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As from Friday same sex couples can marry in England and Wales.

  Forum Editor 17:10 26 Mar 2014

It's a landmark piece of legislation, and of course it's long overdue, but there is still a considerable amount of opposition in the population.

If you are a dissenter I'm interested to hear your views - and if possible your reasons for holding them.

  john bunyan 17:19 26 Mar 2014

I am only a mild dissenter. Whilst not being a staunch Christian, the meaning of marriage in the past, has always been the union of a man and a woman for the procreation of children. I have no problem at all with same sex couples having a ceremony, with the same legal rights as heterosexual couples - pensions etc. I suppose I will get used to it but the change in the meaning of the word "Marriage" will take a little time to get used to. Somewhat illogically, I admit, I would have preferred a different word to have been coined. I wish all those who find comfort in the new law every happiness.

  Forum Editor 17:31 26 Mar 2014

john bunyan

That seems to me to be a pretty sensible attitude to adopt. I gather that the use of the word 'marriage' is a common sticking point for dissenters, and it might be interesting to consider what Edmund leach had to say on the purpoise of a marriage. (for those who aren't familiar with Leach, it has been said of him that "It is no exaggeration to say that in sheer versatility, originality, and range of writing he was and still is difficult to match among the anthropologists of the English speaking world").

Leach said that there could be no one definition of marriage that would apply to all cultures, but he enumerated ten 'rights' which he thought probably applied to almost all, if not all marriages. He said that marriage exists:-

*To establish a legal father of a woman's children. To establish a legal mother of a man's children. To give the husband a monopoly in the wife's sexuality. To give the wife a monopoly in the husband's sexuality. To give the husband partial or monopolistic rights to the wife's domestic and other labour services. To give the wife partial or monopolistic rights to the husband's domestic and other labour services. To give the husband partial or total rights over property belonging or potentially accruing to the wife. To give the wife partial or total rights over property belonging or potentially accruing to the husband. To establish a joint fund of property – a partnership – for the benefit of the children of the marriage. To establish a socially significant 'relationship of affinity' between the husband and his wife's brothers and sisters, and between the wife and her husband's brothers and sisters.*

It seems to me that with very minor changes in terminology those 'rights' might equally well apply to same-sex marriages.

  Aitchbee 17:57 26 Mar 2014

" ... I would have preferred a different word to have been coined. "

May I suggest Garriage ... a combination of being Gay and also being married.

  Forum Editor 18:39 26 Mar 2014


The whole point of the legislation is to ensure that Gay people are not discriminated against when it comes to legalising their relationship - they now have as much right to marry as anyone else in the eyes of the law. Give the union a different name and you immediately create the discrimination you were trying to avoid in the first place.

  Aitchbee 19:53 26 Mar 2014

Ok, FE; point taken. But, The 'eyes of the law' are not quite the same as the eyes of the 'dissenters', a poor choice of word, may I say, on your part, to describe anyone who disagrees with the whole idea of Gay Marriage. There are many laws I do not agree with ... and this is one that I or anybody else can do anything about. C'est la vie!

  john bunyan 20:38 26 Mar 2014

I thought how thin the posts on the forum have been recently, and missed contributions from some of the more argumentative posters even if one disagrees with them. However it is disappointing to see words like "ignorant bigotry" being used here. Perhaps one of the reasons for the paucity of posts is that some people prefer a more polite debate.

  Forum Editor 22:47 26 Mar 2014

When I started this thread I had a little bet with myself that some people would not be able to join in without making some kind of offensive remark, either about same sex marriages or other forum members.

It seems I won my bet.

The subject is an interesting one - at least I think it is - and it should be possible for mature individuals to discuss their views without it degenerating into a personal slanging match. That kind of thing belongs in the school playground, it certainly isn't welcome here.

I've removed the worst of it, and I'm leaving the thread open for anyone who wants to make a sensible point. Sniping attempts will simply be deleted. If we can't manage to debate anything without fighting what on earth is the point of doing it at all?

  Forum Editor 22:50 26 Mar 2014


If you disagree with the whole idea of Gay marriage you are a dissenter. It's not an insult to call you that, it simply means that you withhold your assent - you don't approve.

  Forum Editor 23:02 26 Mar 2014


You say that "It seems that many of them want the ceremony and the right to call themselves married. But marriage comes with responsibilities too not just rights." but you don't make it clear what you mean by responsibilities - what responsibilities have couples in mixed sex marriages got that same sex marriage couples might not have?

The whole point about the new legislation is that it is intended to confer the same right (to marry) on all couples, regardless of their sex. I don't have a religious bone in my body, but surely that is something that any loving God would and should want. The established church relies on teachings that were written down long after the events which influenced their form, in some cases centuries after. Thousands of years have passed since then, and we have become more enlightened - we realise that it is right and proper that Gay people should be able to live peaceful productive lives, without the stigma that attaches to them when they are denied the same rights as anyone else.

Not everyone agrees with that, and what I am interested to find out is why they disagree. So far I haven't read anything that convinces me there is any good reason.

  john bunyan 09:49 27 Mar 2014

I couldn't believe how much she was charging and hers wasn't a high-profile affair

Last year there was a TV series "My big Fat Gypsy Wedding". The money spent on what , to me at least, garish and tasteless garments was unbelievable, as was the prejudice against gays. I suppose the same applies to other ethnic groups - I have a friend whose (RC) son married a Hindu girl - I think there were 300 guests for a full "do" at the Grosvenor House hotel in London, and I have attended both Sheikh and Muslim friends weddings where the costs must have been as great as some mortgages. I suspect that same sex marriages in those communities will be slow to appear.

This thread is now locked and can not be replied to.

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