Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Civil Unions and Gay Rights.

A brief gander through the papers this morning sees this small island of ours finally taking a step in the right direction with regard to some of its citizens. It always struck me as highly insulting that my gay friend should be treated as a sub species of person when it came to their living arrangements. I have gay friends who have lived together for years as a couple and this new legislation means they can finally make arrangements for their financial future. It's also a boon for co-habitating couples, who now can have their relationships recognised and validated.
Of course there will be the usual bleating about how this is an attack on marriage and the bedrock of the Irish way of life. But this argument is specious at best. How does recognising another right to legal protection attack a decision made my two adults. If you want to get married what's stopping you?
I've already heard one commentator on the radio trot out the old 'lifestyle choice' line this morning. It's staggering to think that in this day and age anyone would consider being gay a lifestlye choice, like piercing a lip. Yeah, that's what it all about, attacking marriage and making lifestyle choices. Yep, those pesky gays get up every morning thinking, 'how can I disrupt the life of the hetrosexual?' Nothing to do with equality or right to live a life in legal peace.
There's a man on the Brenda Power show right now ranting on about the world's population, and 'God's plan'. But congratulating himself on 'not attacking them' even though the idea of them kissing makes him sick. How forward thinking of him.
There's much more to do of course, and although the battle to be recognised as actual living people is being won, the war is not over. There will be plenty of nonsense spewed over the next few days about the 'gay agenda' and attacks on marriage/the social fabric of the country, but it's just fear talking.
Gays are not second class citizens, it's time to recognise their rights to live as Irish citizens .



Blogger SinĂ©ad said...

It's a small step.

This type of civil union only gives financial rights to the couple, no rights to adopt.

The state is failing children, again.

9:54 a.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

I suppose it will be one battle at a time.
I'm listening to some of the most disgusting bigoted tripe on Newstalk right now, 'second hand sex' , biblical condemnation' oh yes, it's all quite sick making.

10:05 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

At what point does The Church weigh in with it's size 11s? They'll feel so on home ground here (ironically) and will be glad of an issue that temporarily takes the heat off their systematic covering up of abusive priests.

10:10 a.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

The church seem to be in a flap over the use of the work marraige. But some chap-whose name I forget- on earlier was quite concise with regard to the church. he said a religious ceremony was NOT what this legislation is about, but a civil and legal union, bestowing legal rights to people in committed relationships.
This is framed as a secular union, the church ought to keep its beak out of it.

10:15 a.m.  
Anonymous The Bad Ambassador said...

Civil unions for gay couples hurt nobody. That's assuming of course, you don't include the the bigots and religous fundamentalists (of all hues). These are the same people who think Polish nationals are "over here taking our dole" or that the use of condoms is naughty - so their opinions shouldn't really count for a while lot.

Just make it happen!

10:44 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

God be with the days, when you could give the arse bandits a good thrashing and no one would bat an eyelid.
Now the worlds gone all "PC".

Bald Devil Loves You All

10:46 a.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

We'll have to see how this develops over the next few days BA, there was already a priest on earlier saying he was going to ask his congregation to pray this law is not passed as it is immoral. How he find a sevular union immoral and the business of his congregation is beyond me, but there you have it.

10:49 a.m.  
Blogger Conan Drumm said...

I'm generally with Tom Robinson on this, you know... 'Sing if you're glad to be gay, sing if you're happy that way' etc etc.

My hmms and umms are about those folks who swim freestyle in the orientation pool. Folks who are straight for a few years and then become gay, and vice versa. It's a bit awkward for their kids, partners, husbands, wives and so on.
Presumably, the civil union scenario will include provisions for separation and succession, much as divorce does for married folks?

11:01 a.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

'Presumably, the civil union scenario will include provisions for separation and succession, much as divorce does for married folks?'
I suppose it will have to. I imagine there are many things that need to be ironed out over the coming weeks.
Welcome back by the way. I hope you had a good trip.

11:03 a.m.  
Blogger Conan Drumm said...

Thanks Missus, it was a trip with trips.

11:48 a.m.  
Anonymous Betty said...

That bloody Brenda Power should come with a health warning, she's so unctuous she makes my skin crawl! This is a great advancement for the country as a whole. Hopefully the politicians won't wimp out at the last moment!

12:04 p.m.  
Blogger Manuel said...

bout bloody time.....

12:09 p.m.  
Blogger Andraste said...

It amazes me still that the people who are most against marriage equality for gays are the very people it affects the least. How do gay couples having the right to a civil (or religious for that matter) union do any more damage to marriage than the likes of Pamela Anderson or
Britney Spears?

And I DO wish that Bald Devil would piss off.

12:21 p.m.  
Blogger Dr. James McInerney said...

It is gay pride week, would you believe? Tomorrow night I am taking part in a debate - John Hume building, NUI Maynooth, come along there will be wine afterwards - on "Nature versus Nurture" in the gay issue. Bottom line - there is a genetic element to homosexuality (too long and boring to go into the details here).

My question is: if God made us in his own image and likeness, is God a bit of a whoopsie?

This legislation is good. Suicide among homosexual youths is very high. Bullying of young gay boys and girls is very high. Discrimination is very high. Anything that normalises homosexuality in society is good - right now it is not viewed as normal either by law or by society itself (as a whole).

12:28 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Can anyone go to the debate Docky? Is it open to the public?
Andraste you make an excellent point, surely people who devalue marriage the most are those that enter into it willy nilly with nary a thought.
I also remember reading somewhere recently that divorce is very high among couples from the bible belt, due in no small way to the fact that people get married so young.
Betty she really takes he biscuit some days.
manuel, quite right.

1:09 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here in CO, USA, they recently had a vote to legally define marriage as "a union between a man and a woman". I was appalled. Next they'll be telling me I can't have an inter-racial marriage. Why is it on the public agenda at all?

And while there have been strides in gay rights in the US, it isn't enough. Many cohabitating couples still don't have the same legal rights when it comes to health care and social security etc.

"Folks who are straight for a few years and then become gay, and vice versa." I think this is hard for someone to understand if you are NOT gay, but there are some people out there who are genuinely confused about their orientation and attempt to live a "normal" life, getting married, having children before realising years down the road that that nagging feeling they've been having for years can no longer be denied.

I'm glad to see Ireland taking forward steps, we'll see how forward, I guess.


1:25 p.m.  
Blogger Conan Drumm said...

Orfy, hence the Tom Robinson reference.

1:30 p.m.  
Blogger Medbh said...

Conan, I think the people who flip from gay to straight are usually those who try and force themselves to comply with being hetero and after a few or many years realize that they're miserable and that life's too short.

1:37 p.m.  
Blogger Dr. James McInerney said...

yep - you're all invited to the debate. Theatre JH5 at 7pm tomorrow night. NUI Maynooth, north campus. W(h)ine after, apparently.

1:51 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

3:43 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

If I can get all my work done early I'll try get over for that Docky.

3:51 p.m.  
Blogger gimme a minute said...

Wow, you're getting them today Fmc.

Such wit! Such alliteration! Such anonymity!

3:52 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

It's the originality that makes me laugh and slap my thigh most Gimmie. That and the attention seeking.

3:57 p.m.  
Blogger Conan Drumm said...

I tend not to go entirely along with the either/or square peg/round hole reductionist approach to this issue.
There's been enough "Ooops!" moments of attraction for self-identified gay/straight men and women for me to have an open mind about the choice issue. Won't get to the Doc's debate so I hope to hear about it.

4:31 p.m.  
Anonymous Sam, problemchildbride said...

The measure stands a better chance of making a real difference in Ireland than it does in the US where tthe ebb and flow of gay rights legislation being enacted and then repealed leaves so many gay couples washed up on the shore without any idea what their rights are that week. The states can grant them and the Feds over-ride it; if the governorship or legislature of a state changes, you can bet the first thing they do is reverse the marriage provisions for gay people. Ireland has a better chance of making a decision and sticking to it.

I really hope that the legislation goes through and gays are given full rights. The added bonus of this would be another nail in the coffin of the church's control over the island.

5:03 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Between that and the multi denominational schools the church has been having a rough few week.
Mind you I have little sympathy. Some of the view expressed on the radio by priests this morning were very harsh. I understand they must follow the Catholic ethos, but you should have heard the venom behind some of the remarks. Astounding. As though the very idea that people might want to be treated equally confounded them.

5:08 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry, Conan, missed the Tom Robinson reference. I've been in the US too long, had NO idea who he was, had to google him!


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