, we need to turn out the whole country to vote on whether or not we get to get wed. Referenda in the UK are reserved for major constitutional changes for the most part, they’re not things we do casually and certainly not things we do for people’s basic human rights. So far, referendums and proposed referendums have been confined to things like EU membership, devolution, the voting system; constitutional structural changes all. We have only had 11 of them – ever - and none of them have ever concerned human rights being put up for popular vote. Even bigoted MP David barrows admits he’s only introducing the amendment to try and sink the bill.

 Needless to say, the very idea of the whole nation of predominantly straight people voting on my rights sickens me and infuriates me. Add in the complete lack of any constitutional basis for such a referendum and it’s a blatant, nauseating piece of homophobia.

 Discrimination Immunity apparently for registrars and school teachers and who knows what else – all will be given a pass from our current equality laws to be raging homophobic bigots under this amendment. No. Really fucking no. If a registrar wants their bigoted religion to control their job then they should have become a vicar, priest, rabbi, imam, or whatever their bigotry of choice is.

And teachers most certainly should never get a pass to be bigots. The harm this does to our children – in all schools and, yes, that includes private and faith schools. It’s especially important in faith schools that are already shown to be extremely hostile places for GBLT youth. Marriage equality will exist – teachers teach what exists. You don’t get to pretend something doesn’t exist because you don’t like it. You don’t get to teach children we don’t exist because you’re bigots. And we do not tolerate teachers denigrating people by race, religion or gender – so why should we do so for GBLT people? I am sick and tired of the unthinkable when it comes to other marginalised people being the publicly acceptable with GBLT people.

 This is apparently something Cameron is considering as a concession to getting the bill passed. And that’s ridiculous – the bill will pass with the majority of Labour and Lib Dem MPs and the minority of Tories who support equality. The last vote passed overwhelmingly by over 225 votes. There is no need of concessions to pass this law. There IS a need for concessions for the Tories if they want to try and present this law as their baby, as I said previously. Whatever praise Cameron hoped for for being the prime minister who brought marriage equality is badly shattered by over half of his party opposing it and the nasty shit his MPs have been spouting since its introduction.  To claw back some of that sense of this being a TORY bill, he needs at least half of his MPs to vote for it – it’ll be weak, but something. Though snipping out pieces of the equality act to convince his party to support equality is a bit of a non-starter. Of course, he’s also running scared from UKIP and this government is deeply reactionary. In a classically-Cameron slapstick moment, he’s trying to push the “look how modern I am” while at the same time still woo the Swivel Eyed Loons (thank you Lord Feldman) who are champing at the bit and protest voting to UKIP, the BNP with better PR.

 Straight civil partnerships I have to say I am bemused as to why straight people so desperately want access to the not-good-enough-for-marriage partnerships since I can’t see one damn thing it brings you that civil marriage doesn’t - beyond the fact that straight people simply have to be part of everything and in everything. But, hey if we want to continue civil partnerships (which is probably easier and less problematic than scrapping them after marriage equality) then by all means have them open to straight folks.

 However, Maria Miller claims that this amendment would delay implementation by 2 years. I have no idea why – but then, I have no idea why it has taken this damn long to get marriage equality. I suspect it may be a derail and may be a lie or a figure plucked out of the air. While I don’t trust her, the fact that the ones proposing this amendment are the usual Tory bigots who hate all things equality and will do anything to destroy this bill makes me think that it is certainly designed to delay or derail marriage equality. I can’t imagine them supporting this UNLESS it helps damage, delay or destroy marriage equality. Much as I dislike Lynn Featherstone and her straightwashing and dismissal of Tory homophobia, she’s right when she says “beware opponents bearing gifts.” Again, this is what the Tories did when civil partnerships were first introduced – try to drown them in amendments.

 Either way, I do not support our fight for equality being derailed and delayed AGAIN by entitled straight people deciding they need the lesser-not!marriage-we’ve-been-forced-to-settle-on. The idea that our access to the full institution should be delayed so straight people can also have the lesser-institution sticks in the craw.

 

It’s tempting to consider this battle won because of the success of the earlier votes – but it’s far from over, especially with the Lords looming over. At this stage we need to be vigilant over marriage equality being deformed, of amendments being introduced that would gut our equality in other areas, of “concessions” that would leave us with let another unequal institution and of delays and wrangles that could see us waiting yet more years for marriage equality to actually happen. Keep on fighting.

 

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I suspect our ongoing battle of marriage equality is going to cause more headaches so I suspect this may be the first of many posts until it’s a done deal – and then some. So let’s hit some more tomfoolery

 First of all, homophobes, pointing out the ridiculous, archaic elements of our marriage law does not make for a good argument against changing them. I’m bewildered as to why you’d think this was so. Specifically the laws on consummation and adultery.

 On consummation – yes, if you do not have the penis in the vagina sex after you are married it is not consummated and can be annulled. Yes, consummation becomes difficult to impossible for most gay couples.

 And this is ridiculous. Because the whole concept of consummation, what counts as consummation and what counts as sex is ridiculous, heterosexist and archaic. Defining consummation this way is akin to those purity ringed fools over in the US having anal sex and calling themselves virgins.

 Additionally – do we really want to go there? Do you really really link marriage with a single sex act? Do you really want to invalidate or devalue the marriages of those who don’t engage in this sex act? Who don’t want to? Who can’t? Because I’m pretty sure you don’t want to go there and you’re throwing a whole lot of people under the bus in an attempt to attack us.

 On adultery – which is defined as, SURPRISE, penis in the vagina sex! If your spouse engages in any other kind of sex act with someone else, it’s not adultery (you can still get a divorce under the rather nebulous category of “unreasonable behaviour” however – so why adultery needs to be singled out as a separate unreasonable behaviour is beyond me except for archaic law).

 Yeah, I call bullshit archaic law which needs changing or scrapping AND I think that the people using this argument agree with me. No, really. Why do I think this? Ok, say you are married, it’s not an open marriage, you’re monogamous and you expect your spouse to be faithful and have no nookie except with you.

 Now that spouse comes to you and says “hey, I’ve been seeing someone else. I gave them a handjob, we engaged in mutual oral sex and then had anal sex.” Do you think “they’re cheating on me?!” or do you think “Phew, they didn’t have penis-in-the-vagina sex so at least it’s not adultery”? Would you be ok with them doing this? Do you think they are cheating any less? Do you think it makes them more faithful?

 These laws not fitting with marriage equality isn’t because marriage equality is wrong, it’s because these laws are laughably narrow and archaic.


READ MORE

 


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So  people in the Church of England and Wales are all upset because the government didn’t consultthem about one of the “quadruple locks” on the marriage equality law proposal – namely that the CofE would be banned from performing same-sex marriages

Now, I’m more than happy to criticise the Tories when warranted – and it is usually so very warranted. And I think the whole idea religious exemptions to equality laws is bigoted and deeply wrong – especially for the CoE that receives so many privileges as the established church.

But for not consulting? Sorry, I can’t criticise even May and Miller for this – and I can’t stand either of them

Why did you think you should be consulted, CoE? It’s not like you hadn’t made your opinions ABUNDANTLY clear both in the past and in the run up to this law.

You have opposed every single attempt to achieve justice for GBLT people. No matter how basic, no matter how necessary, the CoE has been a united bastion of homophobia and bigotry – this is, after all, an institution that could barely bring itself to express mild concern about Uganda’s gay genocide bill (supported and pushed by the Anglican church there) while cracking down on the Episcopalians in the US (shows your priorities, CoE).

For the full duration of this consultation we’ve had nothing but the most disgusting hatred from the CoE – Lord Carey and Archbishop Sentamu have spewed the most virulent hatred and not once has Archbigot  Rowan Williams or his upcoming replacement tried to counter or stem this hatred.

Why would we need to ask what your opinion is? Your opinion has already been made abundantly clear on repeated occasions! You can’t scream and roar and whine and then complain when you finally get what you want.

You wanted the option to marry GBLT people in the future maybe? I have to say, I’m resisting the strong urge to slap any CoE member who even dares to try this. You screamed blue murder at the possibility! You whined about slippery slopes, you moaned about court cases forcing you to accept gay people as actual people! You howled at the very idea of the evil gays defiling your precious institution! You tried to get a blanket ban on ALL religions being able to bless same-sex marriages, no matter what their faith said! Your constant refrain – through lies, scaremongering and more lies – was that churches would be forced to marry gay people! That the evil evil gays would defile your precious churches! Well done, your whining was heard and you got what you wanted.

How dare you even think of whining about your religious freedom being curtailed! It has been curtailed by YOUR OWN BIGOTRY!

And all you so-called liberal CoE? Where were the demonstrations? Where was the outrage? Where was the fury you were supposed to feel at these church luminaries spreading bigotry in your name? Were you wringing your hands while you sat in the pews? Were you tutting under your breath while you marked “Anglican” on the census? Did you proudly chant “not me! Oh no, I’m not a bigot!” while continuing to lend your support and power to a bigoted organisation? Did you play the “oh, we’re not like the Catholics!” game while continuing to be as homophobic and vehement in opposing our rights? Why weren’t the supposed liberal bishops and archbishops going to the papers demanding your chance to marry gay people? Why weren’t they out there saying that Carey and Sentamu and Williams are wrong?

Because maybe if you supposed mass of non-homophobic CoE didn’t add your name and support to this bigoted institution, we wouldn’t have to fight tooth and nail against such a power every time we try to achieve justice. Maybe we wouldn’t have to listen to them squealing on the news and in the papers, spreading their hatred and dehumanising attacks. Maybe this bastion of homophobic hatred wouldn’t have the power it has.

I am beyond sick of the CoE – it’s endless bigotry and it’s ridiculous “liberal” hand wringers who constantly try to play the “but not us! Not me! We’re the good ones!” game while supporting such an unrelenting force of hatred. You aren’t the good ones, you aren’t the nice ones. You’re just as guilty, you’re just as much to blame, you have caused just as much pain and you support just as much hate.

 

 

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