Banana Man wrote:
Catholic priests - The belief that having sex with men is abhorent, once they reach the age of 16.
Seriously though, this is a great day for equality. I can't believe there is, relatively speaking, so much opposition to this in a country where only 3% of people attend church. If your disagreement isn't based on religion then what's your problem?
If you made a similar joke (I hope it's a joke) about gay people, you'd get strung up, but because it's about Catholics nobody minds - does that sound right?
The main representatives of the Catholic Church (in France as well as the UK) were/are among the most vocal opponents of gay marriage, but they are by no means the only group opposed - they just happen to shout the loudest.
The fact that some MP's voted against the bill says nothing about the views of the electorate. Some MP's may well have been personally opposed, and some may have voted that way because they thought it was the safest bet in terms of their career / re-selection - who knows.
From a personal perspective, I don't know anyone who has particularly strong views on the issue, but then I only know two gay (lesbian) couples who've been married, and they just got on with things without worrying too much about what it was officially called or how it affected their legal status.
Anyway, the concept of marriage predates all the established religions, they don’t own it, they didn’t invent it, and they therefore have no right to try and dictate who can or can’t be married. Holy matrimony (or whatever people want to call it) is a completely different issue though, and as far as I can see the religious establishment should have a say in who can and can’t go through their particular ceremonies or rituals, otherwise it makes a mockery of their beliefs and totally devalues their whole concept of marriage before god. The fact that most peopled who get married in church aren't particularly religious and don't necessarily even believe in god, does somewhat undermine this argument, but then I suppose it's up to them to decide how hypocritical they want to be - the money they earn from it may help ease the conscience.
Basic bottom line:
1). gay marriage isn’t and should never have been a big issue – we’re just catching up with Belgium
2). discrimination on the basis of a persons’ (or groups) beliefs is just as bad as discrimination on any other grounds, therefore if the Catholic Church, or any other religion, doesn’t want to sanctify a marriage because they believe their god disapproves of it, then that’s OK too. It’s not going to stop people getting married and they’ll probably come round eventually anyway, but it’s not up to us to dictate what they can or can’t think or believe.
PS I like the Belgium system; everyone has to go through a civil ceremony, it’s the only recognised form of marriage, and if you want a church / religious ceremony, you have to have gone through the civil ceremony first – there’s a clear distinction between civil/legal/social marriage and religious marriage / holy matrimony.
BTW I'm neither Catholic, gay, or religious in any way whatsoever, so what the heck do I know!