Same-sex couples arranging civil partnerships encounter hostility from families and the public, research says

Many same-sex couples arranging civil partnerships and marriage ceremonies encounter hostility and disrespect from families, colleagues and the public, research shows.

But others found respect and affection when they announced their decision, Dr Mike Thomas told the British Sociological Association's annual conference in Glasgow today [Friday 17 April 2015].

Dr Thomas, of the University of Kent, interviewed 13 gay couples and five in the UK, and another 27 in California and Canada. They were aged between 21 and 75 and had been together for up to 40 years.

His research was carried out from 2010-12, after legislation was passed in the UK to allow same-sex civil partnerships but before same-sex weddings were legalised in 2014. Same-sex marriage had been legal in California and Canada during his research.

Dr Thomas told the conference that "a number of narratives highlighted what couples interpreted as being denied respect or recognition, or not being listened to. Equally, these stories revealed a sense of powerlessness and a degree of anger, resentment, and fatalism about the disrespect couples received."

He said that "negative reactions from family members were a regular theme." In the UK, Martin, a man in his 50s, told Dr Thomas about informing his father of his forthcoming civil partnership ceremony. "My father, when I told him, sort of hung his head and I said, 'what's wrong, dad?' And he said, 'well, you're abnormal.' So I spent about two days working through this bloody shame that I've been carrying for 40 years."

Dr Thomas said: "This is an extreme reaction and elsewhere during the interview – Martin recalled this as replicating his experience of coming out to his father as gay many years previously."

Another gay British man, Fred, told Dr Thomas about the preparations for his civil ceremony: "We invited my brother, sister-in-law and their two children and I think eventually my brother said he would come, but he would be coming on his own. I think the official reason was that my sister-in law had come to the conclusion that she wouldn't know how to explain it to her children, which I can't say I was particularly impressed with. And I'd been best man at his wedding."

Dr Thomas told the conference: "The task of organising a ceremony brought couples into contact with a range of service providers, including registrars and local government officials, celebrants, hoteliers, caterers, jewellers, photographers and outfitters.

"In the UK, Hamish and Drew, a couple in their mid-30s and together for six years, recalled their trip to the jeweller's to buy rings for their civil partnership ceremony.

"Hamish told me: 'We found the guy who was doing it quite frosty and we just weren't sure what he was making of the fact that two men were coming in to buy rings. He wasn't nasty, he was just very matter of fact. He was just a bit cold with us. I mean, we spent quite a bit of money. I wouldn't go back there again though.' Drew said: 'That was a shame really, it was one of the only things, I felt as though he would have been different with a straight couple.' "

Dr Thomas said: "For those who took part in the study, there was a depressing familiarity and even a predictability to the stories they told. If raised couples' expectations about their social status, the response of hostile relatives, indifferent officials and disrespectful service providers sometimes provided a check on these aspirations."

However, there were also positive stories, said Dr Thomas. "There was ample evidence of marriage or civil partnership as having had positive effects, for example in providing legal rights and entitlements and in giving couples an opportunity to celebrate their relationship in the company of family and friends."

Eric, a 47-year-old British man, in a relationship with Tom, his civil partner for 27
years, told Dr Thomas: "I've always been treated very much as an in-law, but now in my brain I do think I'm an in-law and I definitely am my nephews' uncle now. I remember Tom's sister introducing me as her brother-in-law for the first time and it felt good."

These stories, said Dr Thomas, "can be seen as evidence of the successful deployment of couples' new status in a range of contexts. Some of these stories are available directly as a result of legal recognition, with ceremonies and celebrations providing opportunities for to gain recognition and respect, whether from officials, or family and friends."

Fred's partner, Simon, told Dr Thomas: "I was pretty furious with that [the snub from Fred's sister – see above] for lots of reasons, and I was trying to think of ways they could accommodate it, I was prepared to make quite a lot of sacrifices by saying 'well, just come to the party' or whatever. But I kind of thought, why should I?"

Bella, in her 40s, told Dr Thomas that when the news spread at her workplace that she was to have a civil ceremony rather than a heterosexual wedding, the atmosphere "wasn't all warm like it had been, the temperature dropped. And I wouldn't have chosen to come out, but I suddenly was out, and now I am fully out."

The positive side could be reflected in everyday interactions. One gay British man, Richard, told Dr Thomas: "Just recently I had to go to outpatients and the receptionist was typing in and she said, 'next of kin?' And I said, 'Iwan', and she said 'who's that?' And I said 'that's my civil partner' and she didn't bat an eyelid, she just typed it in. That's the first time I've had to say it." He said that felt "absolutely fine".

Dr Thomas: "There were similar reports in California, where news of Ralph's forthcoming wedding divided his family to the extent that it became a matter of conflict between his parents: 'My dad said, 'I can't have any part in this. I'm not going.' My father just couldn't deal with the fact that we were having a wedding. We didn't know until the day whether he was going to turn up or not. I've a feeling that my mom threatened him with divorce. And on the day he had a great time.' Although Ralph made clear during the interview that his father had accepted his three-year relationship with his partner, it was clear that despite the happy ending to this story, marriage was a step too far."

Brad, 40s, California: "They talk about what they did at the weekend with their partners. But they have to be prepared to hear what I'm going to say. And when I mentioned my husband, the personal conversation came to an end at that point and we went right back to business. Because they didn't know how to deal with it."

Dr Thomas: "In Toronto, Jenny, in her 40s and with her spouse for eight years, recalled her wedding day and the train of thought set in motion by seeing her friends assembled at the ceremony: 'I don't think I can remember ever experiencing so much love. Just that sense of affirmation and love. Because the thing often when you are in a same-sex relationship is it's sometimes difficult to know whether your friends are putting up with the fact that you happen to have fallen in love with someone of the same sex. And sometimes that's the question mark you can have. And if I'm honest, I didn't really know the answer to the question myself until the day we got married.' "


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mvg
Apr 17, 2015
"she wouldn't know how to explain it to her children,"

How about the truth?--'these guys are perverts.'

Apr 17, 2015
Science shows us the most vocal opponents of homosexuality are those afraid of their own dreams and feelings.

Apr 17, 2015
Is that Huffman stuff some secret Scientology code?

Apr 17, 2015
That's what Doug's wife told him when she left.

Apr 18, 2015
I once supported gay rights. Changing the meaning of the word marriage pushed me to the other side. I am now for taking rights away from them and wish the hell they would shut up, go back in the closet and stop interjecting their sexuality and 'pride' of being an abnormality into everything.

Apr 18, 2015
" I am now for taking rights away from them "
-------------------------------------

Who are you to decide how others live their lives?

Who are you to "take away" rights of others?

Apr 18, 2015
If they're going to allow this perversion, then they cannot outlaw polygamy.

Apr 18, 2015
I once supported gay rights. Changing the meaning of the word marriage pushed me to the other side.

Interesting. So which meaning of the word "marriage" do you use today? The biblical meaning of polygamy? Or maybe you follow the medieval meaning of marriage as a business/political arrangement and that love had nothing to do with it? Or maybe you're just prejudiced against homosexuals?
I am now for taking rights away from them and wish the hell they would shut up, go back in the closet and stop interjecting their sexuality and 'pride' of being an abnormality into everything.

Ah, so your beliefs are just based on your prejudices. Thanks for letting everyone know.

Apr 18, 2015
Many same-sex couples arranging civil partnerships and marriage ceremonies encounter hostility and disrespect from families, colleagues and the public, research shows.

But others found respect and affection when they announced their decision, Dr Mike Thomas told the British Sociological Association's annual conference in Glasgow today


Some people do [insert new thing here]. Some other people like it. Still some other people don't.

I find such reports that are crammed full of individual stories and qualitative words like "many encounter disrespect", and "others found respect" unhelpful. they don't convey any kind of quantitative information. it's pretty much a textbook case of how NOT to write a scientific report.

Apr 19, 2015
The sociopathic contempt for others in the homosexual campaign to decriminalize deliberately transmitting HIV/AIDS to others. Proven self loathing, including engaging in risky sex; massive drug use; mindless promiscuity, such as massively multiple encounters for anonymous sex in one evening, motivated not by pleasure but a need simply for quantity; and compulsive infidelity, all at levels never seen among heterosexuals.
In fact, so seminal is mindless, soulless, obsessive promiscuity to them that it is verified that permission to engage in that at any time is the glue that keeps homosexual couples together! They have no intention ever to abide by expectations of marriage even to whatever degree heterosexuals do! They intend to go for an orgy the night of their "wedding". "Marriage" means nothing to them except cashing in on 1100 financial benefits "government' informed them of but withheld from heterosexuals.

Apr 19, 2015
Julian seems to have a REAL intense interest in homosexuality.

Apr 19, 2015
Proven self loathing, including engaging in hateful verbiage; massive self-delusion; mindlessness, such as ridiculously-hateful nonsense, motivated not by rationality but a need simply to demean others in a fit of self-disgust; and compulsive lies, all at levels never seen among rational Humans.

And not a complete sentence in the entirety.

Oh, . . and would you please LIST those "1100 financial benefits"?

Thanks.

mvg
Apr 20, 2015
Since ramming their penis' up each other's butts(or into each others mouths) is no longer considered PERVERSE---Is there ANYTHING left that is unacceptable behavior?

What is next? --trans-species marriage?

Will it soon be acceptable to "DO" your Chihuahua--Or--let your Chihuahua "DO" you?

When nothing is unacceptable--there is no limit to how low things can go.


Apr 20, 2015
Apparently, mvg is looking for an excuse.

yep
Apr 30, 2015
http://www.news-m...ity.aspx
Some of you, are incredibly stupid, and as gkam eluded, obviously titilated by your imaginations.

Apr 30, 2015
Why only couples?
It requires a man and woman, a couple, to create a new human being.
Since same sex couples can't create a new human being, why are they limiting themselves to only one partner?

Apr 30, 2015
Yes, some will use freedom for perversion. We cannot prevent that, but they are the same folk doing it now, anti-social folk.

Do you need an excuse?

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