An outbreak of civilised discussion?

19 Jan

I have been quietly watching developments on Arthur’s blog, starting here. Arthur wrote then:

I join Ninglun in congratulating Jim Belshaw for having a blog post of his republished at On Line Opinion, but I really must take exception to the following:

Take a question that I have not discussed on this blog, my views on gay marriage.I support civil unions for gays. I support legal recognition of the joint rights of gay couples. I do not support gay marriage because the term “marriage” carries very specific connotations linked back to our Christian heritage, so that the application of the term “marriage” creates tensions and problems among much larger groups in society.

This may change. But for the present, my view is that we need to find a solution that gives gays the legal and indeed symbolic things that they need, while recognising the views of the larger group.

I have a profound love of and respect for our core institutions. Perhaps I can be classified as a conservative in this area, although the views I hold are very much minority views even among those classified as “conservative”.

I can’t get my head around this position at all. Unless I am mistaken, by his support for civil unions Jim is advocating for gays all the rights and privileges pertaining to legal marriage. He just doesn’t think gays should be allowed to call their marriages “marriages”–because, in his view (and that needs to be emphasised), the term “marriage” has “very specific connotations linked back to our Christian heritage,” and if we let the gays use it, that will create “tensions and problems among much larger groups in society.”

Sorry, I don’t get it….

Do read it all and the comment thread which followed.

Arthur’s latest post says:

Jim’s position–not as “anti” as I in my haste first thought–is clarified in the following posts, which I highly recommend:

Murder, Mr Rudd & Gay Marriage – confusions about values in an over-regulated society

Mr Rudd and Gay Marriage Revisited

Let’s Take the Law out of Marriage.

See also Marcellous on this issue.

Jim’s post which began all this is linked in Arthur’s first post, but see also  Why I am not a conservative revisited – and now Saturday Morning musings as well.

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Posted by on January 19, 2008 in blogging, Gay and Lesbian, gay issues, Jim Belshaw


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