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Source: (consider it) Thread: UK civil partnerships not for heterosexual couples??
Eutychus
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# 3081

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I just caught this news item reporting on the failure of a heterosexual couple in England to get a court to allow them to enter into a civil partnership.

I'm confused.

If it's not open to different-sex couples, why didn't the UK civil partnership get shot down as discriminatory?

In France the "civil solidarity partnership" (PACS) is open to any two individuals, who don't even need to be in an intimate relationship. It was widely taken up by gay couples, but not exclusively so, and is now a frequent first commitment prior to marriage. The key differences relate to inheritance and pension rights, in which it is weaker than marriage.

What are the actual differences between a UK civil partnership and a UK marriage?

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Doublethink.
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# 1984

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The differences were very minor - it was created specifically to give legal rights to gay couples when they didn`t think they could get equal marriage through. A part of the judgement seems to be saying that it is not proportionate to require new legislation when it is likely to cease to exist anyway.

When it was originally created the worry was straight individuals seeking tax advantages would create civil partnerships - presumably the belief was that homosexuality was sufficiently stigmatised that there was much less of a risk of people pretending to be gay to get a civil partnership of convenience.

Personally I think the campaign for civil partnership for hetreo couples is ridiculous - on the grounds that there is civil marriage anyway. I would expect civil partnership legislation to be repealed as the solution to the inequity of provision.

I did wonder if people hoped to use civil partnership to get legal recognition of polyamorous relationships - and this is why they are bothering to push the issue in court - but I would argue that that would be better provided by amendments to the marriage act.

(Something along the lines of: you can marry as many people as you like - provided that all in the marriage give their free and informed consent - perhaps being required to sign the marriage license to indicate this, divorce is from the collective partnership, next of kin defaults to the oldest partner who first contracted the marriage, parental responsibility defaults to the biological parents or anyone named as a parent at the registration of the birth.)

[ 30. January 2016, 12:36: Message edited by: Doublethink. ]

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Doublethink.
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# 1984

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Here is the fine detail https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/comparison-of-civil-partnership-and-marriage-for-same-sex-couples

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venbede
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# 16669

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Just to say my partner and me have been together for nearly forty years and have no wish ever to call ourselves "married" and give in to the idea that marriage is the only possible form of respectable human satisfaction.

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Barnabas62
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I agree wth Doublethink (as I do very often) so far as current UK legislation is concerned. Without giving it a lot of thought, the French provisions seem like a pretty good way to go as well.

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leo
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# 1458

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Many people have issues with the patriarchy behind marriage and i thin k civil partnerships should be open to straight people.

Now that thedre is same-sex marriage, i suspect the government wants to pull the plug on CPs - the chuch will oppose this because it prefers CPs to gay marriages - which is ironic since it originally opposed CPs.

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L'organist
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# 17338

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Meanwhile the number of churchgoers who are now in favour of SSM is nearly 50% - so the ABofC is increasingly out-of-step even with those who come to church.

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orfeo

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# 13878

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Marriages ARE civil partnerships. In terms of legal status, that's all they are.

The fact that in some countries (particularly English-speaking ones) we fuse together the legal recognition and the religious recognition tends to obscure this fact and create all sorts of weird semantic knots.

Although English-speaking countries were not alone in creating a "separate but equal" system by inventing new terminology so that people could go on believing that a "marriage" was something different.

We have basically made a complete mess of the legal categories in an effort to deal with social and religious sensitivities, and ended up with hybrid models that don't have a logical foundation.

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SvitlanaV2
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# 16967

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To be fair, marriage is only a creation of society anyway (from a secular perspective). If society's understanding of marriage gradually changes it's not hard to see that the law is going to take some time to catch up with that. In fact, perhaps the legal system is always behind, because it always follows in the wake of social developments.

The strange thing is that in Great Britain Mr Cameron wasn't under great pressure to introduce SSM after having already introduced SS civil partnerships, so presumably he had ample time to discuss to what do with civil partnerships as part of the legal discussions and decisions leading up to SSM. It seems a bit odd to rush to provide SSM but leave civil partnerships hanging in the air, without a clear purpose, or even the promise of expanded purpose, as with the PACs in France.

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Arabella Purity Winterbottom

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Civil unions were introduced in NZ in advance of allowing marriage to same sex couples. However, unlike anywhere else, they are available to heterosexual couples as well, and some straight couples civilly unite each year.

There has not been any trouble with tax, or people pretending to be in a relationship, etc., etc. Sounds like another bogeyman argument, given that you could marry and do the same thing.

[ 31. January 2016, 05:42: Message edited by: Arabella Purity Winterbottom ]

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ThunderBunk

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# 15579

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Cameron had nothing to do with the creation of civil partnerships. They were introduced in 2004, therefore under Labour.

As I recall from the introduction of the PaCS,part of the stated aim was to allow legal protection for non-sexual domestic arrangements. It was intended to give the same protection to siblings or friends in terms of treatment of assets on death and consultation about medical treatment etc.. From that point of view, if I'm right, it goes a lot further than CP in redefining legally and socially privileged relationships.

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ThunderBunk

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quote:
Originally posted by ThunderBunk:
Cameron had nothing to do with the creation of civil partnerships. They were introduced in 2004, therefore under Labour.

As I recall from the introduction of the PaCS,part of the stated aim was to allow legal protection for non-sexual domestic arrangements. It was intended to give the same protection to siblings or friends in terms of treatment of assets on death and consultation about medical treatment etc.. From that point of view, if I'm right, it goes a lot further than CP in redefining legally and socially privileged relationships.

Oops. Please read the OP in more detail before commenting. Nevertheless I do think that the French model says something very important about the problem with the UK model. It was designed for and addressed at those who oppose single sex marriage, not for those who might want to actually form such a partnership. The restrictions on the ceremonies demonstrate this very clearly.

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Eutychus
From the edge
# 3081

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quote:
Originally posted by Arabella Purity Winterbottom:
Sounds like another bogeyman argument, given that you could marry and do the same thing.

In France the argument most heard in favour of SSM came down to social recognition, compared to being PACSé. The popular argument was framed pretty much entirely in these terms and not in terms of the niceties of legal entitlements*.

The whole point, it was argued, was that it was not "doing the same thing" - above all, in social terms.

I'm not sure what the motivations of the couple in the OP are, but do they not have a point that if an arrangement is dependent on the sex of the two people entering into it, it is discriminatory?

This point has been made endlessly about heterosexual marriage, and I have to say pretty convincingly, by proponents of SSM here. Why does it suddenly become a "bogeyman argument" when someone attempts to apply it to a UK civil partnership?

(*The best case I can see for SSM in France compared to PACS is that it grants pension reversion and next-of-kin rights. It does not as yet grant automatic filiation, by the way)

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Albertus
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# 13356

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Whether or not you think CPs should be open to straight people- and I don't think I care one way or the other- alleging that their restriction to gay couples is an actionable breach of straight people's human rights is the kind of thing that just devlaues human rights as a concept. The judge got this right, i think: proportionality is important here. If you really want the law changed, campaign through the political rather than the judicial route.
Meanwhile i would like to know what this case has cost and might yet cost (the judge granted leave to appeal so that a higher court could have its say) the public purse in terms of governmeent lawyers and judicial time. I hope that if this couple do eventaully lose their case they will be stuck with a whacking great costs bill.

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Leorning Cniht
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# 17564

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The UK civil partnership was created to give gay couples something that would work like marriage, but wasn't called "marriage" so as not to frighten the traditional horses.

If you consult the document Doublethink helpfully linked to above, you'll see that there really aren't any significant functional differences between the two. Personally, I think it was an error not to scrap civil partnerships when SSM came in (you have to allow people in existing CPs to keep them if they want - you can't roll them into a marriage they didn't necessarily sign up for) but I see no reason to issue new ones.

I don't think proportionality is the issue at all. If CPs offered something that marriage doesn't, then straight couples would have a case, and if one bit of law is contradicted by another bit of law, the courts are entirely the proper place to challenge that.

I think the judge made the right call because the argument is nonsense. A CP and marriage are functionally the same. The fact that you think one word carries patriarchal baggage that the other one doesn't doesn't give you standing to claim anything.

[ 31. January 2016, 20:18: Message edited by: Leorning Cniht ]

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LeRoc

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In the Netherlands, civil partnership existed before marriage equality. The order was:
  • Registered civil partnership was created for straight people who wanted to stay together but didn't want to marry.
  • Registered civil partnership was opened up for gay people
  • Marriage equality

I think this is true for a couple of other countries as well.

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Leorning Cniht
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# 17564

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quote:
Originally posted by LeRoc:
In the Netherlands, civil partnership existed before marriage equality.

What is the difference between a Netherlands civil partnership and a marriage? Is it similar to Eutychus's French example? What was the motivation for its creation in the first place?
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Eutychus
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# 3081

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quote:
Originally posted by Leorning Cniht:
If CPs offered something that marriage doesn't, then straight couples would have a case

What does a UK marriage offer that a CP doesn't?

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Eutychus
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I have checked Doublethink's link. On the face of it, not much at all, apart from, well, references to patriarchy (which is precisely what the couple in the OP complained about). In particular, survivor benefits are, with an exceptional exception, the same (this is not the case between PACS and marriage in France). What's the appeal of SSM compared to a CP in the UK?

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Let's remember that we are to build the Kingdom of God, not drive people away - pastor Frank Pomeroy

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LeRoc

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quote:
Leorning Cniht: What is the difference between a Netherlands civil partnership and a marriage?
I'm not an expert but I think that by law, the difference is very little.

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Albertus
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In England & Wales I think- though I haven't checked- a CP can't be annulled for non-consummation and adultery isn't a factor in dissolution ( r whatever the equivalent of divorce is called). That's certainly true of SSM, I imagine because nobody could work out, or be bothered to work out, what kind of same-sex sexual contact might amount to consummation or adultery. (That suggests, by the by, that SSM might not be quite the same thing as heterosexual marriage, however loudly SSM campaigners might insist that it is- but that's another story.)

[ 31. January 2016, 21:57: Message edited by: Albertus ]

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LeRoc

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I just looked it up. There are three legal differences between civil partnership and marriage in the Netherlands:
  1. In case of a civil partnership, you don't have to orally say "I do" in front of a registrar.
  2. In case of a civil partnership with children, it can be dissolved without a judge.
  3. With marriages, there exists a kind of separation that isn't divorce. This doesn't exist for civil partnerships.


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Doublethink.
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# 1984

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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
I have checked Doublethink's link. On the face of it, not much at all, apart from, well, references to patriarchy (which is precisely what the couple in the OP complained about). In particular, survivor benefits are, with an exceptional exception, the same (this is not the case between PACS and marriage in France). What's the appeal of SSM compared to a CP in the UK?

What, exactly, is the reference to the patriarchy in the current marriage law ?

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Net Spinster
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# 16058

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quote:
Originally posted by Albertus:
In England & Wales I think- though I haven't checked- a CP can't be annulled for non-consummation and adultery isn't a factor in dissolution ( r whatever the equivalent of divorce is called). That's certainly true of SSM, I imagine because nobody could work out, or be bothered to work out, what kind of same-sex sexual contact might amount to consummation or adultery. (That suggests, by the by, that SSM might not be quite the same thing as heterosexual marriage, however loudly SSM campaigners might insist that it is- but that's another story.)

So one can't have same-sex adultery? However this can affect marriages that are either same-sex or opposite-sex (e.g., an opposite-sex marriage where the man has an affair with another man or a same-sex marriage where one spouse has an affair with someone of the opposite sex, the latter adultery but not the former?).

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Doublethink.
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# 1984

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But you could divorce/dissolve your cp on the grounds of unreasonable behaviour. Giving head to the poolboy could easily be construed as unreasonable behaviour.

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All political thinking for years past has been vitiated in the same way. People can foresee the future only when it coincides with their own wishes, and the most grossly obvious facts can be ignored when they are unwelcome. George Orwell

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Leorning Cniht
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# 17564

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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
quote:
Originally posted by Leorning Cniht:
If CPs offered something that marriage doesn't, then straight couples would have a case

What does a UK marriage offer that a CP doesn't?
Apart from the word, I though there was a claim that UK same-sex marriages would be accepted by other countries, whereas UK civil partnerships wouldn't necessarily be recognized.

For example a UK same-sex marriage would count as a marriage from the point of view of the US immigration authorities (so you can get a US visa, and get a dependent visa for your same-sex spouse). I don't think civil partnerships count as marriage in this case.

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Knopwood
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quote:
Originally posted by Arabella Purity Winterbottom:
Civil unions were introduced in NZ in advance of allowing marriage to same sex couples. However, unlike anywhere else, they are available to heterosexual couples as well, and some straight couples civilly unite each year.

This is more or less what happened in Quebec. As it is the only Canadian province with a civil code , its National Assembly was able to amend it in order to create a virtually identical institution, open to same- and mixed-gender couples, as a tide-over solution until the judicial ruling recognizing SSMs. As in the UK, the primary disadvantage was the lack of exportability abroad (and moreover in this case "abroad" includes elsewhere in Canada). Unlike in the UK, its origins as a temporary fix have not led to any calls for its repeal. And heterosexual couples have been able to contract civil unions from the beginning.

The (largely negative) reactions I hear from my British correspondents about doing likewise there seem to support my impression that CPs in the UK were generally understood, across all political divides, to be an agreed conceit devised to give gay couples the rights of marriage without, per Leorning Cniht, The Name. Where we have developed a system where all couples can choose between civil union and civil marriage - as in NZ and South Africa - the British attitude seems to be that "entering into a civil partnership" is just the way the verb "to marry" is conjugated when the subjects are two people of the same gender.

Against that backdrop, I can understand why Britons might consider the idea of "opposite-sex civil partnerships" to be ludicrous, and be inclined to respond with "You already have them - it's called marriage!" I do think it's important, though, to note that this way of doing things isn't a necessity, and several other countries have no problem with two parallel (three, in South Africa's case!) forms of union.

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Eutychus
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# 3081

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quote:
Originally posted by Doublethink.:
What, exactly, is the reference to the patriarchy in the current marriage law ?

From your link

quote:
Marriage certificates include the names of only the fathers of the parties
versus
quote:
Civil partnership certificates include the names of both parents of the parties.
The other differences might be variously construed, but they are not simply "minor" (for instance: vows). Or if they are, why so much campaigning to have marriage instead of a CP?

quote:
Originally posted by Leorning Cniht:
quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
What does a UK marriage offer that a CP doesn't?

Apart from the word
Aha, so social recognition is a big part of it, then?

Which does rather beg the question of what exactly is being recognised by the term "marriage", and whether it might have any potentially unwelcome baggage, such that a CP would be a legitimate alternative for heterosexual couples. Why is everybody so keen to dismiss this idea?

quote:
I though there was a claim that UK same-sex marriages would be accepted by other countries, whereas UK civil partnerships wouldn't necessarily be recognized.
That would indeed be a significant difference (I've always wondered how France's SSM might go down in countries that don't recognise SSM). Can anyone substantiate this claim?

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Doublethink.
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# 1984

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I take your point, though to be honest - as a woman - I find it difficult to feel oppressed by that.

I think they would have a better case if the law wasn't coming up for review imminently.

And again, I think I'd rather campaign for changes to the marriage law. It would probably be possible to get someone to put a private members bill through parliament to get both parents' names on the marriage certificate (or the option to have none, one or two) relatively quickly.

[ 01. February 2016, 08:00: Message edited by: Doublethink. ]

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All political thinking for years past has been vitiated in the same way. People can foresee the future only when it coincides with their own wishes, and the most grossly obvious facts can be ignored when they are unwelcome. George Orwell

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Doublethink.
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# 1984

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One problem with multiple different types of union, is that revisions to bits of legislation, pension schemes, employment schemes, nearest relative for the purpose of state detention etc etc get missed. You end of with wierd legal anomamlies that cause problems (like with civil partnership !)

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All political thinking for years past has been vitiated in the same way. People can foresee the future only when it coincides with their own wishes, and the most grossly obvious facts can be ignored when they are unwelcome. George Orwell

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lilBuddha
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Originally posted by Eutychus:
quote:
Why is everybody so keen to dismiss this idea?

The claim of discrimination.
If they'd stopped at this:
quote:

Ms Steinfeld, 34, and Mr Keidan, 39, said they wanted to commit to each other in a civil partnership as it "focuses on equality" and did not carry the patriarchal history and associations of marriage.

perhaps reaction might have been different.
However they said this:
quote:

Ms Steinfeld and Mr Keidan argued that, as a heterosexual couple, they did not have the same choice as gay couples and were therefore discriminated against.

As the court pointed out, hetero couples are not discriminated against. If their stated ideology is true, they are at a minor disadvantage, but that is not the same as discrimination.
If anything, this highlights the fact civil partnerships were never intended to be equal.

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Leorning Cniht
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# 17564

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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
Aha, so social recognition is a big part of it, then?

Which does rather beg the question of what exactly is being recognised by the term "marriage", and whether it might have any potentially unwelcome baggage, such that a CP would be a legitimate alternative for heterosexual couples. Why is everybody so keen to dismiss this idea?

I think the big push for SSM was the desire for gay couples to have the same thing as straight couples. Not because there's much functional difference between CP and marriage, but because "separate but equal" isn't.

The visa thing is a real practical difference, but I don't think it was at the top of the minds of many people campaigning for SSM.

I'm keen to dismiss the idea of hetero-CP because there was never any intent to create two parallel forms of almost-identical partnership, and it's not useful to have two almost-identical forms of partnership.


quote:
(I've always wondered how France's SSM might go down in countries that don't recognise SSM). Can anyone substantiate this claim?
In countries that don't recognize SSM, it probably won't be recognized. For the US, here is some information about applying for visas with your same-sex spouse. The word "marriage" appears everywhere, and references to other forms of partnership are completely absent.
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Leorning Cniht
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Here's the visa issue with respect to the US:

From here:

quote:

USCIS does not recognize the following relationships as marriages​, even if valid in the place of celebration​:​
[..]
•Civil unions, domestic partnerships, or other such relationships not recognized as marriages in the place of celebration;​ [5]


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John Holding

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Eutychus:

Certainly in Canada a "civil union" is not recognized as a "marriage" or equivalent to, for most legal purposes, simply because marriage is open to same-sex couples. In this case, the word matters under Canadian law.

John

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Bibaculus
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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:

quote:

Ms Steinfeld and Mr Keidan argued that, as a heterosexual couple, they did not have the same choice as gay couples and were therefore discriminated against.

As the court pointed out, hetero couples are not discriminated against. If their stated ideology is true, they are at a minor disadvantage, but that is not the same as discrimination.
If anything, this highlights the fact civil partnerships were never intended to be equal.

I am having a bit of trouble here.

A straight couple claim they are discriminated against because they don't have the same rights as a gay couple?

Ah yes, the evil heterophobic world we live in, in which a man and a woman cannot walk down the street holding hands, still less kiss in public, without people jeering at them, or worse.

Of course, all the gay on straight violence that they have had to suffer.

Give me strength.

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Baptist Trainfan
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quote:
Originally posted by Doublethink.:
You end of with wierd legal anomamlies ...

Well, there's one right there!
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Albertus
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# 13356

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quote:
Originally posted by Bibaculus:
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:

quote:

Ms Steinfeld and Mr Keidan argued that, as a heterosexual couple, they did not have the same choice as gay couples and were therefore discriminated against.

As the court pointed out, hetero couples are not discriminated against. If their stated ideology is true, they are at a minor disadvantage, but that is not the same as discrimination.
If anything, this highlights the fact civil partnerships were never intended to be equal.

I am having a bit of trouble here.

A straight couple claim they are discriminated against because they don't have the same rights as a gay couple?

Ah yes, the evil heterophobic world we live in, in which a man and a woman cannot walk down the street holding hands, still less kiss in public, without people jeering at them, or worse.

Of course, all the gay on straight violence that they have had to suffer.

Give me strength.

I do wonder whether there's an element of 'oh no, it's so unfair! We're white, British, straight, middle class, not transgender...We wanna be victims too! Please can we be victims too? You can't deny us our right to be oppressed, or we'd have to face up to how privileged we are- pretty please, nice judge, say we're being oppressed...'

[ 01. February 2016, 16:34: Message edited by: Albertus ]

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Eutychus
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I think it was orfeo that once said sex discrimination occurred when there was no valid reason to discriminate between the sexes.

There may be an element of self-victimisation going on in this case, but on the face of it I can't see why a CP should not be available to heterosexual couples, I can imagine the differences to be enough to be meaningful to some constituency. Is that such a wrench to concede?

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SvitlanaV2
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# 16967

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quote:
Originally posted by Albertus:
quote:
Originally posted by Bibaculus:
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:

quote:

Ms Steinfeld and Mr Keidan argued that, as a heterosexual couple, they did not have the same choice as gay couples and were therefore discriminated against.

As the court pointed out, hetero couples are not discriminated against. If their stated ideology is true, they are at a minor disadvantage, but that is not the same as discrimination.
If anything, this highlights the fact civil partnerships were never intended to be equal.

I am having a bit of trouble here.

A straight couple claim they are discriminated against because they don't have the same rights as a gay couple?

Ah yes, the evil heterophobic world we live in, in which a man and a woman cannot walk down the street holding hands, still less kiss in public, without people jeering at them, or worse.

Of course, all the gay on straight violence that they have had to suffer.

Give me strength.

I do wonder whether there's an element of 'oh no, it's so unfair! We're white, British, straight, middle class, not transgender...We wanna be victims too! Please can we be victims too? You can't deny us our right to be oppressed, or we'd have to face up to how privileged we are- pretty please, nice judge, say we're being oppressed...'
That puts a rather reactionary right-wing slant on it. However, from what I've read in the news, their position is much more of a left-wing one; they see marriage as a somewhat out-of-date institution with a lot of negative baggage, and they'd like a way to formalise or legally validate their union without reference to the concept of marriage.

It's not an original idea; there are lots of people who disapprove of the concept of marriage. But even where there's no ideological disapproval of it, the widespread popularity of heterosexual cohabitation outside marriage has given rise to legal and political attempts to protect the individuals involved, and in particular their children. Civil partnerships could potentially be seen as satisfying this purpose.

[ 01. February 2016, 17:52: Message edited by: SvitlanaV2 ]

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Knopwood
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Yes, it seems to me unfair to assume the worst about the couple. After all, to make a legal case they need a legal argument. "Marriage is a patriarchal institution we'd prefer not to participate in" is not such an argument, whereas "This institution is unjustifiably closed to us because of our respective genders" is. I certainly didn't read anything that gave the impression they were "reverse discrimination!" fetishists.

[ 01. February 2016, 21:04: Message edited by: Knopwood ]

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Albertus
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Oh, of course they're coming at it from a left-wing position. They may genuinely disapprove of marriage (although how much of that, one asks, is based on an attitude that says that's what's good enough for my neighbours isn't good enough for me). That's why they want to be marked out as being discriminated against. Wouldn't surprise me if they're the kind of middle class people who claim they're really, deep down, working class on the basis of having a grandfather who was a miner.

[ 01. February 2016, 21:14: Message edited by: Albertus ]

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SvitlanaV2
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In fact, it often seems that the only English people who still have a strong working class identity today are middle class people!

On a serious note, poorer British people are less likely to marry than the rest of society. If this is putting them at a disadvantage then perhaps our society should think about what might help them. It's a complicated issue, but an adapted form of civil partnerships could possibly be of use to some.

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Leorning Cniht
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# 17564

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quote:
Originally posted by SvitlanaV2:
It's a complicated issue, but an adapted form of civil partnerships could possibly be of use to some.

It's not complicated at all. Except for a couple of frankly irrelevant details, a same-sex civil partnership is a marriage that won't be recognized as widely abroad. A hetero-CP would be the same.

It's only useful if it's functionally different from marriage. What features of marriage do you want to eliminate for your adapted CP?

The article you link to says that people who don't feel secure in their work are less likely to feel able to commit to a long-term relationship. People who aren't prepared to commit aren't going to sign up for any kind of partnership.

And if you go for some kind of very lightweight registered cohabitation that doesn't carry any implications of permanence, what do you expect it to achieve?

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Eutychus
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It's hard to escape the irony here. The difference between marriage and a CP is clearly perceived as being more than "minor details" or "functional differences", otherwise there would not have been so much fuss about allowing SSM. Those for whom these "minor details" might be important are dismissed as nutjobs and frivolous. Where were these arguments when the introduction of SSM was proposed?

In France at least, the PACS, open to any two individuals, is now well-established and is frequently engaged in by couples of all orientations and who have an aversion to the trappings of traditional marriage not dissimilar to the avowed aversion of the couple in the OP: it actually reflects social change.

For those who wish to do so, it offers a way of achieving some legal and financial security without all the fuss and expense that traditionally accompanies a marriage, and without any of the religious and social baggage that is so clearly still attached to a UK marriage if only by connotation.

You can PACS without telling anyone, even/especially your parents, and unlike marriage, do so without this being a social insult - and people do.

Why is the prospect of opening this option to hetero couples in the UK so ridiculous?

[ 02. February 2016, 05:16: Message edited by: Eutychus ]

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Leorning Cniht
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# 17564

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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
It's hard to escape the irony here. The difference between marriage and a CP is clearly perceived as being more than "minor details" or "functional differences", otherwise there would not have been so much fuss about allowing SSM.

The reason for the "fuss" was parity of esteem. Gay couples wanted the same thing that straight couples had.

quote:

Those for whom these "minor details" might be important are dismissed as nutjobs and frivolous. Where were these arguments when the introduction of SSM was proposed?

Nobody was arguing for SSM over CP on the basis that CP couples couldn't cite adultery in a dissolution, or any of the other trivial differences.

The issue of recognition is real - your CP might well not mean anything to some other country, whereas your marriage will, but the big argument was about having the same thing for gay couples and straight couples.

As I have said, I think allowing the creation of new CPs after the advent of SSM was an error, and I hope that it will soon be rectified. The UK civil partnership wasn't created to be marriage-lite, it was crated to work like marriage for gay couples.

quote:

For those who wish to do so, it offers a way of achieving some legal and financial security without all the fuss and expense that traditionally accompanies a marriage,


You can have a marriage without all the fuss and
expense that "traditionally accompanies a marriage".
quote:

You can PACS without telling anyone, even/especially your parents, and unlike marriage, do so without this being a social insult - and people do.

So a PACS is basically a marriage without the social status? You can do that with a marriage - you just get married and don't tell anyone.

quote:

Why is the prospect of opening this option to hetero couples in the UK so ridiculous?

Because it's pointless kowtowing to people's absurdities. If you want something that behaves a bit like marriage, we've got something like that. It's called "marriage" and comes with the free bonus that should you ever travel abroad, your marriage will be recognized by that country as well.

If you want something else, you need to make it different from marriage. Having a thing called "marriage" and a thing that's functionally the same as marriage, but has a different name, is absurd.

As I understand you, a French PACS functions a bit like a starter marriage. It seems as though a PACS is easier to dissolve than a marriage, which I suppose must mean "quicker" - all the difficult bits about divorce are to do with dividing up property and children, and that can't be terribly different in a PACS, can it?

[ 02. February 2016, 05:53: Message edited by: Leorning Cniht ]

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North East Quine

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Originally posted by Doublethink:
quote:
It would probably be possible to get someone to put a private members bill through parliament to get both parents' names on the marriage certificate (or the option to have none, one or two) relatively quickly.
FWIW, marriage certificates in Scotland have included both parents' names since their inception in 1855. There is a nod to the patriarchy in that the father's occupation is included, but not the mother's. They have three lines each - father's name, occupation, and whether deceased, mother's name, mother's maiden and other names, whether deceased.
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SvitlanaV2
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quote:
Originally posted by Leorning Cniht:
quote:
Originally posted by SvitlanaV2:
It's a complicated issue, but an adapted form of civil partnerships could possibly be of use to some.

It's not complicated at all. Except for a couple of frankly irrelevant details, a same-sex civil partnership is a marriage that won't be recognized as widely abroad. A hetero-CP would be the same.

It's only useful if it's functionally different from marriage. What features of marriage do you want to eliminate for your adapted CP?

The article you link to says that people who don't feel secure in their work are less likely to feel able to commit to a long-term relationship. People who aren't prepared to commit aren't going to sign up for any kind of partnership.

And if you go for some kind of very lightweight registered cohabitation that doesn't carry any implications of permanence, what do you expect it to achieve?

Yes - it's complicated!

I'm not convinced that the poorest indigenous British people are likely to be driven by whether or not their union is recognised abroad. These days it's the better off who are most likely to emigrate.

You could have cash or other incentives for couples who have children and who formally agree to stay together up to a certain point. Maybe relationship or parenting guidance could be involved, or even training for employment or self-employment.

In short, heterosexual civil unions could be seen as trial marriages that involve extra state support. But as I said, adaptations would be required. I don't know what the public would think. Perhaps it could be trialled in certain areas before being extended across the country.

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LeRoc

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I know quite a lot of couples — gay and straight — who are in registered civil partnerships. Apparently the difference with marriage is significant enough for them. And that's good enough for me.

[ 02. February 2016, 11:49: Message edited by: LeRoc ]

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Alan Cresswell

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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
quote:
Originally posted by Doublethink.:
What, exactly, is the reference to the patriarchy in the current marriage law ?

From your link

quote:
Marriage certificates include the names of only the fathers of the parties
versus
quote:
Civil partnership certificates include the names of both parents of the parties.

I would expect that if you asked most people what they would consider patriarchal with marriage that wouldn't be what they would think of. My guess would be the top two things they'd list would be
* The woman taking her husband's surname
* The father of the bride giving his daughter away

Neither of which, of course, are part of the law, the second is become increasingly so rare I'm struggling to remember the last wedding I went to where the brides father gave his daughter away, and many people marry without changing their names (or, for both to change to the same, often double-barelled, name).

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Eutychus
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It kind of jumps out at you from the marriage certificate, though. I have got so used to both parents' names being on (as they are in France) that I had to dig out a UK certificate to check. When you're not used to it, it looks amazingly patriarchal.

Reading the comparison Doublethink supplied also makes you realise how much UK marriage is bound up both with religious practice and anachronistic notions of property and succession.

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Let's remember that we are to build the Kingdom of God, not drive people away - pastor Frank Pomeroy

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