Sunday, 11 March 2012

What's Happening Hot Stuff!! 11/03/2012

OMG have you seen the latest comments from Scotland’s most Senior Catholic….writing in the Sunday Telegraph, Cardinal Keith Michael Patrick O'Brien, has said that gay marriage is a "grotesque subversion of a universally accepted human right". Erm what?! He actually suggests that same sex marriage will lead to three-way marriages (what, we all want to get into polygamy now!) and compares the government's support for equality to legalising slavery. Yeah, that sounds logical.

The Cardinal continued “Those of us who were not in favour of civil partnership, believing that such relationships are harmful to the physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing of those involved, warned that in time marriage would be demanded too. We were accused of scaremongering then, yet exactly such demands are upon us now. Redefining marriage will have huge implications for what is taught in our schools, and for wider society. It will redefine society since the institution of marriage is one of the fundamental building blocks of society. The repercussions of enacting same-sex marriage into law will be immense. Can we simply redefine terms at a whim? Can a word whose meaning has been clearly understood in every society throughout history suddenly be changed to mean something else?” – We would say yes! As we have said in previous posts, some outdated traditions need to be re-defined to be more inclusive and reflect the times we are in. Including us in 'marriage' will only be a positive and only affect only those same-sex couples who want to get married instead of civil-partnered - nobody else!

In reading the article about this, there are always quotes that we see that make us go ‘OH NO S/HE DI-N'T!!’ (you know, like the divas we are!) and this was the one we found from the Cardinal - “There is no doubt that, as a society, we have become blasé about the importance of marriage as a stabilising influence and less inclined to prize it as a worthwhile institution.” – should this not be directed the Kim Kardashian, Britney Spears and Liz Taylor’s amongst us - not those who actually value what marriage represents?!

The Conservative MP Margot James, an open lesbian, said: “I think it is a completely unacceptable way for a prelate to talk. I think that the government is not trying to force Catholic churches to perform gay marriages at all. It is a purely civil matter.” Cardinal O'Brien's language was "unacceptable". The Home Office says that couples should have the right to marry “irrespective of their sexual orientation”.

These comments were actually from last week - this week however, the spiritual head of the Church of England, Rowan Williams said that the Anglican communion will fight gay marriage. Introducing gay marriage is supported across the political spectrum including by the SNP first minister of Scotland, Alex Salmond; the Conservative prime minister of the UK, David Cameron; the Liberal Democrat deputy prime minister of the UK, Nick Clegg; and by the Labour leader Ed Miliband. At least the government is showing sense on this issue!

Liberal Democrat candidate for Mayor of London, Brian Paddick said: “Same-sex marriage should simply be a universally accepted human right for everyone. If we really believe in equality, there is no sound intellectual argument against gay marriage. There may be religious objections, as there are religious objections to equality for women, but that does not mean we should be ruled by them.” – Agreed!

The Times paper has also come out to show its support for gay marriage - In response to the Cardinal’s comments, The Times has published an editorial stating it is firmly in support of gay marriage. You may have read that last week despite “criticism from clerical and political opponents”, the prime minister’s position is remains in support of gay marriage and the paper says that position is “right” and equality would be a “just and wise reform." Reforms to marital law need to be informed by a sense of history, lest they give rise to unintended and damaging consequences. Only in the past generation has the principle of same-sex marriage gained widespread support. It is not a frivolous criticism that the legitimacy of marriage and the social cohesion that it provides might be damaged if the law is rewritten without regard for how most people understand an historic institution. The objection is misguided, even so. British society has in 45 years gone from decriminalising homosexuality to introducing civil partnerships. That legislative and cultural distance is immense. Only one of the reasons that such reforms have enhanced the quality of life is their expansion of personal liberty. Recognising the validity of homosexual relationships serves the public good too. It has encouraged gay couples to commit to enduring partnerships, in which many show a devotion, care and disinterested love that do far more to create ordered domesticity than government programmes could ever achieve. The paper concludes that “far from damaging marriage, expanding it to same-sex couples shores it up”. We’re not personally Times readers, but this article we completely agree with.

It is great to see that the Cardinal’s comments have propelled gay marriage back to the front pages – having grown up in a world where gay marriage was unheard of, to see it so publicly discussed is a good thing. While Sarah's parents do not support gay marriage, we are beginning to feel they are in the minority. An ICM poll for the Sunday Telegraph has found, people are in favour of changing the law to allow gay couples to marry! 45%  support the move in principle, while just 36% oppose it. The rest of those asked had no firm view. Women are more strongly in favour than men. A similar poll by YouGov for the Sunday Times found 43% in favour of same sex marriage, 32% in favour of just civil partnerships and just 15% opposed to both.

Other comments made public are from Lynne Featherstone, the Liberal Democrat minister for equality and she has told the told the Sunday Times ‘The language the Church of England and the Catholic Church has used is homophobic and that the views that the leaders are expressing belong in the Dark Ages. This is about love and commitment and things that are good for society and families; it is a matter of celebrating love and commitment. I have heard homophobic language used in connection with this very loving and progressive step. This is a live-and-let-live policy. We have no wish to cross over into territory that is not ours, no desire to stop those who believe that marriage should be between a man and a woman. They [the opponents] do not have to agree with this. But we will have to agree to disagree because for those who want to express their love in a civil marriage, then I think the state is here to facilitate that and to encourage it and rejoice in it.'
In not-so-good news, in a letter to be read to congregations at Mass this weekend, two senior Archbishops in the Catholic Church tell followers they have a ‘duty’ to ‘ensure’ gays should not be allowed to marry even in civil ceremonies. The address was reported by the Daily Telegraph and comes from the most senior Catholics in England and Wales, the Archbishop of Westminster, the Most Reverend Vincent Nichols, and the Archbishop of Southwark, the Most Reverend Peter Smith. The letter will be read to 2,500 church Masses this weekend with a note encouraging faithful to sign the Coalition for Marriage, an effort to oppose marriage equality led by the heads of anti-gay religious groups including the Christian Institute. 
Dismissing wholesale the arguments of “equality and discrimination”, the archbishops writes: “our present law does not discriminate unjustly when it requires both a man and a woman for marriage. It simply recognises and protects the distinctive nature of marriage. A change in the law would gradually and inevitably transform society’s understanding of the purpose of marriage. It would reduce it just to the commitment of the two people involved.  We have a duty to married people today, and to those who come after us, to do all we can to ensure that the true meaning of marriage is not lost for future generations. Its status in law is the prudent fruit of experience, for the good of the spouses and the good of the family. In this way society esteems the married couple as the source and guardians of the next generation. As an institution marriage is at the foundation of our society.” Argh it’s so infuriating that they are so publicly airing their views which are built on nothing more than ‘tradition’. Tradition said the women’s role was ‘in the home’ and that ‘black’ people were secondary in society! We agree with everything marriage should stand for, especially for the good of family- but family can be a single mother or single father so does the church not support them?! We want the true meaning of marriage to remain – a commitment between two individuals who will love, honour and support each other for better or worse, in sickness and health, for richer or poorer till death do us part!

The 2007 British Social Attitudes Survey estimated that 9% of the adult population of England, Wales and Scotland were Catholic and of those 14% attended weekly services. So hopefully only a small percentage of them actually buy the backward view the Church is forcing on them!

As always we like to include some video footage so here’s what we found this week…

Back in 2011 you may remember Australian tennis play Margaret Court made her views on homosexuality public and lets just say not all Australians agree....

Following up on last weeks post good news for the Prop 8 play - A reading of the play 8, with an all-star cast headed by Brad Pitt and George Clooney, raised approximately $2 million for the American Foundation of Equal Rights (AFER). The reading, sold out and an additional 210,000 viewers watched live on YouTube. (More than 277,000 people had watched the performance as of noon PST on Monday (5 March).

The more publicity for gay couples the better we say - the more it is 'normalised' the less of an issue it can be made into!
Until next week
Sarah & Laura xo

If you want to see other news updates check out WHHS here!


  1. Great post ladies. As you say, it's people like Britney spears and Kim Kardashian that ruin the sanctity of marriage,not gay people! Not to mention people who marry for money, people who have multiple divorces etc.
    I don't get the redefining marriage excuse either, years ago black people couldn't marry white, and the woman was considered her husbands property, and the world didn't end when those rules were changed!
    Keeping gay marriage illegal isn't going to stop people being gay :/ oops, I'll stop ranting, this is why L had to write our post on gay marriage lol
    S xx

  2. This post gave me so many feelings - hurt, distressed and worried right through to loved and hopeful. We should not be judged on who we love (no one should) but it does feel like the world is recognising and accepting us more and more as time goes on. I really hope that more people (and especially those closest to us, like Sarah's parents and some of my family) can see that being true to who we are really makes us happy, and *that* should be the important thing. Hope you girlies have had a nice weekend.
    Carley xx

  3. Great summary of what's been going on ladies!

    Though Chely married Lauren last year?.. Confused!

    M x

  4. Great post on what's been happening!


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