Different, but what about equal..?

LISBURN City Council has passed a motion – proposed by Seamus Close – not to allow civil partnership ceremonies in the council’s Cherry Room, which is used for marriage ceremonies alone.

While some gay activists seem to recognise that Close has a point when he argues that same-sex civic unions and hetrosexual marriages are not the same, the Alliance MLA has been accused of discrimination nonetheless. Close said it drew a distinction with marriage ceremonies.

The solution is obviously simple – Lisburn Council should build a separate room for gay union ceremonies, if it is not prepared to allow real fruits in the Cherry Room.

  • crat

    “The Wedding Room (Cherry Room) can also be booked for business needs.” Does this mean Cllr Close would be happy at the hiring of the Cherry room for gay employee of the year awards but confine gays to the administration area for the most important part of their paid for service?

  • la dolorosa

    Don’t gay & lesbian residents pay taxes too? Surely this will marginalise a section of the community which is too much our history rather than having an inclusive approach to things. So much for progress – turn the clock back 300 years again!

  • Sean Fear

    Which employee would want to be singled out as Gay Employee of the Year?

  • fair_deal

    Despite the media tag of ‘gay marriage’ the civil partnerships were supposed to be distinct from marriage so what is the big problem here?

    Mr Moran’s comments are more what the gay and lesbian lobby would like the position to be rather than what the civil partneship act prescribes for.

  • TAFKABO

    “Despite the media tag of ‘gay marriage’ the civil partnerships were supposed to be distinct from marriage so what is the big problem here?”

    Equally, what’s the big problem in allowing same sex partners the use of a room to celebrate their union?

    This is nothing more than hateful petulant begrudgery of the worst kind.
    Unless someone can give me a rational explanation as to why Seamus felt the need to propose such a motion?
    Was the cherry room being overrun by same sex couples to the extent that marriages were being excluded?

    I am sick of people thinking they have a right to be offended.

    Hate is hate.

  • TAFKABO

    “Despite the media tag of ‘gay marriage’ the civil partnerships were supposed to be distinct from marriage so what is the big problem here?”

    Equally, what’s the big problem in allowing same sex partners the use of a room to celebrate their union?

    This is nothing more than hateful petulant begrudgery of the worst kind.
    Unless someone can give me a rational explanation as to why Seamus felt the need to propose such a motion?
    Was the cherry room being overrun by same sex couples to the extent that marriages were being excluded?

    I am sick of people thinking they have a right to be offended.

    Hate is hate.

  • TAFKABO

    “Despite the media tag of ‘gay marriage’ the civil partnerships were supposed to be distinct from marriage so what is the big problem here?”

    Equally, what’s the big problem in allowing same sex partners the use of a room to celebrate their union?

    This is nothing more than hateful petulant begrudgery of the worst kind.
    Unless someone can give me a rational explanation as to why Seamus felt the need to propose such a motion?
    Was the cherry room being overrun by same sex couples to the extent that marriages were being excluded?

    I am sick of people thinking they have a right to be offended.

    Hate is hat

  • Del

    I noted that this was reported on the radio in a way that accused the DUP of doing this. Typical anti-DUP reporting! It was of course not the DUP but the Alliance

  • Del

    I noted that this was reported on the radio in a way that accused the DUP of doing this. Typical anti-DUP reporting! It was of course not the DUP but the Alliance

  • carlosblancos

    This probably makes Lisburn the only city in the UK with such a ban. As well as being the only city with no hotel. And the only city where most residents don’t work. AND the only city which still excludes a sizeable portion of its representatives from holding positions in the local government.

    I can’t wait for the Review of Public Admin to be announced.

    What a pathetic motion from a pathetic council.

  • la Dolorosa

    TAFKABO – I couldn’t agree with you more. It’s like those people who are ‘offended’ by political correctness – it’s just another way of saying that they are intolerant and don’t accept that everone’s equal irrespective of race/religion/gender/sexuality etc etc

  • TAFKABO

    If this forums posting system becomes anymore buggered, I fully expect some councilor to propose a motion banning it.

  • carlosblancos

    Will civil unions be permitted elsewhere in council facilities or is this a blanket ban?

  • Henry94

    TAFKABO

    I am sick of people thinking they have a right to be offended.

    But this decision clearly offends you and many others. What you really appear to object to is people who don’t share your opinion.

  • TAFKABO

    Henry.

    No, I have no objections to people holding different opinions, if people want to feel strongly opposed to same sex partnerships, that’s fine.It’s when they feel they have a right and a duty to enact rules and regulations to deliberately penalise and ostracise those with whom they find offense, that it becomes a problem.

  • fair_deal

    TAFKABO

    “Equally, what’s the big problem in allowing same sex partners the use of a room to celebrate their union?”

    Because their form of legal union is different.

    “Hate is hate.”

    And then la dolorosa can’t understand people’s dislike of political correctness. Simply disagreeing gets you accused of hate.

    La dolorosa

    “I am sick of people thinking they have a right to be offended”

    Indeed. Will you inform the people of Ardoyne or shall I?

    Carlos

    “Will civil unions be permitted elsewhere in council facilities or is this a blanket ban?”

    As far as I can work out and find out it applies simply to the room that civil marriage ceremonies take place.

  • fair_deal

    TAFKABO

    “Equally, what’s the big problem in allowing same sex partners the use of a room to celebrate their union?”

    Because their form of legal union is different.

    “Hate is hate.”

    And then la dolorosa can’t understand people’s dislike of political correctness. Simply disagreeing gets you accused of hate.

    La dolorosa

    “I am sick of people thinking they have a right to be offended”

    Indeed. Will you inform the people of Ardoyne or shall I?

    Carlos

    “Will civil unions be permitted elsewhere in council facilities or is this a blanket ban?”

    As far as I can work out and find out it applies simply to the room that civil marriage ceremonies take place.

  • Young Fogey

    While some gay activists seem to recognise that Close has a point when he argues that same-sex civic unions and hetrosexual marriages are not the same

    So can we expect a statement from Seamus in support of gay marriage then?

  • Young Fogey

    Oh, you are reading Slugger at the moment, fair_deal? I thought you must be on holiday given that you have been witholding the benefit of your wisdom from us on the Paul Berry thread.

  • Henry94

    TAFAKBO

    So you don’t mind people having opinions once they don’t act on them?

  • Young Fogey

    I have spoken to Alliance HQ. This is not Alliance policy. The party supported the extension of the law on civil unions to Northern Ireland in the consultation. That remains the clear policy of Alliance.

    So there!

    BTW, if I were the Chief Executive of Lisburn Council I would be asking my lawyers whether or not this was a breach of my Section 75 duties on equality before waiting to see what the result of Paul Butler’s complaint was.

  • peteb

    This is not Alliance policy.

    So will the party censure Seamus Close then?

  • COLM

    Henry94

    There’s a world of difference between private individuals holding and even acting on opinions, and members of public authorities choosing to use their powers of control over public utilities to effect discriminatory opinions.

  • Gonzo

    Lisburn Council does indeed provide another room for civic union ceremonies.

  • crat

    Gonzo,

    But why? They already had a scheme whereby the Cherry Room could be hired for uses other than marriage. Why change the rules to reduce access when the room (rooms actually, it has a reception room and a rooftop terrace overlooking the Lagan) has traditionally been multipurpose? Why is Seamus only interested in ensuring inequality in homosexual access?

  • Jo

    Crat
    because of his personal beliefs about homosexuals?

  • crat

    Jo,

    Personal beliefs are fine but he’s not selling that way, he says:

    “So it’s to draw that distinction and it’s to afford the proper dignity and distinction to a wedding as opposed to a civil partnership.”

    If use of the room is what gives dignity and distinction to a wedding then I would expect Cllr Close to be concerned over its use as a function/corporate room. He seems not only pro-heterosexual marriage but acting specifically against gay partnerships.

    Personal belief is fine, APNI have stated it’s not their policy. What is their policy on elected representatives acting against party policy in their official capacity and more importantly acting in a seemingly homophobic manner in their official capacity?

  • fair_deal

    YF

    “Oh, you are reading Slugger at the moment, fair_deal? I thought you must be on holiday given that you have been witholding the benefit of your wisdom from us on the Paul Berry thread.”

    1. I have been not been absent from slugger.
    2. Is there now an obligation to comment on every thread?

  • Jo

    Crat,
    I agree with you and I must admit I was surprised to hear Seamus speak as he did on Talkback yesterday.
    I think of all spokespeople of all parties he would have drawn a line between personal view and his Council position. Is he trying to court a particular section of the vote next time around?

  • shell

    Will the Alliance Party still claim to represent the middle ground, even with a homophobic lunatic representing them.

  • Rethinking Uniuonism

    Well done Seamus. It seems that tolerance of anything and everything is de rigeur. I object to the idea that so called homophobia is morally equivalent to racism. Gay marriage is an oxymoron and if we seek to legislate equivalence with actual marriage we will fall victim to the law of unforseen consequences. There is no law that stops 2 men living together or making wills which reflect their desire to provide for the other. The civil union celebration is however a trojan horse which is part of a much wider agenda. Those who sign up to an apparently innocuous request will find that the agenda does not stop there and will only conclude when lawmakers concede that we should all be taught that marriage between a man and a woman and homosexual unions are equally valid and beneficial to society or when Pastors are thrown in jail (as in Sweden) for daring to state that homosexual acts are sinful Sorry for thousands of years society has thought diffently and I dont think one can be indicted as a bigot or worse for upholding such views.

  • Rethinking Unionism

    Well done Seamus. It seems that tolerance of anything and everything is de rigeur. I object to the idea that so called homophobia is morally equivalent to racism. Gay marriage is an oxymoron and if we seek to legislate equivalence with actual marriage we will fall victim to the law of unforseen consequences. There is no law that stops 2 men living together or making wills which reflect their desire to provide for the other. The civil union celebration is however a trojan horse which is part of a much wider agenda. Those who sign up to an apparently innocuous request will find that the agenda does not stop there and will only conclude when lawmakers concede that we should all be taught that marriage between a man and a woman and homosexual unions are equally valid and beneficial to society or when Pastors are thrown in jail (as in Sweden) for daring to state that homosexual acts are sinful Sorry for thousands of years society has thought diffently and I dont think one can be indicted as a bigot or worse for upholding such views.

  • Young Fogey

    fair_deal

    2. Is there now an obligation to comment on every thread?

    No, but as you are an active member of the DUP I find it… interesting… that you don’t comment on such an important issue for the DUP.

    Rethinking Unionism

    I object to the idea that so called homophobia is morally equivalent to racism.

    Why?

    Gay marriage is an oxymoron

    Why>

    and if we seek to legislate equivalence with actual marriage we will fall victim to the law of unforseen consequences.

    Which unforeseen consequences would these be?

    There is no law that stops 2 men living together or making wills which reflect their desire to provide for the other.

    Yes there is – it’s called inheritance tax.

    The civil union celebration is however a trojan horse which is part of a much wider agenda. Those who sign up to an apparently innocuous request will find that the agenda does not stop there and will only conclude when lawmakers concede that we should all be taught that marriage between a man and a woman and homosexual unions are equally valid and beneficial to society

    I don’t think anyone has made any secret of that.

    or when Pastors are thrown in jail (as in Sweden) for daring to state that homosexual acts are sinful

    I am well aware of the case and find it extremely worrying. I have no problem with people thinking I’m sinful… especially as I know that, biblically speaking, they are heaping live coals upon their own heads. I also reserve the right to call a bigoted numpty who throws out assertions without being to support them exactly that.

    Sorry for thousands of years society has thought diffently and I dont think one can be indicted as a bigot or worse for upholding such views.

    Well, maybe you don’t think so, but you are a bigot and so is Seamus. Sorry. I have as much right to criticise you as you have to criticise me.

  • prolefodder

    And so it goes… Alliance making the last few crawling steps towards UUP ‘liberal’ ground. Close to the UUP and its pandering to intolerance (But of course accptale homophobic intolerance in Norn Iron) but not close to the gay community for Alliance. As if proof were needed of the soft unionism of Alliance. So much for the ‘centre ground’ of the sick counties. Anyone any spare tickets for Gleneagles?

  • Alan

    Please, please let someone take this to review so that none of our other short-sighted, bigot-ridden councils follow suit. Should Alliance not follow the SDLP’s lead (on racism) and head out for some equality training!

  • Young Fogey

    Alliance making the last few crawling steps towards UUP ‘liberal’ ground.

    This is not Alliance policy. If you have a beef, take it up with Seamus. He was doing this entirely on his own bat. The party has supported civil partnerships legislation until now.

    but not close to the gay community for Alliance.

    As a gay man I have never had any problem in Alliance. Ever.

  • Rethinking Unionism

    Young fogey,

    If you could refrain from the gratuitous we might be able to have a conversation here. No one wishes to take away your right to hold or express your opinions. What ia at issue are the basic mores which define us as a society. In the last 30 years a proactive and shrewd gay lobby have sought to alter the debate by equating the gsy isue with other basic human rights. Racism is an obvious example. I do not object to ensuring that people are not discriminated against in their employment by reason of ther homosexuality. What I object to is trying to rewrite history and nature by suggesting that homosexual unions are a bedrock of our society. There is much talk of redefining the family and while all sorts of new living arrangements are a reality that does not meen that they have to be approbated.If you cannot have the procreative as well as the unitive you cannot by definition have a marriage. Your appeal to the bible is falling into the same error as many of your opponents. The bible is not to be used selectively. Unforseen consequences are what transpires eyond what people expect. Reasearch on human embryos would be an example. You begin trying to assist infertile couples and end up with a potentially pernicious form of eugenics. For the record sex outside marriage is an equally sinful type of behaviour as is any other breach of the moral law. The gay lobby are only unique in that they seek moral equivalence. Sorry I cannot sign up to that just as I cannot sign up to moral equivalence for co habitation of heterosexuals. If society thinks differently so be it but in the public square I am entitled to make the case and I think in doing do I have history and orthodoxy behind me.

  • TAFKABO

    Surely logic dictates that “unforseen conequences” have as much chance of being beneficial as detrimental?

  • james Orr

    YF,
    I doubt that this is an “important issue for the DUP”. It’s a storm in a teacup that very few people are getting worked up about except interest groups, individual members of the gay community and the usual suspects on slugger.

  • Young Fogey

    No one wishes to take away your right to hold or express your opinions.

    Do you believe homosexual activity should be legal at all?

    If you cannot have the procreative as well as the unitive you cannot by definition have a marriage.

    In that case you do not believe that infertile heterosexual couples can be married. Do you want to rethink that line of argument?

  • Rethinking Unionism

    Young fogey

    (i) I accept that homosexual activity between consenting adults is legal and that it would be neither feasible or beneficial to change the law. I do not think however that the age of consent should be lowered.

    (ii) marriage between man and woman has a procreative potential even if that is theoretical. A canon lawyer would need to set out the various nuances and the argument cannot be circumscribed in epigrams. The basic premise rermains and is at the heart of traditional church teaching.

  • Colm

    I agree with RU that the definition of a marraige (as a faith based union) should be that of a male and female union, however I disagree with the arguments made for opposing civil parternship legislation. Outside of the religous concept of marraige , if the state allows non-related adults in a relationship to be treated as a unit for legal and practical purposes this arrangement should be allowed for all citizens regardless of the gender of their partner.

    Also arguments should be made on merit and not on ‘history and orthodoxy’. A pattern of beahviour is not right just because a majority agree with it, or because it has been followed for thousands of years. For thousands of years societies thought it was ok to allow slavery or to treat women as inferior in law to men. Does the longevity of such discrimination and abuse legitimise those things. Would segregation in the southern states have been more acceptable if the majority white populations had approved it in referendums?

    If it can be clearly demonstrated why the minority on society who are homosexual in orientation are morally inferior then your arguments should be based on that alone and proved by that alone – not the cop out of saying it’s always been this way , or that most people think that way.

  • Dick Doggins

    Lisburn a city for all…..wellas long as you`re not Catholic, a Migrant or a Homosexual…..

    What a funny little jumped up town…

  • fair_deal

    Young Fogey

    “No, but as you are an active member of the DUP I find it… interesting… that you don’t comment on such an important issue for the DUP.”

    Nice theory, shame about the facts. I am not nor have I been a member of the DUP. The only political party I have been a member of is the Ulster Unionist Party (which I left in November 2003).

  • antonio81roma@hotmail.com

    Lisburn ugly town.Ugly people

  • Young Fogey

    To those wondering if Alliance has popped its clogs on this one, I refer you to:

    http://www.allianceparty.org/news.asp?id=690

  • antonio81roma@hotmail.com

    I thought this was what unionists loved about Britain,Toleration,Muti culturalism,Liberalism.
    So much better than that mono ethnic,mono cultural pathetic Republic.

  • antonio81roma@hotmail.com

    I thought this was what unionists loved about Britain,Toleration,Muti culturalism,Liberalism.
    So much better than that mono ethnic,mono cultural pathetic Republic.