Monday, December 05, 2005

Lightish Blogging

And, as the UK Government allows couples in a loving relationship to register for 'civil partnerships' (as long as they have sex of couse - wouldn't want an elderly brother and sister, or a caring relative, to take advantage), in Iran ...

The day grows closer when it'll be legal for sixteen-year old boys to be given one of these (link deleted), but not one of these. Smoking, you see, is much more dangerous than uphill gardening.

19 comments:

Chris said...

Try not to be such an offensive prat over this. Brothers and sisters should be able to (e.g.) escape inheritance tax, which in any event should be abolished - not just in that kind of case.
And gay couples should be able to express that commitment, shouldn't they?
Do try to get over your personal hang ups!

DumbJon said...

Wahey! There you are Laban. Now you've got comments you too can have the joy of visits from the Gay Talking Points Squad

Hey Chris, try to get over your hang-ups. Gay couples need the government to help them express commitment ? Huh ? Couldn't they buy flowers or something ?

Nope - gay marriage isn't about removing laws preventing gays booking receptions, arranging ceremonies or even finding a Liberal vicar to perform the service. All those are already legal - the only change gay marriage means is that they can now impose on third parties - the taxman for one.

Why exactly should gay couplesa qualify for tax breaks, but those who care for eldery reatives should lose their homes when the elderly relative dies ? I know which group of people are contributing most to the country (clue: it's the one you never see naked on a float driving round the town centre).

Chris said...

Did you (can you) read what I said?
I completely agree that those you mention should absolutely not lose their homes...
Inheritance tax should go.
I have never read such a mean minded post - because of the unfair situation that carers cannot inherit (without tax) are you saying that another category of two people committed to each other should not be able to do so.
Equality of misery for all...what a great slogan.

DumbJon said...

...which makes it particularly strange that the Gay Rights Brigade blocked a Tory attempt to bring carers under the aegis of IHT exemption in the civil partnerships bill. They must have got confused.

Anyway, IHT is just one of the privledges included under gay marriage. How about the ability of gay couples to demand spousal benefits from third parties such as their employer. And never mind if their employer is morally opposed to homosexuality. Nope - this bill is not some morally-neutral equalising, let alone some touchy-feely exercise. It marks a significant increase in the ability of homosexuals to impose on other people, even those opposed on moral grounds. If it wasn't, why the desire to limit these benefits to gay couples, rather than, say, two mates in the Army ?

chris said...

Well that's a good question -- though if two mates in the army (perhaps the marines?!) are convinced that they are never going to marry...

I don't know what you mean by "imposition". My older son has lived with the same male partner for over 15 years. If that makes me a member of the "Gay Talking Points Squad" then count me in!
(Of course I wouldn't be looking at this blog if I wasn't more naturally a member of the Curmudgeonly Talking Points Squad!) But on this occasion you and LT are exhibiting a very mean-minded attitude. If you feel that one of them should be thrown out of their house when one dies then that's your rather sad problem. I'm glad that law has changed. But it should go further...and the easiest way to go would be to abolish inheritance tax.

Anonymous said...

Laban, the difference being that you can take actions to prevent dangerous sodomy but little can be done to prevent the dangers of smoking if that's what you want to do. If the government wants to try and stop gays barebacking in darkrooms and children smoking behind the bikesheads then these seperate issues can only be seen as a good thing.

Chris-Laban's post wasn't mean spirited. It merely highlighted the weakness of the legislation. And also highlighted the plight of gays in Iran-which should be applauded. It also included a slightly fellacious argument about smoking and the governments interference in peoples' lives.

Jon-where do we start. Firstly always entertaining. I admire your abilites as wordsmith.

Erm, I'm not sure how you think individuals can impose on the taxman-surely it's the other way round.

Why exactly should gay couplesa qualify for tax breaks, but those who care for eldery reatives should lose their homes when the elderly relative dies ?

Logical Fallacy number 1

I know which group of people are contributing most to the country (clue: it's the one you never see naked on a float driving round the town centre).

Logical Fallacy number 2. How do you not know that the carer doesn't ride around on a float (don't they realise how absurd they look) in his spare time?

which makes it particularly strange that the Gay Rights Brigade blocked a Tory attempt to bring carers under the aegis of IHT exemption in the civil partnerships bill.

Yes it is strange and mildly pathetic. Sadly there are a few tiresome gay rights activists who feel that being gay is somehow special. I agree with you-but that hardly validates your original arguments does it.

And never mind if their employer is morally opposed to homosexuality


Quite. Never mind what your employer thinks. They pay you do a job and expect to be compensated for it as others would be. Besides I'm sure if your employers was Muslim and was 'morally opposed' to Christmas or expressing Christian identity you would, rightly, be the first to obeject. Sadly the Guardian reading twats wouldn't.

It marks a significant increase in the ability of homosexuals to impose on other people

Impose is a bizarre word to use. Does marraige currently 'impose' itself on homosexuals. No, why the other way round?

If it wasn't, why the desire to limit these benefits to gay couples, rather than, say, two mates in the Army ?

There actually was very little resistance-only by a small minority. However the reasoning was sound-even if I don;t agree with it. In order for the state to recognise a loving relationship which makes it secure and encourges monogamy and stability-just as in marrages. And two mate in the army can get civil partnershiped. I'm sure hetrosexuals will use this bill to get so.

DumbJon said...

Actually, I do agree with the rights of Muslim employers not to have to employ Christians. And vice versa. Lifestyle discrimination is hardly a theoretical concept - look how many employers refuse to hire smokers. Every time anybody - be they an employer or not - is forced to do something they wouldn't do, that's an imposition. If the government decides I have a right to demand free beer from my employer, that's an impostion on him. So it will be when the first gay couple sue the Cartholic Church demanding the right to hire the Church Hall for their reception.

Right now, we recognise the benefits of marriage as an environment to raise children in, hence we allow the married to make certain demands on everyone else. Abscent that, say, with gay marriage, it's not immediatly obvious why employers should be compelled to pay spousal benefits to gay couples (and, again, most already do and have done for years).

Chris-(Anon) said...

Actually, I do agree with the rights of Muslim employers not to have to employ Christians.

That's a curious libitarian argument and I think I broadly agree with you in that people should have the right to sell and buy goods including labour from who they want. If hotels don't want gay people in their rooms then that's fine. Let the gay couple speand their money at a different hotel and watch the first hotel owners remain poorer. It's an economic argument which dictates that if you reduce the available workforce available to you you will become poorer. And I would imagine the sort of people who would be happy to work for employers on religious grounds would be those employees who are less productive anyway.

we recognise the benefits of marriage as an environment to raise children in, hence we allow the married to make certain demands on everyone else.

I think it's quite deprssing that you raise that argument. The benefits of marriage are much more than that. There is ample evidene to show that people who are married will be less prone to criminality (possibly due to age but also due to the pressure to please the wife), enjoy a better quality of health and be happier in a stable relationship thus reducing their dependence on the state-they are encouraged to come off benefits and do something to ensure the partnership they are in 'works' better. I'm not sure why you don't feel that this would be beneficial to homosexuals as well and curb some of the more self destructive practices that the 'community' displays. Which would in turn would benefit everyone.

If the 'marriage is for children' argument is the best that you've got then that's quite poor. Shouldn't baren straight couples of over the age of 50 marry. Frankly what would the point be when they can give each other a bunch of flowers.

Anonymous said...

Chris (Anon) "fellacious argument"

Sounds painful or Freudian

ChrisAnon said...

Very freudian. I'm at work and my boss hasn't given me the right to post comments on blogs so I have to write quickly. Maybe I'll sue.

DumbJon said...

Surely if marriage is acknowledge as one of the building blocks of society that makes it more, not less, important not to experiment with it. I doubt the folks who brought in 'no fault' divorce ever expected what we have today.

Decoupling marriage from child rearing does weaken the case for marriage precisely because it is then dependent on lifestyle arguments. Is marriage healthier ? But is that causation or just correlation ? Equally, why don't we privledge over healthy lifestyles ? And so on.

There are quite enough competent unmarried parents teed off at people pointing out that in general - married couples raise their kids better. Now you want to tell every single person in the country that they're unhealthy ? Ultimatly, their response will be to say 'pay for your own lifestyle' and let marrage sink.

Chrisanon said...

Surely if marriage is acknowledge as one of the building blocks of society that makes it more, not less, important not to experiment with it.

It's hardly an experiment, it's the culmination of a 100 year old discussion whereby rationality has won.

I doubt the folks who brought in 'no fault' divorce ever expected what we have today.

Actually I imagine some of them did and would appreciate the fact that people aren't 'locked in' loveless marragies and have the opportunity to leave them. It is good that people are able to leave deeply unhappy situations however it's good to see another logical fallacy pop up.

There are quite enough competent unmarried parents teed off at people pointing out that in general - married couples raise their kids better.

Yes but I'm sure that as the writers of YOUR blog you wouldn't argue that because people are annoyed at an argument that's a reason not to make it.

Now you want to tell every single person in the country that they're unhealthy ?

Oops, another fallacy there. That's not what I'm saying. I'm saying that being part of a loving couple is preferable to being single-in general but also particularly when you're bringing up a child. That's hardly the same as calling single people 'unhealthy'

Ultimatly, their response will be to say 'pay for your own lifestyle' and let marrage sink.

Because I think people who are single would prefer to be with a partner and be in a relationship recognised by society as strong. That's a rather large leap of logic which I don;t quite understand.

chris said...

This is a very strange argument.
Marriage only survives because of the financial incentives, does it?
Those who get married because of the "incentives" - rather than because they are inclined to do so anyway - are hardly likely to magically become better people/parents overnight.
I didn't get married because of the "incentives" - I did so because I loved (still love) my wife.
I certainly value the fact that our house will not have to be sold when one of us dies - but I don't regard that as an "imposition" on anyone. However I certainly regard it as "fair"!
Similarly if my son chooses to register his partnership I am sure it won't be because of the "incentives".
Nonetheless if he does choose to do so, I certainly regard the fact that the surviving partner won't be forced to sell their house as similarly fair.
How that can be regarded as a threat to heterosexual marriage is beyond me. You must think it a pretty feeble institution if it can only survive on a diet of tax breaks and the unfair treatment of homosexual couples.

Anonymous said...

Dumbjon,

Why do you think that marriage is so weak that it will die without govt force backing it?

chrisanon said...

Why do you think that marriage is so weak that it will die without govt force backing it?

He didn't say that. Marriage is a social right provided by government though as you seem to imply. Human rights aren't 'natural'-you're not born with them. You are given them. If the government didn't back them, they would, by definition 'die'. However the government does back it by providing all those nice rights we've been talking about to those who are married. Because we, as a society, recognise that two people in a secure loving relationship is better than a group of single people with few intimate or family connections as we can see that the support of that unit provides a stability in individuals lives which correspond to the 'health' of society.

Laban said...

This is why I thought long over comments ... wondering whether to rgue back with people who make assumptions about my "personal hang ups" when they know nothing about them (otherwise they wouldn't be able to sleep at night).

As I said here

http://www.ukcommentators.blogspot.com/2004_10_17_ukcommentators_archive.html#109805623528865377

"why should one's sexuality be something to be proud of (unless achieving it has taken a lot of hard work, of course) ? I'm certainly not proud of mine - but that is 'a story for which the world is not yet prepared'."

Anonymous said...

Its like common land, if you say something belongs to everyone then in reality you are saying it belongs to no one.
If any relationship in which people are giving each other physical pleasure can be declared marriage, then the term marriage has no meaning because it no longer defines a special type of relationship.
Then the question becomes "is it beneficial to this country to downgrade the meaning of marriage?" the answer is that that would be a disaster. As studies from other countries where marriage has broken down has shown.
(sorry I no longer have the references)

The basic problem is government interference, there should be no transferable state pensions, no Inheritance tax, next of sin rights should transferable in a living will. Then gays wouldn't have the excuse that this marriage has anything to do with 'rights'.

Marriage was never simply about 'love' it was about creating a family. Westerners with their suicidally low birthrates have forgotten that, and will in not too much time be replaced by either African fundamentialist Christians or more likely Muslims.
The irony will be that Muslims might even save the white man, when they ban the banditification of our schools and ban abortion, our numbers might start to increase instead of decrease.

chris said...

Laban - sorry to make assumptions about your hang ups!

It's nothing to do with "pride".
My son is not "proud" of his sexuality any more than I am - though I can understand why that might be the reaction of people whose sexuality others believe should be a source of shame.
He is, though, proud of his relationship with his partner as I am with my relationship with my wife. I think it perfectly reasonable - and in the interest of society too - that he be able to express that pride/commitment etc. in the same way as his parents.

It's a sad day when marriage is thought to be unable to withstand
such "threats" - even sadder when it is thought only to rest upon tax breaks!

Do keep the comments...otherwise it's a bit like talking to yourself...not an unpleasant activity of course!

ChrisAnon said...

"why should one's sexuality be something to be proud of (unless achieving it has taken a lot of hard work, of course) ? I'm certainly not proud of mine - but that is 'a story for which the world is not yet prepared'."

I completely agree with you, but surely this just an argument which supports a civil partnership. Sexuality is a fairly insignificant issue therefore why shouldn't the same rights be given to people who are doing the same thing whatever the convexity of their genitals.