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When you draw the line, how often can you move it?

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CB27
935874.  Tue Aug 28, 2012 5:17 pm Reply with quote

Recently the Catholic Church in Scotland came out* in opposition to the proposition of allowing gay people to marry.

This is not the only time the church has come out so publicly against gay marriages, and in defending this stance many have even backed the creation of civil unions (or at least tolerated it), to given gay people the ability to have something similar to marriage while not tainting the sanctity of marriage in their eyes.

This has led to a number of countries adopting laws to recognise civil unions in recent years, and extending them to legally recognise same sex unions. Brazil is such a country, where unions became accepted not long ago, and same sex unions started becoming accepted in some states in the last few months. At least religious groups can be happy that marriage is not available to same sex couples, civil unions are not the same.

Now, in Sao Paulo, a judge has allowed a man and two women who have been living together as a threesome for a number of years to have a civil union recognised (this helps any legal complications from separation or death in future).

This has angered religious groups who say this this union should not be allowed to remain in place, their objection it that unions should be between two people only.

Are we allowed to keep moving the line everytime it is drawn? Why is it OK to allow same sex civil unions as a way for the various religions to keep marriage for themelves, but they can now interfere with civil unions when they don't agree with them as well?


* Excuse the pun, too inviting...

 
Spud McLaren
935876.  Tue Aug 28, 2012 5:31 pm Reply with quote

It's an imaginary line, so you can't move it; it isn't there.

Where religious groups draw their imaginary lines is a constant source of amusement to many of us, in the peregrinations it causes when events force them to reconsider; that's their concern. For the rest of us, we each draw our own individual lines and "move" or erase them as we see fit.

Or to put it more succinctly, I don't give a toss what religious groups think.

 
CB27
935882.  Tue Aug 28, 2012 6:13 pm Reply with quote

You would if they impeded on your rights.

 
Spud McLaren
935883.  Tue Aug 28, 2012 6:24 pm Reply with quote

I daresay; but in this case in Sao Paulo the judge has deemed that a menage a trois is legal, and the Church is reacting against the judgement. I assume that what they say currently holds no sway; and if it did, there's nothing currently stopping the three individuals concerned from continuing to live together. Admittedly, if they were denied the legal status of a civil union it would affect the way they'd be able to write their wills; but at the moment the Church is just agitating.

Or am I wrong?

 
CB27
935887.  Tue Aug 28, 2012 6:44 pm Reply with quote

The church has a lot more power in countries like Brazil than the UK, when they start campaigning it's difficult to inore them as mere agitants.

 
Spud McLaren
935992.  Wed Aug 29, 2012 1:39 pm Reply with quote

That's a fair point you make.

And yet...Brazil seems to have laws that are more liberal than the UK's in this regard. Brazillian law permits, with the approval of a state judge, a civil union (of a same-sex couple) to be converted into a same sex marriage.

But the case does bring up a few questions. What is the status of a civil union, and what is it for? Apparently it's to ensure that rights applying in traditional marriages - including adoption, welfare benefits pension, inheritance tax, income tax, social security, health benefits, immigration, joint property ownership, hospital and prison visitation, IVF and surrogacy - can also apply in stable same-sex relationships. In short, it grants the rights and(presumably) duties normally conferred under marriage, but stopping short of marriage. So how does it stand constitutionally on a 3-way relationship when 3-way relationships are prevented under bigamy laws from being state-sanctioned?

 
bobwilson
936992.  Mon Sep 03, 2012 10:44 pm Reply with quote

Hang on a second

Here we have three people who have voluntarily entered into an arrangement between themselves.

What do the Catholic Church, or the State of Brazil, have to do with it?

Unless the three people concerned have recognised the State of Brazil or the Catholic Church as arbiters – how the fuck do those latter consider they have the right to even comment, let alone arbitrate, on the state of affairs?

Oh sorry – I forgot – Tony Blair in his position as Prime Minister and member of the Catholic Church has an absolute right to expound on every aspect of my personal life.

When are you people going to wake up to the fact that, absent a signed commitment, nobody has agreed to being a part of either a nation or a church.

As someone born within the boundaries of what is recognised as the UK I'm happy to go along with the laws which are for the general good. I'm equally happy to say “fuck off” to any laws with which I don't agree. I should mention that I can't see a good reason for any law which precludes the immediate termination of the life of Peter Mandelson – as wastes of oxygen go, that moron seems to be a major threat to life on Earth.

Who cares whether Brazil has more liberal laws? The only liberal law is “would you like to join our club” - anything more stringent is illiberal by definition. Did I join your club? I don't remember doing so. Did you conscript me into your club in an illiberal manner?

If you insist I join your club then don't be offended when I use my membership to gain access to the luminaries and subject them to my ire.

 
CB27
936993.  Tue Sep 04, 2012 12:21 am Reply with quote

That's one of the dumbest rants ever. Seriously, what was that shit?

It's easy to say "I'm happy to go along with the laws which are for the general good. I'm equally happy to say “fuck off” to any laws with which I don't agree." and it's not the first time you've espoused this crap about "not agreeing to the rules" that a nation puts on you.

Yeah, it's easy when you're not born in some backwater scrap of land with no access to clean water, medicine, justice, roads, etc. You take all these things, and more, for granted and think they magically appeared the moment you blinked your eyes for the first time.

Ooh, you're such a rebel for not obeying all the rules such as.... not paying the TV license. Yes, that's the kind of rebel action that will bring change our society for the better, as well as whining about it and "not joining the club"

This is not a story about a trio of people who can't live together without any hassle from government or church, they've been left to live their life as they want to. No, this is a story about them wanting official recognition by the government so they can have certain rights and benefits only a government can give (nothing stops them from writing wills, having joint bank accounts, etc, to benefit themselves), and it's about the church interfering with government and these people's official rights (at least you seem to have grasped that last part in part of your rant).

 
CB27
936994.  Tue Sep 04, 2012 12:25 am Reply with quote

Rereading that, I can see my tone is a bit harsher that usual, but it's early morning and my tolerance levels are lower than usual at this time of the day, so I don't have the patience to go back and edit it.

 
CB27
936996.  Tue Sep 04, 2012 12:33 am Reply with quote

Going back to spud's post, I have to admit I've no idea how bigamy laws can work together with allowing a 3 way union under their laws, or under the laws in the UK or elsewhere.

I think there is an obvious difference between bigamy and a threesome, and one way I think could overcome it is if the registration for the union had to be signed by all three parties in front of witnesses to show it was really a mutual relationship. Obviously several laws and regulations will also need to be reviewed to incorporate any change.

 
Alfred E Neuman
937023.  Tue Sep 04, 2012 4:36 am Reply with quote

CB27 wrote:
Rereading that, I can see my tone is a bit harsher that usual, but it's early morning and my tolerance levels are lower than usual at this time of the day, so I don't have the patience to go back and edit it.


Nah, it looks fine to me.

 
Efros
937038.  Tue Sep 04, 2012 5:44 am Reply with quote

bobwilson wrote:
I should mention that I can't see a good reason for any law which precludes the immediate termination of the life of Peter Mandelson – as wastes of oxygen go, that moron seems to be a major threat to life on Earth.



Guffaw!

 
PDR
937045.  Tue Sep 04, 2012 6:54 am Reply with quote

bobwilson wrote:
I should mention that I can't see a good reason for any law which precludes the immediate termination of the life of Peter Mandelson – as wastes of oxygen go, that moron seems to be a major threat to life on Earth.


If he ever met you I'm fairly sure he would feel much the same about you, and that would be one of the few areas where he might look to garner a significant popular mandate.

Lay off the bottle, Bob - it's not doing you any good.

PDR

 
suze
937088.  Tue Sep 04, 2012 10:47 am Reply with quote

CB27 wrote:
Going back to spud's post, I have to admit I've no idea how bigamy laws can work together with allowing a 3 way union under their laws, or under the laws in the UK or elsewhere.


They wouldn't work together in the UK. Bigamous marriage is a criminal offence in the UK, and so is entering into a civil partnership while lawfully married or in an existing civil partnership. (Civil Partnership Act 2004) That has been tested in court - in 2007, a woman who entered into a civil partnership while already married to a man was convicted of an offence and received a suspended jail sentence.

But in Brazil, it may be less clear cut. All of Brazil has civil partnerships, and a few states (including São Paulo) have same sex marriage. But Brazilian law also recognizes that a vast number of "informal" marriages take place in the country.

It is tacitly accepted that many of the favelas are beyond the reach of official law enforcement, and de facto they govern themselves. The drug lords usually have multiple wives, and no attempt is made to prevent this. Much the same is true of remote areas inhabited mostly by indigenous persons, while it is apparently also common for long distance truckers to have a wife and family at each end of their route.

British people find the notion of informal law a difficult one to understand. As a Vancouverite, it's not quite so alien to me (it will never be stated in so many words, but marijuana is nearly legal in Vancouver) - but Brazil takes it to whole new levels. And thus bigamy is only a little bit illegal !

 
CB27
937118.  Tue Sep 04, 2012 12:53 pm Reply with quote

I think when looking at relationships in the UK, Canada, US, etc, and comparing it to Brazil, we need to be wary.

When I was there, and in my frequent contacts with family there, it never fails to shock me how passe people are with the idea of married men having mistresses, and in many cases those mistresses are like their "other wife". It's not seen as bigamy, it's recognised as something outside the marriage.

In terms of favelas being out of reach of the law, I don't know about Sao Paulo and other cities, but in Rio there's been a massive push for several years now to bring the favelas under the control of the city, and in many areas it seems to work (there are still some places that are difficult). The last couple of times I've been to Rio, it's been noticable that you don't see as many kites flying around as years ago (kites were used to relay signals for gangs in the favelas, still popular today because police can listen in to phone conversations).

 

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