Imagine Putin’s gay wedding in a British consulate! Boris Johnson told us it’s possible! Britain’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) — equivalent to the U.S. State Department — is providing same sex marriage services at its consulates around the world ostensibly as a way of pressuring other nations to recognize the unions in law.
Jesus was a gay, married to Magdalene, a fag hag. Most church fathers were gay, including Paul and Peter. Moreover most bishops are gay. Nevertheless, all gay bishops preach against homosexuality and marriage equality! If this is not duplicity, what is it?
Marriage — modernly — is seen as sort of unalloyed good. Everyone would like to get married, or at least, most people would like to get married. Certainly, most people’s mothers want them to get married.
The marriage equality movement has built up the idea that marriage is this wonderful thing that everyone should want. And there are a lot of benefits to being married in the United States. People who are married have better financial outcomes than people who aren’t. They are often healthier (especially men), and they have access to a range of public and private benefits, like Social Security and shared employee health and other benefit plans.
But there’s a darker side to marriage that’s been overlooked. What the marriage equality movement really did not think about is that there is a kind of normalizing process that goes on in marriage. Marriage signals that these people — the sexual relations that they have — are respectable, are valued, are worthy.
You can’t make that kind of claim about one set of people and their intimate lives without illuminating what is disreputable about other people’s sexual relationships. Getting more people into marriage actually highlighted that other people were outside of it and therefore, undisciplined, unregulated and problematic.
FCO has been boasting of performing these ceremonies since the introduction of the Consular Marriages and Marriages under Foreign Law Order 2014, often taking to social media during LGBT+ Pride days, weeks, or months in order to promote their work.
But while the list of countries now numbers 26, up from 23 in 2014, it appears the FCO is not being completely truthful about the services it is providing. Nor are they particularly challenging the nations where LGBT+ people are most severely targeted.
In other words, FCO appears to be using same sex marriage and their embassies that provide it as a virtue-signalling, or marketing, tool.
The rules contained within the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013 dictate that in order to receive British consulate marriage services for LGBT couples, the following must apply:
(a) at least one of the people proposing to marry is a United Kingdom national,
(b) the people proposing to marry would have been eligible to marry each other in such part of the United Kingdom as is determined in accordance with the Order,
(c) the authorities of the country or territory in which it is proposed that they marry will not object to the marriage, and
(d) insufficient facilities exist for them to enter into a marriage under the law of that country or territory.
In other words, the embassies are providing UK marriages to couples that are at least 50 per cent UK nationals with the caveat that the host nation of the consulate in question will not object. This is far from how their public relations efforts make it seem, where they simply claim to provide same-sex marriage services in 26 countries.
Furthermore, while the FCO provides same sex marriage services to UK nationals in two Muslim majority nations — Kosovo and Albania — they do not do so in places where Islamic rules (Shariah) constitute or form the backbone of law and society, opening them up to allegations of hypocrisy and opportunism.
Benjamin Harris-Quinney, chairman of the Bow Group, Britain’s oldest conservative think-tank, told us: Over the past 5 years the Conservative leadership, against the party membership and Parliamentary Party’s wishes, have pursued a bizarre and shrill campaign to win the favour of LGBT lobby groups who have spent vast sums of money lobbying in Westminster. All it has achieved is the decimation of the membership base of the Conservative Party. What the FCO has set out is an attempt to continue this window dressing, without actually doing anything to improve people’s lives. What they miss is that most ordinary people who are gay have no interest in whether they can get married in the UK Embassy in Chad, and are far more concerned about the imprisonment and execution of gay people in nations where we do business. I think most conservatives are of the view that people’s private lives should remain private, and it is not the role of the FCO, or any facet of government, to virtue signal off the back of any citizens’ sexual preference at home or abroad. It is a fundamentally un-conservative and un-British thing to do.
Another noteworthy point is that while Russia is often charged with gross LGBT intolerance or persecution, it seems the FCO can conduct same sex marriages in the country without objection from the Russian authorities. Putin is a gay after all! Just think about it: Putin could marry his British boyfriend in a British consulate!
Former FCO Minister Chris Bryant hopes that when Russians start seeing gay and lesbian couples getting married in the British consulate in Moscow they will celebrate rather than denigrate and persecute. The LGBT+ Queerty said: Take that, Putin!
In 2014, the list of nations included Australia, Azerbaijan, Bolivia, Cambodia, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Japan, Kosovo, Latvia, Mongolia, Montenegro, Nicaragua, Peru, Philippines, Russia, San Marino, Serbia, and Vietnam.
Since then, Colombia — which now recognises same sex marriages — has dropped off the list. But so too have San Marino and Azerbaijan.
Other countries now on the list are: Albania, Germany, Lithuania, Malta, Mozambique, and Panama.
The FCO has not yet responded to the question of why they do not attempt to provide these services in countries such as Saudi Arabia — where over 31,000 Britons reside — or Iran, Qatar, the UAE, or elsewhere.
The FCO did however state: It is a matter for individual countries to decide whether nor not they recognise consular or other UK same-sex marriage. From a UK perspective, all consular marriages are valid as if they had taken place in the relevant part of the UK. Consular marriages are performed by members of our staff with consular responsibilities as part of their daily duties.
The United Kingdom introduced Same Sex Marriage in 2013 under “Conservative” Prime Minister David Cameron who has called the legislation one of his proudest achievements.
It’s important to take a look at the rather complicated history of marriage. In the mid-1800s, women had very few rights, and marriage was necessary for the economic provision of most women who were not working outside the home. And, although it may surprise modern listeners, sex outside of marriage was a crime. The criminal regulation of sex made clear that marriage was the licensed site for sexual activity.
Marriage was where you had sex. That’s an important aspect of it. Marriage interacting with criminal law for regulating sex. For identifying certain kinds of sexual acts as productive and valuable and other kinds as unproductive, destructive, and indeed criminal.
Marriage worked as a kind of state-imposed sexual discipline. Those having sex within marriage were literally in law, while unmarried people having sex were sexual outlaws.
The close interaction between criminal regulation of sex and marriage meant that marriage could even be used as a form of punishment for certain sex crimes. If a man seduced an unmarried woman of chaste disposition with the promise of marrying her, and then didn’t follow through, the man could be charged and sent to prison for up to 20 years in some states.
Interestingly, there was a defense for it. The defense was simply that the man could get out of it by marrying the woman. So, there are these amazing scenes where all of a sudden this site of a trial was transformed into a wedding. No one thought the defendant was getting away with something by being married. If he was married, he literally had a ball and chain. He had someone he had to support. He would likely have a family to support. He would have to be sober, enterprising, productive and if he was abiding by his marriage vows, sexually faithful.
Although a man can’t be prosecuted for a crime of seduction anymore — such laws fell out of favor in the early 20th century — marriage recently was prescribed as a sort of cure for bad behavior.
Just in August 2015, after a man got into a barroom brawl, a Texas judge ordered the man to marry his girlfriend or spend a few nights in jail. Scared that he’d lose his job if he took the jail time, the defendant reluctantly agreed to get married.
Although marriage has changed over the years, and people have more freedom to define the boundaries of their own marriages, there is a lot that hasn’t changed.
If you ask anyone who is married, there is still a very stark gender differentiation in the amount of household labor that women do. And there certainly remains a persistent gap in caregiving that falls along gendered lines in most marriages. So, we’ve changed a lot, but in some ways, we haven’t changed at all.
Marriage isn’t for everyone, and there should be a variety of alternative options for those who wish to be in a committed, recognized relationship, but don’t want to be married for any number of reasons.
Ironically, the marriage equality movement may signal the death knell of efforts to promote a wider range of relationship recognition options. Already, the State Department has announced that it’s phasing out domestic partnership benefits. Now that marriage is available, same-sex couples — like straight couples before them — are expected to get married in order to receive benefits.
One of the questions going forward is will we think more seriously about what to do about those kinds of relationship forms. Or will marriage really be a one size fits all kind of model for everyone.
Marriage privatization is the concept that the state should have no authority to define the terms of personal relationships such as marriage. Such relationships are best defined by private individuals and not the state. Privatizing marriage is a solution to the social controversy over same-sex marriage.
The idea of marriage privatization is picking up steam. State marriage is a way for politicians to socially engineer the family through the tax code. It would be a good idea to get the government out of the marriage business.
39.7 percent of all births are to unmarried women. Nearly 40 percent of heterosexual, unmarried American households include children. 41 percent of first births by unmarried women are to cohabiting partners.
Does the law leave provisions for the children of the unmarried? Of course. So while state marriage might add some special sauce to your tax bill or to your benefits package, family court and family codes aren’t likely to go anywhere, whatever we do with marriage. This is not a sociological argument about whether children have statistically better life prospects when they are brought up by two married parents. Nor is it a question about gender, sexuality, and parental roles. It’s simply a response to the idea that marriage is irreducibly public due to having children. Some married couples never have children.
Marriage is currently a crazy quilt of special privileges and goodies that everybody wants access to — unmarried people be damned. But marriage should confer neither special favors nor goodies from the state. We can quibble about who is to be at the bedside of a dying loved one. Beyond that, marriage is mostly about equal access to government-granted privileges.
Not only does the idea that marriage is irreducibly public represent a failure of imagination with respect to robust common law, it also resembles arguments made against privatization in other areas, such as currency, education, and health care. Just because we can’t always envision it doesn’t make it impossible.
In ancient Greek and Roman civilization, marriages were private agreements between individuals and families. Community recognition of a marriage was largely what qualified it as a marriage. The state had only limited interests in assessing the legitimacy of marriages. Normally civil and religious officials took no part in marriage ceremonies, nor did they keep registries.