Those that didn’t want to redefine marriage try to redefine marrriage…badly

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Remember how just the other week opponents of equal marriage were saying you can’t redefine marriage.

Well take a look at some of the amendments that they have been lodging in the House of Lords.

Clause 1

LORD HYLTON

LORD CORMACK

Page 1, line 5, leave out “Marriage” and insert “Union”

Looks like a redefinition to me, of course this only applies to those of same-sex couples as can be seen by a withdrawn amendment on the same line:

LORD MACKAY OF CLASHFERN

Page 1, line 5, at end insert “and shall be referred to as “marriage (same sex
couples)””

Withdrawn

Yup.

But apparently marriage as we know it now is no longer good enough for those that are married. It needs redefined and renamed:

After Clause 1

LORD DEAR

Insert the following new Clause—

“Protecting belief in traditional marriage

Any person, in exercising functions under or in consequence of this Act,
shall have regard to the following—

(a)   that prior to the coming into force of this Act, marriage was the
union of one man and one woman for life to the exclusion of all
others (“traditional marriage”);

(b)   that belief in traditional marriage is a belief worthy of respect in a
democratic society;

(c)   that no person should suffer any detriment because of their belief in
traditional marriage.”

Insert the following new Clause—

“Protecting belief in traditional marriage: public authorities

(1)   A public authority, or any person exercising a public function, shall have
regard to the following—

(a)   that prior to the coming into force of this Act, marriage was the
union of one man and one woman for life to the exclusion of all
others (“traditional marriage”);

(b)   that belief in traditional marriage is a belief worthy of respect in a
democratic society;

(c)   that no person should suffer any detriment because of their belief in
traditional marriage.

(2)   In this section, a public authority is a person who is specified in Schedule
19 to the Equality Act 2010, and a public function is a function that is a
function of a public nature for the purposes of the Human Rights Act 1998.”

So I’m wonder will Lord Dear actually raise his hands and make the inverted comma’s sign when he talks about “traditional marriage” when he goes about moving this amendment? But his not the only one at it, there is a former Archbishop of Canterbury up to it too along with him:

LORD CAREY OF CLIFTON

LORD DEAR

Insert the following new Clause—

“Right to choose basis of marriage

(1)   Nothing in this Act takes away the right of a man and woman to enter a
traditional marriage.

(2)   A “traditional marriage” is one where the basis of the marriage is the
voluntary union of one man and one woman for life, to the exclusion of all
others.

(3)   A traditional marriage may be solemnized in accordance with—

(a)   Part 2 of the Marriage Act 1949, or

(b)   any other statutory provision authorising the marriage, provided
the ceremony contains a declaration by the parties in the following
form, or words to that effect— “I [name] take you [name] as my
husband [or wife], and forsaking all others, promise to remain
faithful to you as long as we both shall live.”

(4)   The Registrar General shall maintain a public register of those whose
marriages have been solemnized in accordance with subsection (3) and
who notify the Registrar General of their wish to be included in it.”

Now surely allowing same-sex marriage doesn’t take away from the words that can be used. Indeed there are currently many different forms of word used by opposite-sex couples to solemnized. But look at this from the other hand is Lord Carey really saying that same-sex couples are not allowed to commit to one another, forsaking all others or promise to remain faithful to each other as long as they both shall live? Isn’t that rather stereotyping all same-sex couples as unable to commit, open relationship hunting polygamists?

As we’ve said earlier, one of the Northern Irish Peers is also up to this trick:

LORD EDMISTON

LORD MAWHINNEY

Page 11, line 5, at end insert—

“( )   It shall be lawful to refer to marriage between two people of the opposite
sex as “traditional marriage” and it shall be lawful to refer to marriage
between two people of the same sex as “same sex marriage”.”

Why, oh why, if you didn’t want to redefine marriage must it now be called “traditional marriage” as if it something other than simply marriage?

But there is more:

Before Clause 12

LORD ARMSTRONG OF ILMINSTER

Insert the following new Clause—

“Matrimonial marriages

(1)   Lawful marriage between a man and a woman is matrimony.

(2)   Lawful marriages between a man and a woman are matrimonial marriages.

(3)   All legislation regulating or relating to marriage having effect before the
passage of this Act continues in effect in relation to matrimonial marriages
save as varied or modified by any provision of this Act.

(4)   The Secretary of State or the Lord Chancellor may by order vary, modify or
repeal legislation regulating or relating to matrimonial marriages if it
appears that such variation, modification or repeal is required as a
consequence of the passage of this Act.”

Lord Armstrong clearly needs a dictionary, martrimony is defined as the act of being married. Therefore matrimonial marriage is clearly the act of being married marriage. I mean what on earth is this one about?

Then the Bishop of Leicester comes up with this gem:

After Clause 11

THE LORD BISHOP OF LEICESTER

Insert the following new Clause—

“Equality Act 2010

In the Equality Act 2010, after section 212, insert—

“212A           Expression of opinion or belief as to marriage

For the purposes of this Act, the expression by a person of the
opinion or belief that marriage is the union of one man with one
woman does not of itself amount to discrimination against or
harassment of another.””

While not in itself being discriminatory or harassment, if it is to disallow someone a service or access as a spouse or as spouses then surely it is. The law of the land says they are married. But as Lord Carey says he wants “traditional marriage” to include the words remain faithful to each other as long as they both shall live, why doesn’t the Bishop of Leicester also want to protect the belief that remarried divorced people are also not married?

Clearly those who only weeks ago didn’t want a redefinition of marriage are now trying their damnedest to do just that. Most of the above are merely ways of trying to say “Well you want equality, we don’t, so we are moving the goalposts.” How petty can these “noble” Lords be.

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4 Comments

Filed under Equal Marriage, Westminster

4 responses to “Those that didn’t want to redefine marriage try to redefine marrriage…badly

  1. Reblogged this on HIV Blogger and commented:
    Well said Stephen…

  2. I believe the ‘matrimonial marriage’ amendment concerns an etymological bee-in-the-bonnet about the word ‘matrimony’ ultimately deriving from or being cognate with the Latin ‘mater’, mother. So there has to be a woman involved. A similar argument would say you can’t be a ‘candidate’ unless you wear white.

  3. I forgot to say… The proposed statutory class of “matrimonial marriages” is clearly intended to leave open the possibility of separate, differing legal provisions in future, “when everything goes back to normal”. That, to answer your question, is what that one is about.

  4. Pingback: Top of the Blogs: The Lib Dem Golden Dozen #330

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