Is it right to label someone who opposes marriage between same-sex couples as homophobic.

No, it doesn't mean they are homophobic, they might just have a different view of the institution of marriage. Many homosexuals oppose same-sex 'marriage' themselves, believing civil partnership is the right legal union for them.


I think its incorrect to give anyone a label of anything. What is a label? A description of how 'society' perceives someone? Who gave society the right to decide whats 'normal'?

We are all unique-just like everyone else thumbsup

Ellie x

I'm not sure that opposing the marriage would be homophobic - opposing the sexuality of the participants definitely would be though.  But would opposing the marriage between a black person and a white person be racist?  I suppose it depends on your reasons for opposing it?

Why do you ask?

Luisa x

I can’t see what the problem is with 2 people who love each other getting married, whether gay or straight. Whether you are homophobic is up to you and your concience.



This is 2012, isn't it?

Errrrr, yes!

Why would anyone oppose it? Surely it is no ne elses business…
And in answer to your question, I believe it is. Xx

Yes it does, because whichever way you wrap it up, it essentially means that you do not value same-sex relationships as highly as you value heterosexual relationships. 

Of course not all gay or lesbian couples want to get married... or even have civil partnerships. Many value NOT being part of the 'norm'... but all couples should be free to choose.

Pat x

The reason I ask this question is that my gut feeling is that it is not right for same sex couples to be married. (I have no problem with civil partnership.)

I find it odd when one man refers to his male partner as his 'wife' or a woman may refer to her female fartner as her 'husband.'

I'm surprised at my reaction to this issue as I lived for a number of years with with my male partner.

(I now live with a female partner and young family.)

By posting this message entitled 'Homophobic' I hoped that the responses would help me resolve why I'm bothered about same sex marriage.





Well Micheal we have all grown up in a homophobic society and labels for same sex partners, ‘wife’ and ‘husband’, are very new to all of us, gay or straight. But in 20 years it will seem normal. Change is always difficult. It’s a case of remembering that it will start to seem more normal over time.

I think you’re bothered about it simply because we are all conditioned to be bothered about it. When we were kids homophobia was rife (I don’t know how old you are, but when I was a kid male homosexuality was still illegal). Even though you were with a male partner you are still carrying the prejudices we all grew up with. If you accept that, you might be able to let go of them. I’m sure if one of your kids grows up to be gay you would want them to be accepted by society as equals.

I admire your honesty and I still struggle with the ‘husband and wife’ labels too. But that’s all they are, labels.

Pat x

Ah, but why are you opposing the marriage? If it is simply because it is mixed race, then that definitely is racist, but if you can see that the couple simply aren’t suited to each other, regardless of the colour of their skin, then that’s different - I would apply the same principal to a gay marriage.

My husband and I weren’t going to get married, we didn’t see the point. But then I was diagnosed with this stupid disease and thought it would probably be sensible to have that little bit of legality in case anything happened. Turns out that something did happen (he died), and my life was made sooooo much easier because we were married. We got married in a registry office, there was nothing religious about it.

Getting married does offer some protection to the remaining spouse if one dies - you can have as much, or as little religion in it as you are comfortable with. I don’t think it matters if you are gay or straight, and I think that it will matter less as time passes. I also think that how you refer to your spouse (husband, wife, etc) is quite a personal thing, and unless it is offensive, shouldn’t really matter to anyone else.

Michael, I hope you can sort your head out, and that the answers to your post help you.

L x

Me, for one, I couldn't give a monkeys if they want a civil partneship or marriage as both of them tell the world that the couple entering them are making a declaration that they want to spend the rest of their lives together. Under both they would have the same rights so it is really up to them whether they want a marriage or a civil partnership.

To me this smacks of religious beliefs and I think that the religions need to move on. I am not afraid to admit that I am an atheist who was a former practicing Christian. After having been through what I have been through in the last 3 or 4 years I have finally reached the place I was at when I was a practidsing Christian. What I mean is that I have achieved the same sense of, what I can only call, soul peace that I had when I was practising. I have no right to project my views on to people and if they chose to follow a religion that is their decison and their right. 

I do not mean to upset ANYONE who practices a religion, these are just MY views. 


Hi Michael

Have you heard of internalised homophobia? If not do a quick google search, it is quite an interesting and very prevalent phenomenon. This would mean that a member of the LGBT community would find themselves with homophobic views and/or displaying homophobic behaviour, for example a feeling that same sex marriage is wrong. This often stems from a persons own difficulties in accepting their own sexuality.

Personally I believe it is homophobic to oppose same sex marriage. There are legal differences between a marriage and a civil partnership (although I’m not entirely sure what they are) and to refuse same sex couples access to these is homophobic.

From what you said earlier your main issue is with the terms that people use to describe their same sex partner. I am gay and will often refer to my girlfriend as ‘the boss’ (but only in an ironic way!) I would never consider calling her my husband, but that is my personal choice. I agree with you that sometimes terminology can be hard to get used to, I still struggle if and when gay men are referred to as ‘her’ or ‘she’ but have to accept that each individual has the right to identify themselves using whichever terminology they are most comfortable with.

Perhaps, if same sex marriage is to be approved, we will as a society get used to new and different terminology used in new and different situations. Perhaps the terms ‘husband’ and ‘wife’ will not be used at all by any couples. It would be interesting to know how everyone would refer to their partners if they were given a choice!


I had this exact discussion earlier this month. Civil partnership offers gay couples exactly the same legal rights as marriage so I couldn’t see the problem. However it’s not the same if you don’t feel it’s the same. It’s not equal if it’s different.

Personally I don’t give a monkey – civil partnership, marriage, jump over the broomstick whatever makes you happy. If the terminology of “wife” or “husband” feels strange it’s up to us to get used to it. Once we thought “disabled” sounded strange but the “crippled” community demanded it and so it become common usage. (So much so that I felt distinctly uneasy typing “crippled”) If gay couples want to express their commitment in this way it’s absolutely their choice.

I sold a house in Florida to a gay couple. There’s no gay marriage in Florida and it was absolutely demeaning the hoops those young men had to jump through to get a mortgage together and to protect their interests in the property.



Hello Lals,

I see where you’re coming from now & I agree, although even if you don’t agree that a couple are suited everyone should be free to marry whoever they choose.

I’m not sure I understand the difference between a civil partnership and a marriage. If a straight couple have a civil ceremony they are still legally married. Why doesn’t the same apply to a gay couple’s civil ceremony i.e. at the moment they have a civil partnership but are not legally married. Does this have any practical/ legal differences?

In any event, this is the 21st century and we live in a supposedly enlightened society. Everybody should have the same right to be married if that’s what they choose, regardless of sexual orientation. The same rules should apply to everyone.

The differences between a marriage and a civil partnership are 

No religious readings, music or references are allowed in a civil partnership although they are in a civil marriage.

A member of the clergy can perform a civil marriage but cannot perform a civil partnership. Only specially trained registrars can perform civil partnerships.

Lastly, forming a civil partnership is about both parties signing a document, there doesn't actually need to be any kind of ceremony or exchange of words.

I have never referred to my civil partner as my husband - and she promises she's never referred to me that way either !

By calling it something other than marriage it does appear to be of a lower status



Hi Michael, I’m Irina and the 2 things you would never be able to tell if you saw me walking down the street are that I have MS and that I’m a lesbian. Neither of these things was my choice. I would sure hate to feel like I am less than someone who doesn’t have MS. I would equally hate to feel less than someone who is straight. Now, I would like to marry my wounderful and partner (who I lovingly refer to now as my future wife). Is that ok you think?