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Well, it's not all good news :-(
#11
spottiness Wrote:TwakPersonally I hold USA responsible for all the evil in the world and 50% of the good. American voters, more than half of them dont know what vote or stand for. When it comes to religious voters is even worse , they preach love and acceptance for every one and then they get peoples rights away. Twak

Idiocy holds strong in US. If there is one hypocrite society that's it.
2 words: Dark ages!


this is my personal opinion so read it at your your risk.Poke
You Mr spotysocks have offended me personally some of us are not up to your proper English standards. Stop and think we as a country are a lot younger than your are . You are arrogant by saying my beloved country is in the dark ages.
If you cant say some thing nice keep your mouth shut an old wise tell from the dark ages.
#12
spotysocks Wrote:TwakPersonally I hold USA responsible for all the evil in the world and 50% of the good. American voters, more than half of them dont know what vote or stand for. When it comes to religious voters is even worse , they preach love and acceptance for every one and then they get peoples rights away. Twak

Idiocy holds strong in US. If there is one hypocrite society that's it.
2 words: Dark ages!

fjp999 Wrote:I am guessing some of this is in jest Lol2 but kinda difficult to tell??? I am certainly not an American apologist - far from it BUT

I do hope it was in jest and Spotty Socks is not genuinely suggesting, for example, the vile and oppressive regime in North Korea is either not evil or America's fault.

fjp999 Wrote:did a quick google on voter turnout and though USA is not very good the British turnout is not much better! Research was done on British who did not turn out to vote and the answers given seem to be about the same as in the USA.

I think Spotty Socks was referring to how Americans vote rather than whether they vote at all. In any case it seems to me better that people don't vote than vote without giving it the thought it deserves. Democracy should mean more than putting a tick (or cross) in a box every few years.

fjp999 Wrote:My fav channel over here is called C-SPAN which shows our government live & unfiltered without any commercials. When the gov is not in session the two channels cover various political events including Prime Ministers Questioning (I think that is what it is called)... Election nite coverage and the day after covered international news programming.

FYI Its Prime Minister's Question Time. Essentially its purely political theatre, but if you like politics it can be quite good.

fjp999 Wrote:I found a program from the BBC News which asked when you all would elect a black Prime Minister. It didnt seem very likely from the people interviewed. Seems that minorities in Parliament is pretty low - Vaz for more ethnic minorities in British parliament - TheIndianStar.com "Vaz is one of only 14 ethnic minority MPs in a parliament with 646 seats. According to the last census taken in 2001, some seven percent of Britain's 60-million population are ethnic minorities, which would translate to more than 45 parliamentary seats."

First a nitpick. We do not elect Prime Ministers, we elect MPs. Prime Ministers are appointed my HM The Queen, although usually the short list of those who could actually form a Government has only one name on it. Anyway, I would not read too much into the number of ethnic minority MPs. Women remain very under-represented in Parliament even though they are in a slight majority in the country as a whole (125 out of 645 seats). Yet despite that we have had a woman Prime Minister, before Thatcher was elected most people thought there was no way a woman would become Prime Minister, we proved ourselves wrong. I suspect no one will predict an ethnic minority PM until shortly before it happens.

fjp999 Wrote:*lame attempt at humor: Not sure what qualifies as the Dark Ages but at least the USA did away with YOUR Royal family a LONG time ago Party


You did not do away with the Royal Family. The Continental Congress adopted the declaration of independence in 1776 and with French help managed to successfully fight a war to secure your independence, the Royal Family however continued. We however did get rid of the Royal Family in 1649 but changed our minds back again in 1660.
#13
marshlander Wrote:California votes to ban gay marriage - Times Online

Star Twister Wrote:I had seen that as well, else where.......

so sad


I kinda agree with SS

Dark Ages indeed


xxx

With respect, California enacted its Domestic Partner law in 1999 the UK's Civil Partnership Act wasn't passed until 2004. Earlier this year the California Supreme Court discovered that a right to gay marriage existed in the state's constitution even though no-one including their predessors had found it before. The majority of Califnornians sadly thought this should not be the case, and specifically ammened the consitution to say so. The domestic partnership law remains, sad but hardly the Dark Ages.

Surely of far more concern is all those states where gays and lesbians have no legal recognition for their relationships at all.
#14
Yar... that is my opinion so read on your own risk Thumbgrin

Sorry i offended and i genuinely assure you i have no intention whatsoever to offend It is easy to call someone arrogant when they say something we dont like or hurt and that alone is a source where problems come from and poor communication. there is no way i am gonna keep my mouth shut when it comes to something i feel strong about that is the American way and look where it got you! Sometime there isnt something good to say but needs to be addressed. You were quick though to turn and do the same thing you mistakenly thought i did. Arrogance!

The intention however is just to verbalise how fed up and tired political tactics that effect not only minorities as the gay community can be described as but all planet earth makes me feel. Making peoples life difficult taking their rights off and the inability to adjust the society of now with the needs of today, respect everyones freedoms and progress to me is dark ages!!!
There are no 'uk high standards' or else i judge you from dear...and if it is important for you to know i am not British. Shall i tell you i am greek so you find something demining to say? Anyway yar... I guess there is a little taste of how people like me with an independent mind might feel towards such situations. It is a young country which is now the 'super power'. There is not any good way to describe what it is going to wars every so often , and the recent one to fight terrorism and disarm a bomb no where to be found and without the UN approval. UK was part of it too. People must start thinking of what agenda there might be behind such actions and turn things around!!!

Anyway , i have to go at work now! Regards and all the best Rolleyes


Time spent being less than happy is time waistedWavey

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#15
Wow! Who'd have thought a discussion on GaySpeak could be allowed to generate some passion! Thank you moderators for not shutting it down, to Spoty, for tossing a log on the fire and to Yar for taking up the challenge. I'd also like to thank Fred for his customary informed contributions.

Of course, Fred is right to remind us that the US states that have failed to provide any legal recognition of same-sex relationships should be censured. My original post was simply to bring to attention the other vote that was happening in California and which I thought would be of interest to this forum. My anger and frustration at the outcome of this particular vote was on behalf of those Californians who have gone through several years yo-yoing between being able to marry and then being told their marriages are no longer recognised. I don't see how that is good for anyone. :frown:

Would it help me understand the law-making system in the USA if I saw it as more akin to a European, rather than an English, model (I say "English" bearing in mind that other nations in the so-called UK often have different laws in specific areas)? I guess I get confused by thinking of the United States as a single country ... Wink Member states of the European Community are subject to European law, but in many cases retain a right to veto in certain areas. They will also have their own cultures, societies and legislature. Whilst it is possible for same sex couples to marry in Holland, Belgium and Spain I don't suppose we'll be seeing gay couples walking down the aisle any time soon in Poland. In the UK we have a typically British compromise where we have marriage in just about everything but name. We just call it "civil partnership".

To follow up Frank and Fred's discussion, we do indeed vote for local candidates during a general election (an election for which the outcome will be to see who governs the country). Would-be members of Parliament will stand for election as a member of a political party or as an independent candidate in all of the country's 646 constituencies. They are elected if they poll a simple majority. The party (it is always a party, in practice) that gets the most members elected will then be asked by the Queen to form a government. The leader of the winning party will usually become the prime minister (the one-name shortlist referred to by Fred). To reinforce Fred's observation, we do not vote directly for a prime minister. We do, however, vote for someone who we think will represent our interests locally. The choice of who stands as a candidate is down to selection rules that apply to each party. Inevitably, those chosen will be selected by party activists. Whether I think an individual would do a good job or not as prime minister is irrelevant. I am not part of the process. Prospective candidates are selected by committees of old-guard activists, pitted in local elections against the other candidates. Conferences of the parties at large will vote for leaders. The leader, if a member of the winning party at a general election, will become prime minister.

Re Frank's comments about the member for Leicester East (Keith Vaz), I would suggest there is no chance that he would ever become prime minister. His record within the Labour Party is far too controversial for them ever to risk electing him as party leader.

For anyone interested, the 2005 general election map is on the BBC website BBC NEWS | Election 2005 | Election Map
#16
marshlander Wrote:Wow! Who'd have thought a discussion on GaySpeak could be allowed to generate some passion! Thank you moderators for not shutting it down, to Spoty, for tossing a log on the fire and to Yar for taking up the challenge. I'd also like to thank Fred for his customary informed contributions.

I agree, thanks to the moderators for not shutting this down. Marshlander is too kind in his descriptions of my postings, I would tend to describe them as half relevant facts cobbled together in the hope of creating the appearance of a decent argument.

marshlander Wrote:My original post was simply to bring to attention the other vote that was happening in California and which I thought would be of interest to this forum.

And thank you for starting the discussion [general mutual backslapping]. Indeed I would go so far as to suggest that it was, from our point of view, more important than the Presidential vote. I would suggest that overall it was a very bad night for gay rights in the US. For those interested may I suggest you read this posting from a Conservative gay blog in the US.

marshlander Wrote:My anger and frustration at the outcome of this particular vote was on behalf of those Californians who have gone through several years yo-yoing between being able to marry and then being told their marriages are no longer recognised. I don't see how that is good for anyone. :frown:

Unfortunately, such can be the nature of the American law making system, or rather systems

marshlander Wrote:Would it help me understand the law-making system in the USA if I saw it as more akin to a European, rather than an English, model (I say "English" bearing in mind that other nations in the so-called UK often have different laws in specific areas)? I guess I get confused by thinking of the United States as a single country ... Wink Member states of the European Community are subject to European law, but in many cases retain a right to veto in certain areas. They will also have their own cultures, societies and legislature. Whilst it is possible for same sex couples to marry in Holland, Belgium and Spain I don't suppose we'll be seeing gay couples walking down the aisle any time soon in Poland. In the UK we have a typically British compromise where we have marriage in just about everything but name. We just call it "civil partnership".

Apologies if this answer is rather long.

The EU and the US are both federal in structure. That is to say there is a central federal government and a number of member states (of the federation). Power is shared between the Federal Government (read European Commission, European Council, Council of Ministers & European Parliament for the EU example) and the government of the member states. A constitution (of sorts for the EU) prescribes how those powers are distributed and allows the Federal Government to over-rule the governments of the states with regard to certain specified issues. For example, in both the US and the EU marriage, including same-sex, is a matter for the states. In both the US and the EU member states have to recognise each others marriages in general, Britain can't believe that Dutch marriages just aren't proper marriages (for the US read 'full faith and credit'). That said member states aren't forced to recognise marriages performed in other member states that just wouldn't be valid if performed in their own. The Defence of Marriage Act (DOMA, US Federal Law) expressly permits states not to recognise gay marriages performed by other states. (Some legal scholars have argued this part of DOMA to be utterly redundant legislation, if the US constitution mandates that they be recognised then its constitutional and liable to be declared so by the US Supreme Court, if the US constitution does not mandate such recognition then its just pointless double legislation.) I should at this point mention that DOMA also prevents the US Federal Government from recognising gay marriages (for example, in tax returns), this is a distinct difference from the EU example as the EU in terms of its federal government does not AFAIK recognise in any practical way any particular couples marriage.

This brings up another important difference between the US and the EU examples. The US has a federal Constitution (Capital C) that over-rules ordinary federal law (and indeed state constitutions and state laws), the EU has no equivalent Constitution (Capital C), the so called constitutional treaty would only have modified the effective working constitution (small c) of the EU, it would not have been law that over-ruled subsequent ordinary EU law. Similarly, the states of the US each have their own state Constitution which similarly over-rules ordinary state law, but the England has no equivalent Constitution (Capital C).

However little of this federal type stuff has been driving the chopping and changing of the status of gay couples in California. This has been driven by the nature of the Californian legislative system, the nature of which I am not familiar enough on to comment on beyond the following: California has a state Constitution that can over-rule ordinary state law (as mentioned above), both ordinary state law and the state Constitution can be changed by simple voter initiatives (collect enough signatures, get it on the ballot, it will come up for a vote on election day). Changes to ordinary state law enacted by the state legislature can be vetoed by the Governor (a former body-builder and bad actor of Austrian origin who has crossed words with London Mayor Boris Johnson). In fact the legislature had indeed passed gay marriage type legislation but was vetoed by the Governor who said that it should wait for the outcome of the Supreme Court case which in turn triggered this ballot initiative of which we are upset about.

Clear as mud? Anyone who would like to point out any errors or omissions in the above is most welcome to do so.

marshlander Wrote:Re Frank's comments about the member for Leicester East (Keith Vaz), I would suggest there is no chance that he would ever become prime minister. His record within the Labour Party is far too controversial for them ever to risk electing him as party leader.

Agreed no chance for Vaz. If you want a ethnic minority MP in the Labour party with a chance of maybe one day becoming Party Leader then I suggest David Lammy MP for Tottenham, Privy Councillor and Minister of State for Higher Education and Intellectual Property.

P.S. What do you mean 'so-called UK'?
#17
america are stuck in dark ages maybe obama will turn the light on?

kindest regards

zeon x
#18
It's the 21st Century and yet we are stepping back in direction?

I honestly do not know what to say. I can not conjure any comment, because I am shocked that this has been allowed. I understand the USA are much more, how can we say it... deeply religious than over here, but this is just pathetic.

Makes me feel proud to live in England.
#19
fredv3b Wrote:... P.S. What do you mean 'so-called UK'?
Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions Confusedmile:

I say so-called, because there are differences in the law in the countries of the UK. In that sense it doesn't strike me as totally "united". Scotland often does things differently from England and Wales. As an example, an area I know a little about (i.e. education) does not have a national curriculum for the UK, but four quite different sets of legal requirements; one each for England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. There have also been differences in the application of the law relating to civil partnerships, although these may just have been matters of timing.
#20
I've just read the blog to which Fred linked. If you haven't seen it yet I would urge you to have a look at it.

:frown:


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