Marriage, Partnership and Inequality

23 February 2011

Today I came across Nick’s piece on sosogay about Facebook’s addition of “in a civil partnership” to their relationship status list:

The thing is, for the last five years I felt Facebook already did recognise my relationship. I’m married. My husband was listed as just that. There was no fanfare, except the day or so after our big day when I changed my status from engaged, and then it was from our friends. Then just last week I updated my status again, this time to civil partner. A flurry of likes filled the post on my timeline – but, in all honesty, I felt a bit cheated.

Now, while I welcome Facebook’s recognition of civil partnerships I agree completely with the author that it’s yet another reminder of inequality.

I’m very pleased to be getting married myself, in Canada this summer, a country that allows marriage between people of the same sex… and to be able to say I am married (even though it is only recognised as a civil partnership on this side of the Atlantic). The fact that despite such recognition in the UK a Civil Partnership would count for nothing in Canada is another reminder. If it’s not marriage, it’s not marriage.

Regardless of what it’s called, your partnership should be about what you feel it is.

Until we have real equality in the UK it still won’t officially be marriage – maybe having your relationship as Civil Partner is a way to keep reminding others that gay people still face discrimination and inequality.

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Night Train!

17 September 2010

Tonight I’m catching my first UK Night Train in order to get to a wedding in Cornwall. It looks like it will be slightly more luxurious that many of the European night trains I’ve taken – I remember for example sharing a tiny cabin with five loud, sweaty german teenege boys going from Berlin to Warsaw, and getting worken up in the middle of the night by a guard shouting in Serbocroat on a train without beds overnight from Budapest to Sarajevo.

The two-person berths look far more acceptable to my partner and me!

And of course, speaking of night trains, my friend Ben the ever-electro music maestro, directed me to this as soon as he heard.


Pride London: some photos

21 July 2010

Pride London, Saturday 3rd July 2010.

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A couple of weeks ago was London Pride. Despite my reservations about some elements I really do enjoy Pride. I’ve uploaded a slideshow and gallery of some of my photos.

There are more Pride photos on Pride’s flickr and iamsoho (1) and (2).


Wouldn’t life be better if…

16 July 2010

…we thought a little more and drove a little less?

Thanks to The Bear Party who posted this in response to my earlier post.


Drill Baby Drill!

5 June 2010

The Gulf oil spill is a disaster. Environmentally, economically – at least for BP – and socially, for those whose lives are affected. For those of us in the UK who can’t quite comprehend the scale of this disaster this map (from 1st June) is a good comparator (click on image for full size view).

Sarah Palin, Hockey Mum of Alaska, knows exactly where the blame lies. Firstly does she not trust BP, because it’s a foreign company (it’s obviously the fault of those devious Brits!). Now she’s blaming environmentalists. Oh, no, sorry – extreme environmentalists.

Perhaps she hasn’t noticed the non Deepwater disasters in countries that – although some way from the USA – provide 40% of it’s crude oil imports? And she seems to be ignoring the fact that those environmentalists concerned with the environment are not just worried about the land that’s dug up (although sometimes that land is worth worrying about). But will America change it’s oil consumption obsession? Will we, in the UK? The only way to drive this forward is by looking at the issue as a whole – looking at the environmental agenda as a whole – and the impact of, not just spills, accidents, disasters, but oil use on the economy and on society. We fight wars over it. It socially excludes people – not just the cost of petrol to drive to and from work, but the cost implications for food, for example. We need to look at our use of fuel (again, as a whole – the need to travel, local sustainability) not just the source of our fuel (which is essential to look at).


That sounds good to me!

29 May 2010

Tonight is Eurovision 2010 – in Oslo. Last year’s fiddler won resoundingly and took the contest to Norway this year. Having seen the semi-finals (including the shock ejection of Sweden!) I’m looking forward to a night of musical camp and frivolity.

For Pete’s Sake! This year’s UK Eurovision entry may have come in for criticism – and to be honest I don’t know a single friend of mine that thinks it’s much good – but That Sounds Good To Me (below) has certainly grown on me. The title refrain has not only been going round in my head all day, but coming out of my mouth too!

Azerbaijan are known to be favourites this year. Their ballad-ic eurostyle song (Swedish written, of course) is one that – in song terms perhaps – should do very well. In a quirk of eurovision Cyprus this year is represented by a Welsh boy. Not so sure they’re favourites though, sadly.

But I have a couple of other personal favourites. Romania’s catchy little number (musically less melodic than Azerbaijan, but more catchy than Pete Waterman’s ditty) is one of those tracks that sticks in your head and you remember in the midst of the other short numbers that merge into one as you watch them all.

The Ukranian track is another memorable one, less camp, more quirk but with a mild svensk-schlager slant. Interestingly this song was selected in a re-run of the country’s own contest this year after a new president of the state controlled television network was appointed by the government. Finally, however, Bulgaria have realised that it’s not only about the song – it’s the performance – in Bulgaria’s case a dance track accompanied by babyoil coated dancers (for which you may have to watch tonight!)…

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UPDATE: well I’ve just been reminded you won’t be able to look out for babyoil boys – their dance number failed – like Sweden – to make it through the semis. Shocking, i know!


A rainbow lands in central London

27 November 2009

Yesterday saw a beautiful rainbow arching over, and landing in, central London. I had to post pictures.


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