Thursday, 26 February 2009

Equal rites, or just marital madness?

Thank goodness for Brenda Cannell – the only MHK with the gumption to ask an obvious question. i.e. ‘Why SHOULD the clergy's right to refuse to perform a marriage ceremony for a transsexual be enshrined in law?’
Sadly, she doesn’t appear to have actually asked it during the Keys debate. Even sadder, her colleagues wasted time with far dumber questions. See for more.
For example, Geoff Corkish, the duly elected timewaster for Douglas West, who asked: 'Given that a member of the clergy cannot be compelled to conduct a marriage service where at least one partner has changed sex, if the person concerned withholds that and you can be fined £5,000 for making an un-authorised disclosure, doesn't this constitute a fine for telling the truth?'
Geoff, I know you used to do PR for the Steam Packet, so you have all the intellectual capacity of a short plank, but the answer is ‘No, it’s still illegal, even for an over-privileged, cross-dressing, superstitious windbag’.
Furthermore, the very purpose of the bill is to ensure the basic human rights of transsexuals, including the right to marry, therefore a transsexual has no need to give ammunition to a certified bigot, and it is none of said certified bigot’s damn business anyway.
Got that?
Actually, the more I think about it, the more I wonder why any sane person chooses a church marriage.
Think about it – if you were signing the contract to buy your home and the advocate started talking to an imaginary friend, what would you do? Even amongst Manx advocates (some of whom are demonstrably unbalanced and only in practice because of family ties), such behaviour will get you a stay in a nice room with padded walls.
Yet we think nothing of it when (sometimes not even with a shotgun pointed by an angry father) adult couples legally commit themselves to a lifetime together at a ceremony overseen only by a bloke who asks them to make their pledge using a fictional character as their witness.
If you think there’s equality before the law in the Isle of Man, let’s test it.
Try getting married here by a bloke dressed as a white rabbit, using Winnie the Pooh as your witness.

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