Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Monday 19 May 2008

now, ‘snakes on a train’
is just not ‘snakes on a plane.’
trains; you can jump off.

I had begun to think that the lunatic religious fringe had quietened down lately and were behaving themselves but alas, no. The news this evening was full of the story of the lady registrar from Islington Council who is refusing to marry gay couples as it conflicts with her religious views.
When this was announced I was on the phone to my mother, and had to ask her to repeat what she was saying as the Ugly One was shouting at the TV screen, ‘Go and work somewhere else then, you crazy *****!’
‘Who’s that?’ said Mum.
‘It’s Barry,’ I said. ‘He’s shouting at the TV again.’
Apparently Mildred from South London rang the BBC to say she thought that the registrar had every right to refuse to conduct these ceremonies. No, Mildred. Sorry, luv. She has no right to refuse. It is her job. It is what she is paid to do. Maybe God will give her another job where she doesn’t have to deal with her own prejudices.
Later, no doubt in order to whip up some sort of onscreen storm, the BBC bussed in a representative of Stonewall, the Gay Rights Movement, and a spokesman for the Christian Institute.
Mr Stonewall made the very valid point that if a registrar refused to marry, for instance, an inter-racial couple, then it would be very likely that the registrar would be fired. Mr Christian Institute decided to ignore that point completely and harped on about how this lady had been a registrar for sixteen years and now evil legislation was forcing her to do something contrary to her beliefs.
One has also to ask the question, would any self-respecting gay couple really want to have such a narrow-minded bitter individual conducting their ceremony? I certainly wouldn’t.
Mr Christian Institute then made the point that no-one had been denied a ceremony, but surely, if every registrar in that office held the same religious views (and it is a possibility), people would obviously be denied ceremonies.
Common sense arrived in the form of an e-mail which stated that the vast majority of Christians in this country actually couldn’t give a rats arse about the issue.
I tend to side with them.

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