Now, there's a lot to be said on the issue of marriage. I, like the next person (Unless the next person is Melanie Phillips) support full equality for people regardless of sex, sexuality, race or sexy race. However, marriage is a religious service, so it is possible to argue against forcing religions to accept homosexual marriages if their religion is... well, homophobic.
Mel's article, of course, overlooks any sensible argument in favour of hyperbole and fear-mongering - a nice piece of coverage is available at Shouting at Cows, so I won't spend too long on the content itself. But I do want to look at two points:
Firstly, the reforms our Mel is so opposed to, in her own words "doesn’t force religious institutions to introduce such ceremonies; whether they do so is up to them." So, really, most churches won't do anything differently. Because they're not being forced to let filthy queers through their venerated doors. And because they're homophobic.
Secondly, I'd like to look at Mel's splendid comparison between gays and people who bone otters. Sorry, it isn't a comparison. She says it isn't.:
If still in doubt, try this thought experiment. Imagine the Government was planning to recognise polygamy and polyandry (I'm imagining it. Ok, it isn't bothering me. Seems to work ok for Mormons... But I suppose your point is that it's against old fashioned Judeo-Christian principles. But not Muslim ones! Ooh, cunning. Polygamy is the weapon of the Mohammodite enemy!) (marriage with more than one woman or man), or marriage between ‘zoophiles’ (people who have ‘loving and committed relationships with mammals’, or bestiality to you and me (I was ok dealing with the term zoophilia. But thanks for clarifying.)) and their, er, partners. (Well, the problem here is that this is a terrible example. The moral arguments against zoophilia are completely different to homosexuality - animals cannot give us consent, so it's the same as raping them. If animals could talk and think like us, the debate would be more relevant)So, now I've got that out of my system, I want to look at some of the spectacular comments that the broad-minded readers of our Mel's column have added to the debate:
If you think this is merely grotesque satire, you would be sadly out of date. There are now campaigns in North America to recognise the ‘equal rights’ of such people and end ‘discrimination’ against them. (Of course there are. I imagine there are campaigns for anything somewhere though)
If ‘marriage’ were extended to such groups, people would rightly conclude the institution was being turned into a meaningless joke (Well, the second group perhaps. But I don't really mind the idea of consenting adults marrying more than one person, if everyone is happy.). Yet the argument — that people with different sexual lifestyles must be treated identically — is exactly the same (No. It isn't - the line is that consenting adults can do what they like, providing it doesn't hurt anyone. This is an admirable piece of policy. Animals, however, are not consenting adults, so it is not the same at all. It's almost as if you purposely want people to equate putting your penis in a man with putting your penis in a goat. (And no, before the hate mail starts, I’m not suggesting gays are on a moral par with zoophiles. No. You do claim to support the traditional Biblical stance towards homosexuals though. And that stance is to put them to death. Incidentally, you were implying they were similar. Only in your last sentence did you say the argument against homosexuals is the same as the argument against bestiality.))
Disappointed in you David Cameron (I imagine he'll be able to live with it), you are bowing to the politically correct (Ah yes, the catch-all phrase for the evils of the modern age - a well-meaning set of ideas that aim to make everyone be nicer to each other, how horrid!) but which church will actually agree to marry same sex couples(Well, according to Michael White at the Guardian, Quakers, Unitarians and Liberal Jewish denominations) ? C of E have said they will not, Roman Catholics don't agree with it, and most of the other denominations like Evangelicals, Baptists, Methodists, URC all keep to biblical truths and most certainly would not think of it ............................ (Of course not, so what's your problem then? They won't be forced to carry it out, and you can carry on living your blinkered little bigot life without your beloved church being tainted by poofs and their evil agenda. Incidentally, that isn't how you use full stops.)Another masterpiece in the field of philosophical debate:
Gay marriage (So, you grasped the subject of the article? Well done.). Yeah, very modern (I suppose so). Very trendy (Yea, that's a word people still use). A nice legal arrangement. (Yea, I guess so. It is nice to think that two people would be so committed to each other they would make a legal declaration of it. Gives you hope for society really) Helps when a gay couple wants to adopt (Yea, I suppose it is a good way to show they're committed to each other, and thus more likely to provide a stable environment). But not worth a lot of fuss for the relatively small number of gays in the country (Ah, I see. It is only worth bringing about reforms that help the majority. So, if people are in a minority, we should let them suffer? Cancer sufferers are, I imagine and hope, only a small proportion of society. Should we not make any fuss about them? Probably not - we could take the money we saved from cancer research and treatment and use it to give the white middle-classes better conservatories or something). Stonewall seems to overstate the number of gays around because that's in their interests but apparently the percentage is about 1-3 (Really? Then I seem to know a disproportionate number of homosexuals.). They just make a lot of noise (Yea, it'll be all that dancing they do). The only problem with letting them marry is that they'll then want something else (What, like a nuclear stockpile?). Gay rights activists are not going to stop now (Well, no. Would you stop if you were treated unequally, if little bigoted fucks wrote stupid comments about you on the Internet?). Which is silly because resentment is growing (I don't know where you live mate, but I've never seen a mob lynching effigies of Stephen Fry). Britain is getting really tired of interest groups (No. You are, evidently. Are you the whole country? Your ego certainly seems big enough). All of them. Gays, feminists, Muslims, etc (blacks, Jews, Asians, the elderly, the terminally ill, the mentally ill, gypsies, Catholics, Jehovah's witnesses? I Know I'm committing Godwin's fallacy, but I'm going to mention Hitler and point out the obvious parallels...). They just don't seem to know when to stop. (Ooh, but I bet you know how to stop them, eh? Ship them back to where they came from, Gayland or something? Or gas the lot?)But it gets better:
It is time to say no more now (Let's take a stance! Shoot them all!). The long campaign by the homosexuals to be not normal but better than the heterosexuals is now over (Yea, bloody the homosexuals, organising their campaigns of freakery, thinking they're better than us but weirder than us!). We admit you exist, how can we not do (Denial? You could try that...)? But marriage is as Melanie writes and most of us believe a contract between a man and a woman for the procreation normally of children to keep the human race going (Most of us also believe in the comma. But really, the reason behind most marriages is not to honour God or procreate. It's because two people love each other enough to commit to that publicly. Which seems rather a nice idea. Do you really think that there can be no future for mankind without marriage?). The homosexuals' campaign has gone too far (Damn you, the homosexuals! You've gone too far, wanting to paint churches pink and put your penises in the pews!) . Never will I admit or acknowledge any homosexuals claiming to be "married" as being so and I will say so in public whatever the cost (Ok then. So this shouldn't really bother you then). They have civil partnerships for financial protection so why bother getting married in a church etc. (Maybe they believe in God and want to praise him through the miracle of marriage? I don't know, I don't understand everyone's motivation for everything)? Why is it so important to them (I just explained, I don't know. Pay attention)? So they can consider themselves normal (What exactly do you think is normal?)? Well, we all have news for you (Good show.). Mother Nature or God has been very cruel but then she/He has to those born blind or deaf etc. (Ok, that sentence really needed to be rewritten. But your point is that, in your opinion, God directly created homosexuals, made them Gay, then wants us all to have a go at them? If you thought it was a choice or something, you'd be a fucking idiot, but at least I would understand your opposition. But no, you think God is a cruel being who creates the disabled and the gay and the strange looking people, then encourages us all to put them to death? You have a problem...)Speaking of thinking homosexuality is a choice:
Britain today is experiencing a concerted effort by gay lobbyists to subvert the social order as we know it, in order to suit their lifestyle choice in the name of 'equality' (It isn't a lifestyle choice. Some people are just gay, in the same way some people are fucking morons.). If you disagree or express a different view, you are labelled a bigot and may even be prosecuted (Seems fair enough, you should try not to be bigoted then.). Why is the government constantly changing or creating new laws with far reaching consequences for society just for this minority (Because minorities, being in the minority, often need protected.)? Marriage is a solemn union between a man and a woman (Seriously? You think that's the reason behind every heterosexual marriage? Solemn declarations before God?. It is the source of the nuclear family (Oh, I didn't realise this comment was being left by 1950s America). A commitment between gays/lesbians is a civil union (At the moment. If a religion chooses to accept Gay/lesbian marriage as acceptable however, it is a marriage. Since marriage is often free of religious belief for heterosexuals, it should be equal for homosexuals). They can NEVER bring about offspring by their sexual relations (So?). A marriage and civil union are therefore two different things (Obviously. That's the point people are making). Just because you CHANGE the law to suit this lifestyle, they will NEVER be the same thing (for you. And presumably, your church. So, you know, it won't affect your life at all). civil unions will NEVER have the same meaning, dignity, honour and respect MARRIAGE has always enjoyed since Adam & Eve. (You're saying that sentence with a straight face? Ok then... Firstly, pretending Adam and Eve are real, not metaphorical fictional characters, were they actually married? Oh yea, because Adam was a divorcee, of course. So that's strike one against your traditional marriage. Strike two - they were always naked, doesn't sound dignified. Honour? They disobeyed God. He was pretty pissed about it, didn't you hear? and strike 4, the idea of respect? They, apparently, produced the whole of mankind through incestuous reproduction. So yea, not a great example of the magic of marriage...)And lastly:
With the brainwashing of our children as young as 5 years old in government schools about the virtue of same-sex relationships (Not the virtue. Just the existence and no-evil nature of them. And it isn't brainwashing - certainly not like the forced Christianity many have had to endure from as young as 5 in schools. I, for one, was given no choice but to accept Christianity as fact when I was that age.), we now have a government that champions this cause to the point of upsetting a history of what is recognised, accepted, agreed, as real morality and proven behaviour (We kept black children as pets for a long time... Most of the history of our contact with people who look different is concerned with slavery, forced labour and exploitation - is that the moral history you mean?. Your article here seems pretty accurate and its content saddens and sickens (Not as much as the fact people like you agree saddens and sickens me). . I hear young, brainwashed people tell how our morals are decided and set by society (They are, you know. There's no guiding moral force)...not conscience (Well, I don't think many people say that has no influence...), not the Bible (Have you read the whole bible, and do you practise everything it says? The contradictory parts, the bits about forcing rape victims to marry their rapists if they were raped in the city, the bits about not wearing certain clothing, about stoning children to death for questioning their parents?), not history (Seriously? Have you ever studied history? It is a succession of bad people doing bad things), not loving and concerned parents (You think that parents make up absolute moral laws? What if they disagree?)..and that society is changing (yup). It sure is.....brainwashing, and evil government action are making sure it does (Often, yea. But not in this case)....all leading the weak to immorality and oblivion (Yea. That's what it is. Damned immoral ideals like being nice to each other! Jesus wouldn't have supported niceness!). Churches are now at a crossroads (Only if they were built at one). They stand firm by their doctrine (But they don't, they change constantly.)....or die, for if they capitulate they have no reason to exist. Soon we may have prisons of Christians (Well, maybe. But I don't imagine they'll be prisoners simply for their beliefs and... Wait! Are you saying we shouldn't punish people for their beliefs? Gosh, that seems an odd statement from you.....and the real criminals and oddballs will be at large, further moulding the new morals of society.(You mean murders and rapists, or gays and funny-coloured people?)