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back to article Redmond campaigns for gay marriage rights

Microsoft has thrown its political weight behind a new law in its home state of Washington that would set up equal marriage rights for LGBT couples, an effort joined by local employers RealNetworks and Nike. In a blog post, Microsoft general counsel Brad Smith said that the state needed the law so that local employers could …

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I think the term you are looking for is Holy Matrimony....not marriage.

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FAIL

I think you miss the parent poster's point...

...which is that whatever the terminology used, the strategy seems to be a most effective way to undermine their opponents, by undermining the institution.

I disagree with what they are doing and with MS for supporting it, because I think it is an illogical (and deceptive) case, and the use of "equal rights" terminology is a false argument.

There are already restrictions on who can marry. The current laws in all jurisdictions do not simply allow any two (heteros, although NB this is NOT stated - more below) who love each other to marry.

There are limitations based on

a) existing married status

b) close blood/family relations (the taboos - usually listed) and

c) age

for example. The definition of marriage as between "a man and a woman, entered into exclusively for life" should preclude a lot of short term relationships too, but easy divorce has undone a lot of that.

Secondly, the argument as put is that marriage should be available to "any two people who love each other" rather than being restricted to "a man and a woman", but this shifts the basis from something biological (capable of scientific testing for example) to something emotional (consequently variable and impossible to assess, realistically speaking).

And looking at the emotional turbulence regularly portrayed in public, one has to wonder whether this represents a good move for a start, before we have even considered the children (won't somebody think of the children! There I said it for you all).

Thirdly, the definition does not say anything about heterosexuals or homosexuals, it simply requires that the two parties be one each of "man" and "woman" and that the relationship be exclusive. If the parties can't meet the definition, then marriage is not for them. But this is where the "gay lobbyists" are deliberately working to undermine the definition. However, they are sawing off the branch on the wrong side and they will go down once the saw cuts through (great cartoon humour, but there are serious repercussions to what they are doing).

The moral of the story is:

Be careful what you wish for: you may very well get it.

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Joke

Gay people...

... have just as much rights as everyone else to be miserable & have that ring on the finger, that tells the world they have now started a life of celibacy. ;)

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WTF?

*smile*

You know what makes me smile?

The bit where there is no chance in hell that any site like The Reg is *ever* going to post this story with two blokes kissing, not two women...

And people say the godbotherers are hypocritical...

I love that theres all this palaver about gay marriage - when the divorce rate for the straights is through the roof...

Oh, and AdamWill - there is a reason for no specific place having a yea/nay in the UK on gay marriage - because there is a single law for the country, not a dual level system as with the American state and federal laws. You can blame the Saxons for that (one of their kings did for the english legal system what GMT did for the train timetables, but for the life of me I cant remember which one).

As to why all the different corporations are getting involved for my money its a fairly simple conundrum to solve. I've even been nice and given you a clue...

Still not got it? its MONEY

Every penny people like the great Gates-by and the immortal Jobs spends on charity is wonderfully repaid by the lesser spotted tax credit. Its just good business, with a little bit of personal soul-polishing on the side.

Personally I think people should take their snouts out of everyone elses sexuality. Its no-ones business but the two or more people involved. That goes for governments, god botherers, parents, siblings and the rest...

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Anonymous Coward

Yes...

I often find myself wondering around exam results time if the Reg is going to have pictures of some ripe young boys having received their results. Sadly, as with all UK press broadsheet and tabloid alike, it's a bunch of ripe young girls.

I do, however, disagree with your assertion that people give to charity for reasons of money and personal gain, rather than reasons of altruism. I think it shows a lack of faith in humanity and a level of cynicism, often found in Internet forums, which is corrosive and poisonous to society as a whole.

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FAIL

I find it interesting that they criticise MS for butting their noses in to other people's business when that is exactly what they are doing. Could this be because the bigger backers equal rights has, the more people look at what they are saying and realise that it is nothing more than bigotted world views based on twisted interpretations of religious texts.

Religious texts being twisted for nefarious purposes, but that almost never happens!

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Anonymous Coward

@john

There are people who are non-religious who are anti same sex marrige.

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Since when did the bible set the rules for marriage

Luke 16:18 quotes the Nazarene as saying – although in Matthew 19:9

And so what...... Marriage was around hundreds, thousands of years before the bible or any religion for that matter. It was the joining of two people, suddenly a book comes along and redefines what it is.

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Anonymous Coward

The Nazarene?

You've seen The Omen then?

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Meh

This Too Shall Pass

Like every other US civil rights movement this one will have to wait till a fair number of the worst bigots have died off or shut up to come to fruition. While it is certainly true that some progress is made when states (as in US provinces) allow nominal marriage, this is really only symbolic. Without federal recognition (IE: tax code changes) it really amounts to nothing. The UK approach of granting rights without using a controversial label seems to have brought more benefits to gays, but untimely this issue will not be settled until both the rights and the name are equally granted regardless of sexual preference. Call me cynical, but I don't see that happening for some time.

If MS wants to grab some mind-share by supporting gay marriage, then I say kudos to them. They have a right to make money after all. Perhaps such economically based arguments will even serve to divide the bigot camp a bit. Just remember, the second these gay-bashers don't hear a chorus of supporting opinion every time they open their ill informed mouths, they will keep such thoughts to themselves. Look at what happened to the anti interracial marriage crowd.

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The government is currently trying to finish the job off and make civil partnerships marriages. And yes, this is coming from the (generally younger) leadership of the centre-right Conservative Party- although there are plenty of party members bitterly opposed to it (and a few in the Labour Party too).

One pragmatic solution is to make all unions civil partnerships and allow couples of religious persuasion to dress it up as they see fit.

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Trollface

If I was gay i'd be very worried about now...

After all Microsoft have already 'embraced' gay marriage, they are now seeking to 'extend' state law, what will be their next step if they succeed?

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Just an opinion

First of all, this is just an opinion and second of all, I might be wrong, so keeping that in mind, I hope for some civility in the responses I get.

I believe that if tax benefits for married couples were wiped out, a huge chunk of gay rights campaigners would stop campaigning! It's all about the tax benefits. Other than not being allowed to serve in the Army, I believe that most places leave you alone and don't give a fig if your gay. In fact, most work places have not got the slightest care what your sexual orientation is unless you start cross dressing to work, which is inappropriate by most peoples social standards and most work places have very conservative dress codes anyway. If it is about harassment at work, there are already laws covering that in most countries and they protect gay people just as they protect straight people. So... the way I see it, all this campaigning is about being allowed to work somewhere, or saving money on taxes or for some people, they just want to justify themselves and would like to ram their moral standards down your throat. Just as any gay person feels they have the right to be gay, I have the right to feel it is wrong to be gay. As long as I don't go around preaching at you, soliciting people to disrespect you or treat you badly or violently, does it matter that I find the idea of being gay repulsive? Why do so many gay people feel they have to justify themselves to the entire world. Have some confidence in yourself and if what you are doing is right, it should not matter that others don't agree with you.

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huh ?

Since when does cross dressing tell sexual orientation. Oh and it's also about the right to inherit money, the right to marry and bring some else into the country . It's about having medical say so over your loved one .It's bit more than just taxes

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Go

Marriage is Regulation, not Love

When did someone EVER come up with the idea that Marriage is about Love?

I would venture to say that most marriages around the world have nothing to do with Love, it is about families agreeing that their opposing gender children have a suitable partner who can promote the family and ultimately their tribe and species.

When did someone EVER come up with the idea that Religious Marriage is about Love?

I would venture to say that most religious marriages around the world have nothing to do with Love, it is about a religious community agreeing that their opposing gender people have a suitable partner who can PRO-CREATE a family and ultimately sustain their community and species. (Most of the populous religious dictate that that God Creates and people Pro-Create.)

When did someone EVER come up with the idea that Civil Marriage is about Love?

When two people spend time together (in the Biblical Way) - there is a natural biological result: people of varying qualities. Nations-States are made up of people. People are taxed, people defend the nation/state in war from being conquered/dissolved, and people vote in some nation/states. Everything else is optional, in a nation/state. This being said, the quality of the people are critical for the nation/state. This is why marriage is regulated: it is illegal for Parents to have sex with or marry their offspring, because defective children are likely to result. It is illegal for Brothers & Sisters to marry, because defective children are likely to result. It is illegal for close relatives to have marry, because defective children are likely to result. If children are not going to result from union, there is no compelling reason for Civil Marriage between people.

When did someone EVER come up with the idea that Love results in Civil Marriage?

Why should two elderly sisters (who share familial love) who live with each other to help each other our with bills and physical ailments be regulated under the law than two women who want to have sex with one another? Why should a group of brothers (who share familial love) share a house when they move into a new town/country be regulated under the law than a group of men who want to have sex with one another?

If two people want to have sex, there maybe compelling reason for a Nation/State to regulate the behavior (i.e. sexual contact could promote various disease.)

Clearly, the addition of private sexual contact should only be regulated through tax dollars when there is a quantitative detriment to society if it is not regulated, since sexual disease may result in sterilization of individuals, which if becomes widespread will cause a nation to decline due to population drop. Also, sexual disease places an undue burden on individuals, making them less productive, and thus reduces tax revenues (how many widgets can you make when constantly scratching your crotch?)

If people want to have private freedom in society, they can vote through the ballot box to have private freedom, without using the power of the public government's gun to enforce coercion to sustain a relationship based upon a "feeling", which will diminish over time. Freedom, which does not create, create defective, create diseased, or kill citizens does not requires personal responsibility, not regulation through the force of a government gun.

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Silver badge

Biblical references against gay people

"As a lapsed member of the Church of England, this El Reg hack is slightly baffled by the furore over this issue, and why marriage equality is such a threat to heterosexual marriage. Jesus certainly never mentioned gay marriage in any of the Bible's four accounts of his life, but he was unequivocal in condemning divorce among straight couples."

The biblical references some Christians use to oppose gay marriage are as follows.

Not all Christians agree that they ban homosexuality, but nevertheless, here they are ...

In the Old Testament

Leviticus 18:22 "Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is an abomination."

Leviticus 20:13 "If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them."

[But there's lots of things in the old testament that Christians don't obey now, eating pork for example.]

In the New Testament

Romans 1:26-27 "Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion."

[But what's an "indecent" act with another man? The same things that would be indecent if done with a woman?]

1 Corinthans 6:9-11 "Do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived! Fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, sodomites, thieves, the greedy, drunkards, revilers, robbers, none of these will inherit the kingdom of God. And this is what some of you used to be. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God."

1 Timothy 1:8-10 "Now we know that the law is good, if one uses it legitimately. This means understanding that the law is laid down not for the innocent but for the lawless and disobedient, for the godless and sinful, for the unholy and profane, for those who kill their father or mother, for murderers, fornicators, sodomites, slave traders, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to the sound teaching that conforms to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which he entrusted to me."

[The translation of ἀρσενοκοίτης as "sodomites" is disputed. Some scholars think it refers to things like prostitution, rape, incest and so on]

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Facepalm

Funny how people who use those Leviticus quotes..

..to say how homosexuality is "an abomination" never seem to think that all the things ordained/proscribed in Leviticus should be taken literally, such as:

Lev 20:9 "For every one that curseth his father or his mother shall be surely put to death: he hath cursed his father or his mother; his blood shall be upon him"

..the death penalty for cursing your parents? Of course, that makes lots of sense. And there's loads more - it's a treasure trove of looniness, yet it's only the homosexuality verses that get brought out.

How anyone can read this tripe as the word of God rather than the petty personal prejudices of (in the case of Leviticus) a human being with serious mental issues, I really don't know.

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Black Helicopters

@Philbo

It's all relative. The quotations were SOP in Judea circa 33BC, and was a reflection upon what they as a culture embraced as positive and negative behaviors as preached by the established priesthood (hence the name of the book).

However, your point as to relevance in *our* more enlightened (in some senses) time is well taken. How anybody can embrace *parts* of the OT, discard others, and then presume to be more "pure", when there actually *is* a proscription in the NT against modifying the Word of God? If the OT is directly the Word, then you have to follow *all* of it. If it isn't, then a return to the original source in order to discern what is and what isn't relevant in the OT is in order.

As a Christian, you are under a new Covenant -- this hatred of LGBT people makes no more sense than christian ritual circumcision. Think of it like going through bankruptcy court -- if you give countenance to debts incurred previously, you also make youself subject to other parts of the previous agreements as well.

Black helicopter, so that people will keep their hands off my Peter...

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@pericat

But it's not all relative (according to those believers who will according to their own relative proclivities select bits of Leviticus to quote at you, while ignoring other bits).. these people consider the Bible "the Word of God", while ignoring those bits of the Word that don't fit their particular prejudice.

That it was standard procedure in Judea 33BC is a very good argument for it having nothing to do with any kind of god whatsoever. Sigh.

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Devil

"ignoring those bits of the Word that don't fit"

Do you mean defining a *day* before the Earth existed and rotated on its axis -- while orbiting around the Sun which didn't exist either?

"And there was morning and there was evening the first day"

Huh?

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Silver badge

Genesis 1:1-5

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.

"Let there be light" was god creating the sun, or some argue, the big bang. Dividing the light from the darkness would be god spinning up the planet, or I suppose, all the fragments taking their requisite places after the big bang.

You slightly misquoted the last bit. The first day was from the first sunset to the second sunset, so there was no "day" before the earth existed, rotated and orbited round the newly recently created sun.

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Angel

Local Group. Eleventy-oneth Day

I like your take on that. I'm going to incorporate it into my own understanding, which is that the first six days of genesis were only plans in the mind of god. When he finally got around to the REAl creation, he put everything in its proper order.

There. Fixed it. :-)

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Meh

Hate Speech, Luniness, etc.

philbo - the death penalty for cursing your parents? Of course, that makes lots of sense...

In that region of the world, and others as well, that is the standard, even today. I would suggest you Google "honor killings", and those who are involved in that particular activity are not followers of the Hebrew Bible.

In the West, parents kill children out of inconvenience. It is called Abortion... those children didn't even get a chance to curse their parents. What is more "loony" - kill a child for disobedience or kill them out of inconvenience?

philbo - it's a treasure trove of looniness

That is a pretty hateful thing to say.

perlcat - this hatred of LGBT people makes no more sense than christian ritual circumcision

So far, the only people I have seen be hateful are those people who are advocating Redmond's position in these posts.

As far as ritual circumcision, there are those people who choose to follow Abraham's covenant (Jews, Christians, and Muslims often have chosen to for thousands of years) and principles of freedom would dictate that people should be allowed if the activity does not cause any harm, without government regulation. It is relatively harmless. It is not like they are throwing children from cliffs, killing them in their mother, or something.

It is baffling that people want more government regulating people when there is not a physical need central to the function of ongoing society to tax & spend with the enforcement the regulation, ultimately through the gun of a government.

Why would citizens want more laws to tax & pay for a government official to hold a gun to the head of another citizen (because their feelings chance), when the reason is not core to the ongoing existence of society? Now THAT is "looniness".

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Facepalm

@king1con

You think describing Leviticus as "a treasure trove of looniness" is hateful? Jesus H Christ, you've got some thinking to do. There is a lot of hate in there, there is lots *to* hate in there, but I fail to see how describing it as loony could possibly be termed "hateful". It's disrespectful, yes; demeaning - guilty as charged. It needs to be all those things, because the raging insanity that is the book of Leviticus deserves all those things - you can't seriously be trying to suggest that Leviticus as a book is sensible, god-given even? Read it with an unprejudiced eye, and you'd see that for yourself.

But "hateful"? Not even close.

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