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This just in...
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Laura V



Joined: 23 Mar 2007
Posts: 302
Location: UK

PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2008 3:27 am    Post subject: Re: This Just In Reply with quote

Susan/DC wrote:
He also said that in Massachusetts the number of gay people who have applied for marriage licenses are disproportionately female, so it seems as if it's true that women want to be married more than men do. This is something that rom coms and comedians have said for years, but it's not something easily proved if the only people who can get married are heterosexuals. OTOH, since married men live longer and according to most surveys are happier than single men (or married women), it's always struck me as odd that men don't want to marry.


According to national statistics, the opposite has been the case in the UK:
Quote:
More men than women formed civil partnerships. In 2006, 60 per cent of all civil partners were male compared with 66 per cent in December 2005. In England, 9,913 male and 6,260 female partnerships were formed up to the end of 2006. The corresponding figures were 633 and 498 in Scotland, 318 and 309 in Wales and 71 and 57 in Northern Ireland.

Male civil partners tended to be older than female civil partners. The average age at formation in the UK in 2006 was 47 for men and 44 for women compared with 54 and 46 in December 2005.


Of course, this doesn't take into account the possibility that there are more gay men than lesbian women, but I'm not sure there are figures for how large each of those groups are, so it's difficult to work out the proportion of each group which enters into civil partnerships.

One might also want to look at the proportions of bisexual men and bisexual women who enter into civil unions, but that wouldn't necessarily tell one a great deal about attitudes towards committed relationships since they'd have been able to enter into marriages in the past if they were involved in heterosexual relationships, and so it would only be bisexual people in same-sex relationships who would be appearing in the figures for civil partnerships.
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Yuri



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 291

PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2008 10:13 pm    Post subject: Re: This Just In Reply with quote

Laura V wrote:
Of course, this doesn't take into account the possibility that there are more gay men than lesbian women, but I'm not sure there are figures for how large each of those groups are, so it's difficult to work out the proportion of each group which enters into civil partnerships.


Not sure where I picked this up from but if I remember correctly of the male population 2% are gay and 1% is bi, and for the female 1% are gay and 2% are bi. I am happy to be corrected if someone has better information Smile
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Laura V



Joined: 23 Mar 2007
Posts: 302
Location: UK

PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2008 3:16 am    Post subject: Re: This Just In Reply with quote

Yuri wrote:
Not sure where I picked this up from but if I remember correctly of the male population 2% are gay and 1% is bi, and for the female 1% are gay and 2% are bi. I am happy to be corrected if someone has better information Smile


I've gone and done a bit more searching and found this about the UK:
Quote:
In 1990, 93.3% of men said they had only ever had sexual attraction towards the opposite sex, whilst by 2000 this had fallen to 91.9%. 93.6% of women in 1990 said they had only ever been attracted to men, but by 2000 this had dropped to 88.3%. From this we can therefore deduce that 11.7% of women and 8.1% of men have felt a sexual attraction towards the same sex at least once in their lives.
but they also say that

Quote:
It is very difficult to calculate even the approximate number of gay people, and in estimating even roughly how many gay people there are anywhere, the following points have to be kept in mind:

* How many people we estimate are homosexual depends on how we define homosexuality.
* Many more people experience sexual feelings for someone of the same sex than report recent sexual experience with someone of the same sex.
* Because homosexuality is stigmatised it is more likely to be under than over reported.


Of course, people may feel or act on a sexual attraction towards someone of their own sex but still not identify as "gay" "lesbian" or "bisexual". There are some 2005 Government statistics (via The Telegraph):

Quote:
One in 16 Britons is homosexual, say the first such figures compiled by the Government.

It means that six per cent of the population - about 3.6 million people - are gay or lesbian.

Whitehall actuaries calculated the figure as one in 16.66 while analysing the financial implications of the new Civil Partnerships Act, which allows same-sex partners to "marry" and gives them similar rights to married couples in areas such as tax, pensions and inheritance.


Giving up on the statistics, I also came across a human interest story about a couple who've had to wait decades to get legal recognition of their relationship:
Quote:
for Roger and Percy it has been 40 years of waiting. They were introduced through a matchmaking friend who thought the young academic and Percy, a South-Africa born actor, would get on like a house on fire. They soon realised they wanted to spend their lives together.

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Mark



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 1392

PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2008 9:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

At a meeting Saturday I got a sample of the kind of fact-free fear-mongering propaganda being spread by opponents of gay marriage. I haven’t read anything that divorced from reality in years (speaking as a regular reader of F&SF). The sample was passed out to alert several ministers in the group to what they might run into.
Legal gay marriages started in California yesterday and the world didn’t end.
My local paper reported that more than 100 gay marriages were held in San Diego county yesterday.
The opposition from some people reminds me if the cliché: “I destroyed X in order to save it”. Rather than perform gay marriages, the county clerks in some counties in California closed down all marriages in their counties.
I believe the percentage of couples in Europe who bother to marry is much lower than in the USA. I wonder if all the furor supposedly to “defend” marriage will end up leading to less marriages in the USA the way the religious wars of a few centuries ago contributed to more secular (less religious) modern European culture.
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Laura V



Joined: 23 Mar 2007
Posts: 302
Location: UK

PostPosted: Thu Jun 19, 2008 3:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mark wrote:
I believe the percentage of couples in Europe who bother to marry is much lower than in the USA. I wonder if all the furor supposedly to “defend” marriage will end up leading to less marriages in the USA the way the religious wars of a few centuries ago contributed to more secular (less religious) modern European culture.


One thing that always astonishes me is how important religion is in US elections. Here in the UK it's pretty much seen as a private matter/a matter of conscience and Prime Ministers rarely mention God, and it's certainly not an issue that I've been aware of during election campaigns. In fact, when Mrs Thatcher gave a speech to the Church of Scotland about sin it caused outrage (it really wasn't seen as appropriate for her to be lecturing them on this topic) and when Tony Blair seemed to be hinting that God had told him to go to war in Iraq there was outrage from many, and even an MP who supported him admitted that it wouldn't increase Blair's popularity:
Quote:
"If this was anything to do with trying to appeal to the electorate, he wouldn't be so excruciatingly honest," he said.

"If he was trying to go that awful American route of guns, gods and gays and try to link politics to religion, then he wouldn't be doing it this way."


That quote's rather telling when it comes to highlighting the perceived difference between the US and UK on the place (or lack of it) that religion should have in political discourse.

It seems really bizarre that in the US, where there's supposed to be separation of Church and State, there's actually more mention of religion in politics, and more focus on politician's religious views, than in the UK, where there isn't a separation of Church and State.
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Kass



Joined: 23 Mar 2007
Posts: 722
Location: under a cockatiel

PostPosted: Thu Jun 19, 2008 8:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's about time. I can't believe CA let Massachusetts scoop them on this one. Now all we have to do is work toward making it legal everywhere in the States, so it becomes so commonplace that when the fiftieth state legalizes day marriage, the news is "It took them that long?" not "OMG they'z lettin gayz marry!"
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Mark



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 1392

PostPosted: Thu Jun 19, 2008 7:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Perhaps an American split personality tendency partially explains what Laura V mentioned. I recall years ago reading something that mentioned American culture having both Apollonian and Dionysian aspects (or puritanical and prurient). Perhaps the founders of this country realized we needed to build the separation of church and state into our Constitution because of theocratic segments of our culture.
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dick



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 2508

PostPosted: Fri Jun 20, 2008 9:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Religion has been a problematic element in politics for centuries, in England as well as in the U.S. and in Iraq. I think, in fact, that the more or less unsuccessful attempt to separate them in the U.S. arose from the conflicts the mix presented in England, from the 16th C. and before. That the British take less note of them in their political campaigns today is perhaps more from having learned from experience as much as that church and state are one, although that fait accompli would tend to make religion a less volatile subject, I would think.
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Allyson



Joined: 23 Mar 2007
Posts: 567

PostPosted: Fri Jun 20, 2008 6:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The stand of opposing gay marriage has always baffled me--I just can't see it as anything more than people trying to legI alize their uncomfortable reaction. I don't see any problem at all with allowing religious organizations or anyone else from NOT performing them, but I can't think of any reason at all not to allow the same benefits--medical, legal and so on. Men and women are supposed to be equal under the law, and so should be able to legally marry a man or a woman.

'Keeping society the way it is', 'protecting heterosexual marriage' and so on...maybe it's where I'm from, but those arguments don't make sense to me. Protecting marriage from what? Marriage has experienced plenty of changes over the centuries, and customs vary from culture to culture already.

I am against forcing organizations to marry anyone if they dont' feel comfortable with it, but I don't see how it's better to forbid organizations that DO want to do this.
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LisaW



Joined: 05 Apr 2007
Posts: 173

PostPosted: Wed Jun 25, 2008 1:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Allyson wrote:
The stand of opposing gay marriage has always baffled me--I just can't see it as anything more than people trying to legI alize their uncomfortable reaction.


Since marriage was meant to protect the offspring of the coupling of the man and woman involved, this is one reason to find a reason to oppose. Same sex coupling does not produce offspring.

Then there is the complaint of "My partner of many years got sick and his family, who hasn't bothered with him/her for years, stepped in and has taken over, not even letting me visit" or similar. If you're partners and you want to have medical protection ... sign a medical power of attorney. You're protected. If you have joint property or want to make sure whatever you have goes to your partner ... sign a will.

Actually legalized, government involved marriage is more about getting fees (notice, those marriage licenses are free and you can't file for divorce without a fee) than rights. The point that a same-sex couple should have the same rights to employer provided insurance, government taxing benefits, etc. -- well, the government can modify the tax rules. And employers don't have a mandate to provide benefits. They do it, really, only to attract employees. Employer provided health insurance actually came into play during WWII because there was a government mandate about salaries -- they didn't want companies boosting salaries to entice workers from one war-needed company to another. Hence Insurance was provided as an extra.

My biggest problem with the idea that same sex marriage should be legalized to give the partners the same rights as hetero marriage partners -- hey, why should I have to say I'm gay if I want those same rights? Give "household" partners those rights ... and you'd probably find more single parents living together in a manner that provides children with more parenting. Example: Two single moms, one who makes a really good living, one who only is "getting by" pair up. The worker works, the other becomes a stay at home mom ... or only has to work part time with the kidlets in school. Health coverage for the blended family. No extra child care charges for each. But, to get this, they have to "get married?"

I'm more for a legal contractual situation for gays and lesbians than "marriage."
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