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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  1. Big-nosed Pengie
    Devil

    The Devil...

    ...can quote scripture for his own purposes.

    When I first saw this I thought "WTF? Are these rapacious corporates supporting human rights because they've suddenly grown a moral sense?"

    Then I read the second paragraph.

    1. Paul Johnston

      I could be wrong but...

      Don't corporations have to justify their actions by saying they "increase shareholder value!".

      Hence the reason given might be an economic cloak for what is really a moral stance.

      If they came out and said we just think this is right would that leave them up to legal action?

      We are talking about the USA here.

    2. John Angelico
      Thumb Down

      And a national/international employer too!

      The argument runs a bit thin when MS has offices all over the blooming place.

      If business is about business, then it has no business in social politics.

      1. Ru
        Stop

        "it has no business in social politics"

        If you are a significant shareholder in MSFT, you can make your feelings known.

        Oh wait, you're not? Then what makes you think that you have the right to dictate to them what they should and should not do, any more than they have the right to tell you exactly which subsets of politics you should be interested in?

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How about the State staying the hell out

    How about the State (in the most generic PolySci sense, not just in the sense of "the state of Washington") staying the hell out of defining what a marriage is, or giving 2 figs about the state of marriage. Let the decision of what a marriage is - be it a man and a woman, two men, two women, or three men two women and a exercise bicycle - be solely upon the people involved in the "marriage". Get rid of tax rates for "married" and "not married" - just worry about if somebody is supporting somebod(y|ies) else, and not the reasons for that. If a set of people want to have shared ownership of property, let them work out a contract as needed between themselves. Let people designate who else can make medical decisions for them - again, what business of the State is that?

    I am for equal rights - I want EVERBODY to have the right to be left alone, and not have the bloody State getting involved. Just because historically the State (and the Church - often one and the same in practice) concerned itself with these matters doesn't mean that state of affairs should be continued.

    To the extent that Microsoft wants to support equal rights I support them - it's just a shame we cannot just get everybody to BUTT THE HELL OUT OF EVERYBODY ELSE'S PRIVATE LIVES.

    1. oddie
      Happy

      I mostly agree with u, but i think 'fairness' or something similar to it, which we usually look to the state to provide is best achieved sonewherr in the middle. So the state not controlling peoples lives but also not butting completely out. I think people usually mebtion 'what ifs' at this point but there are usually 'what ifs' both for and against. I agree with u that everyone should have the same righta, possibly with the excepyion if the bicycle, but i think its more pragmatic to think of the 'the state' as a set of 'rules' that we all agree to that while doesnt benefit any if us directly helps leveling the playing field and introduces an arbitrary set of rules that stop us from being complete wankers (or atop the ones that would be).

      Which is a long winded way of saying that i agree, the state shouldnt have a say in what constitutes a union between people, but it should have the power to define certain rules for people in such unions to make sure there is less nasty bad things happening...

      Pls disregard spelling, im on a mobe with stupid lack of buttons and a strange dislike for el regs comment bix (doesnt allow me to accurately posution the cursor next to a misspelled word)

    2. JC_
      Mushroom

      @David D. Hagood

      Your idea of marriage is a contract, right? Okay, when it comes to deciding what a contract is, who can make it and how it's enforced, who or what is ultimately responsible for that? It's the state. So how can the state NOT be involved?

      You Paulistas can't write a paragraph without contradicting yourselves...

      I can understand the appeal of libertarianism to intelligent but misanthropic 15-year old boys because it explains to them what's wrong with the world and why they don't get along with it, but it's pathetic* in anyone else.

      *that's pathetic in the sense of "causing or invoking pity"; I feel sorry for you.

      1. SoulReaper

        Title

        A) The state would not have a harder time enforcing a contract between 2 men or two women, deciding who can get married is more involved than enforcing contracts. The whole marriage license thing was created to stop interracial marrying, it worked just fine before the state got involved.

        B) Private arbitrators can resolve contract disputes. And for some, the contract is between them and god, and they dont need men to enforce the faithfulness clause.

        I feel sorry for you that you feel the need the use violence against others to make society work the way you want, and you can't get along with your fellow man.

        1. JC_
          Thumb Down

          @SoulReaper

          Yeah, and by that logic we don't need food regulations because people whose children die from eating adulterated baby food can have everything made right by a private arbitrator.

          Regulations and laws are 'violence'? Man, you Howard Roark wannabees have a deep victim-complexes. Aren't you supposed to be iron-willed, lantern-jawed, railroad-building lights to the world? Harden up!

          1. SoulReaper

            @jc

            Like the government can make it any more right? Either way the child wont be coming back, and both can demand compensation to the victim or their family. It's the government's limited liability corporations that protect the people running the company from bring held personally responsible for their reckless actions.

            Yes, laws are enforced with violence. If you dont obey them, men with guns kidnap you and lock you in a cage. I have no idea wtf the rest of that paragraph is supposed to mean. And of course you failed to make any kind of argument about how these marriage laws make sense, instead opting for ad hominem attacks. But I guess thats because you have no real arguments.

            1. JC_
              Mushroom

              Here's the difference, SoulReaper: regulation is there to prevent the child from dying in the first place.

              Yeah, even with regulation, terrible things like children dying do happen, but there's a hell of a lot more incentive to prevent this with rules, inspections and laws than there ever would be with trying to sue after the deed is done.

              The libertarian concept of sue-to-make-it-right is just comical, much like libertarians. No, that's not an ad hominem attack, it's just a fact. Anyone that believes in Ayn Rand and libertarianism has a lot of growing up to do.

              How, for instance, are the birds that die from an oil-spill supposed to go to court to sue for compensation? Or is that not important because no human was directly harmed?

              And how exactly are private arbitrators going to enforce their decisions if not with "violence"? But even worse, this is privatised violence, where he who can summon the most violence decides what is right. If you don't like that, who are you gonna appeal to? Welcome to Somalia.

              Debating with libertarians is like debating with flat-earthers and creationists - you guys are a fanatics out of touch with reality.

    3. Figgus

      As soon as marriage ceased to be only a religious institution and became a legal one instead, it became 100% wrong to deny it to anyone based on faith or orientation.

      Mind you, that doesn't mean I think churches that are opposed to it should be forced to host the ceremony, I simply think the state has no right to pick and choose who it "allows" to achieve married status legally.

  3. Ned Ludd
    Linux

    "it seems an odd business decision to make when they sell a lot of their products the US"

    And since Apple have also expressed support for same-sex marriage, I guess the devout will have no choice but to go with Linux?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      are there no gay penguins?

      1. Local Group
        Childcatcher

        "Have they no refuge or resource?"

    2. Ommerson
      Thumb Up

      Or back to the dark-ages, which they seem to hanker for. No computers or Internet there, so no issues!

  4. Jeebus

    It is seen as the last bastion of prejudice, now those people can't treat on black people anymore [in the open] so they throw their weight behind other hate campaigns

    People are growing up though as time wears on, it is a battle the intelligent are winning at every level, it was scarcely 40 years ago it was often treat as a mental illness. Obviously there are many places that still would but they are generally not where companies like Microsoft are located.

  5. Curly4
    Unhappy

    Many spouses

    Now you are making those who believe in multiple spouses

  6. O RLY

    "In the US, around half of all marriages involve a divorced person..."

    Interesting stat. What is its source? I am aware that half of all US marriages end in divorce, but I've never heard this statistic before.

    1. dogged

      word missing?

      "eventually", perhaps?

  7. Christoph Silver badge
    WTF?

    Ye gods and little fishes!

    " A spokesman for the Family Policy Institute of Washington (FPIW), which seeks to “impart a biblical worldview for those committed to Judeo-Christian truths,” told The Register that Redmond was sticking its nose into other people’s business. "

    He is complaining about someone else "sticking its nose into other people’s business"?

    While demanding that people he has never met and will hopefully never meet be banned from doing something that does not harm him in any way?

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Joke

    As Santorum Says...

    "So, anyone can marry anybody else....so anybody can marry several people?" - Rick Santorum, Rep. Presidential candidate aspirant.

    Seriously though, what the hell is going on in that country?

    1. Pseu Donyme

      >Seriously though, what the hell is going on in that country?

      A theory: vile, cynical propaganda making use of ignorance and prejudice for political gain with the ultimate motive of financial gain (i.e. greed) and power for its own sake.

      1. LateNightLarry
        Mushroom

        Seriously though, what the hell is going on in that country?

        What's going on seems to be the extreme religious right, called the Christian Taliban by some, are seeking to impose their extreme views of religion, marriage, sexuality, education (elimination of science and evolution from the curriculum) and just about everything else on the majority of Americans... Many of the extreme religious right are also politically involved in the Tea Party, or as I call them, Tea Party Troglodytes, although perhaps TP Luddites would be a better word... They want to return the US to sometime before the 1800's, when RICH white men ruled with absolute authority, poor white men worked themselves to death, women were expected to be totally submissive to their husbands, and remain in the kitchen and bedroom after marriage, and of course, barefoot and pregnant. And minorities of any color (black, red, brown, green, etc.) had even less rights than women. All women and minorities were denied the right to vote... What I don't understand is why the women married to these men allow it to happen to them... We had a friend whose husband decided to retire, sell the house, and move several hundred miles away... She had absolutely no say in the matter... Husband/MASTER decreed, and wife/SLAVE obeyed.

        Nuclear explosion because that is what would happen if I tried to pull a stunt like that.

        1. Figgus

          @LateNightLarry

          Nice job attributing religious motives to a group concentrated on fiscal sanity.

          Saying some of group A is in group B, therefore all of group B is just like group A is a pretty flawed argument.

  9. Arctic fox
    Facepalm

    The Godbotherers are so delusional its hilarious.........

    "The reason they did this is that they have been beaten down by the human rights campaigners on this.”

    Microsoft, "beaten down by the human rights campaigners"? WTF? What part of that this has been MS policy (for clear business reasons) since the early nineties were they unaware of? As for their underlying attitude towards human rights for people they personally do not like that that formulation reveals I need not comment further other than to ask what part of the following did they fail to understand?

    Leviticus 19:18 Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

    We are *all* children of *our* people in the biblical sense - you don't get to pick and choose between those you approve of and those you don't.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Err...

      Don't say "Godbotherers" like all people from all religions are the same, I'm a Methodist, I'm bisexual and pro-gay marriage. I know lots of people in CofE, Catholics and many other churches, some are generally anti-anything they don't understand, others don't care, others are pro. I believe that the Quakers are kicking up a fuss at the moment in the UK trying to be allowed by the government to perform same-sex marriage. C of E perform blessings (depending upon the particular church) on same sex relationships, but again are prevented from performing an actual marriage ceremony by law.

      I know more non-religious people who are anti gay marriage than I do religious people and at least the religious people can claim (wrongly in my opinion) that God has decreed it. The opinion of non-religious people who are anti-gay marriage seems to be that "it's just fucking wrong to be a bummer."

      1. Arctic fox

        I think old chap that you should read my post again.

        With a little bit of effort it would be obvious to you that my point was with regard to a certain type of christian conservative fundamentalist. They are after all the ones I was quoting at the head of my posting?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Hmm...

          Sorry, but your title was indicative of a certain type of comment that seems to come up a lot on the Register along the lines of "All X are Y" and I'm quite sensitive to people suggesting that all Christians are small minded bigots. I presumably switched off my read a comment properly before commenting filter.

  10. Bob 18
    Thumb Up

    Right-Wing Hypocricy

    I've long ago concluded that the religious right is hypocritical with respect to these issues. Look at where we are now. Our president, a regular church-goer, happily married with two daughters, lives family values to the max. And yet, the right wing claims that he's trying to "destroy traditional family values" (and religion too) --- even while these candidates go cavorting around, treating women like yesterday's trash. The amazing thing is, people believe these goons.

    Anyway, I'm all for family values myself. LGBT couples should be allowed to marry so they can build stable, long-lasting families just like everybody else. Their children deserve no less.

    1. James O'Brien
      Thumb Up

      Sighs

      You know its sad when people are down voting you based off something (which I see) that is as trivial as this. You made a perfectly valid point yet the haters couldnt accept it. Go figure.

      My stance on it is this. Who the hell am I to decide who can and cannot love each other? If they are happy more power to them.

      1. Not That Andrew
        Facepalm

        Probably people skimming and see FAMILY VALUES and thinking "Aack! Right wing nutjob!" without reading the rest of the post.

  11. Visual Echo
    Thumb Up

    Runtime Error: #define MAX_MARRIAGE_MEMBERS 2

    I personally think marriage should be limited at 2 to 7 primates, and at least 29.0% of those with only one sex must be the other sex. Call me old fashioned.

    Some of us in the US think it's a pretty strange place too. I enjoyed the reference to Luke. Not sure who said it first, but "I think it would be nice if someone would create a religeon based on the teachings of Jesus".

  12. eulampios

    a rainbow sticker

    May I suggest that on every OEM Windows equipped PC a Microsoft logo would accompany a message: "Microsoft: Designed by our gay couples especially for you"

  13. Graham Marsden
    WTF?

    WTF is "gay marriage"?

    [I forget where I saw this quote, but it runs something like...]

    "I don't want "gay marriage" any more than I want gay people to wake up in their gay bed, have gay breakfast and drive their gay car to their gay work. I just want everyone to be able to wake up in bed, have breakfast and drive to work and, if they fall in love, to get married."

    1. philbo

      @Graham Marsden

      Well said.

      But it's not just in the US where this is rearing its head: a local (Buckinghamshire) councillor recently tweeted "We may as well legalise marriage with animals, crude I concede but no apology", and there were plenty of people supporting him, trying to argue that allowing homosexuals to marry would devalue the institution of marriage.

      I have no idea how that's supposed to work: I simply don't understand how my heterosexual nearly 20-year marriage (jeez.. is it really that long now? Life sentences and all that) is affected even the teensiest bit by two other people being married if they happen to be the same sex.

  14. AdamWill
    Stop

    Odd?

    "An odd country, the US – at least from this Brit's point of view."

    Odd? Well, that's as maybe, but at least there's six places in the U.S. where gay people can get married. Last I checked, there were precisely zero in the U.K. So you may wish to readjust your smugness level.

    1. Drew V.

      True, true. But OTOH, the UK has civil partnerships for gays, which have the same legal consequences as same-sex marriage, and which arguably puts the UK ahead of most American states. Also, the current UK government announced its intention to introduce same-sex civil marriages by the next election, which is something I don't see the US federal government doing anytime soon.

      I do wonder to what extent corporations (such as Apple's) stance on gay marriage is merely a consequence of the location of their headquarters (Seattle and California are very progressive states) and the opinions of their workforce. Social scholars, please chime in here.

      1. Ommerson

        More likely a function of the demographic who works at such companies: Devout belief in imaginary friends is not a common occurrence amongst scientists, software engineers and designers.

    2. Chris Miller

      Technically correct, but only because we call it 'civil partnership' which has given "same-sex couples rights and responsibilities identical to civil marriage" (Wikipedia) since 2004. I think the distinction is probably due to there being an established church in the UK, unlike the USA.

      1. Drew V.

        Certainly, we are talking about a cultural (and legal) difference here, because the US continues to respect the primacy of the churches when it comes to deciding when a marriage is valid or not. That's a huge cultural gap, by any measure. Nevertheless, purely in practical terms and in terms of what rights people actually get, it can be said that gays in the UK have more rights than they do in the US, in spite of the fact that 6 American states have accepted full gay marriage (because this implies that all the other states have not).

      2. AdamWill

        Well, yes, and that's the point

        Well, that's the whole point. It's a cop-out to organized religion, and that's exactly what I'm complaining about. 'Civil partnership' is not marriage; the only reason there's a difference is a craven cave-in to the religious lobby.

    3. Steven Jack
      Mushroom

      Civil Partnership > US Gay Marriage

      True some U.S. States have gay marriage, but what that actually means from a legal perspective is a ceremony, and recognition within the state they live, they don't get to file join federal tax returns, if their partner isn't a US citizen they can't get a visa for their husband/wife to life with them on the basis of the marriage, if fact no federal recognition at all. Where as in the UK Civil Partnership is marriage by another name, it come will all the same rights and responsibilities. There are only a couple of minor legal technicalities around dissolution / divorce, these are that annulment on the basis of non consummation is not possible and adultery is not a reason for divorce, however unreasonable behaviour is, which would cover the bases there. Before I start cries of out rage at this last one in UK law adultery is a very specific act involving a man, a woman, his penis and her vagina. Thus not generally applicable in most LGBT divorces, it's cleaner and easier just to justify the divorce on the basis of unreasonable behaviour.

      But the main point here is smugness restored, LGBT people in the UK can have all the benefits of marriage when in the US they are lucky indeed if they can have just a few in marriage lite which some states have. Said but true.

  15. JDX Gold badge

    MS' reasoning is clear

    It's not to "be nice" or to "attract the best people". It's more likely a very cheap way to get popularity points by backing a cause that those they care about - young people - are highly supportive of.

    Corporate fake moralism, in my book.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Genuinely hate to say it

      But I'm cynical enough to think exactly the same thing myself. Especially about that lot in Redmond.

      Oh, and it will work.

    2. desider
      Coffee/keyboard

      Better a bit of corporate fake moralism than the glut of sincere corporate immoralism we have.

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  18. P. Lee Silver badge
    Holmes

    The UK - Christian?

    with 95% *not* going to church?

    So that's only 5 in 100 people even attend church. Take out the rubbish churches feeding on emotion and the incompetent ones which provide R4's "thought for the day" and I'd be surprised if there were many people who have a clue as to what the bible actually says.

    As for the bible's view on marriage, as far as I can tell, it's one man, one woman, for life. Sex is only allowed within that context. With an established church in the UK (or even just taking the normal wedding service formula) there is a distinctly christian theology involved. Why would people who clearly do not wish to fit into that context want to identify with that institution? Civil partnerships make far more sense.

    Of course, if you wish to erradicate the concept of christian marriage and morality from society, then it does make sense to take christian terminology and redefine it to mean something completely different. I suspect that herein lies the conflict. It isn't about wanting to be involved in other peoples' sex lives, its about taking the name of a christian ceremony and attaching it a ceremony involving people who the bible describes as having rejected the christian god completely.

    It would be a bit like having laws passed which say that schools must teach aspects of creationism and call it Darwinist theory. It doesn't make sense and eventually nobody would understand what Darwin's theories were. It would be a great way to destroy the public's understanding of Darwin's naturalistic philosphy though.

    1. logical
      WTF?

      "christian terminology"

      "Of course, if you wish to erradicate the concept of christian marriage and morality from society, then it does make sense to take christian terminology and redefine it to mean something completely different"

      Marriage is NOT christian terminology. "Christians" do not own it and they do not get to decide for everyone what it means. They are not being persecuted or harassed or having "their" concepts eradicated because other people dare to believe different than they do.

      God has not delegated the power to control others lives to any human being AFAIK. Sin is between each individual and God and *no* one else. So many self-professed "christians" want to put themselves in God's place. It's just ridiculous.

      1. John Angelico
        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.

    2. Jim in Hayward

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

  19. Lord Lien
    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. ;)

  20. Jemma Silver badge
    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...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      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.

  21. John P
    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!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @john

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

  22. SJRulez

    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.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The Nazarene?

      You've seen The Omen then?

  23. Random K
    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.

    1. Ommerson

      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.

  24. Keep Refrigerated
    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?

  25. Hilmi Al-kindy

    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.

    1. kain preacher Silver badge

      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

  26. King1Con
    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.

  27. jonathanb 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]

    1. philbo
      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.

      1. perlcat
        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...

        1. philbo

          @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.

  28. Local Group
    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?

    1. jonathanb 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.

      1. Local Group
        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. :-)

  29. King1Con
    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".

    1. philbo
      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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