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"I think of the .... adoption rights for gay couples .... This is all settled law and the Conservative Party's acceptance of this"

Does the Conservative party now support 2 gay men adopting kids? Ironically that is the *only* part of the gay rights agenda I have a problem with-indeed I passionatly support the rest of it, including some form of 'gay marriage'.

I think there are still different opinions in the party about gay adoption, comstock, but I cannot imagine the party overturning the existing laws allowing it.

I'm very pleased to hear DC and the Party being so positive about both promoting and supporting marriage through the tax system. Stable realtionships, whether gay or heterosexual benefit both children and society.

Why should couples receive tax benefits? They would already enjoy the lower cost base and combination of incomes living together brings. So why tap the already overtaxed singeltons more?

Someone, James, has to raise the children who will look after you when you are older!

I think you're missing the point, Tim. The text at the top of the page makes no mention of the need to support children, merely the support of "couples". It's a different point entirely.

What Cameron actually said was
"One option would be to give transferable tax allowances to married couples - and
couples in civil partnerships - with young children."
The phrase "with young children" indicates to me that support is to be targeted at parents with the additional costs of bringing up children and will not be applied in a blanket fashion to all couples.
This seems sensible and cost effective ( if it can be implemented in a simpler tax structure)
Raising children is an extremely valuable contribution to society

Cameron has consistently said that he supports tax breaks for married couples. Although he mentions the benefits children enjoy from raised in a stable family background, he at no point has indicated that benefits would be targetted specifically at those with children - presumably because to do so would mean imitating the Brownian taxation system he so decries. My point is therefore not an unreasonable one, especially as the groupings who would benefit are growing in number.

James: would you be content if the benefits were targeted on couples with children?

Out of interest, how would you square restricting a benefit to couples with the "no more single mother bashing" ethos that the party now seeks to cultivate?

Such a policy would in any case present the dilemma of either rewarding those who don't need the benefits alongside those who do(which seems intrinsically unfair, and is an easy line of attack on a policy), or means testing (which will inevitably be shambolic and expensive).

For myself, I would prefer a regime of simpler and lower taxation, which would by nature preclude such allowances.

What abour couples who aren't married? My parents have been together for 30 years yet they get no benefits whatsoever and I'll be hit with a double whammy of inheritance tax. Why can same sex couples have a 'civil union' but mixed sex couples can't? Why do they have to get married, with all its religious connotations, to receive any benefits?


Suggest they have a marriage in a registry office.

If I remember my economics correctly, James, there was this rule invented by Jan Tinbergen. It stated that you needed different policy instruments for different objectives. A transferable tax allowance for married couples with dependent relatives is not a substitute for having a broad family policy but it does fulfil David Cameron's leadership campaign pledge on the family and it encourages marriage - any sustainable society's most important weapon in the war on poverty. We should use other policy instruments to help lone parent families and finding those is partly the job of the family policy working party being overseen by Iain Duncan Smith. I think policies that encourage the extended family are particularly important for single parents. I think, for example, of local councils being encouraged to house single mums close to their parents and relatives.

Interesting interview with Julian Brazier on channel 4 news last night. His interpretation of the Marriage v Co-habitation thing, was totally different to DC's. 'All things to all men' I wonder.

I support civil partnerships but I don’t support gay adoption. It is surely always preferable for children to be adopted by two loving parents in a heterosexual relationship...I really cannot see anything homophobic about believing it's more natural for children to be brought up by a mother and a father. Nothing wrong with equal rights for married couples and those with a civil partnership though. (Meanwhile I hope advocates of gay adoption feel good about the pain and misery they're causing...or are they too naive to realise that a kid with two dads will end up having a pretty lousy time on the playground..)

Best way to handle marriage: split it off from the state almost completely. Require participants to be human adults two or more in number. Require a prenup covering legally necessary topics such as inheritance, divorce, shared assets, next of kin. Require a ceremony of some kind including an act of mutual choice to commit. Leave the details to the participants (or their religion of choice).

David- kids have a lousy time in the playground anyway, if you haven't got the right clothes, the wrong hair, tall, short, fat, thin, white, black. Opposing gay adoption so that the kids 'don't get bullied' is silly. That's like saying no one should get divorced in case their kid gets bullied because he doesn't have a mother or father or whatever.

Secondly, if someone opposes adoption by gay couples because they believe children should be brought up by a 'mother and father' then they should, if they are being consistent, also oppose adoption by straight single people.

Leave the details to the participants

Not nearly moralistic or judgmental enough ;-)

Children clearly benefit from being raised in a strong family unit, and this is usually easier to achieve with two parents. However, tax relief is not the right lever. Its effect is too muted and its cost is justifiably resented by those who pay for it, i.e. those who don’t qualify. Tax relief causes too much unfairness.

The best we can do is reduce financial pressures by creating a strong, simple economy where it’s possible to prosper.

Mark Fulford: you cut off "or their religion of choice". My approach would allow religions to demand MORE morality of their members, by insisting their members use their pre-prepared boilerplate in the prenup as a condition of performing the service. If for example C of E wanted to rewrite marriage for their members to demand fault-only divorces, they could just do it. No need to lobby and change the "one size chafes all" national law.

A transferable tax allowance for married couples with dependent relatives is not a substitute for having a broad family policy but it does fulfil David Cameron's leadership campaign pledge on the family and it encourages marriage...

It encourages marriage based on tax planning advantages, not by fostering personal commitment. That's hardly positive.

While it may meet the requirements of the leadership campaign pledge, such a move would fly in the face of promises to simplfy the tax system.

We should use other policy instruments to help lone parent families...

Which has the precise problem of appearing judgemental. Are you married? Then have a tax cut. Single? Well, we might offer you social housing near your family.

That carries just the assumptions that led to the "war on single parents".

There is a real problem with the way DC went about showing his support for Homosexual Partnerships.First of all,he went on to talk about his support for families and then went on to link marriage and family life to that of Homosexual partnerships. The question really is a moral one and will lead those who enter in these homosexual partnershipa to expect all the same rights as those of a proper married couple and that they would expect to be given the right to adopt children etc. Does that mean that DC supports such a course? I leave him to further explain that question.

I fully support civil partnerships and gay adoption...the notion that a person is not suitable to raise a child "properly" because of their sexuality is completely ridiculous and unfounded. There is no evidence that homosexuals rear dissaffected children. The stability of a child does not come from whether that child is brought up by two married heterosexual parents...if this were the case we would not have the problems that we are having with some disrespectful youngsters now. I was brought up by a single parent and although times were tough I have still turned out to be a grounded hard working adult. Single parent or couple, gay or straight, good parenting comes from love, strength, communication, openess and well thought out and enforced boundries. Most gay people have morals just like that of any other decent person regardless of sexuality and are fully able to adopt and bring up a "normal" child. As for children of gay parents being bullied....as a teacher I am aware of bullying for virtually every difference that a child has, we should be teaching our children to embrace difference and to challenge those who discourage it! We are a nation of difference...accept that....life would be bloody boring without it!!!

I tried to find some causal clothes in the House of Fraser. All that was for sale in menswear was best suited for Pansies. All the assistants were Pansies. They were even selling fishnet tights!
Now Nelson was all at sea with men for years at a time but he still hung on for Lady Hamilton and hanged any shipmates that he found indulging.
Now if he could have foreseen the future I think he would have turned landlubber and grown his own.

I live on a estate which is litter with rubbish mostly dropped by youths. I witness gangs of them walking around offering verbal abuse to any passing stranger. They have threated people. I see their fathers down the pub all the time and their mothers are never to be seen. ALL from hetrosexual families. NOT one gay family. So something aint working. Perhpas a different angle on things might be better. Let gay people have a go. I dont object to them adopting at all.

I think the best approach for a Conservatives backing minimum state intrusion is for the government to stay out of my wallet and out of my home (including the bedroom).

Cameron's approach is something we can all agree on, and people like Gandalf can sit quietly talking to themselves about "Pansies" etc (perhaps questioning where their insecurity regarding sexuality manifesting itself in the need to throw about silly insults comes from).

Outlets like Pink News need to understand that the Tory Party is no longer the anti-gay party it once seemed to be.

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