Can PM David Cameron Give England’s Gays Full Civil Marriage By 2016?

UK Prime Minister David Cameron is pulling a Governor Cuomo in the halls of Parliament by “personally intervening” to make sure that the government allows gay couples full civil marriage (instead of just civil unions) within the lifetime of his parliament. That means he has just over four years left to do it. The law would only affect England and Wales as the Scottish Parliament has already started discussing its own marriage equality legislation and Northern Ireland won’t likely take up the issue for years seeing as they’re mighty Catholic Protestant.

Cameron is reported to be “emphatically in favour” of marriage equality (with a U in favour because he’s a Brit).

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  • Lefty

    Can old fat face do something right for once?
    Probably not…

  • Gavin

    Northern Ireland is mighty Catholic? Know much about it?

  • CBRad

    @Gavin: Obviously not. Typical gay New York Catholic-bashing.

  • Little Kiwi

    CBRad, do you believe that the Catholic Church is predominantly pro-LGBT Equality?

    Do you by any chance know of any Catholic Churches that marry gay couples? If so, it might be very helpful to post them so that people can see that there are indeed Catholic Churches that support gay marriage.

    *(This is the part where you list the Catholic Churches that are happy to marry gay couples, which is called backing up your claim)

  • Gii

    @CBRad: while I can’t give you figures for the last decade, as this year’s census information won’t be released until 2012, and I can’t find anything more substantial than the previous census 10 years prior…in 2001, 40.3% of population identified as Roman Catholic. Now, you can argue that 40.3% is less than half, but it is still the largest group in the country at that time.

    So I’d argue that saying ‘mighty Catholic’ has some basis in fact, and I don’t believe it is ‘Catholic-bashing’.

    I also don’t understand your ‘obviously not’ comment. Did you make an assumption, or were you aware of the figures before you made your comment?

  • CBRad

    @Little Kiwi: Gavin and I are saying Northern Ireland is Protestant. Doesn’t every kindergarten child know that basic ? The statement made about Catholics was like saying “Well, Iran is full of Catholics” with a story about Teheran homophobia.

  • CBRad

    @Gii: And if you follow the subject as closely as I have, you’ll know the Protestant majority of Northern Ireland (and their leaders) have been the most actively homophobic of its population. (Not that I ever excuse the awful Catholic church of anything). But gays, especially outsiders in NYC, will always find a way to drag Catholics (the lowly religion of lowly micks, dagos, polacks, and spics) into it just because they think it makes them elite anglophile bluebloods.

  • Gii

    @Little Kiwi: CBRad and Gavin don’t seem to pay too much attention to actual figures – just because there is a higher population of Protestants in Northern Ireland than in the ROI, doesn’t make it entirely Protestant. Like I said, 40.3% of the population is Roman Catholic.

    @CBRad: Hi. Yes, I do pay attention. Also – I live in the UK. Irish family. Irish boyfriend. I got sent to a Protestant school. He was raised Roman Catholic. So I know a bit. Also, I like to check my facts.

    Anyway, I wasn’t making a comment on the views of the various sects of Christianity within Northern Ireland, I was simply pointing out that the largest religious group in Northern Ireland according to the most recent census information available is the Roman Catholics. And as one of the meanings of mighty is large, vast, or imposing in size, that it is not inaccurate.

    However, with regards to the article citing this as a reason that it may be unlikely that the issue will be addressed in Ireland in the near future – it is not unreasonable as members of the clergy in the UK have already voiced their disapproval on the subject recently. (See http://www.sconews.co.uk/news/12149/bishops-warn-against-marriage-redefinition/ and http://m.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/feb/22/catholic-challenge-gay-marriage-church?cat=world&type=article for examples of this)

    I don’t see this suggestion, based on the leading religion of the country, and the opinions of the clergy of said religion, to be ‘Catholic-bashing’, but the writer pointing out an unfortunate likelihood. The Catholic church opposes acts of homosexuality and same-sex marriages, even if views differ between followers.

    Also, Little Kiwi posed a question that I’m also interested in an answer to; do you know of any Catholic churches that support gay marriages?

    This is a genuine curiosity.

  • Adam

    I don’t agree with everything David Cameron’s done, but he stands up for minorities and he sticks to his guns.

  • R.A,

    A Catholic who disagrees with the Vatican is ridiculed as an inauthentic and disloyal “Cafeteria Catholic” and is silenced or encouraged to leave the Church.

    Once out, if you express your disagreement, you are charged with “Catholic Bashing.”

    The entire notion is bogus and merely serves as a weapon for Conservative Catholics like Bill Donahue to crush all dissent.

  • Gavin

    To say that Northern Ireland is mighty catholic is wrong. Catholicism is the largest denomination but in Northern Ireland, Protestant is a broad identity which incorporates all non-RC denominations and those who identify as Protestant are the majority (roughly 45% to the Catholics 40%)

    To say that Northern Ireland won’t touch marriage equality because it’s mighty catholic is also wrong. It won’t be the catholics in the Assembly who would be voting against any marriage equality bill, it wouldn’t even get to the floor of the assembly because the DUP would veto it. It’s as simple as that.

  • CBRad

    @Gii: Do I know of any Roman Catholic churches that support gay marriages? I don’t know of any. But I’m not Catholic so …I’m not an expert there. But I AM an expert in NYC gay bigotry, and I can tell you they despise Catholics, and not for any theological reasons…..it’s because of class consciousness (their beliefs that hating Catholics makes them classy and closer to an upper-crust identity). That’s the only explanation for that statement in the article about Northern Ireland being “mighty Catholic”, the only possible explanation. Unless (and this I’d find hard to believe) it was written by an ignorant dope who doesn’t even know what Ireland’s been fighting over all these years. The type of person who believes Hindus and Muslims have always been chums, and that Chinese and Jappanese are the same thing. (And wouldn’t it be interesting if your alleged Irish Catholic boyfriend knew you were posting on this site, where the average poster wants him and his family dead. What’s the matter with you?)

  • Damon

    I’d just like to point out, northern ireland isn’t catholic, the predominant religion is protestant.

  • robert in nyc

    The GOP will have a hissy fit about this one and for the Democrats and Obama, it’s a wake-up call. This is huge, one of the five permanent members of the UN endorsing marriage equality. A first for any conservative government anywhere. Well done, Cameron and well done, the UK. You put us to shame.

  • Paschal

    @CBRad: The conflict in Northern Ireland was about a clash of identities and loyalties, not religion. Undoubtedly there was sectarianism but that’s not the full story. When the ROI got independence, NI remained part of the UK because most of the population was loyal to it. Catholics began a campaign for equal rights in the 1960’s. Catholics were discriminated against in housing, in employment, and gerrymandering was used to weaken the say of largely Catholic Irish Nationalists in local government. Catholics protested this and were attacked as a result by extreme Protestant British Unionists. The British Army was deployed to protect Catholics but came to be seen as an occupying force by Nationalists. The strength of the IRA grew as a result.

  • the crustybastard

    …meanwhile in the United States, OUR governments continue amend our fucking Constitutions to guarantee their antigay acts remains as legally unassailable as possible.

    U-S-A, U-S-A…meh.

  • robert in nyc

    No. 17, and gay republicans continue voting for them to do just that, maybe not for those candidates directly but by supporting the GOP. In doing so, they’re supporting the Civil Libertarians and Tea Party scumbaggers. Some will vote for either Romney or Perry, some for Ron Paul who by the way supports DOMA as long as it’s legislated state by state and who has NEVER spoken out against what’s going on in North Carolina right now or congratulated any court or state governor for signing marriage equality into law. He’s been more than silent. His and his party stand on marriage equality is a copout more than anything. He’s only saying what most democrats and republicans alike are saying, state by state only to get them off the hook so they don’t come across as being against it. So transparent. In the case of the GOP, many don’t even want that.

    The UK’s conservative party puts America to shame.

  • Damon

    Another thing I’d like to point out, David Cameron will only be PM until 2015

  • CBRad

    @Paschal: Thanks for that. I know it’s all a very complicated situation. But my point was not about who is right and who is wrong in Northern Ireland (and Ireland), but that U.S. gay Protestants hate Catholics (even ones in foreign places), and especially hate Irish Catholics and Irish-American Catholics (the Catholic people, not the upper-ups; even lapsed Catholics or those who’ve left the church are still considered biologically and culturally Catholic to them), and that’s why they will state falsehoods in their blogs. (I remember when that Protestant gay blog Towleroad tried to claim Boyzone was an English boyband, to try to avoid the subject of the mick Gately coming out).

  • Daniel Villarreal

    @Gavin: @CBRad: @Damon: Gentleman, I made an error in my earlier version of this story by calling Northern Ireland predominantly Catholic and have corrected the draft above to reflect the country’s Protestant nature. I apologize to all our readers for my serious flub and thank you for calling it out.

  • orangegoblin82

    There is a difference to the newly announced consultation in March, it is a consultation of HOW to introduce marriage not if.

    This was because of a personal intervention by Cameron. It also looks like there will be relatively little opposition from within his own conservative party on this issue but time will tell.

    I hate the fat faced little bastard most of the time but he did okay on this one.

  • tavdy79

    This is actually headed towards being a really quite impressive cock-up.

    The Bliar government introduced civil partnerships as a specifically secular institution. You cannot have even the slightest mention of religion at a CP ceremony – even Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” is banned! Because of the absolute barrier between the religious and secular in CPs, many atheist straights are campaigning to have them available for opposite-sex couples because marriage is, as a religious institution, undesirable. So the ConDems are proposing to expand CPs not to heterosexuals but to religious gays. WTF?

    But wait, it gets even more bonkers than that! The ConDems are only proposing to legalise civil marriage within England & Wales, which sounds fine until you look at how marriage works in Britain. While there’s no distinction made after the fact, there are two ways of getting married – civil and religious – and the law regarding each is not the same. Civil marriage ceremonies are subject to all the same restrictions as CP ceremonies, so the consultation is on a form of marriage which would continue to explicitly exclude religious gays.

    So if things go as expected, a religious gay couple wishing to get their relationship formalised would have three choices. If they want to have the ceremony in their place of worship, they’ll be restricted to the secular institution (civil partnership). If they want the religious institution (marriage) they cannot have the ceremony in their place of worship. If they want both, they have to fly to another country. Like I said, a cock-up.

  • robert in nyc

    tavyd79, not necessarily a cockup. Now that allowing religious CPs is getting closer to reality, expect the same after same-sex marriage is legalized. It’s just a matter of time. I’d rather have same-sex civil marriage than worry about religious ceremonies for those marriages. After all, heterosexual couples entering into a civil marriage aren’t allowed any religious component either, so it’s fair in that respect. That’s why they’re called “civil”, no religious reference whatsoever. I think it’s a waste of time having a religious component for CPs, makes no sense. I don’t hear of many straight couples who have a civil marriage demanding a religious element.

    No. 22, exactly. The fact that Cameron intervened also proves that it’s not necessarily a “how” but a “when”. The political will is there for sure and Cameron must have felt confident to have intervened with the support of the majority in his party. A very positive step forward. The process to legalize it will have a smoother journey than did CPs because the rights therein are virtually identical to marriage. Some of the mainline religious denominations will protest of course, to be expected, but Cameron isn’t going to defer to them. This is a purely civil matter and the consultation will make that quite clear, doesn’t mandate that any religion has to recognize or perform marriages for gay couples. Don’t be surprised if Labour’s Ed Miliband who supports same-sex marriage decides to make it official party policy to compete for gay votes by 2015.

  • Carl

    Actually, there’s a “u” in favour because he can spell. I’ll never understand why you yanks insisted on changing a perfectly functional language.

    As for his drive, lets hope he can carry it through – make up a little lost ground for Section 28 (as someone who grew up under the shadow of that law, the Tories have a LONG way to go). I’ll still never vote for them though.

  • robert in nyc

    Carl, FYI….Noah Webster, an American of dictionary fame deliberately dropped the “u” to disassociate American from British usage, reforming the spelling of certain words if you will. Odd though since English is not the official language of America, albeit the dominant language. The constitution makes no provision for an official language apparently. It will probably never be the official language, too politically charged.

  • Correct spelling

    Not sure why Brits insist on using outdated French derivatives in language.

    It’s pronounced “color,” not “colore.”

    It’s pronounced “favor,” not “favore.”

    It’s pronounced “center,” not “centruh.”

    The added “u” and inversion of “e” and “r” make perfect sense in French. In English, they’re nonsensical.

  • Lefty

    @Correct spelling: Those words are pronounced all sorts of different ways across the UK, so not sure what that has to do with it.
    It’s nice that Americans have had to simplify so many words but that doesn’t make them any more “correct”. The notion of a correct application of language entirely outside its use as a means of communication is quite baffling.
    “Colour” is more beautiful than “color” – “Autumn” is more beautiful than “Fall” – QED.

  • Faggurn

    Here here!

  • rory

    @Correct spelling: Moreover, they aren’t pronounced that way anywhere in Britain as far as I’m aware. Particularly this idea that we pronounce ‘centre’ as “centruh”…..I just hope you were joking!

  • MikeE

    @Correct spelling: they aren’t even pronounced that way in French.

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