Grandfather of Metrosexuality Thinks Gay Marriage “Isn’t All It’s Cracked Up to Be”

What’s the deal with British fags trying to get gay Americans to give up their quest for marriage equality? Mark Simpson, the gay who invented the word “metrosexuality” and the mainstream media’s go-to guy for post-gay rhetoric has an op-ed in today’s Guardian called “Let’s be civil: Gay people shouldn’t worry too much about Proposition 8. Marriage isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

You know how Americans view the British as being all “Let’s not rock the boat too much, old chap! Throw the tea in the harbor? Heavens!”? Well, Mark Simpson isn’t doing much to change the perception:

“This one sees gay marriage so much as a touchstone as a fetish. A largely symbolic and emotional issue that in the US threatens to undermine real, non-symbolic same-sex couple protection: civil unions bestow in effect the same legal status as marriage in several US states – including California. As a result of the religious right’s mobilisation against gay marriage, civil unions have been rolled back in several US states.

Living as I do in the UK, where civil partnerships have been nationally recognised since 2004, perhaps I shouldn’t carp. But part of the reason that civil partnerships were successfully introduced here was because they are not “marriages”. At this point I’d like to hide behind the formidable figure of Sir Elton John, who also expressed doubts recently about the fixation of US gay campaigners on “gay marriage”, and declared he was happy to be in a civil partnership with the American David Furnish and did not want to get married.”

Yes, that’s who we should stand behind: That lion of intellectual heft and vigor, Sir Elton John.

These homosexual redcoats across the pond really don’t get it. Simpson goes on to argue that straight relationships and gay relationships aren’t really all that similar anyway, because in his experience “many if not most long term male-male relationships are very open indeed”, that most of his gay friends don’t want to have kids and that then he goes on to say that:

“I think it needs to be said amidst all this talk of gay domesticity that, important as it is to see lesbian and gay couples recognised and given legal protection probably most gay men (though not most lesbians) are single and probably will be single for most of their lives.”

So basically, because Mark Simpon’s friends are a bunch of sluts who can’t keep up a monogamous relationship, we don’t really need gay marriage. It never occurs to Simpson that the very fact that having these relationships are relegated to second-class status by the state may have something to do with why they aren’t enduring. It never occurs to Simpson that simply because marriage doesn’t appeal to him, it’s a fundamental civil right that is being denied to people who desire it. Maybe it’s simply the United States’ own history of civil rights that makes it such a clear case to Americans and such a “What’s the fuss?” thing to Brit’s like Simpson and Sir John.

Simpson derides the idea of ” the magical, symbolic power of gay marriage”, which is fine. There are lots of people who have no desire to get married. There are those who do believe that offering state-sanctioned marriage to one group of people and not another is a fundmental infringement on their rights. In California, gay people spent six months as full and equal citizens, only to have their rights taken from them. You’d think the British would learn by now that America’s big on the whole “liberty, justice and equality” thing.

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65 Comments

  • tallskin

    Personally speaker I have always Mark Simpson to be a tad smug, always standing on the outside sneering at gay activism.

    Certainly he has never been involved in gay politics, just keeping his distance when OutRage! was at its peak during the mid 90s.

    I have to say I don’t like him.

  • The Gay Numbers

    He probably does not understand our legal system. His comment suggest like Elton John he has no idea what he’s talking about regarding the legal side of the issue. Comparing England’s system of law to the US is comparing apples to oranges.

  • ajax

    Here’s the difference that the Brits don’t get: In the UK, civil partnerships are nationally recognized and the equivalent of marriage. In the US it is illegal for civil partnerships to be nationally recognized.

    Brits, get an education or stfu.

  • alan brickman

    his last few articles have been too “gay smug”…maybe he’s not getting it anymore??

  • Joe Moag

    What is with the new fad of referencing the fight for same-sex marriage as a “symbolic”, “post-rights” issue? Where the fuck is this coming from? I wrote a post on this at http://www.flamingpolitics.com yesterday…some other clueless SOB is making the same basic points in another article.

    Not only are symbolic and rights issues not mutually exclusive, to say the same-sex marriage does not connotate serious and substantive legal (and rights) differences than does domestic partnership is flat wrong.

  • Celia the lurker

    As The Gay Numbers and Ajax said, the laws surrounding civil partnerships in the UK are different to the laws surrounding civil unions in the US, so one can’t really put the two together. Personally, I would prefer it if we in the UK had one rule for all couples (I’m sure it would be so much more practical and take up less space in files and computer hard drives) rather than this two-part thing. But, as you say, we’re a nation of “let’s not make a fuss/what’s the point anyway” lazy buggers, I won’t even deny it :)

    (although I think all the protests and angry campaigns going on in the US at the moment are awesome, but I’m too shy to hold one all by myself)

  • Ed

    Grade A Moron-

    Let’s have another tea bag tossing shall we.

    How’s that for “symbolic” Mr. Simpson!

  • Michael W.

    I think Tallskin hit the nail on the head when he mentioned Simpson sneering at activism.

    That’s what he thinks this is, a simple exercise in activism. Gays going out and causing a ruckus because we have nothing better to do.

    The mainstream media treats it like some big spectacle, like it’s a pre-awards show event. It only worsened when the more radical elements of Prop 8 protesting garnered a lot of attention. So if he views it through that lens and comes away with a snide attitude, it’s not surprising.

  • michael

    it is easier in UK as they have health insurance for all. here the big thing really on marrige for gays is the $ & health insurance ! shared by 2 of the same sex & is very scary to our goverment.
    its money people they could care less about the wedding

  • The Gay Numbers

    @Joe Moag:

    This is because the gay leadership and press focuses on the symbolism and spectacle rather than the rights. There is a lot of confusion about civil unions and domestic partnerships being equal to marriage rights. There are also a lot of gays who are just ignorant about it themselves. Thus, they propectuate the right wing lie.

    Here’s my view, and this is controversial. The problem with the symbolism is that it’s really more about emotional validation. It needs to be taken out of the battle for equality. What I mean by this is make it plain to people how this harms us. This was the problem with No on 8. They did not do what Bilerico suggested- say exactly in non-abstract terms how civil unions are not the same legally as marriage rights.

    For some that’s not good enough. They want to abstracted it to be seen as emotionally okay by the majority. Whereas, for me – I am not looking for acceptance. I tend to look just at the rights.

    To me, marriage is just the quick and easy way to obtain those rights. All these other concepts (Civil unions etc) are things that the law has no record of addressing.

    The US legal system is not very good at addressing new concepts. That’s why its unequal. It means everyone has to then rewrite their laws to fit all the new language. It means the private sector has to rewrite its thinking to understand the new concept.

    Whereas with marriage there is already all these precedents set up. there is not confusion as to the rights. That’s why I want marriage. Not because of any symbolic acceptance.

  • Darth Paul

    I can understand where he’s coming from. I’ve always been an advocate of NOT imitating the breeders, but I support those queers who (for some bizarre reason) think that such apeing is for them, just like I don’t have a problem with religious queers.

  • tallskin

    Ah Michael, of course, I didn’t realise that that is a big reason for gay marriage!

    Health Insurance issues and marriage. Yeah, we have socialised medicine so it hadn’t occurred to me that is a major factor in the gay marriage issue in the USA.

    I support you all 100% in your campaign for equality ( and because I think you have to weaken the power of religion over the US state cos without doing that gays will always be 2nd class citizens ) – and I love a good campaign!!

  • kevin

    I suspect a HUGE number of US gay men feel the same way as Mark Simpson. Let’s be honest, the gay “community” here in the US has not exactly rallied together over the issue. It’s not because we are “sluts” (really Queerty? how Republican of you!), it’s because marriage is a institution based on ownership and procreation. Frankly I’d rather be “civil” than “bound” anyday! (well, most days anyhoo!) Civil partnership is an effective way of taking the church and government out of what is essentially a personal affair. Don’t be surprised if heterosexuals start demanding the right to civil partnership someday!

  • Joe Moag

    @The Gay Numbers: I hear your point, TGN, and I can’t disagree that a lot more voter education as to the substantive legal rights involved in same-sex marriage in contrast with domestic partnerships should have been – and needs to be – done.

    However, I can’t think of a single social change issue that has ever succeeded devoid of major levels of symbolism. When you are trying to reach people – reach both your base and your potential supporters – dry legalistic arguments only go so far. For that reason, symbolic issues need to be part of any movement, including the battle for same-sex marriage.

    Moreover, as I pointed out, the fact that same-sex marriage has a large symbolic factor to it does not negate its equally – and even larger – equal rights factor.

    Name any civil rights issue and I would be stunned to see that it was not fought with a huge level of symbolic activity – and for good reason. Not only is that smart, it’s true.

  • mark

    Mark and Elton

    It’s OUR Constitution
    It’s OUR equal protection clause

    so why don’t you two sit this one OUT!

  • mark

    Even though I personally wouldn’t choose marriage for my partner of 6 years, should NOT be confused that I don’t DESERVE marriage if I did want it.

  • JinkyJuggler

    Can we not have so much British-bashing? Seems a bit unfair. Whilst I personally disagree with banning gay marriage, I understand the complexities of legalising it. In the UK we have equality without the religious part. It’s the religious part that is the homophobia! At least we have *something* national.

    And to answer Kevin, we DO have straight couples demanding to have a civil partnership.

    So yeah, less of the bashing. We’re not bad people just because we have a different name to our equal partnerships.

  • GranDiva

    @Ed:

    Yeah. We should all make sure we have jock itch before we teabag Mr. Simpson, though. Let’s not make this pleasant…

  • Hunky Trog

    Once again: Civil unions will work in the U.S. if that’s what everyone–straight or gay–has to get for health insurance, taxes, etc.

    We should support this.

    Let’s separate the church and state. Church can have the word “marriage.” Civil unions would apply to government, job applications, etc. If it is what ALL people must get, then there is no “separate but equal.”

    We could even call is “civil marriage” if that helps.

    This would ensure we all have equal protections and rights. And those who feel compelled to do so can fight for the church’s acceptance (which I personally don’t care about).

  • John

    As an English person, why do we feel the need to say ‘ANYTHING?’

    I hate people who were never there for the fight but reap the rewards heartily!

  • EdWoody

    So much American arrogance in this thread. You are not the centre of the universe, and not everything everyone else believes is wrong. The Brits have got a lot of stuff right that you guys are still fucking up constantly. You’re not so hot.

  • Eminent Victorian

    @EdWoody: But this is all reaction to a snotty piece written about our country by one of your people. It’s not like we had to look very far for tips on how to seem arrogant!

  • Kenster999

    Civil unions are not the equivalent of marriage. I’ll believe they’re truly *equal* when straight people start choosing to get “civilly unioned” instead of “married”. The fact that straight people in California choose marriage over civil unions shows that it is preferable.

  • george

    There’s a bit of jingoism here, which doesn’t add much to the debate. Being denied marriage rights is humiliating, and equality before the law is not a value that should be compromised. But I see nothing wrong with debating whether marriage itself should be the lodestar by which to measure these things. Civil Unions for everyone (gay and straight) as the default position seems preferable to me; then let religious institutions offer the kind of marriages they believe in. I see nothing wrong with having a debate about all this, and whatever his shortcomings it seems to me that Simpson is entitled to a more generous response — or even just a civil response.

  • Puddy Katz

    Brit “intellectuals” tend to say stuff just to get their names in print. Contrarianism is just a pose.

  • fredo777

    That rat-bastard is the one who spoiled it for Active Duty, the military dude gay-for-pay porn which is some of my favorite. The vid he appeared in/reported in featured one of my fave “models”, who never appeared again after that one.

  • fredo777

    * reported on

  • The Gay Numbers

    @Joe Moag: I am not saying devoid of symbolism. I am saying that there should be more than symbolism. Gay men are very good at form over substance. It’s the substance that’s often lacking. This is why conservatives can claim we are just whining. There are no visible images of our suffering. Like it or not, that’s the suffering people need to see. Now verbiage about how we should all theorectically be equal.

  • The Gay Numbers

    @Joe Moag: By the way two other things:

    a) Most of the ignorance you see along this thread is emblematic of why we need real life stories over abstractions. When you got this sort of stupidiy running rampant it becomes more dififcult to explain things to people unless you have concrete examples.

    b) I am not saying that discussing the real world suffering will change everyone. The reality is that opressed groups will always have internalized hatred within the group.

    Did you know for example that the black head of the National Baptist Convention referred to Martin Luther King in derogatory terms because he felt that King was being uppidy? Did you know that there were slaves who preached against ending slavery?

    The reality is not that we are trying to convince everyone. There will always been self destructive people who want to take the rest of the world down with them. As per several of the posters here.

    The difference is to end confusion for the great majority of people who may not understand what’s happpening or why it’s important. Not to change those who will never see because they do not want to see.

  • Moo

    Just so you guys know, Mr Simpson doesn’t represent all Britons. I’m personally in favour of total equality.

    A civil partnership is a marriage here in the UK, in so far as all my straight friends ask ‘when are you getting married?’ so I think is very easy for us over here to take our equality for granted.

    You guys need to get yours, and I back you and wish you luck.

  • The Gay Numbers

    @george: @<a = Seriously- what are you talking about? Multiple others post have stated that legally (yes LEGALLY) the civil unions are not the equivalence of marriage, and you still manage to post this? Seriously? This is just willful ignorance.

  • Joe Moag

    @The Gay Numbers: I know a whole hell of a lot about many years and decades and strategies and actions and groups that were and are part of the civil rights movement, for the last 150 plus years. From the less than effective CORE and Urban Leagues (where I used to work) to the massively effective groups like SCLC. One set of groups were “dry” and rights-only oriented, while one set of groups steeped the struggle in the joint aspirations of equal rights and symbolic appeals to what it means for America to be the land of the free and the home of the brave. Both sets of groups had their parts to play, and I am not trying to neatly carve up proportions here. I am saying that the latter set was more of a “tipping point” set of groups and approaches than the other.

    And I agree – can’t convert the unconvertable. And would not even try. But, just as you and previously agreed over the bomb of a “strategy” that the Vote No folks used with minority groups, there are people in the clusters of “non-convertible” that can, indeed, be converted. And appealing to them on both prongs works. And I whole heartedly agree with the need for much more voter education so that people understand that there really are significant rights attached to marriage.

  • Clay from CA

    hahaha, love it!

  • Tom

    This whole discussion over gay marriage makes me want to barf. When did queers become so conformist? I always thought that being gay was liberating and revolutionary in that it shifted the paradigm on how we few each other and our relationships. But now we are scrambling to crawl back into the rabbit hole dominated by control freaks who do not have our true interest at heart. Stop this train, I’m getting off at the civil union stop.

  • BobP

    I’m afraid to think what people like this think is really important to the gay community. I’m sure they’ve never fought for anything, unlike some who fought for years for our friends who had AIDS, or now, for the same rights as heterosexuals. You folks who think this is an imitation of straights will realize one day that we have been screwed out of the same rights and benefits as straights.

  • JinkyJuggler

    Everyone is entitled to their opinion. Whilst you so blatantly assume that a few British people speak for all gay people here, don’t also assume all American gays want gay marriage.

    Queerty: you may start losing British readers if you don’t stop it with the bashing of Britain and British gay people. We don’t control the laws that are passed and I’ll be damned if I will feel pressured by Americans when we at least have equality under the law unlike you.

  • Bill Perdue

    England is still far ahead of the US in terms of GLBT equality legislation, most of it introduced by the Labour Party with LibDem support. The Tories, a white wig version of the Republican/Democrats, consistently oppose it.

    Their civil partnerships, unlike civil unions and partnerships in the US do seem to include most of the rights and privileges of marriage. They’re way ahead of us on that as well as employment and housing discrimination laws and even have a hate crimes law. It should be noted though that much of the progress in England came at the insistence of the EU.

    Civil partnerships in England are still a form of second class status and will remain so until the same state instrumentalities are used for all partnering, regardless of sexual orientation.

    The situation in England is changing. Across Europe there’s a rising tide of homophobic and islamophobic violence and murders organized by right wing not so neo-fascists. In addition, spurred on by Bush and the christers, a new christian bigot movement is growing.

    In the US civil unions and partnerships lack virtually all of the 1200 or so rights and privileges of marriage and cannot be compared to civil partnerships in England.

    Mark Simpson’s description of the rights accompanying civil unions in California (actually it’s civil parterships there, with civil unions in places like New Jersey and Vermont) indicates that he’s either a liar or an oaf. In any case he should stfu.

  • Bill Perdue

    So moagie, how often are you going to treat us to an invitation to visit your inane blogsite? I think more than one every century is overdoing it.

  • John in CA

    There are four constituent countries in the United Kingdom (England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland). They might all look like “pasty white people” to us in America, but there’s actually quite a bit of difference. And they’re not all the same when it comes to attitudes towards gay people either.

    In the last decade, the situation has improved most dramatically in Scotland (where the Tories are practically non-existent as a political force). Whereas Northern Ireland remains hopelessly homophobic. England and Wales are somewhere in between.

  • The Gay Numbers

    @Joe Moag: I think the only part where we disagree, and perhaps I am not making this clear, is where I think No on 8 and gays in general have failed to discuss the substantive end. I think you will go a long way to find the persuadables by making this less abstract. Finally saw Milk tonight with a friend of mind- a gay preacher- he was asking where did we go wrong? I kept saying I think were we made ourselves the abstraction rather than real.

  • The Gay Numbers

    @Tom: The only control freak in this thread is yourself. You are the on telling others are how they should live their lives. People should have the right to get married or not get married. That’s the soceity I am working toward rather than letting others tell me what I should or should not do based on their morality. My morality says if I want to get married, I should have the legal right to do so. If I have friends who do not, they also should have the moral right to do so.It’s that simple.

  • Roland Basque

    My belief is that queers know what is good for them and also the rest of the world that this qualifies them to have all their demands met.Since proposition 8 was passed by a majority vote and fell way short of gay expectations it should immediately be rescinded.The majority does not matter.The world needs to embrace heterophobia with open arms as only queers know how to make the correct calculations for social harmony.

  • The Gay Numbers

    @Roland Basque: Read the Federalist Papers, the U.S. Constitution, the California Constitution, Brown v Board, In Re Marriage and Loving v Virginia. I don’t know what country you are living in, but it’s clearly not America since what you describe would be more appropriate for an Islamic Republic (which are also direct democracies) than a Western democracy.

  • Bruno

    @JinkyJuggler:

    But you don’t have equality under the law. If you move to Israel with your “civil union” it will mean nothing. Don’t fool yourselves…you’ve settled for a compromise that may just last a while longer after we obtain FULL equality in the USA.

  • Samuel

    @Bruno:

    Actually Israel, whilst not having a legal form of gay marriage, recognise civil partnerships and unions contracted abraod.

  • Traffick

    David Furnish is Canadian not American.

  • The Gay Numbers

    @Samuel: That’s true. America is starting to lag behind multiple other countries right now. This year saw the damn break in several parts of the world that was not the case before. We are quickly becoming a joke.

  • Steff

    Wow. Way to make a British regular feel uncomfortable.

  • John in CA

    Israel doesn’t have any civil marriage. All marriages are religious by nature. And none of the demoninations officially recognized by the State of Israel currently allow same-sex marriage (Orthodox Judaism, Sunni Muslim, Eastern Orthodox Christian, Roman Catholic Christian). Hence, while same-sex marriage isn’t technically illegal, you won’t find any priest in Israel who will conduct one.

    However, the State of Israel recognizes all legal foreign marriages, whether they’re civil or religious. So, same-sex couples can go to Canada or South Africa (no residency or citizenship requirements) and return to Tel Aviv with a valid document in hand. Which is more than we can say for ‘Murika and the land of the “free.”

  • M Shane

    Assimilationism is far from being gay activism. Gay activism has been pretty much a dead issue since queers started being snafued into believing that they just needed to be, and could be part of the mainstream(according to Sullivan and Bauer) It’s kind of a half assed road to being gay, and it’s left us sadly endagered as an authentic marjinal group. We are by no means virtually mainstream. As long as gatys seek that they will be virtually nothing.

  • Rob

    I personally don’t understand why the views on this subject are so split. To me, it continues to be the most important civil rights issue of our time. Our past should have taught us that separate is NEVER equal. I am as good as any other person, and I pay my taxes just like straight people do, so why should I accept anything less than total equality (which includes using the same terminology)? The fact that I deserve to have the same rights as everyone else in this country does NOT mean that I am seeking assimilation. Whether or not you personally are interested in getting married is a personal decision; however, why would you believe that others should have the right to make that decision for you? And a last note: I don’t think that anyone here is trying to back the British… people here are just very passionate about this subject, and most of the posters are at least partially educated regarding what is at stake with this issue. But many of us do have a great deal of anger pointed toward these high-profile British men who want to make very public comments about the issue, when they clearly have not bothered to understand the difference between British civil unions and those as defined in the US (in those few states that even give us that option).

  • seitan-on-a-stick

    Who knew there were so many Brits at this US-based site? God save the Queens: Mark Simpleton, Elton (It’s always been about ME) John and their YES-men. While Gay Marriage is not your cup of weak tea, by denying others that constitutional right and religious freedom, you became your own enemy. That’s SO Gay! ….or British!

  • Steff

    Oh, and please don’t tar ‘these homosexual redcoats across the pond’ with one brush; all because the Guardian were stupid enough to commission a piece by this smug cunt.

  • Robert71350

    Ajax, actually most gay Brits do know the difference between Civil Unions U.S. style as opposed to Civil Partnerships. They are quite aware that Obama wants to introduce civil unions at the federal level.

    The UK’s partnerships actually do confer all the rights and privileges of straight marriage in everything but name, the only western country that does actually. Several other EU countries have some semblance of partnerships, unions etc, but they do not not confer all the rights and privileges of marriage. Spain where same-sex marriage is legal, actually recognizes the UK’s civil partnerships as valid. I’m not defending civil partnerships but Bill Perdue in his post on this article is right, the UK is way ahead of the U.S. on gay rights. Are you aware that prior to the 2004 Civil Partnership legislation, gay Brits could and still can sponsor their foreign born partners to live and work in the UK even without a civil partnership? We don’t even have that right in the U.S. Further, the UK Parliament is about to bring in even more equality legislation in April 2009 that will include proposals for all public bodies to promote equality for gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans people in addition to their current duty to consider how their spending decisions, employment practices and service delivery affect people whatever their race, disability or gender. Members of Parliament there have confirmed that the duty to promote equality will include gender identity alongside sexual orientation.

    We have none of that in the U.S. Though I’m in favor of full marriage equality, if UK straights are eventually allowed to form civil partnerships, then the argument for equality will be over. As a native Brit with dual British and American citizenship, I can live with that as opposed to nothing. I strongly believe that the government, any government should not be in the business of issuing marriage licenses for religious marriages, let the respective cults handle that while state governments should continue to issue civil marriage licenses in compliance with the separation of church and state in the U.S.

  • Martha

    yes–
    Very nice that the UK has agreed to give civil unions to gays — and they match straight marriage point by point.

    USA has 2 tiny states (MA and CT) that offer legal gay marriage and these do not count federally or even match all the same laws (ie: immigration by marriage) that straight marriage gets.

    Maybe the UK forgets they are the only the size of HALF of our west coast states.

    Marriage is a legal state affording over a thousand legal protections that domestic prtnerships cant come close to.
    Civil Marriage for all (like in Canada) is a civil right that Americans are sorely lacking.

  • dakrolak

    I can’t believe I read the whole thing. I also find the petty, and often vicious attacking of Mr. Simpson – unwarranted, ludicrous, and debased.

    The comments were also really a semantic argument with very little if any substance. I also was appalled that not ONE person mentioned – that even if 8 had not passed – the gays who were married there WERE & STILL ARE, and would be even if California courts wipe it away again UNEQUAL. They are still second class citizens in the eyes of the law of the land.

    DOMA – makes all this literally moot. Do you really think that the current Supreme court would somehow overturn DOMA? Obama has said he plans to, and I wish him Godspeed. However this seems more like the new civil war – as states rush to ratify and codify the inequality – and honestly if you choose to fight on marriage, you will literally see a wider rift and a harder fight, and a new war from the religious right.

    The rights are not the issue, not for Mr. Simpson, or any of the people in the UK, obviously – everyone wants that. This petty infighting reminds me of the last crisis of conscious – the AIDS crisis. Working in ACT UP and seeing the divide & conquer tactics (very alive in the comment board here) –your either with me or against me, how utterly BUSHIAN. Really – until we can have a civil conversation about this, and realize we are not nor should we be considered a monolithic group or striving for the same thing – then can we really get anywhere. And Mr. Belonsky – you should really get over yourself as the arbiter of all things gay…seriously.

  • Paulesso

    I wish people like Mr. Simpson would get their facts straight. California doesn’t have Civil Union, it only has Domestic Partnership. I add my voice to the others in wishing the Brits would become more informed about the US before saying stuff like this.

  • Bill Perdue

    EdWoody So much American arrogance in this thread. The Brits have got a lot of stuff right that you guys are still fucking up constantly. You’re not so hot.

    Martha Maybe the UK forgets they are the only the size of HALF of our west coast states.

    National chauvinist and patriotic bullshit like this is counterproductive. GLBT folks anywhere in the world have much more in common with each other than with their fellow citizens. Our job is to support our brothers and sisters everywhere, not to figure out which straight society is best, because none of them are very good.

    Right now our efforts should be focused on finding ways to save the lives of our African and Iranian brothers and sisters who are under sentence of death if they’re ‘exposed.’

    Instead of carping about whether Obama or Cameron is the worst bigot, link to http://gayswithoutborders.wordpress.com/ and then link to the Iraqi and Iranian groups in Canada and England struggling to help them get asylum or keep the safe houses in Iraq open.

  • Uroskin

    During the debate on the introduction of civil unions (for gays and straight couples) in the New Zealand parliament, one of the debaters when asked what the difference was between a civil union and a marriage said that in a marriage you don’t need to be civil.

  • chuck

    @Uroskin:

    That’s very funny. ;-)

  • Lisqa

    @The Gay Numbers:
    I’m straight. I’m in a traditional marriage. This thing I’m in is often not about being together just because we love each other. That’s what the modern partnership is about. So, when some people view “marriage” as just a quicker way to get the legal rights and status, I have a real problem with it. You’ve broken free from the tradition which I’m a part of, in which you would marry someone of the opposite sex and be miserable. THAT’s the tradition. Why don’t you give it a different name and start your own? You don’t give a hoot about my culture and my tradition. I resent you coming in and changing it because you want to. I don’t automatically see you as a second class citizen. I see you as having a difference, and I don’t think I’ve lost my mind in seeing it that way. I agree with the British fella.

  • jenna rosen

    Hi, all – I am a hetero grandma who thinks anyone who wants to commit themselves to another should be able to. I also think that the Brit might have the right idea about civil partnerships. Marriage has always been mostly an ecomonic/social enterprise rather than personal. The romantic part is an historical overlay, and spiritual soulful part the result of partners living together over time. The US should indeed nationally recognize civil partnerships. If anyone wants to spiritually/romantically commit themselves they can have ceremonies within any religious form or none. The economic/social rights currently attached to marriage should be universal to all couples. Anyway, that’s what I think. We in the US are still limited and I would say imprisoned by the old paradigm of romance and it’s often crippling, often nonsensical assumptions. Transforming it doesn’t mean we have to lose love.

  • Pete

    “So basically, because Mark Simpon’s friends are a bunch of sluts who can’t keep up a monogamous relationship, we don’t really need gay marriage.”

    Well, so too are most of mine, and many of these are four-square, stand-up guys into the bargain.

    Seriously, I take exception the article’s characterisation of those of us who prefer variety as ’sluts’. Isn’t the freedom to choose either to commit or to ’spread the love’ what the Sexual Revolution was all about?

    ” . . . the very fact that having these relationships are relegated to second-class status by the state may have something to do with why they aren’t enduring.”

    Methinks this observation speaks to the furtive nature assignations in the setting of ‘the love that dare not speak its name’ in general. Only 40 years have passed since the advent of the ‘gay rights’ movement. It will likely take several generations for homosexuals to disavow behaviors acquired during nearly two millenia of Judeo-Christian repression — that is if they are in need of revision, and I honestly don’t think they are. I certainly hope not: “To have the same law for the lion & the ox is oppression”, as Blake said.

    This statement also falsely presupposes that heterosexual relationships are paradigms of commitment, and that this stability is derived in large measure from the parties having said ‘I do’. I hear Joni Mitchell singing “we don’t need no piece of paper from the city hall, keepin’ us tried and true.”

    Oh, and just who is ‘Mark Simpon’?

  • M Shane

    It’s about time that someone interjected some thought into what should properly be a discouse. Many people will find that marriage is not their cup of tea in the long run, indeed that it destroys rather than helping gay partnerships–if thas what people want.
    We in America are all brought up in the dark heavy shadow of religious propriety. It’s becoming part of our government.
    Why battle over another religious holy cow, when you can bypass the religious fanatics altogether by seeking civil unions?
    What healthy males aren’t promiscuous when given the opportunity? What happened to the relationship that we are really good at: friendships.

  • M Shane

    Mark Simpson is a prominent author, journalist renoun original thinker who is suggesting that we think before we leap. My guess is that there are a majority of gay people who
    will not want to get married. There is of straight people now.
    Why are you so fanatical?

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