Friday, 15 March 2013

And so it begins... (for @TomHarrisMP) #equalmarriage

I think this is the first time I've noticed the start of a Fabian twisting of our language.

While I'm all for teh gayz having the right to fuck up their lives with marriage, I now see that we're not allowed to talk about gay marriage. It's "equal marriage".

No, it's not equal. There are different constraints that apply to gay marriage, one of which is that gays can have affairs and it's not grounds for divorce. That's a pretty weird form of exclusive monogamous commitment right there. There are other differences, a lack of consummation is not grounds for divorce either. So, you can have a gay marriage, never touch your partner, fuck around as much as you want and your partner just has to put up with it.

What kind of marriage is that, then?

But somehow, this has become "equal marriage". I'm pretty sure there's loads of people in straight marriages who would like the same perks, frankly. There are probably more straight people fuck around in their marriages and would like to do so without any prospect of sanction than there are gays who want to get married. What about some "equal rights" for them?

And what happens if a transgender gets married as a straight and then converts? Does their "conventional" marriage now become an "equal" marriage or are they a same-sex couple who have to be faithful?

This is just another badly-drafted, ill-considered bit of law that is going to fuck things around more. But mostly I'm annoyed about the abuse of the language.

It makes me wonder how much other "equality" law is a load of shit.


Anonymous said...

You've actually misunderstood the current law around adultery and how it will be extended to same-sex couples.

Basically the current legal definition of "adultery" is penis-in-vagina sex. Anything else is just "unreasonable behaviour". So, if you walked in on your wife giving a tit-wank to a tramp - it *wouldn't* be adultery. It's still cheating and would be devastating (assuming you didn't agree to it), but you can't legally divorce for "adultery".

Similarly - if you walked in on your wife pegging another lady, that wouldn't be "adultery" either - it would be grounds for divorce due to "unreasonable behaviour".

These existing definitions will apply to all future married couples regardless of gender.

This might sound daft and unlikely to apply to a same-sex couple, but maybe one person is bisexual and cheats - they might divorce for "adultery". Otherwise, it'll be a trip to the law courts for a divorce via "unreasonable behaviour" like *everyone else* who cheats in a same-sex manner.

Does that make sense? More info on adultery here:

You're right about consummation though. You'll not be able cite that as a reason to divorce in a same-sex couple. So it is a minor difference - but better that than letting the lawyers loose to redefine the concept in court.

patently said...

Well, there's still a difference there, Anon.

Adultery being defined as straight sex with someone other than the marriage partner, I understand. That is therefore a pretty open & shut definition - akin to a strict liability offence, if you like. Either you had straight sex with someone else, or you didn't.

"Unreasonable behaviour" is a little more vague, though. As a generic term, rather than a specific term like adultery, it seems to me that there is room to argue. Now, I'm no expert on divorce law and sincerely hope to remain so, but is it open to the partner being divorced for unreasonable behaviour to argue that in the context of other aspects of the marriage their behaviour was reasonable? For example, if the divorcing partner routinely withholds all forms of physical affection but is otherwise loving, would it be reasonable to seek solace elsewhere? It might be argued that (say) visiting an escort in those circumstances was done in order to allow the marriage to continue, perhaps for the sake of the children. That would (arguably...) be not unreasonable, and in a gay relationship would not be adultery whereas for a straight couple would be adultery.

Therefore, it does seem that there is a mismatch between gay and straight marriages - so as Obo says, they are not equal.

It might be interesting to see the first rich straight spouse that resists a divorce on the grounds that (i) they were not acting unreasonably and (ii) that a simple claim of adultery is unenforceable because the law is discriminatory against straight couples.

Anonymous said...

Based on your description, it should be called a 'Royal Marriage'!