Thoughts on Gay Marriage

Not looking at the general circumstances, I’m in favour of gay marriage, and have been at least since I first wrote about it in 1989. If two consenting adults want to live together in close union, and can find a consenting minister of religion to bless their union, who are we to object? I also can’t get worked up about polygamy, polyandry, incest, or any other kind of union between consenting adults. To a libertarian, the sole function of state marriage laws is to offer individuals a package of legal agreements and declarations that they could make for themselves if they wanted to find the money and time.

Nor can I feel sorry for devout Christians in the administration who object to recognising these unions. There was a registrar a while back who objected to conducting civil partnership ceremonies. Well, if you’re a Catholic – and if you belong to various other denominations – civil marriage, even between men and women, is only state-recognised fornication. Such people are public servants. If they don’t agree with the duties they are called on to perform, they should look for other jobs. This isn’t an absolute principle, of course. Doctors should not be obliged to involve themselves in abortions; and any official who refused to carry out legal injustice would be well worth supporting. But, as said, the function of the marriage laws, to any libertarian, must be to enable and to recognise the commitments of consenting adults.

This being said, I’m not happy with the changes that are being made. I suspect the new law will be used to attack any denomination, or whole religion, that does not allow its ministers to perform the ceremonies. It doesn’t matter what guarantees are given this time round – this is a progressive change. Also, I’m reluctant to welcome any legal changes that are a fundamental break with the English past.

I thought civil partnerships were one of the few good things we got from thirteen years of Labour. At the very least, I expect a better debate over gay marriage than we’ve had so far. On the one side, it’s religious denunciations that would have served just as well against Catholic Emancipation. On the other, it’s vapid PC agitprop.

And that’s all I can presently think of saying.

57 responses to “Thoughts on Gay Marriage

  1. Peter W Watson

    The idea of homosexual “marriage” is so evil in intent that your support of it makes me wonder if you have ever read Christ’s comments on marriage in Mark?

    • Peter – Christians should have an absolute right to order their own affairs as they see proper. However, the laws of the State should be based on minimalist utilitarian considerations. Therefore, some denominations refrain from meat on a Friday. Many denominations object to contraception. But these are not legitimately matters for state regulation.

      Something we should all accept – the lefty ruling class as much as anyone else – is that refusing to put down self-regarding sin is not itself a sin.

  2. I do not see why there should be government marriages – there were not before the 1834 Births. Marriages and Deaths (Registration) Act.

    And I certainly do not see why the government should use force to make individuals and private organisations “recognise” certain unions (getting the state to bless “Gay Marriage” is, of course, a money making scam for the “anti discrimination” lawers).

    Yesterday was certainly not a victory for libertarian ideas – quite the contrary.

    I would point out that I support the legalisation of homosexual acts that occured in the 1960s. In spite of it seeming to have opened the flood gates to a lot of unfortunate things (such as yesterday).

    One does not “save souls by coercing bodies”.

    As for the Church – alas its moral authority has been undermined by its lack of effort in dealing with sexual abusers in its own ranks. Especially of children.

  3. Private ceremonies are already legal – and any man may call another man “my wife” if they both agree. But most people do not take any notice of such things.

    The whole point of government blessed “Gay Marriage” is to FORCE individuals and private organisations to (de facto) “recognise” such unions.

    Contraception would only be a good example if religious people were forced to pay for the contraception of others.

    Which, of course, is exactly what Progressives want.

  4. A married man and woman working together to improve their lives and that of their children is a powerful force for liberty. They want what is best and not what someone else things is good for them.
    The state sees the family as a threat to its own power, and actively seeks to undermine families. It does so via enforced state education, health care and many other ways.
    The same sex marriage campaign is just another attack on the concept of families as an alternative source of power outside of the state.
    Families hold the culture and pass it onto their children, this is what is fundamentally under attack.
    The culture of the English is anathema to the self appoint elite, by whom I mean the public intellectuals who propagate their views on the BBC, in the national newspapers, and the majority of MPs
    The family equals liberty hence all totalitarian regimes attack them first.

    • Yes, but, if two men want to get married, how does that reduce the cohesiveness of my family and others? There may be hidden bombshells in the current Bill, which is why I am suspicious of it. But what tangible harm is there in gay marriage in the abstract?

  5. The harm will come from the states power to enforce acceptance. Those who think the idea of same sex marriage is just plain daft will have their collars felt if they voice any private or public opposition.
    I can clearly see a situation where a child at school says, “My Dad thinks its wrong because its unnatural”. We can all imagine what happens next, with the social workers getting involved and the child being put on the ‘At Risk’ register.
    The attack comes and wins when Mum and Dad are afraid to speak freely and openly in front of their own children.
    Totalitarian regimes always praise children who betray their parents, hence we honour the boy in blue who declined to answer the question about the whereabouts of his father.

  6. Sorry Sean I neglected to address your point about being in the abstract. It can not be because this is state sponsored.
    If it wasn’t and two people of the same sex swore an oath to each other, and a third and fourth acted as witnesses and no coercion was used, I agree with you but that is not the case.

  7. “They can do want they want, and they can call it what they want.” – Ron Paul, Evangelical Christian

  8. Ron B – I fully accept your point about the forcing of acceptance. One of the problems of this new law is that other laws will be used to shut down complaints about the moral validity of such unions. However, the principle _in itself_, that is is no business of the state to regulate the associations of consenting adults, is a good one. If two men want to get married, that does the rest of us no harm. The harm comes from what else attends the new law.

  9. Oh, and, with regard to your further reply – one of the main functions of the marriage laws is to gather up a bundle of agreements and declarations that might otherwise be time-consuming and expensive to make separately, and offer them as a package.

    For example, instead of getting married, I could have entered into a joint power of attorney with my intended; We could both have made new wills; my intended could have changed her name by statutory declaration; we could have entered into a set of contracts to govern mutual support and the joint ownership of things, etc, etc. It was much easier to get married.

    Why should this package not be offered to all consenting adults?

  10. When I am Dr Gabb’s Principal Secretary of State for War (libertarians have scarecely begun to wake up to what’s going on down right now and for decades against them, and they’ll really really need – and beg for – urgently – a rather powerful “War department”) I might start invoking some of the enemy’s weapons.

    The charge of genocide has rightly been laid against certain individuals in decades past. Hitler? Yes: he learned from a more ruthless and competent set of masters: Lenin and Stalin. Mao-tse-Tung? He outdid that triumvirate in spades, all by himself. The FoE-GreenpeaceNazis? Well, they are trying to out-megadeath the lot of them together….the banning of DDT in the early 80s (against my old father’s advice – yes it’s true, and all for some birds’-eggs in hot places somewhere) may have scored them 500 megadeaths on its own.

    Peter Watson (are you “all right” (as we say /oop-narr’th/), old man?) has the angle here. And so does Ron B. They are trying to flag the same danger from different directions. The real target, Sean, is the nuclear family. The GramscoFabiaNazis now think that they are so close to ultimate victory, so close to an efficiently-functioning terror-police that it doesn’t matter if a few BuroNazis’ arses get kicked at this point (and “lessons have to be learned”) that they are actually attempting the termination of the notion that a family consists of (at least one) breeding male and (at least one) breeding female, and their several and joint children. I deliberately “opened” that structure to show you all exactly what they are trying to eraze as the generally-accepted “norm”, and replace with…..whatever the state says anybody can say it is replaced with.

    The tragedy came in at the time that the state began to say that it ought to have a say in what a marriage was, and what the legal status of the participants was…I suspect that, like everything else, this was for reasons of garnering more taxation revenue. So probably the right response is “Bugger Them For A Start”…(sorry, no bad puns intended.) I think the writing on the wall came up in 1753, from memory.

    None of this, none of this at all, would matter, if the bloody State hadn’t got taken over and corrupted by thugs that want to _change the way people think and behave_ …It’s none of their fucking business. (Sorry for swearing on our blog, but sometimes the Chimpanzee Type Writers, in the Nissen Hut, get a little pissed off.)

    Apologies: I ranted on and on and on, and forgot about the genocide bit. Well, if you’re intent on remoddeling families in an image of vibrant whateverness, then your’e probably going to get less people born than would otherwise have come into being. Since the primary shortage in a good and right post-GramscoFabiaNazi-world will be people (you just watch), I will lay charges of genocide.

  11. We have to accept that there has been a change in the legal and moral status of homosexual relationships. They are no longer illegal. They are no longer generally regarded as shameful. The law already allows those who so wish to make lifelong mutual commitments. Why should the law not also allow those who can find a consenting minister of religion – who is not in breach of the rules of his church – to solemnise their commitments?

    I say this in full agreement with you that the change on offer contains more sinister implications. Our sole objection must be based on these further implications, not on the change in itself.

  12. Sean, old chum, the buggers are using the gays/lesbians/whatever as a stalking horse. The sinister implications are what matters. It’s the same with the poor bloody Muslims of the UK, who are also being used as catspaws, as I have frequently wanred as we all know.

    When the time has come to dispose, silently, of the very “useful idiots” who went along with this because they thought it was for them – such as the married gay male couples and the like – their “future will have suddenly become unclear as participating and wholehearted members of a vibrant society going forward”.

    And in the meantime, the Political EnemyClass will have got all the guns, and all the terror-police. They are close to it now.

  13. David – I agree that our masters are up to no good here. But we need to disentagle our defence of the family from arguments over the right of consenting adults to associate in the manner of their choice.

    In a libertarian society, there will be a wide spectrum of marriages and quasi-marriages. Most of these will be heterosexual and monogamous and of the till death do us part variety. But there will be others. For example, Shiite Islam allows marriages for a fixed term. Why should those not be legal?

  14. I have no problem with those situations, Sean. The problem as you and I know is the state interference, in enforcing anything at all really. Such as, say, everyone having to agree that “Fred and Jim are married”, when it does not please Pete-thehotelier, in his own hotel, say, to offer them a double bed. They will then have to go to another hotel probably run by Peregrin and Tarquin, who will welcome them with open arms. That’s fine, but they ought not to be able to sue the first one for dosh, if it doesn’t suit the proprietor.

  15. Thank you Dr Sean Gabb for looking at this with an open mind. I think you’ve been incredibly brave about this difficult topic.

  16. It’s not difficult for me, I just question why the government have had a lenghty debate on this when there are far more important issues to deal with, in reality no ones bothered what they do, as they carry on and do it anyway,my main concern is this was conceived on the motive of obating votes and nothing more.

  17. Augusto el Avocado

    I also can’t get worked up about polygamy, polyandry, incest, or any other kind of union between consenting adults. To a libertarian, the sole function of state marriage laws is to offer individuals a package of legal agreements and declarations that they could make for themselves if they wanted to find the money and time.

    Which is a crisp and accurate summary of why libertarians neither understand nor effectively defend liberty. Do you seriously think anything supported so fervently by people like T. Blair and P. Mandelson is designed to do anything other than push more power into the eagerly trembling hands of the totalitarian left? Mit der Dummheit kämpfen Götter selbst vergebens, innit.

    • I’ve given my objections to the implementation as well as my support for the principle. Quoting Schiller adds nothing to your argument.

      By the way, we do see the IP addresses of all comments posted. Please try to keep your alternative identities under control.

  18. I also did wonder about a couple of the commenters on here this time…..

  19. Whatever the rights or wrongs of “gay marriage”, I believe that in the fullness of time the people who have been wanting it to be “legally recognised” – whether for genuine private people’s emotional reasons or whether as a kind of secondary assault on the ordinary traditional beliefs of the “masses”, will find that the longer fututre will be unpleasant for them.

    It will probably involve much shocked betrayal, unpleasantness and probably amid much torment, interrogation, pain and retribution, that the political bedfellows that have muscled in on this issue as a direct way of mortally-assaulting “outmoded traditions and values”, will have in store for the “useful idiots”.

    I sadly predict much wailing and gnashing of teeth. None of this needed to happen: it’s not even a political priority, insofar as such things exist, like strong, well-organised homeland defence, extending to the shores of, and skies over, other nations (I name no names.)

  20. The “principle” of the government move is simple – government blessing for “Gay Marriage” with the intention of de facto forcing “recognision”. Private ceremonies (with two men calling each other husband and wife) were already legal (the silence of the law being the liberty of the subject). So what happened a couple of days ago is in no way libertarian.

    If one wanted “equality” then one could get rid of the Birth, Marriages and Deaths (Registration) Act of 1836, so there would no more be government “straight” marriages, than there would be government “gay marriages”.

    However, as with roads, the libertarian alternative is not even considered.

    Instead of getting roads out of government ownership – there is a long discusssion on what the police should or should not do on government roads (the libertarian alternative not even considered).

    And on marriage – we are told that the libertarian alternative is government “Gay Marriage” which is simply not true. The libertarian alternative would be to get government out of marriage – and to allow people (insurance companies and so on) to decide for themselves whether or not to “recognise” such unions.

  21. Of course Augusto, some of can see that, Swine Hunt’s.

  22. I think the most important thing, is thus, you can hardley find a man in the
    street who cares one way or the other, another westminister “Bubble Debate”
    a waste of time and money! “Swine Hunt’s.

  23. Tom Burroughes

    I agree with every word of this. Well said

  24. Funny how we can see the wood from the trees Tom.

  25. Augusto el Avocado

    But what tangible harm is there in gay marriage in the abstract?

    One obvious harm is the break with tradition and the protection tradition offers us against the overweening state. Gay marriage is an expression of power over and contempt for the past — remember Blair’s attack on “forces of conservatism”. Tradition and history stand in the way of the totalitarian left, which is why they work so tirelessly to destroy the one and re-write the other. By supporting gay marriage “in the abstract”, you proclaim yourself an ally of their authoritarian “project”. It’s another step in the creation of the rootless, but definitely not ruler-less, New Europe.

    I’ve given my objections to the implementation as well as my support for the principle.

    The principle is liberticidal, which is why Blair and Mandelson like it so much. But even they, at present, wouldn’t say incest was acceptable. But they say nothing while something closely related to incest flourishes, with some v. nasty genetic consequences, among certain “communities” in the UK. That’s the problem with fetishizing abstract principles like liberty and equality: reality doesn’t share the fetish.

    Quoting Schiller adds nothing to your argument.

    It did, which is why you say it didn’t.

    By the way, we do see the IP addresses of all comments posted.

    I know. And the email addresses we provide. Am I being made aware that Big Gabb is watching me?

    Please try to keep your alternative identities under control.

    Why? I don’t see harm to any libertarian principle if, to throw our reptilian overlords* off the track, I vary my nom de blog from time to time. Anyway, the more of me the merrier: unlike some, I are literate, coherent and concise. And pharmacologically unenhanced.

    *Not the ones from the fifth dimension, the other ones.

    • “One obvious harm is the break with tradition and the protection tradition offers us against the overweening state. Gay marriage is an expression of power over and contempt for the past — remember Blair’s attack on “forces of conservatism”. Tradition and history stand in the way of the totalitarian left, which is why they work so tirelessly to destroy the one and re-write the other. By supporting gay marriage “in the abstract”, you proclaim yourself an ally of their authoritarian “project”.”

      I accept your argument, which is why I am not so sure about the current proposals. However, tradition is a moving force. There have been changes in the moral status of homosexuals and their relationships. As a libertarian, I welcome these changes. So long as they are incorporated into the existing body of tradition, rather than used against it, I have no principled objection as a conservative to gay marriage. But I do accept that the current proposals are probably as you describe them.

      Turning to whether “Big Gabb” is watching you, he is. My objection, however, to your shifts of identity is purely that I have a tidy mind, and I think it rude to the other members of this blogging community – those who don’t have my inspection privileges – if you keep shifting identity. By all means, protect your real identity, if that is what you want to do. But please try to keep to one alternative identity.

  26. I had a funny sort of dream last night. Perhaps the Chimpanzee Type Writers in the Hut helped me, in their pity and humanity, and the cold which they endure, tirelessly and without complaint. I do not know.

    Guys were roaring about, stealing words. Not content with simply abolishing (by smashing up with mallets) some words that then couldn’t be used any more, such as “better than”, “faster than”, “more intelligent than”, “right”, “wrong”, “bad”, “good”, “dumb”, “retarded”, “Like the Roman, I seem to see the Tiber, foaming with much blood”, … and the like…

    …the effing bastards really, really tried to actually steal concrete words from under my nose, like objects that I could see. I could see tham and hear them. Such as “gay” (which really means happy/funny/chortling-on-nine-edges”), “marriage” (which really means marriage) and “correctness” (which really means the epistemology of being actually right as opposed to wrong).

    I cried out in my sleep at the horror of it, but my dearest wife kicked me in her non-conscious-anger and screamed to me to ERRGH! GO TO BLOODY SLEEP!”

    As that rather ambivalent fella that got shot said, “I HAVE A DREAM”….

  27. Thank God it was only a dream.

  28. it’s not, Karl: the really are trying to rob you and me of the words.

    By the way, sorry I got at you on another thread the other day. It’s nothing personal.

  29. No, that’s alright David, at least we live a democractic existance, more than
    we can say for those others.

  30. Sorry Karl but the point of this threat is we don’t live in a democratic society. The same sex marriage debate is an elite telling the majority what is right and what is wrong contrary to human experience.

  31. “Doctors should not be obliged to involve themselves in abortions”

    Why not. If they can object to providing a service on moral grounds then so can the registrar.

    • Unless he works in a an abortion clinic, or an abortion is urgently required to save the mother’s life, a doctor should not, and is not, required to terminate pregnancies. This is a principle that should apply in all cases except where medical regulation assigns only one surgeon to each district. Then, the matter is altered.

      A registrar, on the other hand, is employed to marry people according to law. If he objects to the law, a registrar should find other employment. This applies to all cases. If a registrar objects to mixed race or mixed religion marriages, or marriages between the very fat or very common – he should reflect on his career options.

      • “he should reflect on his career options”

        And so should the doctor. A medical practitioner is there to “do medicine”, not to make moralistic value judgements. Is an abortion not considered a medical procedure?

  32. Yes, I am well aware of these facts Ron, the fact that a handful of campaigners now dictate what laws we have in the UK, concludes this
    beyond all reasonable doubt, It’s a case of the few telling the majority what
    to do, and how they will be dictated to in relation to how they live their lives.

  33. Doctors due get involved in abortions, and have initiated these on the basis
    of underage girls getting pregnant, I now these pratices took place in the
    1970’s, but are they still doing that kind of stuff these day’s, one may only
    wonder, I suppose private practice referals still do exist.

  34. In the United States the Obama Administration is working to undermine the protection of doctors who refuse to get involved in abortions.

    In the British context I suspect that the NHS does not look kindly upon doctors who regard “abortion” as baby killing.

  35. How we got from same sex marriage to abortions I’m not sure but I’ll try and bring it back to the original aim, well maybe.
    We know abortions take place on the grounds of the baby’s gender. What would happen if the ‘Gay Gene” was found, and abortions took place of ‘gay babies’?

  36. At the moment paul, the NHS appears to have little regard for life or liberty,
    they have taken on the role of a totaliterian extention of the state, part of
    North Korean style dictatorship, “Masterplan”.

  37. This is the problem, we will get to the stage, where abortions are based
    on the parents not wanting a boy, or girl on a routine basis, fucking murder
    I say.

  38. We need to get back to the strategic point here. It is that the British Political-EnemyClass doesn’t give a fuck about either “marriage” or “gays”. These are merely tactical positions and resources, for it to take, move into or exploit, in its attempt to (ultimately) erase any kind of linkage between what people are allowed to think/do now and henceforth, and what they thought/did before anybody tried to “mould them” and “dissolve this particular people and elect a new one”.

    Concentrate on the real strategic issue, please, people.

  39. Karl – quite a lot of people (including me) are disgusted by the murder of all these little girls. I wish they could make the leap to understanding that killing little boys (who have committed no crime) is also terrible.

    The position of the modern “liberal” (such as the Economist magazine crowd) that killing babies is O.K., but killing murderers is terrible (up with abortion – down with capital punishment) baffles me.


    Of course we all know this “Gay Marriage” thing is yet another Frankfurt School move.

    Using homosexuals as another “victim group” (against “capitalism”) is an idea that goes back at least to the 1920s – indeed long before (as the Frankfurt School just used the idea – they did NOT invent it).

    However, I think Sean’s point is that – just because the left say something (and have evil motives for saying it) does NOT mean it is wrong.

    After all it was wrong to ban consentual homosexual acts – to put people in prison for this sort of thing.

  40. Well yes, paul, of course, charge the bastards I say, there’s just to much crime and A moral practice
    in this health arena at the moment, It;s becomming like a shopping mall,
    if I don’t like this one I’ll just throw ot away.

  41. Here……Here…..David!

  42. Euthanasia is a medical procedure but to suggest there isn’t an ethical or moral aspect to the decision to kill someone is plainly wrong.
    The first rule is do no harm but to kill an adult or a baby is clearly doing harm. If the doctors did nothing the baby would be born and the adult would die in time. To get between those two events and impose a deadly solution is an ethical matter. Doctors and nurses can’t hide behind ‘its just a medical procedure’, thats the same as ‘just following orders’ the Nuremberg Defence.

  43. Pingback: Thoughts on Gay Marriage « Attack the System

  44. Well best advice I can give on hat subject, is if a person is more concerned about his career options then don’t get her pregnant in the first place, I remember back in he 70’s when girls got pregnant, particulary around military esablishments areas, no names mentioned, these were in some cases covered up by quacks who arranged abortions, should one not consider an argument that such situations are unavoidable, can the death of a child on no medical basis be classed as medical proceedure, I don’t think so personally! This health arena is currently out of control, many need to face criminal charges and long periods in prison for what is going on in some areas, the crimes being committed are diabolical to say he very least.

  45. Anyway, just look at the GMC for instance, highest number of complaints recorded last year, the substance of the complaints and evidence was diabolical, very few doctors faced action, it is now disclosed by staff, the NHS is a culture of Blackmall where staff have been subjected to physical attacks by senior staff members for leaking serious crime within that insti tution, take for example doctors claiming thousands of pounds for operations
    they never performed, and the person being sacked for blowing the whistle,
    creating ghost patients medical records to claim medical fees, the GMC
    is a corrupt institution, just the like he IPCC they should both be disbanded
    at the moment they hold a higher above the law status than Aicapone did
    in his heyday!

  46. PS. sorry mate, bit behind the times, I don’t have spell check like you, or
    auto tabs, I come from the old mechanical typewriter school, I would join
    the “Woodentops” if I wanted a computor to type a letter for me and
    take care of the spelling!

  47. Augusto el Avocado

    However, tradition is a moving force. There have been changes in the moral status of homosexuals and their relationships. As a libertarian, I welcome these changes. So long as they are incorporated into the existing body of tradition, rather than used against it, I have no principled objection as a conservative to gay marriage. But I do accept that the current proposals are probably as you describe them.

    It isn’t “moving” tradition or “incorporating” tradition to accept gay marriage: it is destroying tradition. Christianity took over certain aspects of paganism. And what then happened to paganism? This is why, as a libertarian, you should oppose gay marriage, even if the totalitarian left is rattling a stick inside a bucket labelled “Liberty”. You’re on the same side as Blair and Mandelson. You didn’t like Schiller, so try Cromwell: “I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, think it possible that you may be mistaken.”

    • Of course, I think it possible that I may be mistaken. The best way to discover this to to say what I think as clearly as possible, and then let others disagree.

  48. Cromwell, pity Oliver wasn’t here today!

  49. There are minor aspects of tradition (such as the cut of someone’s suit) and there are fundemental aspects of it.

    A fundemental aspect of Judeo-Christian tradition is that homosexual acts are wrong. This does not automatically mean they should be illegal (“one can not save souls by coercing bodies”) but the moral position of the this tradition is clear – it may, of course, be MISTAKEN – but then a central aspect of the tradition is wrong (not needs to “evolve” – just wrong).

    A similar matter is prostitution (hetro sexual prostitution) the tradition does not automatically hold that it should be illegal – but it does hold that it (like homosexual acts) is a sin – a vice.

    So when the state (for example the German state) de facto advises young women to become prostitutes (via its employment agency), the supporter of the tradition is outraged (rather than seeing it as “just another job”).

    Ditto when the state encourages. what-the-tradition-sees-as, the moral vice of homosexual acts – by such things as government “Gay Marriage”.

    A “conservative” is someone who supports the central aspects of the tradition (not someone who opposes them) so when Mr David Cameron says it is conservative to support “Gay Marriage” he is just flat wrong.

    A libertarian is committed to not using force (the power of the state) to ban vices that do not involve involuntary interaction. However, a libertarian may still be a moral conservative.

    However, a supporter of government backed “Gay Marriage” CAN NOT be a moral conservative.