In recent weeks we’ve had the lovely Cardinal bloke calling gay marriage “grotesque” and comparing it to slavery and then the Pope got involved and used his “Think Of The Children” card. What fun. The last few days have seen the Daily Mail Big Big Cheese tell all his flying monkeys to knock out a piece to help their cause of willful ignorance and I thought it would be interesting to blog about them all… but there were just too many! Here are some ‘highlights’ to illustrate how the country’s second most popular newspaper wants its readers to think what it’s thinking:
Won’t somebody think of the documents! Steve Doughty has done loads of these pieces recently, very eco-friendly in his recycling habits:
“Reforms to allow same-sex marriage will see the words husband and wife removed from official forms, it was revealed last night. Tax and benefits guidance and immigration documents must be rewritten so they no longer assume a married couple is a man and a woman. And private companies will be told to overhaul paperwork and computer databases containing the words. Marriage certificates could even be affected by the Coalition proposals, with rules possibly axing terms such as bride and bridegroom.”
Now our forms are not safe from The Gays! All these proposed things that could happen are keeping him awake at night. What does the Daily Mail itself think?
“Is being doubtful about gay marriage really the same as being anti-gay? This legislation – which not even Stonewall the most persistent gay rights group was agitating for – is not just about allowing homosexual couples to have a wedding rather than a civil partnership. It is about redefining an ancient and precious institution and recalibrating the entire way we speak about it.”
Or it could be about making it the same for everyone, including Mail readers’ children, parents, friends, etc….
“The Mail passionately supports the principle that everyone should be equal before the law, regardless of race, creed, or sexuality and has consistently backed civil partnerships for gay couples. Everyone deserves the right to have their commitment to a relationship legally recognised, with the security and inheritance tax advantages that brings. But would gay marriage confer any more legal rights than civil partnership, and is there really a genuine demand for it?”
You wouldn’t have thought that if you had been reading the Mail when civil partnerships were being planned and introduced.
What does Steve Doughty think? I know we already know as he loves writing about this but it must be time for another one from him, right?
“The Incredibles had a great catchphrase: if everybody’s special, then nobody is.”
Oh dear, I can see where this one is going…
“The words came irresistibly to mind this week when I saw what Equalities Minister Lynne Featherstone had to say about same-sex marriage. Here it is: ‘Marriage is a celebration of love and should be open to everyone.’ So, according to all evidence, married couples tend to stay together and they are healthier and better off than other people…”
He does the Mel Phillips marriage speech bit which we all know by heart now…
“It’s actually nothing to do with the gay lobby, although no activist worth his or her salt is going to look a gift horse in the mouth. It’s not about gays, it’s about marriage, and the thinking goes like this: if everybody is married, then nobody is.”
“You will have noticed the implications of same-sex marriage legislation already. It starts with the spending of millions on removing the words husband and wife from the legal lexicon. We haven’t been told officially yet, but my bet is when the new law appears couples getting married in register offices or approved premises like hotels and stately homes will no longer be pledging their future to their wedded husband or wedded wife. It’s going to be wedded partner from now on, and if you don’t think that language has much resonance, comfort yourself with the thought that you are no longer being homophobic.”
This man can see into the future.
Loads of Mail columnists had their obligatory Marriage Equality Do Not Want pieces this week but here are a few of the more famous ones:
Oh Heffer! The headline is excellent here but the article is more reserved.
“My opposition to homosexual ‘marriage’ is straightforward. The phrase is simply illogical — and no change in the law can make it otherwise.”
“I can find no evidence that the majority of people support same-sex marriages. My homosexual friends tell me that many of them are opposed to the planned law change, for much the same reasons as I am. One told me he thought they were ‘silly’, ‘patronising’ and ‘just designed to make a political point’.”
“My Gay Friends” klaxon alert!
Therefore the majority of people — mostly silent — are being asked to accept a policy advocated by a minority, but which would have a serious effect on the nature of marriage.”
“Silent Majority” klaxon. Yawn.
“To ensure full equality, the Government will either have to grant courtesy titles to the partners of married gay peers and knights – or remove them from the wives of their heterosexual counterparts. That could cause considerable anger: many male peers and knights say the main reason they accepted the honour was to enable their wives to call themselves a ‘Lady’. ”
I am getting angry just thinking about this.
Then there is the issue of lesbian married couples, where one is a baroness or dame.
This is about Cameron, who he loves to get upset about: “But he knows that driving homosexual marriage through Parliament will enrage the suburban voters he despises. He longs to be assailed by them, because it will make him look good among the Guardian-reading metropolitans he wants to win over.”
Yes, that is exactly what marriage equality is all about. Bravo!