Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Humanities/2013 July 16

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July 16[edit]

BSD license question[edit]

We cannot give legal advice here
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

The BSD license says that the name of the copyright holders cannot be used to promote works derived from the original software. But what about using the name of someone having the same name as one of the copyright holders? Czech is Cyrillized (talk) 08:01, 16 July 2013 (UTC)

Depends on how genuine your use is. I doubt the court would have much sympathy if you argue "Oh I didn't mean that Bill Gates, I meant the Bill Gates who's the janitor at my school." --PalaceGuard008 (Talk) 10:07, 16 July 2013 (UTC)

Yes, in my work I specified "Bill Gates, Janitor at School X". Also remember that Microsoft is the king of closed source software. Czech is Cyrillized (talk) 10:11, 16 July 2013 (UTC) Let's assume that the person I refer to who has the same name as the copyright holder is much better known than the copyight holder him/herself. (talk) 10:14, 16 July 2013 (UTC)

Sociology in Stanford University[edit]

I wanted to know if at Stanford University offer Sociology as a graduate degree (like with Journalism). And how does a student get into that career. Miss Bono [zootalk] 13:10, 16 July 2013 (UTC)

They seem to have plenty of PhD students but not a Masters programme. Do you mean, how do you get into Sociology as a career? By doing a PhD in Sociology. Itsmejudith (talk) 13:21, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
No, I meant how does a people do to get into College to study Sociology or any other career. Any exams that one must take or something? Miss Bono [zootalk] 13:23, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
This question is confusing. Your first question is about graduate study at Stanford. ("Graduate study" in American English may translate to "postgraduate study" in other versions of English.) Then you ask about getting into college. ("College" in American English generally means undergraduate study.) Which do you want to know about? If you are specifically interested in Stanford, here is a link to their undergraduate admissions website, and here is one to their graduate admissions site. Marco polo (talk) 13:37, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
I cannot access to any of those links (Internet problems), sorry. And sorry for the misunderstanding, English is not my first language. This is the actual question: No, I meant how does a people do to get into College to study Sociology or any other career. Any exams that one must take or something? Miss Bono [zootalk] 13:44, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
The answer will depend very much on which College or University you want to attend and where in the world it is (and whether or not it is in your home country). From the link that Marco Polo gave, here is a list of undergraduate admission requirements for Stanford:
  • Official Testing (SAT or ACT Plus Writing) sent from the College Board or ACT
  • School Report
  • Official Transcript(s)
  • Two Teacher Evaluations
  • The First-Year Common Application
  • The Stanford Supplement to the Common Application
  • $90 nonrefundable application fee or fee waiver request
  • CSS PROFILE (if applicable)
  • FAFSA (if applicable)
For more information see our articles on SAT, ACT (test), CSS Profile and FAFSA. However, the admission requirements for a British University would look very different from this - see UCAS and UCAS Tariff. Gandalf61 (talk) 14:07, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
If English is not your first language, you will likely have to also take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) as well to be considered. Falconusp t c 14:18, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
Oh, thank you all. And Falconus, hehehe, I am not trying to get into Stanford... not even in my dreams, or with a scolarship, I am from Cuba and I know I will never get into Stanford or any of those Universities. It costs a lot. The information is for a novel I am writting. Miss Bono [zootalk] 14:28, 16 July 2013 (UTC)

Pro-gay Christians?[edit]

How many well-known pro-gay Christians are there (besides Desmond Tutu)? (talk) 14:29, 16 July 2013 (UTC)

Very many. See Homosexuality and Christianity#Favorable views and LGBT-affirming Christian denominations for some examples. Gandalf61 (talk) 14:36, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
Given the predominance of Christianity in the western world in general... It is probably safe to say that the majority of Gay Rights activists in the western world are Christians. Blueboar (talk) 17:09, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
Ummm... I didn't ask for a personal statistical estimate of the number of Christians. I just expected to see a list of the big names and briefly describe what they do and how they have contributed to pro-gayness. (talk) 20:48, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
You need to define rather better what you mean by "pro-gay" - "pro gay marriage", "anti-homophobic", etc. Ghmyrtle (talk) 20:54, 16 July 2013 (UTC)

Let's be more Christian about this and, rather than saying pro-gay, call it anti-hatred? HiLo48 (talk) 21:20, 16 July 2013 (UTC)

Hear, hear! SemanticMantis (talk) 23:19, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
Yeah, pro-gay seems a bit odd. Christians forgive and visit people in jail, and support ex-cons, but one would hardly call them pro-criminal. (And no, read that carfeully, I am not comparing homosexuality to criminal behavior.) μηδείς (talk) 01:33, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
There's a distinction to be drawn, however, between Christians who are openly accepting of gay people without terms, and those who support (IMHO) rather abhorrent concepts like the Ex-gay movement. There's a distinction to be made between Christians who don't see sexual orientation as a sin to be corrected, and those who equate it to sins like murder or theft; that is sins to be atoned for and turned from. A christian forgiving a murderer for their past murders is not the same thing as a Christian who doesn't consider being gay a sin. --Jayron32 02:03, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
But there is a third (if not a tenth and twelfth) position. One can see homosexuality as "sub-optimal" if I remember the phrase, something not to be preferred or encouraged, but not to be persecuted. Kind of like smoking. It may not be good for my lungs but it;s none of your effing business? In any case, I do not speak for any church. μηδείς (talk) 02:15, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
If I'm your health insurer, then whether you smoke or not IS my effing business. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 03:41, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
Well, yes, that's a voluntary business arrangement between you and the insurer, not political persecution by the police for committing sodomy. μηδείς (talk) 18:10, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
Well, to be fair on that regard, anything except total sexual abstinence is seen as the "sub-optimal" state of being, insofar as the First Epistle to the Corinthians is to be taken seriously. Paul recommends celibacy as the preferred state of being for all serious Christians, as he sees sex itself, and the pursuit thereof, as a distraction from the primary mission of the Christian, but concedes rather begrudgingly that if people must do the nasty, that they get married first. 1 Corinthians 7 is pretty clear on this. It's pretty clear from those passages that even heterosexual married sex is sub-optimal as you put it. Paul would clearly prefer that people didn't want to have sex at all, and seems bewildered and perplexed that they would, but as a realist recognizes that, "as a concession, not as a command" (NIV, 1 Cor 7:6) married people fool around so as to not be distracted by their own horniness. --Jayron32 02:34, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
And the solution to distraction by horniness is total surrender to horniness? That doesn't quite compute. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 07:34, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
Not exactly, according to that letter is a tacit recognition that sexual release may be a biological necessity (a rather forward thinking idea, considering that relatively modern psychologists like Abraham Maslow have also asserted that), and as such, to make sure that the need is met in ways that are not distracting from the Christian message. Paul's a bit conflicted on the matter, as he discusses it in 1 Corinthians: He clearly would prefer that the need did not exist in the first place, but he recognizes that it does, and as such, reminds people to meet their needs in ways that are not a distraction from one's Christian work. He gives similar messages about eating and drinking as well. --Jayron32 10:03, 17 July 2013 (UTC)

I don't see anything here except Jayron expressing his personal theological interpretations from his own point-of-view as if they were inviolable and authoritative. Is that what this page is for? (talk) 18:32, 17 July 2013 (UTC)

You need to have your eyes checked. There are also "contributions" from Gandalf61, Blueboar, Ghmyrtle, HiLo48, SemanticMantis, Medeis, Baseball Bugs and yours truly. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 19:04, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
Feel free to read the relevant passages and come to your own conclusions about what they say. Nothing I say is to be taken as meaning anything beyond my own words. I have never claimed to be inviolable or authoritative. --Jayron32 01:19, 18 July 2013 (UTC)

Samaritan opinion of Jesus' parable about the good Samaritan?[edit]

What is the Samaritan opinion of Jesus' parable about the good Samaritan? Would it be considered a "good stereotype" of all Samaritans? These people do exist! (talk) 15:31, 16 July 2013 (UTC)

The "good Samaritan" should certainly not be considered as acting stereotypically... The parable makes a lot more sense if you realize that (at the time when Jesus lived) Samaritans and Jews despised each other, and that they were unlikely to aid each other. See our article on Parable of the Good Samaritan for more. Blueboar (talk) 16:50, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
I meant to say how would a modern Samaritan react to the parable of the good Samaritan. I'm just wondering, because the "good Samaritan" is synonymous with anybody who aids a stranger in need or anybody who offers altruism. Meanwhile, the term "to jew" somebody is derogatory. Jews will certainly be offended by the verb, to jew. I'm not sure how real Samaritans would react when the term is used on a person who is clearly not by faith and ethnicity a Samaritan. Mainstream Jews view Samaritans as a Jewish sect, though as I recall from another Wikipedia article, Samaritans view themselves as separated from Jews and the truer, earlier religion. (talk) 20:39, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
Given that that's a Christian parable, Jews and Samaritans might not be overly concerned about it. Unless they still have issues with each other. Otherwise it's outdated, and the better metaphor would be a "good terrorist" or some such. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 23:12, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
You do realize, Bugs, Jesus was not a Christian? μηδείς (talk) 01:30, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
I believe Bugs is implying that modern Jewish people and modern Samaritan people (of whom there still are a very small few, see Samaritans, which would indicate that the population numbers likely don't run more than 3 digits) don't really care about the implications of Christian scripture. The story is part of the New Testament, and as such isn't regarded as scriptural by either today's Jews or Samaritans, regardless of what Jesus was. --Jayron32 02:45, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
Yes. Jesus often referenced the Old Testament, but the parables were His own invention, later included in the New Testament, of course. The term "Samaritan" had significance to His audience, but means essentially nothing nowadays. My church minister back in the 60s said the story would be more meaningful to a modern audience by substituting "Communist" for "Samaritan". Now, I suppose "Islamic extremist" would work, at least in the West. (Other places might substitute "American", or whatever their perceived enemy is.) ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 03:31, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
The plain implication of the parable is that people are to be judged by what they do not on who the are. That is, people who do just and right acts towards their fellow people will be judged as just and right, regardless of what condition they were born in. --Jayron32 03:56, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
I don't think your interpretation is obvious at all. The Biblical passage can be found here. Jesus told an expert in the Law (who was probably hostile to Jesus) that "Love your neighbor as yourself" is one of the requirements for eternal life. The expert asked who a neighbor is, and Jesus replied with the Good Samaritan parable to illustrate that the Samaritan was a good neighbor of the robbed man. The implication seems to be that everyone, not just the Jews, counts as a "neighbor" worthy to be loved. --Bowlhover (talk) 06:01, 18 July 2013 (UTC)
So, exactly what I said, but in different words. --Jayron32 16:36, 18 July 2013 (UTC)
Unfortunately I don't know about now, but in the Middle Ages, the Samaritans probably appreciated the story quite a bit. When they actually encountered real-life Samaritans in the Levant, the European crusaders left them alone because of that parable - they were all assumed to be "good Samaritans". As opposed to the Jews, who were treated rather less well. Adam Bishop (talk) 11:14, 18 July 2013 (UTC)
They missed the point of the parable, which, alas, is nothing new. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 15:47, 18 July 2013 (UTC)

Spanish equivalent of Sherlock Holmes and Arsene Lupin[edit]

Hi, We know the english-speaking world has Sherlock Holmes and the French-Speaking world has Arsene Lupin but who the spanish-speaking world has? Is there any character who has the same degree of influence as those two characters have on their respective literature? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:36, 16 July 2013 (UTC)

The first one is a detective and the other one a gentleman thief. I'm not sure I understand your question. --Immerhin (talk) 18:10, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
If you mean, a well known character in Spanish-speaking, I would point out Don Quixote Miss Bono [zootalk] 18:16, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
The comparison is actually somewhat apt - despite being a gentleman thief, several Lupin books are about him solving mysteries and sometimes acting as a detective - with the additional twist that Lupin generally ends up ripping off the person he's solving the mystery for (so he'll find your missing jewelry, but might steal something else in return). Holmes (under the copyright-skirting moniker Herlock Sholmes) even makes a few appearances in Lupin stories. They're both influential and popular heroes from a fairly similar time period, who rely heavily on their intelligence and ressourcefulness and appear in multiple stories. You could add that they were (and still are) popular with readers of all ages. I don't know of an actual Spanish hero that would fit the bill though. (talk) 19:20, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
After much scouring of the Spanish wikipedia, I found "the most famous" Spanish writer of Feuilleton, Manuel Fernández y González - who wrote "Outlaw" litterature, a few of which appear to have a recurring thief character called José María. I haven't been able to locate a Spanish fictional detective from the end of the 19th or early 20th century - the page Detectives ficticios has like 3 Spanish characters and they're all much more recent, while Ladrones ficticious does not have a single Spanish character on it. So my conclusion is that while there may have been an equivalent character in Spain, it was not as notable and influential as either Lupin or Holmes. (talk) 20:20, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
I'm not sure exactly what you're asking but the Belgians have a museum dedicated to their fictional hero Tintin. --TammyMoet (talk) 18:30, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
If it's particularly crime and detective fiction you're interested in, a useful resource is British journalist Mark Lawson. For several years Lawson has been writing about the detective fiction of countries other than the UK and the US, and using these as a mechanism for understanding the societies they describe. The current series of his BBC Radio 4 series Foreign Bodies continues in that vein - some recent episodes are available from the BBC here (although I don't know if that works outwith the UK; can someone confirm?) - in that series he doesn't have a Spanish writer, but he does have Argentinian authors es:Ernesto Mallo and es:Claudia Pineiro. In this piece from last year Lawson does talk about Spanish crime author Manuel Vázquez Montalbán and his private detective character Pepe Carvalho. I can't assess Carvalho's influence beyond Lawson calling Montalbán Spain's "foremost author in the form"; he also notes that Italian crime author Andrea Camilleri's noted detective Inspector Salvo Montalbano is named after Montalbán. -- Finlay McWalterTalk 23:45, 16 July 2013 (UTC)

Possible connection between depiction of bluish skin in Indian arts and Argyria?[edit]

Indian art often depicts characters with bluish skin. Has any connection ever been drawn between these depictions with the condition called argyria? I have heard anecdotal stories about Indians consuming silver, but can't seem to find any serious research on the subject connecting the two. (talk) 19:50, 16 July 2013 (UTC)

Brilliant question! μηδείς (talk) 01:29, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
Apparently Shiva's blue throat came from swallowing Halahala poison and the article on Halahala gives no indication that it contained silver. Of course the story could have been inspired by actual mortals with blue skin, but I'll have to leave that to someone more knowledgeable about Hindu religious studies to answer.--Wikimedes (talk) 05:36, 19 July 2013 (UTC)
Vishnu's blue skin represents "the divine blue colour of water-filled clouds" (according to the WP article).--Wikimedes (talk) 05:42, 19 July 2013 (UTC)

Same-sex marriage in England and Wales[edit]

Same-sex marriage is almost legalised in England and Wales. It just needs Royal Assent to be granted. The media is reporting that the first same-sex weddings will probably be able to take place by next Summer. Why does it take a year for this to happen? In France, their first same-sex marriages were performed just a few weeks later. Is English officialdom much more bureaucratic than French? (In personal experience, I would have to say no!)

User:SamUK 21:32, 16 July 2013 (UTC)

The BBC Article I guess you have just come from states that, "Under the terms of the the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill, religious organisations will have to "opt in" to offering weddings, with the Church of England and Church in Wales being banned in law from doing so.", so this may take some time. KägeTorä - (影虎) (TALK) 22:10, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
I read that too, and I'm wondering why these 2 churches still may not perform same-sex marriages. The legislation "will not affect the Canon law of the Church of England or the Church in Wales, i.e., unless Canon law and the same-sex marriage legislation are changed in future, both churches will be legally barred from performing same-sex marriages". But what about other churches whose internal laws also prohibit such marriages? They are entitled to come to their own decision about the matter, and opt in if they want to, without having to explain themselves to the government or seek any further change in the civil law. But the law seems to be making it harder for the established churches to participate than for the others. That doesn't seem like equality of treatment to me, and it is an ironic situation given the moral underpinning of this legislative change. -- Jack of Oz [pleasant conversation] 22:50, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
That might have been a necessary compromise in order to get the legislation passed. And what's the Queen's opinion on this issue? Being head of the C of E, she might have something to say about it. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 23:00, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
The Queen is not in the habit of expressing opinions on such matters. Itsmejudith (talk) 23:05, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
Not in public, anyway. But isn't the C of E hierarchy in general opposed to it? ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 23:16, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
This BBC article covers the official opinions of a number of prominent religious leaders. Tevildo (talk) 23:24, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
The C of E is officially opposed to it, but so is the Roman Catholic church and the Methodist church and many others. Not to mention the non-Christian religious organisations. But they can all opt in regardless should they choose to do so, by merely making an internal decision (which may or may not require a change to their internal laws), while the C of E is barred, even if it changes its own canon law. There would still need to be a change to the civil law to allow them to opt in. -- Jack of Oz [pleasant conversation] 23:30, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
It does seem rather peculiar that a church founded so that the crown could tell the church what to do isn't now being told what to do by the crown-in-Parliament. The Church of England is an established church, so it should be doing what the law says it ought, rather than offering its opinions to the contrary. Time for disestablishment, let them pay for their own opinions. - Nunh-huh 23:32, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
I am not an antidisestablishmentarianist. But wouldn't disestablishment basically mean dissolution? Isn't the CoE subsidized way beyond its active base? μηδείς (talk) 01:27, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
I'm not sure. But I wouldn't necessarily see that as a bad thing. Let's let social Darwinism teach the Church a thing or two :) Someone needs to rid the place of those meddlesome priests. Again. - Nunh-huh 03:36, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
No. The C of E receives no direct public money for the costs of clergy, administration, or the maintenance etc. of many of its churches. (It does receive some state money towards the upkeep and/or repair of some historic buildings - though not the full costs - but such moneys are also available to other denominations and faiths with historic buildings [1] [2]). It's funded by its practising parishioners and its significant financial assets as managed by the Church Commissioners. See Properties and finances of the Church of England. Valiantis (talk) 21:32, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
As I said, probably a compromise in order to get the law passed. So what are the legal implications of same-sex marriage? Are their legal benefits, as with the US? (That's why the battle was being fought here - it's about money, primarily.) ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 23:49, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
It is to make all marriages be on exactly the same legal footing as all others. Currently, British people can enter into civil partnerships, which are marriage-like in many respects, but they are not marriages in the legal sense.
Can I call "citation required" on your "probably a compromise" statement? Repeating an opinion does not make it less of an opinion and more of a fact. -- Jack of Oz [pleasant conversation] 23:57, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
According to the comment below, it's effectively the same situation for all churches. As regards marriage vs. civil partnership, what is the practical difference between the two? ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 00:38, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
Hardly any, it seems. See Civil partnership in the United Kingdom and Same-sex marriage in the United Kingdom, where the government has always maintained that civil partnerships are not marriages, even though they provide all the legal rights and responsibilities of marriage. Elton John is not technically married to David Furnish, but he is unable to marry anyone else or enter into a civil partnership with anyone else unless he and Furnish formally dissolve their existing civil partnership. Exactly like a married couple. I assume the existing Civil Partnership law remains intact, and that there will will in future be same-sex couples who elect to marry, while others will still choose to enter into a civil partnership. The only real difference seems to be that the first couple can say "we're married" without fear of contradiction by anyone, while the latter can't. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 01:00, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
I am currently in a civil partership in England, and my legal situation is nearly identical to a married couple, the main issue I have with it is that if I say "I am married to a man", some people (usually muslims) frown as if I had said something untrue (which is technically the case, I did). So I can't wait wait for this to go through and stop people frowning at me for explaining how I feel about my relationship. --Lgriot (talk) 07:33, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
Won't people in your situation retain their existing status as "members of a civil partnership", and wouldn't they have to marry in order to be able to claim they're "married"? -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 08:13, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
Section 9 of the bill (I can't link to the Act itself yet as it's not online yet) makes provision for people to convert existing Civil Partnerships into marriages without having to "re-marry". Once the partnership is converted, the couple will be treated as having been legally married since the original partnership was formed. Valiantis (talk) 21:12, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
Valiantis is correct, I will be able to ask for a "certificate of marriage" by mail, and they will just send it. --Lgriot (talk) 07:36, 18 July 2013 (UTC)
Well, that's not strictly true. The legislation states that all the existing provisions of the Canon Law of the Church of England aren't affected by the redefinition of marriage, so the General Synod will need to change the canon law in order to allow it. Other churches can just declare (if they want to) that their marriage ceremonies are open to same-sex couples, and, if an opposite-sex marriage would have been valid in that church, a same-sex marriage will (now) be valid without further legislative activity being necessary. Section 8 of the act explicitly allows the Church in Wales to allow same-sex marriage, if the governing body makes that decision. The main issue is that the Act prevents anyone taking legal action to _compel_ the Anglican church to allow same-sex marriage. Tevildo (talk) 23:51, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
The way you're phrasing it, any church including the C of E can adopt approval of same-sex marriage, but none can be forced to. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 00:36, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
That is how I would interpret the act, yes. However, I think it's very likely that a metric shedload of Article 8, Article 9 and Article 14 cases will be plodding over to Strasbourg in the next couple of years, where the issue will be definitively resolved. It's certainly not impossible that churches _will_ be forced to perform same-sex marriages, despite the explicit wording of the Act. Tevildo (talk) 01:56, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
I believe the special position of the CofE and the CinW is that their parish priests are registrars in their own right. Other denominations can conduct weddings only after the couple have obtained permission from the civil registrar. [3] Alansplodge (talk) 07:24, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
If there are human rights cases from Britain there will be some from France too, where the churches who gets married in church (you have to have the civil wedding as well as the church one). Itsmejudith (talk)
How does "human rights" get to override freedom of religion? Or is there no such thing in Europe? ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 11:58, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
[<-back indent] Freedom of religion, as it's understood in the United States at least, includes freedom from religion, including the option of a nonreligious marriage. Is there no such option in the United Kingdom? Is there no such thing as a civil wedding in the United Kingdom? And if there is such a thing, what does it matter whether or when religious groups "opt in", and why must gay and lesbian people wait a year before they can marry? Or was that one of the "compromise" provisions of the law? Marco polo (talk) 14:20, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
In America, at least, we have civil marriages, i.e. conducted by a justice of the peace or whatever. The verbiage might have religious overtones, due to tradition, but there's no church involvement. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 14:50, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
I see the queen has officially signed off on it.[4] I would think if she had serious objections, she would refuse to sign it. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 14:48, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
They'd have to be pretty damn serious. According to our Reserve Power article, the last time Royal Assent was refused was 1708.
As for freedom of religion, that is a human right, codified as Article 9 of the European Convention on Human Rights. AlmostReadytoFly (talk) 15:42, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
On civil/religious marriages, Marriage in England and Wales can be conducted by "authorised celebrants" (e.g. a priest) or by an "authorised Registrar". Couples who get married in an Anglican church do not have to get a separate civil marriage (cf. France, where the civil wedding must be a separate ceremony from the religious one). AlmostReadytoFly (talk) 16:02, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
So, if civil marriage is possible in England and Wales, why do lesbian and gay people have to wait a year? Can't the government just order "authorised registrars" to get on with it? Marco polo (talk) 16:13, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
My guess is that regulations have to be put in place to cover detailed legal arrangements, which will probably involve examining hundreds of other laws and determining what changes need to be made to be consistent with the new law. For example, perhaps every provision that refers to a 'married couple' or 'husband' or 'wife' will have to be studied to see whether it assumes the couple is a male/female one and decide how to re-word it. Much of that will have been done already but changes during passage will mean finishing the job then putting the regulations back to Parliament. Sussexonian (talk) 19:23, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
Possibly also codes of practice have to be drawn up for registrars and other practicalities addressed. Paul B (talk) 19:40, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
Might I suggest the reading of the Explanatory Notes to the Bill as it was submitted to the House of Lords from the Parliament website to address most of the supplementary queries raised above - if not the OP's original question. The final paragraph of the Explanatory notes explain how Commencement will take place although they don't address why not all of the law will come into effect immediately. However, the issue is clear if you understand that much UK legislation comes in two parts - primary legislation which sets the framework of the law and secondary or delegated legislation which provides the details of how it works in practice. Section 20 of the bill which deals with Commencement states that only that section and Section 15 will come into effect immediately. (Section 15 requires the Secretary of State to "arrange [...] for the operation and future of the Civil Partnership Act 2004 in England and Wales to be reviewed, and [...] for a report on the outcome of the review to be produced and published.") Other sections will come into force as and when the appropriate orders (i.e. statutory instruments) are made by the Secretary of State. One of the things that needs to happen is - as Sussexonian alludes to - that specific regulations have to be made. Primary legislation generally empowers either the Secretary of State or some other person (the Registrar General in some parts of the bill) to make regulations (delegated legislation). Until such time as the various appropriate regulations are written and laid before Parliament - and the exact procedure for approval depends on how the primary legislation defines this should happen for each of the various regulations and/or orders that have to be made (see Statutory Instrument (UK) for more information) - then all the sections of the Act can't come into force. Valiantis (talk) 21:06, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
Since the legality of same-sex marriage is only extended to England and Wales, is there any kind of problem with married same-sex couples moving to Scotland or Northern Ireland? RNealK (talk) 04:15, 18 July 2013 (UTC)
No, certainly not for Scotland but I can't imagine NI differs in principle. This is actually a well-trodden historical path; Scottish marriage laws have traditionally been looser than English ones, allowing marriage without parental consent at an earlier age. This led to a very large number of cases where couples crossed the border, married, and returned south - the famous Gretna Green marriages - which were generally seen as legal if (sometimes) a bit evasive. There's no legal precedent for Scotland and England to refuse recognition of each other's marriages. (This aside, the Scottish legislation has just been introduced in Holyrood, and if it goes through I suspect they'll try and time matters so they come into force together.) Andrew Gray (talk) 11:28, 18 July 2013 (UTC)

I just noticed this and wanted to chip in on some of the differences. To get a Civil Partnership, the law (as i heard it) banned any music or wording using the words (Husband or wife or wedding), while the cost of getting a civil partnership license is also more than wedding due to there being no standard price country-wide like there is for a marriage license. The license for an organization to hold civil partnerships is also stricter to apply for and can be 10-times more expensive as a marriage license because of added bureaucracy and councils being allowed to charge what they like. There is also the problem with survivor benefits that (even now after the bill has passed) can be just £500 for a married gay person, while a married straight person could receive £41,000 for paying the same contributions (And the bill didn't fix that). The law also allowed cases like the Bull's to pop up, where some B&Bs were under the impression they could ban unmarried couples from sharing a bed, a criteria that a gay couple could never meet since the law made a civil partnership "the same as marriage, but not a marriage". This issue was fixed by another law on discrimination but came about from the Civil Partnership bill not being a Marriage bill. Some of this will now have been fixed by this bill, although there are still some discrepancies, like pensions to deal with. Thanks Jenova20 (email) 12:02, 18 July 2013 (UTC)

 They should be banned.

Hypothetical legal question[edit]

consensus to hat as opinion, see talk
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

Let's suppose two people, Mr. A and Mr. B, get into an argument. Originally a verbal argument, it escalated into a physical altercation. In the end, A is on top of B and punching him in the face. B pulls out a pistol and fires at A, killing him instantly. Would what B did be considered self-defense under the law? If the state (country) matters, this took place in Florida, USA. (talk) 22:53, 16 July 2013 (UTC)

The legal jurisdiction definitely does matter, and in the Zimmerman case the jury concluded that he was in the right to defend himself. Any other questions? ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 22:56, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
Zimmmerman claims that Martin attacked him unprovoked. My understanding is that Zimmerman was acquitted because there wasn't any evidence to contradict his claim. If there *was* evidence that a fight between Martin and Zimmerman broke out because of both their involvement (one shoves the other, who shoves back harder, and so on), would the not guilty verdict still be valid? That's basically my question. (talk) 23:30, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
The "what-ifs" don't matter, as the jury has rendered its decision based on what was presented to them. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 23:46, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
Agreed. I'm not contesting the jury's verdict. I'm just asking a hypothetical question. (talk) 23:51, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
You said, "this took place in Florida". What took place? ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 23:53, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
The encounter between A and B. (talk) 23:56, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
You said it was hypothetical, but you said it took place in Florida. That does not compute. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 23:58, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
Don't you think that's a little pedantic? You know what I mean. (talk) 02:35, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
What else was he intending to do when he disembarked from his vehicle? Ask for directions? Many people don't understand this verdict. (talk) 23:48, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
He could have asked Martin to wait for the cops to arrive. (talk) 23:51, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
In the jury's opinion, there was insufficient evidence to prove the prosecution's case beyond a reasonable doubt. Your best bet is to look for a transcript of the trial and see how it went down. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 23:52, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
Also, you might need to look for other cases where the "stand your ground" law was applied, to get a better sense of its interpretation. In this case, it seems to have been determined applicable even though Zim defied the 911 dispatcher's order to stay away from it and wait for the cops to show up... and they didn't buy (or the prosecution never brought up) the idea that Martin was also "felt threatened" and was "standing his ground". And if they didn't bring it up, then it's not relevant to the jury's decision. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 23:57, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
It never was a "stand your ground" case. The defense's argument was that at the point there was a threat to Zimmerman he had no opportunity to escape. Being pinned on the ground and beaten does not afford much opportunity to escape, which is the defense. The statutory self-defense law--given the defense's version of events--is virtually the same in all states. Even if there's a duty to retreat, that has nothing to do with a situation where one cannot escape safely. The legal question was primarily if Zimmerman initiated the fight (merely talking to someone wouldn't reach that level) in which case he cannot later claim self-defense, and if he reasonably feared great bodily harm. Florida's "stand your ground" law is irrelevant here. And while the jury instructions use that phrase, that's the case in all self-defense standard jury instructions in Florida. The facts of this case, whether the prosecution's or the defenses, don't ever really call on the duty to retreat. Shadowjams (talk) 04:53, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
Even if it shouldn't have been a stand-your-ground case, some people made it out to be. Even one of the jurors has stated that the Judge's explanation of stand-your-ground may have impacted the jury's decision.[5] Someguy1221 (talk) 05:01, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
  • The big problem here is the trial was not broadcast, and we do not have the prosecutor's arguments. Media heads have been arguing that Martin was just as obviously defending himself from a stalker (in which case he was justified by the stand your ground law to use his fists) as Zimmerman was defending himself with a gun from some pedestrian the police told him not to follow. There are other complaints about the competence of the prosecution. The judge admitted evidence Martin had marijuana in his blood, the relevance of which is unclear to his shooting, and refused to allow lesser charges of felony assault and felony murder against Zimmerman. These rulings could have been appealed by the prosecution, but weren't. Until there is a comprehensive neutral book on the trial we really don't have the facts to explain the court decision. μηδείς (talk) 01:13, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
You realise all 15 days or so of the trial have been uploaded to youtube, right? RetroLord 01:15, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
Good info, a link to them at YT would be helpful. I don't have 15 days or so to spare at the moment though, nor will the trial go into detail about the law and alternatives the prosecution had that a good book will cover. μηδείς (talk) 01:19, 17 July 2013 (UTC)

Just to clarify: although my question was inspired by Florida vs Zimmerman, it's an altogether separate question. I'd appreciate it if we could ignore Florida vs Zimmerman and focus on OP. (talk) 02:35, 17 July 2013 (UTC)

I think the problem is, that your question can only be answered by saying "It depends on what the jury thinks". There's enough details left out of your scenario that there's no way to predict how a jury would decide the case. Even the Zimmerman case, which had two weeks of evidence, perplexed most people, let alone the jury. Never forget the "law" is basically "what you can convince the jury of" and the question of what is considered legal and illegal (or if you prefer, whether a person is considered guilty or innocent of a crime) depends on the whims of a dozen or half dozen (depending on the jurisdiction) people who, lets face it, weren't bright enough to figure out how to get out of jury duty. --Jayron32 02:39, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
This is something several responses have confused, even sometimes by the same respondents who later provider better clarification, Remember that in most places, the jury or judge is not asked to decide if a person is guilty or innocent. They are asked to decide if some is guilty by some standard, usually beyond a reasonable doubt, or not guilty by that standard. A not guilty verdict doesn't mean the jury or judge definitely considered the defendent innocent, simply that they felt that they weren't sure from the evidence presented they were guilty by whatever standard replies. (Of course in some cases there is fear that the decision was made for other reasons e.g. dislike of the defendent or thinking they're a bad person, belief that the crime shouldn't be a crime, bribery etc etc.) In many cases a person not guilty of a crime has to be treated the same as an innocent person, but not always and it also doesn't imply they are the same thing. Nil Einne (talk) 12:57, 17 July 2013 (UTC)

Well sure, from a purely abstract point of view it sounds like self defense. But what are the actual facts of the case? What exactly did the witnesses see and is their testimony credible? What motives can be drawn either way? There's a lot to consider. Oversimplifications as such simply aren't of much use... (talk) 04:19, 17 July 2013 (UTC)

The crux of the OPs question is in the line "escalated into a physical alteration", and to a lesser extent, the verbal argument. Classic self defense, true in most common law jurisdictions, is that if one initiates a fight they can't later claim self defense, unless they sufficiently retreat and the other person re-initiates the aggression. This is the standard law school black-letter law answer to your question. It's covered more in self-defense. Shadowjams (talk) 04:57, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
The OP didn't actually identify the initiator of the fight, so I suppose your guess is as good as mine. It's still an open question as stated. (talk) 05:35, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
That's exactly my point. The line i put in quotes is almost dispositive of the issue. The reasonableness question coming after that. Shadowjams (talk) 07:02, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
I don't think it's that simple even if you know who initiated the fight, Shadow. Someone attacking you does not always grant you the legal right to respond with lethal force. Someguy1221 (talk) 05:52, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
Read what I wrote again. I wrote in the negative. Self-defense is not available to the aggressor unless they meet specific retreat criteria. The question of the reasonableness of any particular force is a separate issue I didn't address. I never commented on the level of force that would be appropriate. The law on that is generally "reasonable", and in some cases to stop a forcible felony (for example rape might not threaten the life of the victim). The law varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, but the basic approach in most common law jurisdictions is what I described. Shadowjams (talk) 06:53, 17 July 2013 (UTC)

Where this hypothetically happened matters an awful lot. In most of the world a civilian carrying a pistol would be breaking the law, so the balance of guilt would swing way over in his direction. HiLo48 (talk) 08:49, 17 July 2013 (UTC)

The OP didn't ask about "most of the world", he asked about Florida. So, in Australia, if someone breaks into your home and attacks you, what do you do? Just relax and enjoy it? ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 11:56, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
They would call the police. Obviously. Itsmejudith (talk) 14:32, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
"G'day, dispatcher, there's a guy coming at me with a knife. Please hurry!" ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 14:43, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
Personally, I wouldn't choose to kill someone just to defend my laptop and TV. And I am happy to accept the minute risk of home invasion in exchange for being safe from trigger-happy vigilantes and disgruntled co-workers going postal. Gandalf61 (talk) 14:57, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
Pointless question. Complex. Many varied situations. No simple answers. One thing for certain is that we don't tend to just shoot first and ask questions later. Also, the OP didn't initially ask just about Florida. One reason that this is big news all around the world is because of the point I made. 95% of the world's population doesn't have the same laws about carrying weapons. It's simply not allowed. And most of it works just fine. We are constantly trying to understand this aspect of the USA. It's a genuine puzzle to us. HiLo48 (talk) 13:01, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
So 95% of the world can't defend itself. Explain why that's a good thing - and what it has to do with the OP's question. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 13:37, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
HiLo48 perhaps might think 95% of the world can;t defend itself because he or she doesn't normally see any guns on a daily basis: out of sight, out of mind. Number of guns per capita by country might be an eye opener on that "95%"? Til Eulenspiegel /talk/ 13:46, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
The "per capita" can be misleading, as those who own a gun often tend to own several. And it depends on the gun. There is a lot of hunting in America, which is necessary to keep the deer population from running amuck, for example. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 13:59, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
Please don't generalize about the United States. I live in Massachusetts, where gun ownership is more strictly regulated than most other states, where there is no "stand your ground" law, and where, for cultural if not legal reasons, I strongly doubt that a jury would have acquitted Zimmerman or Mr. B. Marco polo (talk) 14:10, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
I'm really surprised any of the regulars got involved in this question. Hypothetical questions are inherently opinion-based, and no legal case is like another. Anyone who thinks they know what the outcome of even a real case will be, let alone a hypothetical one where we are missing so many of the details that make a difference, is kidding themselves and everybody else, and should give their ego a nice holiday. That's why they have actual trials to determine matters in individual cases; the result can never be predicted with any certainty. If the scenario presented had been based on the OJ case before his trial, precisely nobody would have guessed the outcome. Our rules are rather clear cut, though: "We don't answer requests for opinions". -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 17:03, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
Good point. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 17:04, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
I'm unhatting this on principle. My view on the question of hypotheticals is "if it can be answered with a reference, then it is a valid question". I won't repeat the arguments I've made before on this.
Almost all questions on the humanities desk are, in a sense, asking for interpretations and opinions. There is no reason to single out law as somehow more subjective than other subjects. If anything, it is less subjective, because there are rules that frame the interpretation and opinions, more so than many other subjects.
This question is one which is answerable with references. A trained Florida lawyer or even any US lawyer should be able to give a response, based on laws and precedent, which even if unable to predict how any court will decide it, will be able to give an estimate of the probability of the court reaching one conclusion or another.
In other words, this is more like "will there be a recession next year?" (answerable with a reference) than "do you like my new shoes?" (not so answerable).
That a whole bunch of people have come forth to offer their opinions without proper references does not mean the question should be hatted - if anything its their unhelpful responses that should be hatted. --PalaceGuard008 (Talk) 20:22, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
  • I posted an answer here. I don't think it has to be answered improperly. But there is a consensus on talk, and we don't suffer lone unhatters here, even if they have their own personal principles. Make the argument on talk, not here. μηδείς (talk) 20:27, 17 July 2013 (UTC)