The man said of the baby: “He has stolen my heart.” But Elton John will not be taking 14 month old Lev home; instead, the baby will remain in a Ukrainian orphanage for children affected by HIV/Aids. Without parents, without aunties and uncles, or his own bedroom in a loving family home.
Many believe that what Elton has sought to do, and what Madonna and Angelina Jolie have both done; taking children from disadvantaged countries to lives of untold luxury, is wrong. These mega-millionaires, billionaires even, should instead invest their time and money improving the lot of as many children in these poor countries as they can; by building new and better orphanages, providing access to medical care, clean water and healthy food.
Perhaps singling one child out for a life of opportunity whilst leaving others in a state of despair is utterly outrageous, perhaps it is a noble and loving act of giving love and a family to someone who would otherwise have none.
But these are not the things the Ukrainian Government considered when it rejected Elton Johns’ proposed adoption of little Lev. It is because, as Minister Yuriy Pavlenko has said, the mega star is too old and not married. The age gap is certainly wide. Elton is 62, much more than the 45 years the Ukrainian Government says is the maximum age difference for adoptive parents. However his civil partner, David Furnish, at 46 would be within the age limit, and it could be argued in any court or to an adoption official that the wealth and opportunity that Elton John and his partner could offer an adopted child would far outweigh the possibly reduced length of time that Elton John would have with the child due to his age.
The fact that the Ukrainian Government has rejected Elton John because he is not married is worrying, but true. However it can hardly be the fault of Ukraine, a generally conservative Eastern European nation heading into what will be a turbulent election period, to refuse to recognise a civil partnership between a gay couple as the same as marriage. Yes it shows the Ukrainian Government has having an unenlightened view on gay rights, but no one could reasonably expect anything else from this badly divided nation struggling to pull free of its Communist past and menacing Russian neighbour.
This instead exposes a fundamental flaw in the very concept of the British civil partnership scheme. Whenever UK citizens ask their Governments about the full right to marry their same sex partner, the responses that have been received from both Scottish and UK Governments, and in fact from Stonewall UK has been thus: ‘civil partnerships are fine, you get practically the same rights as married couples, you can even get dressed up and have a ceremony down at registry office, so stop bothering us and don’t push your luck.’
Although many people who believe in same sex marriage view this argument as deeply offensive and plain discrimination, it isn’t technically wrong. We DO get virtually the same rights as married couples, which is good, but without a doubt we need to go further and have full marriage equality across the UK. This aside, we then encounter the problem of international recognition of UK same sex couples. Whereas a married same sex couple can move from Canada to Belgium to Spain to Iowa and still be married, the minute they step onto British shores they are relegated to civil partnership status. Therefore when a British ‘civilly partnered’ (what is the actual verb?) couple moves to a jurisdiction that has taken the bold step to allow same sex marriage, it leaves the British couple in a legal limbo, it may even force them to have ANOTHER ceremony to ensure they get the rights they are entitled to as a couple.
The fact is that civil partnership is not a marriage, the British Government never wanted it to be classed as marriage, but our culture has somewhat embraced this as our own British style of same sex marriage, without the protests and court cases, and of course without the name or ancient traditions. So when Elton and David had their civil partnership ceremony, the media celebrated this as a ‘marriage’. Sometimes with inverted commas and a hint of tongue in cheek; other times genuinely inferring that they considered the partnership to as good as a wedding and refered to it as such. This widespread embracing of civil partnerships by society as ‘gay marriage’ has perhaps contributed to the apathetic feeling to real same sex marriage in the UK.
But the case of Elton John proves that for all the similarities, it allows all those who have well entrenched disdain for gay partnerships and the LGBT community to easily sneer at these ‘pretend weddings’ and ‘so called marriages’, and continue to view and treat same sex couples and LGBT people as less then equals, as different from ‘normal’ society and therefore deny them the right to family, security and full citizenship.
The reason same sex marriage is so contentious and civil partnerships, civil unions and domestic partnerships are by comparison not is partly because same sex marriage forces those with less than inclusive views to confront their prejudices and stereotypes. When they have to consider these people they dislike as equals, it puts them on the defensive. In the same way the male elite opposed votes for women, segregationists fought against sharing schools with African-Americans, and racists today claim President Obama is trying to destroy the American way of life; to accept that someone has the same rights as you have, to vote, go to school or become President, is to invariably accept them as the same as you.
Had Elton and David been legally allowed a real marriage, whether they would have wanted it or not, would perhaps not have let them give 14 month old Lev a new life, but it would have forced Ukrainian Government officials to consider the fact Britain believes two husbands can do just as good a job raising a child as can a husband and wife. You don’t change people’s minds by playing to their preconceived beliefs, you do it by forcing them to confront the prejudices they hold. That is why same sex marriage is so important, not just as a matter of equality, but as a way of proving to those who hide behind stereotypes that two wives or two husbands can do just as good a job as loving each other, raising children and contributing to society as anyone else.
My hart gos out to moTyli’a 'NaNa Boo' Macks mother Beverlyn
And to all the parents of transsexuals that have been KILLED.
WHY,,,,,, WHY have we been shot, stabbed, bludgeon, bunt ,drowned, beaten to death with baseball bats or anything these men can lay there hands on..
Going back to the man,,, issue ,,,,well not even men these,,,, do not even deserve to be called men ,,, they are just ,,,,, they have no category, and they should not have one they are just,,, evil….
What have we ever done to them, to deserve this much hatred? Nothing that is what we have done.
We live our life’s,, well we try to live them,
We life in fear,
Fear that we will be picked in the street and called vile names, like pervert nonce freaks,, we are not
Fear that we will be called Mr. or sir, laughed at in shops when we go shopping
Or just hold the line while I look at your account, and just before you are put on hold you hear them laughing
Fear when walking down a road and a group of teenagers start calling you vile names
Spiting at you, throwing things at you,
Fear when we are in our own homes and our houses get stoned or what ever they can throw at your windows , putting things through a letter box like petrol and a match(I do not have a letter box for this reason ) burning down your shed in the garden (I have had this done 2 times)
Fear that when you are out in your car and some yobs smash it up,( I was still in my car when this happened .)
Fear that when you answer your door that some yobs are there to mock you and throw stuff at you, (I now have a doorbell camera so I can see who is at my door be for I open it )
Fear that when yobs are outside your house throwing bricks at it and saying that they will brake in to my house rape me and then burn the house down with me in it. (I have had this said to me)
Fear when Iam walking down the street and I hear footsteps behind me.
I live in fear.
Some people ask WHY live this way, why not go back to being a man
When will that lot get it there heads WE ARE NOT MEN
What man would do this the themselves?????? None
When I have had to call the police out a few times,
And when the local beat bobby calls to get a statement, and I tell him what happened, he asks about my feelings about the whole thing. The first couple times he asked me how I felt about the incidents I told him that I was hurt in side.
The time he came out when they were shouting that they were going to rape me and burn me, he asked me how did it make me feel, I broke down and cried saying that I was scared, freighted, some times I would stay in and not go out .
Paranoid, I am for ever checking that my doors and windows are locked and the keys are not in the doors, sleeping on the sofa and with every little noise I am up checking, if I am going out my front door and I hear voices in the street like kids I go back in to my house and wait till they are gone. This is no way to live. How do I feel sick to my stomach, that in this day age we hurt people because they are different?
When I walk out of my house to go anywhere, even up to my corner shop I have a pepper spray in my hand, when I shop in town and iam walking round the shops I have my pepper spray in my hands.
And if ( touch wood I hope it never happens) I was attacked and I used my pepper spray, it would be me in the dock and not the yobs that kicked shit out of me or if I was killed I would still be one who was in the wrong
WHY DO WE HAVE TO LIVE IN FEAR WHEN WILL ALL THIS HATRED STOP