Is gay marriage the Marriage Foundation's blind spot?

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  • Souns to me like the Marriage Foundation has a very traditional view of marriage. If they spoke out, it probably would be to oppose it. If they keep silent on the issue of same-sex marriage, that might be the best we can hope for.

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  • Why should they engage in what the definition of marriage is if they have set out their stall to engage with 'marriage-whatever marriage is held to be'?
    I think that their position is more to do with avoiding controversy that may harm their perception among the wider public.

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  • An organization, especially a nascent one, that does not include gay marriage in any discussion of marriage is out of date with the times. Six states allow gay marriage along with the District of Columbia. Countries as divergent as Canada, Argentina and Spain all have gay marriage. When the Marriage Foundation states, "We can have healthier relationships that are less likely to break down", then I propose that gay marriage is at the pulse of that goal.

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  • I suspect most criminal defence lawyers would like to see themselves redundant too. I'm sympathetic to the idea of eliminating copyright and that's my specialist field, so you may not be alone.

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  • I'm sorry but even as a flippant opener, the suggestion that family lawyers are probably the only lawyers that would love to live in a society in which they were entirely redundant is holier than thou nonsense. I'm pretty sure a lot of criminal practitioners would feel better off without crime and the social welfare lawyers working for little remuneration in housing, debt, benefits, deportation and asylum are hardly flag wavers for the social ills they have committed their careers to combatting. Poor show.

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  • Zoe Saunders seems to be arguing for mission creep. How many other organisations should make a statement of support for her pet cause? Childline? The NSPCC? Maybe even the RSPCA?

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  • "How many other organisations should make a statement of support for her pet cause? Childline? The NSPCC? Maybe even the RSPCA?"
    In my view, it is wholly unacceptable that the NSPCC have failed openly to support gay marriage, which is self-evidently in the best interests of children. Silence on the matter is no longer good enough. A failure actively to support and promote gay marriage constitutes a thought crime and should be punishable by law.

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  • "Gay marriage...is self-evidently in the best interests of children"
    Why? You may (or may not) be right, but there is nothing 'self-evident' about it. Many might say that it is in the best interests of children to have both a mother and a father.

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  • One gets sick of this discourse on gay marriage. I live in Australia and I am sick of fringe groups demanding what the majority of Australians can have in their Marriage Act. The vast majority of Australians want marriage to stay what it is.
    Gays and lesbians have no right to gay marriage because marriage does not apply to them.

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  • For anyone married with children they will know that the most important thing for childrens' upbringing is stability. In most cases that means a stable family with both parents. The Marriage Foundation appears to have this aim as its core principle.
    The criticism from Zoe Saunders is misplaced and unjustified. The article seems to be saying that the Foundation should amend its core principle to support and focus on gay marriage. The Foundation does not give any definition of marriage and is not therefore favouring one form of marriage over another. The writer appears to have totally missed the point.

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  • Unlike some I am more than happy to open about who I am. I do think it is wholly unacceptable for a public servant such as Coleridge in effect to take sides in the way that they have (you can tell because the phrase "redefine marriage" is the phrase used by the opposition to this reform).
    As it appears that my monogamous long-standing exclusive relationship with my husband is downgraded in their eyes to a "civil partnership" (how would you heterosexuallly married like to be singled out in that way?) I urge people not to support what I suspect is a very socially conservative organisation which a public official has no business being involved in.

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  • @ Anonymous | 3-May-2012 2:36 pm
    I suspect the comment from Anonymous | 3-May-2012 12:48 pm was not intended to be taken seriously. The reference to thought crimes being punishable by law should have been the giveaway!

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  • @ Harry Small
    It is becoming increasingly difficult to tell which posts are windups and which are not. I think yours is not a windup, despite its evident absurdity.
    "I do think it is wholly unacceptable for a public servant such as Coleridge in effect to take sides in the way that they have"
    Er? Isn't the whole point of the article that he hasn't taken sides?
    "(you can tell because the phrase "redefine marriage" is the phrase used by the opposition to this reform)."
    Windup or just plain silly? The jury is still out...

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  • @anonymous
    The point is that in effect he has taken sides. Look at the propaganda from the anti-marriage equality bigots about redefining marriage. And by implying in their FAG that reasonable people could actually disagree about this issue of human rights also says something.

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  • By refusing to comment on the central debate in marriage at the moment, there is a tacit assumption that this body is against equality. They are in a difficult position as the issue is so contentious. Total avoidance of the debate, whilst remiss, is understandable.

    If gay marriage is legalised it would be very interesting to see how the Marriage Foundation reacts, and whether they wholeheartedly support/promote this form of marriage like they do with 'normal' marriage.

    As to the Australian cretin who commented that the will of the majority overrides rights of a minority- keep your flawed, potentially bigoted, utilitarian logic to yourself. Human rights, and freedom from discrimination, should belong to every individual. I'm dismayed that this type of philistine thinking still exists.

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  • The relevant question is "would the marriage foundation support same sex marriage in the event of a change in the law". Even a non-campaigner should be able to answer that question.

    That aside, there is possibly more fundamental problem with the Marriage Society. The "case" on the website reads like that of a well-meaning but numerically illiterate humanities graduate trying to grapple with research. This may be the fault of the website rather than the failings of the (I stress again - clearly well-meaning) founders, and if so I hope it is addressed. This is important because it is the basis of their direction of action and it appears on the face of it that the founders may be acting more out of anecdote than evidence. Of course, if your life is spent watching failing marriages destroy kids' lives, you'll think that a sound marriage is a better option. But that is only one window through which to look at the issue. Which is not to say that it wouldn't tally with a meaningful analysis of the data.

    It would be nice to at least see how they are viewing the data controlled for underlying relevant variables such as education, socio-economic class, age of initial pregnancy, whether the relationship was one that had publicly declared the intention to start a family before getting married etc.

    In the meantime, we can only wish them well in their quest to reduce the number of children caught in the cross-fire of bitterly failing relationships.

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  • Oh dear. Just read some of the stats that The Marriage Foundation cites. Their website says that only 12% of couples married at 9 months were separated when the children were 7 (it actually says 13% - underlining my fears that they are innumerate. It's a small error, but one of reading, not calculation which I would expect more from someone was in a rush to fit the figures to their convictions rather than the other way around.) This is contrasted with the sad figure that 31% of cohabiting parents who separated over the same period.

    However, an even sadder statistic here is that only 13% of parents aged of 40 at the 7th year had separated whereas a massive 38% of those under 30 at that point had separated.

    Perhaps in light of these even more alarming statistics the Foundation, who's aim is to minimise family breakdown, will prioritise its resources towards reducing the incidences of younger families. Give the meagre resources that preclude them taking a stance on things like equality of access to civil marriage for gay couples, those resources must clearly be put towards solving the greater problem of younger families.

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