The Bigger, Badder, Even More Serious Thread [2]

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The Bigger, Badder, Even More Serious Thread [2] - Page 36 Empty Re: The Bigger, Badder, Even More Serious Thread [2]

Post by Eldorion Fri Dec 07, 2012 4:32 pm

Hopefully it'll go through regardless of Cameron's motivations. The only way to really water down same-sex marriage is to make it a "civil partnership", which Cameron has already disavowed in his recent statements. Maybe I'm being overly optimistic but if it's popular enough with voters that the Tories are feeling pressure to change their position then that's a good sign, I think.

BTW, where does Scotland stand on same-sex marriage? Didn't the SNP government commit to legalizing it a while back?
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Post by Pettytyrant101 Fri Dec 07, 2012 4:34 pm

Yeah it should be legal in Scotland just a little sooner than in the rest of the UK (assuming the Tories pass it down there).

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Post by Eldorion Fri Dec 07, 2012 4:38 pm

Hopefully both the Scottish and UK governments will move forward quickly. I don't actually see anything in the article about a timetable.

Also, I have to give a shout-out to UK Quakers for continuing to advocate for this. Very Happy
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Post by chris63 Fri Dec 07, 2012 10:45 pm

Sad news about the nurse committing suicide over that prank call to the hospital

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Post by Orwell Fri Dec 07, 2012 10:57 pm

The suicide of that poor nurse in England really brings home something that I've always felt somewhat uncomfortable about, and that's people who love playing pranks. Often enough they are genuinely harmless ploys, but some show a total disregard to possible consequences, and are all about the prankster getting a buzz but with no regard to what effect it might have on the one on the receiving end. It might be embarrassment, hummiliation or devastation.

I once watched an Oz TV show where so-called 'pranks' were played on people from various walks of life called "The Chasers". I didn't like it.

On one occasion one of the presenters went into a Convenience Store with a stocking stretched over his head. The Indian shop assistant didn't know what to make of it. Probably thought it was a robbery. Scary stuff. I was furious that the prank was played at all. I'd have been suing - or jumping the counter to bop someone (robustly) on the nose. Ignorant and selfish, yes. Hilarious - no.

Anyway, sad, sad, sad.

EDIT: Btw Chris, seems we were thinking similar things at the very same time!

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Post by Pettytyrant101 Fri Dec 07, 2012 11:01 pm

A terrible tradegy. Poor woman, the press probably had her name and her phone numbers, her families phones ect properly havent stopped. She may have feared she would lose her job over this.
Im sure at some point the 'prank' bit must become obvious but Ive yet to spot it.

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Post by Orwell Fri Dec 07, 2012 11:11 pm

Pettytyrant101 wrote:A terrible tradegy. Poor woman, the press probably had her name and her phone numbers, her families phones ect properly havent stopped. She may have feared she would lose her job over this.
Im sure at some point the 'prank' bit must become obvious but Ive yet to spot it.

She probably felt really silly.

How I see it is, here is a nurse at work - probably flat out with many concerns to do with helping sick people - then she gets a phone call and it sounds like the Queen. Not totally unexpected, as the Queen's daughter-in-law is in the place and ill. The last thing she's thinking is that it might be a prank. She'd probably be thinking that everyone else in the world was thinking: "Oh silly of her to be tricked by Radio Hosts. What an obvious prank!"

Well, damn easy. Poor woman. Even a harmless bit of teasing by her workmates over it would have been a dart into her heart, let alone other factors, like her sense of duty and her respect for confidentiality, and, of course, "Why didn't I realise immediately it was a silly prank? Oh what an absolute idiot I am! Not only my friends and family but the whole world must think I'm a dope, no matter how kind they are about it!" Yeah, many, and hopefully most, of us don't, but I bet she did!

I feel sick.

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Post by Pettytyrant101 Tue Dec 11, 2012 3:17 am

Some worrying news in the UK for, well everyone in my view. As the Data Communications Bill reaches draft staging.

The bill will do the following-

The Bill would extend the range of data telecoms firms had to store for up to 12 months
It would include, for the first time, details of messages sent on social media, webmail, voice calls over the internet and gaming, in addition to emails and phone calls
The data would include the time, duration, originator and recipient of a communication and the location of the device from which it was made
It would not include the content of messages - what is being said. Officers would need a warrant to see that
But they would not need the permission of a judge to see details of the time and place of messages provided they were investigating a crime or protecting national security
Four bodies would have access to data: the police, the Serious and Organised Crime Agency, the intelligence agencies and HM Revenue and Customs
Local authorities would face restrictions on the kinds of data they can access.

However some serious issues have already been raised about privacy and freedom-

'A report from the Joint Committee on the Draft Communications Bill accepted there was a need for new legislation to help the police fight crime and tackle security threats organised via online communications.
But it warned that ministers would be able to demand "limitless categories of data" on internet communications if the draft bill were not amended.
It called for "safeguards" over the new powers to prevent abuse.
The committee also accused the government of producing estimates of the cost of implementing the bill that were not "robust" enough.
The MPs and peers added: "We believe that the draft bill pays insufficient attention to the duty to respect the right to privacy."
The legislation "goes much further than it need or should for the purpose of providing necessary and justifiable official access to communications data", their report said.
The committee said the home secretary would be given "sweeping powers to issue secret notices to communications service providers (CSPs) requiring them to retain and disclose potentially limitless categories of data".
But it added: "We have been told that she has no intention of using the powers in this way. Our main recommendation is therefore that her powers should be limited to those categories of data for which a case can now be made."
If these powers needed to be enhanced in future, this should be done with "effective parliamentary scrutiny", it said.
The Intelligence and Security Committee, a separate committee of MPs and peers that reports directly to the prime minister, said there had been a "lack of coherent communication" on the "safeguards that will be in place" under the bill.

However despite these problems the Home Secretary says -

'the plans are needed to help society fight crime and "save lives", and that the police would be able to see the details of communications only if they had a "clear case" and investigative justification. She wants the bill in place next year.

and the Home Office says-

"This legislation is vital to help catch paedophiles, terrorists* and other serious criminals and we are pleased both scrutiny committees have recognised the need for new laws.
We have now considered the committees' recommendations carefully and we will accept the substance of them all. But there can be no delay to this legislation. It is needed by law enforcement agencies now."


Now something has to give here- the law cantboth have all the faults sorted and still be law by quickly. If its rejcted it needs to go back inoto another draft first- thats at leat another 6 months, probably longer.
So are we going to get an illconceived bill rushed through that gives the Home Secretary intrusive uneeded powers to pry into citizens private lives- probably, if people dont fight it tooth and nail.


*love the classic accept this law or pedo's and terrorist will come and get you scare tactics here.

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Post by azriel Tue Dec 11, 2012 9:04 am

As much as Id love to see more paedo's caught, & terrorists stopped, Youve got to be very careful about the wording here. The Law has to work for both sides,it has to be neutral in its assesment of facts, to get an unbiased approach & decision of verdict before sentencing. It MAY be good idea to track, view (to a degree) & call upon media/social & cyber intercourse,BUT, you still need some sort of privacy, or our rights are seriously undermined. If this goes ahead,Im sure some "brain-box" will find a "crack",make some sort of "hack" or coding system that make messages unreadable, (but only to the recipient) thus incurring more "underground" activity & crime. This could lead to a nest of vipers. I have never trusted Governments, or the scientists THEY hire, they spout Words pertaining to care for us all,but secretly behind our backs they are planing,planing,planing, & none of it good ! As for the written word,ie: newspapers, magazines,etc, If its for public reading, I can imagine it being very bland from now on, Toned down for even more fear of reprisals, But letters posted ? Will new equipment be set into postal offices to be able to scan & "read" what looks like dodgy mail ? Your secret hidden words suddenly flashed up on a monitor ? Im already suspicious, Il be paranoid soon.
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Post by CC12 35 Tue Dec 11, 2012 11:07 pm

I don't know if I'll ever stop thinking about the IKEA monkey.

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Post by azriel Tue Dec 11, 2012 11:19 pm

I can tell its had a profound effect on you, I feel your pain. Sad

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Post by Pettytyrant101 Tue Dec 11, 2012 11:30 pm

Watched a debate earlier between two tory MP's on opposite sides of the gay marriage argument.
The one against citied as his main argument religous freedom.
I dont understand this concept at all- can someone help.
There is no religous freedom for a satanist wanting to sacrifice an infant in a wicker effigy- because that involves murder which is against the law.
So how come they are allowed religous freedom as an excuse to discriminate against people even though it too is equally against the law?

Also the argument accompanying this was that he was not homophobic, it was a matter of belief and faith.
But if you analysis that it is just passing the buck- what it actually says is- Im not homophobic but my God is, and I have faith and belief He is right to be homophobic so I will oppose treating homosexuals as equals.

It just doesn't make any sense to me any which way- can someone help?

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Post by halfwise Tue Dec 11, 2012 11:44 pm

I think you explained it pretty clearly, Petty. It's really no different from telling a kid "I don't mind if you drink, but your mom will throw a fit, so you're grounded."

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Post by Eldorion Tue Dec 11, 2012 11:49 pm

Ask one of the people making the religious freedom argument -- who are, in a western country, most likely Christian -- how they'd feel about laws prohibiting the eating of pork, smoking of alcohol, or drawing of Mohammed and see just how far their determination to protect "religious freedoms" takes them. If you're talking to a pro-Muslim "religious freedom" advocate just swap the terms around.

Protip: The religious freedom argument is just a less unsavory way of saying "we want the government to force everyone to follow our religion's rules".

Of course, not all religious people believe that sort of thing. Hopefully the percentage who do is declining.


Last edited by Eldorion on Tue Dec 11, 2012 11:51 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post by David H Tue Dec 11, 2012 11:51 pm

The problem comes from multiple understandings of the term "marriage".

If you see marriage as a civil ceremony, as it has increasingly become due to all the additional civil rights that come with it, then it's discriminatory to deny it to certain groups and grant it to others.

But if it's fundamentally a religious ceremony as many people have understood it to be for many centuries, then the question becomes, does the state have the right to regulate the traditions of the church?

This is as much a hot-button issue to many churches as it would be if the state were appointing and firing clergy. It's a legitimate point that ought to be discussed, but often the debate gets framed in terms of discrimination and homophobia and the underlying issue never gets addressed.
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Post by Eldorion Tue Dec 11, 2012 11:55 pm

Marriage hasn't been an exclusively religious institution for centuries, if it ever was. It certainly never belonged to any one religion. Hindus, Buddhists, Confucians, Muslims, and yes, even atheists have all practiced their own versions of the institution of marriage for centuries and that never seemed to bother anyone. Perhaps that's because the people who claim to defend "Biblical marriage" understand on some level that they don't actually have a monopoly on the term marriage, even though they pretend otherwise when the gays come up.

Besides, I'm not aware of any government trying to stop churches from carrying out their own traditional marriage customs. For that matter, there's nothing stop gay people from having a ceremony and saying they're married right now regardless of what state they live in. The question is solely about which marriages the government should recognize for legal and administrative purposes. Sometimes this distinction is referred to as "civil marriage" and "religious marriage".

Edit: I hope this didn't come off as harsh; it's not directed at anyone in particular. silent
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Post by David H Wed Dec 12, 2012 12:13 am

I never said exclusively, and I'm making the argument only because Petty asked for clarification.

I think in most states any ordained clergyman can perform a wedding and have it recognized by the state, even if the ordination was bought on the internet. Why is that?

There are people who see the religious component of their personal marriages as the fundamental component. I wouldn't tell them they're wrong.

Will changing civil laws force any particular church to marry any particular couple? I don't think it needs to, but there are definitely many church congregations that perceive the heated rhetoric as a direct attack on their church's rights whatever else they may feel about gay marriage.

All I'm saying is the debate will always go better if the namecalling is removed.
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Post by halfwise Wed Dec 12, 2012 12:17 am

That's why I've been saying the state definition of marriage should concern children only.

Actually I've come to realize it should be reversed: people can do what ever the hell they please and call it marriage, but once the state becomes involved it should only be with respect to children. The State's involvement should be called a 'civil union', done solely for tax and inheritance purposes with regards to children, whether born or adopted. The state should have nothing to say about marriage. And the civil union typically would occur after the marriage, whenever the kids first appear.

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Post by Pettytyrant101 Wed Dec 12, 2012 12:18 am

I think you are right there Eldo- marriage goes back as far as history. Ancient Summerians got married long before any of the modern religions had been dreamt up (or revealed if you are religous).
There is not a religion in the modern word can lay claim to marriage or claim it is as defined by their particular God and that alone.

What we are really talking about, at least in the UK, is a country founded on the rule of the few and church, where it is now the rule of the many and the church- and the old agreements dont hold up any more.
If that intertwining of state and religion was not at the base christian beliefs would not have ended up in our legal system as laws, like marriage has.

I apreciate you making the clarification David.
However my problem is I dont understand why they are exempted from the laws everyone else in the country has to live by.
I dont see why it is a legitimate excuse to evade the law, or even prevent the law applying.
The reason the government wants to change the law is because it is the will of the democratic majority that it does so as people see it as discrimination on the whole.
But by allowing the law not to apply to the church they are surely saying- we know this is discrimanatory which is why we made this law, but we are going to let you do it anyway.
And I just dont get that bit at all.

I think you are right Halfwise that the sate should have little if anything to do with peoples private lives- including who they choose to marry or not.

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Post by Eldorion Wed Dec 12, 2012 12:19 am

(Halfwise and Petty posted while I was typing this.)

I know this is heated issue for me but like I said in my edit my post wasn't really directed at Dave or anyone else. It reflects more a generalized frustration. I'm sorry if it came across as harsher than intended but I realize there's a good chance that it did.

Anyway, Maryland's marriage equality law explicitly states that no church will be required to perform marriages that are not allowed under its religious rules and that each religion as exclusive control over their doctrines. I think this is completely reasonable and I'm glad Maryland went out of its way to state this explicitly in law but I'm pretty sure that even in cases where this isn't spelled out in exact terms no churches are being forced to marry gay people if they don't want to.

I'm certainly not denying the religious component of many marriages. However, because there are so many different religions that all have marriage traditions, I think it's important for civil marriage* to remain secular. If two people want to get married in a church or any other place of worship then more power to them. If that place of worship doesn't want to marry gay people, I really don't mind. But the straight religious couple still has to go to the courthouse to get a marriage license (at least in some states) along with members of every other religion. I do take issue with people trying to restrict which couples are allowed to have a government-recognized civil marriage.

*I believe that civil marriage is necessary just to keep track of legal and administrative matters, though some people suggest doing away with the term "marriage" in this context. I see Halfwise has mentioned this while I was typing.
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Post by David H Wed Dec 12, 2012 12:23 am

The state should have nothing to say about marriage.
There's a lot to be said for that. It clears up a lot of ambiguity, like the status of polygamous marriages that were performed in countries where they've always been legal. How about age limits, child brides and all those old traditions?
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Post by Pettytyrant101 Wed Dec 12, 2012 12:29 am

Age of consent would be one area I suspect the majority would prefer were still set by law.

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Post by CC12 35 Wed Dec 12, 2012 12:35 am

Eldorion wrote:(Halfwise and Petty posted while I was typing this.)

I know this is heated issue for me but like I said in my edit my post wasn't really directed at Dave or anyone else. It reflects more a generalized frustration. I'm sorry if it came across as harsher than intended but I realize there's a good chance that it did.

Anyway, Maryland's marriage equality law explicitly states that no church will be required to perform marriages that are not allowed under its religious rules and that each religion as exclusive control over their doctrines. I think this is completely reasonable and I'm glad Maryland went out of its way to state this explicitly in law but I'm pretty sure that even in cases where this isn't spelled out in exact terms no churches are being forced to marry gay people if they don't want to.

I'm certainly not denying the religious component of many marriages. However, because there are so many different religions that all have marriage traditions, I think it's important for civil marriage* to remain secular. If two people want to get married in a church or any other place of worship then more power to them. If that place of worship doesn't want to marry gay people, I really don't mind. But the straight religious couple still has to go to the courthouse to get a marriage license (at least in some states) along with members of every other religion. I do take issue with people trying to restrict which couples are allowed to have a government-recognized civil marriage.

*I believe that civil marriage is necessary just to keep track of legal and administrative matters, though some people suggest doing away with the term "marriage" in this context. I see Halfwise has mentioned this while I was typing.

Surely if the state took this stance they would be further encouraging and legalising prejudice? If churches don't want to marry gay people then marriages in those churches should not be legally recognised.

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Post by David H Wed Dec 12, 2012 12:43 am

It's really confusing here regarding marriageable age. Many states have 18 as age of consent, but some 21. Many allow younger marriages with judicial consent. Some only require parental consent. For example, in New Hampshire a 13 year old girl can marry with parental consent, as can a 14 year old boy. Some churches might choose not to perform such a marriage. Would that be discriminatory, or is that a choice they should have a right to make?
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Post by David H Wed Dec 12, 2012 12:47 am

By the way, I'd like to clarify that our state just legalized same sex marriage and that I voted for it. I just think it's fair to recognize that marriage law is a complex and emotionally charged issue.
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