Wednesday, June 28, 2017

The final stand against same sex marriage in Germany

National elections are coming later in 2017 in Germany, and the country has a new political hot topic: same sex marriage, or - slightly pejorative - "Homo-Ehe" (gay marriage).

The last time German proponents of "marriage for all" got their hopes up was a couple of years ago when famously christian conservative Republic of Ireland citizens overwhelmingly voted to legalize gay marriage.

Even some conservative German politicians were somewhat stung by the fact that tiny Ireland would leapfrog Europe's leading power in the social rights arena. The Berlin coalition of Christian Democrats/Christian Social Union and Social Democrats reacted in typically German fashion.

Which is: loud public proclamations of the German commitment to equal rights for all combined with action that falls well short of the lofty statements.

Germany did introduce registered partnerships for same sex partners in 2001 but left out major areas that married couples take for granted, for example adoption rights. So, it too many more changes to approach equality, but even after the Irish upheaval, German civil unions are not fully equal to marriage.

The Social Democrats, in the doldrums after having been hammered in earlier state contests, remembered their unwavering commitment to same sex marriage and called for a parliament vote before the national elections.

Conservatives were caught off guard - like when you discover the only condom you have has a big hole in it, or the single remaining battery of a vibrator goes out just as you reach "the home stretch".

Because, make no mistake about it, to conservative opponents of same sex marriage it really is all about the suspicion that gays and lesbians have more fun than they do.

Why else would they continue to oppose same sex marriage when the public is overwhelmingly in favor?

The final argument against same sex marriage it that these relationships are not equal to heterosexual marriage. Yes, the German constitution puts the institution of marriage under special protection by the state.

But successive governments have changed the treasured constitution multiple times when they felt like it.

Or ignored the constitution altogether, most famously after reunification, the event that very constitution declared as the point in time when the German people would write a new, permanent constitution that would be put to a referendum.

The conservatives now trotting out the special protection were the ones who ignored the political scripture's most important provision. By the way, that happened under chancellor Kohl, who was recently celebrated as the pinnacle of European democracy.

What else do opponents have?

A pernicious equal rights argument that goes as follows: men and women have equal rights but we don't start using the same term for them.

To the blogster, this is hilarious because any regular reader of the K-Landnews knows that the blogster goes as "it"*. And it is proud of its trail blazing role.

Yet, what stings conservatives most it the change of heart, for lack of a better term, displayed by Chancellor Merkel. In another Merkelian move, she suddenly declared the stance on same sex marriage to be a "matter of conscience" after the Social Democrat call for a vote prior to dissolution of the current parliament created an unexpected media buzz.

Will the federal parliament vote to make same sex marriage legal before the Fall election?

Summer recess is approaching fast, and after that, only a few months are left before the election.

The blogster is not sure that conservatives will bite the condom before that. They will try their best - or rather worst - to stall.

[Update] That was quick. The press reports that the German federal parliament is to vote on same sex marriage this Friday, two days from today, and that passage of the measure can be safely assumed.

[Update] The Catholic bishops still don't like the concept of same sex marriage and warn that the "procreation of life" is in danger when traditional marriage is no longer exclusive.
In a nice but only superficial twist, the current head of the German conference of bishops is a Mr. Marx.

No relation to the original Marx could be found. Although this would not be the first time that a progressive family has reactionary offspring.

[Update 6/30/2017] The deed is done.  Same sex couples in Germany will no longer "be German equal", a term the blogster just made up to describe the warped definition of equal often used in this country, where something can be equal and not have equal rights because some rights are slightly re-cast as being outside of the scope of "equal". For "equal" same sex couples, this included the tax and retirement regimes until Germany's highest court declared the practice illegal in 2013.

Chancellor Merkel took a stand today and voted "no" on same sex marriage, saying that the constitution protected marriage between a man and a woman.

The blogster has a perfectly German solution for the Merkellian problem: two asterisks and a short text footnote on marriage forms.

Spouse 1 *     Spouse 2*
and add
* For the purposes of the German constitutional definition, Spouse1 shall be deemed the woman, Spouse 2 the man.

See how easy that is? It works exactly in the same manner as previous definitions of "equal", except this time in favor of same sex couples.

And so fucking German.

And while we are on so fucking German, the conservative daily Frankfurter Allgemeine ran a "guest article" today, which pulled out all the evil stereotypes, including allusions to a tendency of child abuse by the gays, yeah. Woke users like caught the crappy piece.

* As in Gender Neutral.

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