Surely Katie Price demeans marriage more than gay marriage ever could?

3 April 2013

1:11 PM

3 April 2013

1:11 PM

The right of gays to have a civil marriage in a non-religious service is once again an issue. There have been large and slightly violent protests in Paris as well as on-going judicial contortions in the US. I know my support for gay marriage appears to put me in a minority among conservatives. But perhaps I could ask a question of my opponents?

One of the things that opponents of gay civil marriage always say is that gay marriage would ‘undermine’, ‘distort’ or otherwise ‘demean’ existing marriage. Many people – continuing to mix up civil and religious marriage – claim that the ‘sanctity’ of religious heterosexual marriage will be undermined by a civil, non-religious, homosexual marriage. I cannot help thinking that this line of thought would be more persuasive if the same critics held their line when it comes to what some might argue is the non-gay ‘demeaning’ of marriage. Allow me an example.


On Good Friday the topless model Jordan, aka Katie Price, married again. It is the third or fourth time she has married. This time she has married a part-time stripper who she apparently knew for six weeks before they got engaged. It is slightly tricky counting Ms Price’s marriages because each one includes a lot of mini-‘marriages’ – restating of vows, re-marrying, doing it again for the cameras and so on. Her life is lived out in front of – and, it would seem, for – the celebrity adoring public. Specifically it is covered extensively in that extraordinary new genre of celebrity magazine which has grown in a few years from almost nothing to taking up whole shelves of supermarket space. Ms Price’s own step-father has described her weddings as being like ‘groundhog day’. This latest one – covered on the front-pages of last weekend’s tabloids – apparently had a Willy-Wonka theme with the couple on vast thrones and surrounded by giant sweets.

I have no reason to wish Ms Price anything but personal happiness, but it should not take a cynic to notice that her weddings all have certain things in common: a new love, a high degree of publicity and cash. Perhaps one of the advantages of marriage in the eyes of Ms Price can be sensed from the fact that her ‘people’ apparently asked a friend of hers who used to be on a television show to remove a photo from the wedding that the friend had put on Twitter. Early-bird photo-releases like this apparently risk spoiling the highly lucrative magazine deals – with OK, Hello and the like – which Jordan will have once again sold for a five or six figure sum.

If the people who object to civil gay marriage really are concerned about the undermining of the sanctity of marriage would they not be better exercised by railing against Willy Wonka themed weddings of celebrities cashing in on magazine deals for the umpteenth time? If you were concerned to imbue the next generation with the importance, significance and perhaps even the sanctity of marriage would this not be a more appropriate target than any gay couple asking for the right just once to say ‘I do’?

Subscribe to The Spectator today for a quality of argument not found in any other publication. Get more Spectator for less – just £12 for 12 issues.

Show comments
  • Neideen

    Douglas I admire you but you don’t need to insult her to make your point.

  • paulus

    Once again you cite a logical fallacy to support an argument ala Owen Jones. You have insulted your own intelligence by writing this.Maybe the next time she gets married you can do the write for HELLO

  • Lagos1

    I think Douglas Murray somewhat misses the point here.

    He can argue the case that Katie Price “demeans” marriage and many people would agree. And the issue is hardly ignored – the hard line on divorce advocated by the Catholic church was always very well known and much discussed until society decided that homosexual issues were now even more important than how many times someone gets married.

    However, what no one is denying is that Katie Price is actually getting married. The issue with homosexual “marriage” is that it distorts the very essence of what marriage is defined as.

    So whereas the matter of Katie Price is one of demeaning marriage, the matter of homosexual “marriage” is one of distorting the concept of marriage. Two different things.

    And by the way, one day it would be good to hear what the advantages are to wider society that are similar enough to real marriage for society to support the idea of homosexual “marriage”? This question is never addressed adequately.

    • Neideen

      What are the disadvantages? Please do not give me the old “they cannot bear children” argument. We are overpopulated and underresourced. The planet does not need more children. What is your problem with allowing 2 people who love each other to be together? Don’t you see what horrible things happen to people just for being gay? It takes so much courage for them to come out.

  • Peter Learnihan

    In that outfit alone.

  • allymax bruce

    I’ve tried to leave a more definitive comment on Marriage, but it seems it’s not ‘posting’.
    You can read it on my twitter account; allymax bruce twitter.

  • anotherjoeblogs

    as well as being astute, Douglas, you have a great sense of humour.

  • Surlautobus

    Ms Price just wants, in her own words, a “fair retail wedding”. In this harsh economic climate can we deny her?

  • Hellen
  • OldmanRick

    It’s only for the money and publicity. Without it fame seekers disappear into the dusty closet of obscurity.

  • darwins beard

    Not letting people who love each other get married based the interpretations of stories about a confirmed bachelor who exclusively spent his life traveling round with twelve other men, what could possibly be wrong with this argument ?

    I wonder when people will see that they were on the wrong side of history this time.

    • Paul

      Sometime shortly before Christendom 2.0, I suspect.

    • Swank

      For starters, Jesus isn’t the argument for marriage as existing between two people, one man and one woman.

      If you want a really good discussion of what marriage needs and why, you could do worse than read the relevant parts of Allan Bloom’s Love And Friendship (or the whole thing).

  • Jupiter

    You’ve missed the most obvious question about Jordan.

    Would you or wouldn’t you?

    ^ for Yes, v for No

    • JabbaTheCat

      Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band – Canyons Of Your Mind

    • Fergus Pickering

      Good God no. Pippa Middleton yes.

      • Swank

        Why? Because she’s so much less elegant than Kate? A bit like the old idea of bonking the maid because the lady wife had too much inherent virtue.

        • Fergus Pickering

          No. Because I think megatits are ugly. And also because you’d have to talk to her at some stage..

          • Jupiter

            9 yes, 3 No so far

            • terregles2

              We have at least 12 misogynists online. No surprises there.
              9 Yes 3 no= 12 clowns.

              • Jupiter

                15 Yes, 4 No now

          • Airey Belvoir

            They say that silence id golden, but duct tape comes in silver.

  • tom w huxley

    Thank you for articulating so well something that I have always believed.

  • Teddy Bear

    It’s not Katie Price.
    Society had to lose its direction first to make subsequent erosion of marriage, and the many other core values gone by the wayside, possible.
    Price is a symptom, not a cause.

  • allymax bruce

    Douglas, your ‘inspection’ of Marraige, is on your interpretation; I ask you to look at what the Church says Marriage is.
    Moreover, if Katie has had four marriages, (as you say), then surely she has a deepness of love for the Spiritual content of what God wants her to have. ‘Working my way back to you’ Lord.
    In the bible a man can marry more than once; a woman can too.
    Your premise lays in the constituent meaning of marriage; it appears you would ‘like’ to have your cake and eat it, while those not of your ilk, not get the ‘same’ cake. You may have something there!
    Homosexuals have the Right to have something ‘like’ marriage, but not marriage per-say. Marriage is specifically heterosexual; of one man, and one woman.
    How about homosexuals getting Rights to have ‘Weddings’?
    It’s ‘like’ marriage, but not the ‘same’ as Marriage.

    • James

      A few decades ago, the vast majority of people felt that marriage was supposed to be between people of the same race, and would have been astonished and disgusted on seeing a mixed-race married couple. Even in 2000, the US state of Alabama held a referendum on repealing its unenforcable (due to a 1967 court decision) law against interracial marriage and only 60% voted yes. “Marriage is specifically heterosexual” is a statement of how things currently are, not an argument, just as “marriage is specifically intraracial” was a correct statement in the past.

      Also, there is more than one church and none of them agree what marriage is. There are lots and lots of churches that support same-sex marriage or don’t have an opinion on it.

      • alba pecorina

        This is such nonsense. Interracial marriage were not banned because the idea that a marriage was somehow not a marriage if between two people of different race. It was banned because people knew that marriage was ordered towards procreation and what they wanted to avoid was mixing the gene pool. Also take polygamy. It is also the same as monogamy in that it is between one man one woman for life ordered towards the procreation of children. Also marriage has not historically been about banning interracial marriage. It was only prevalent during an age in which racial supremacy and eugenics was the orthodoxy. It certainly did not exist in the middle ages, nor roman times or greek and so on. Slaves were often banned from marriage as marriage builds strong kinship ties which would have empowered them.

      • allymax bruce

        Hi James, thanks for your reply. Like my reply to Paul, I ask you to not look at what ‘society’ says what Marriage is, rather, look at what the Church/Bible says what Marriage is.
        Society, through civil procedure, (and remember, Frued wrote about Civilisation and its Discontents), can change anything it wants, to mean whatever it wants, but as Marriage, is, and always will be, a Tenet of Spiritual concomitant-wealth with God, can never have any other meaning than what it does in the Bible.
        In other words, you can argue all you want about how ‘society’s values’ have changed, but your arguments will only have the effective wealth of Tony Bliar’s ‘God will judge me’ rhetoric on his illegal war on Iraq! The only thing that never changes, and always has as much value as it ever did have, is God’s Spiritual wealth; epitomised in Marriage.
        So, you see, James, Man is fallible; forget how great Man is, because man can not save himself; only God can give ‘everlasting life’; and only God’s definition of Marriage is true.

        • Joseph Power

          Are you forgetting that Douglas explicitly outlined the differentiation between ‘civil’ and ‘religious’ marriage? Marriage as an institution long predates Christianity, and your sacred text by at least 5000 years. It has always been a social contract (traditionally between families) and used for a variety of purposes.

          I happen to prefer a cod to a saveloy, but Douglas should be able to marry whomever he wants. ‘God’s definition of Marriage’ has no place in legislation for non-believers.

    • Fergus Pickering

      Tye Bible, my dear chap, is quite irrelevant. It says many very dreadful things. The teachings of the Church of England depend upon what the Church says. If you belong to an extreme Protestant sect you can believe what you like..

    • Summer Seale

      What on earth does the legal definition of marriage have to do with the bible? Douglas Murray was talking about civil weddings and not calling for an imposition on any religious institution in any way whatsoever. So kindly take your bible back to your little church and leave well enough alone. You can say whatever you want to say about the universe in that arena, but you don’t get to define things that way for the rest of us outside of it.


  • Donafugata

    To marry during Lent is just not done but I can’t imagine that Price would have the foggiest idea that it was Lent.
    To marry on Good Friday is repulsive.

  • Donafugata

    Katie has at least chosen the traditional colour for her trousseau. White, for purity, virginity and, in her case, mockery.

  • Austin Barry

    With her strange orange glow, Arctic-white tombstone choppers and giant vulvic fissured face Katie Price surely demeans women more than marriage.

    • allymax bruce

      You are too critical Austin. Have you no Love for your fellow human being?
      I see a fragile, and insecure woman, coming back to God in severance.

  • HarryTheHornyHippo

    Seems to me DM you might want to delcare your own sexuality if you’re going to be given a platform on this.

    • Duke

      Douglas Murray has declared many times that he is gay. I hope that clears it up for you. I’m straight but agree with every word. Not sure what Murray’s own sexuality has to do with it really.

      • HarryTheHornyHippo

        Thanks Douglas.

      • Alakshendra Yadav

        Probably I skipped those parts in Douglas’ videos where he says that he’s homosexual, but it was good to know. We do need people like him who can make rational arguments to defend our cause against people who use religion and “morality” to justify their primitive thinking and bigotry.

  • Paul

    The common cold is less deadly than cancer – that doesn’t mean we don’t bother treating it.

    Yes, marriage has been undermined by no fault divorce, and heterosexuals have done far more to damage the institution than homosexuals. We took out ‘for life’. Now people are calling to take out the complementarity of the sexes. Next will be the polygamists, and no argument that I’ve heard for introducing same-sex marriage couldn’t equally be applied to all kinds of other potential partnerships (for example incest).

    • allymax bruce

      Paul, the argument ‘against’ s-sm is the imposed conflation of compounding-suffrage, besetting ‘the’ homosexual in history, culture, and law; throughout the ages. It’s time to look at this situation, in the clear calm light of a matured 21st century prism of Human Rights.
      Ask any homosexual why they want marriage, and they’ll tell you ‘because we have been subordinated all our lives; we want Equality now’.
      The problem for homosexsuals is that it is time to begin looking at ways to afford them new Rights, but Marriage is not that right.
      They need to go and find their own apple!

    • James

      “Now people are calling to take out the complementarity of the sexes.”

      I really don’t think we should base our marriage laws on controversial concepts from Christian theology. Especially not ones that contradict reality.

      Conservative Christian: God divided humans into two sexes, men and women, who are equal but different, and they should always have different roles in society.
      Normal person: Then why did He create intersex people? And how exactly do I go about testing whether someone is a man or a woman? People seem to object when I take a blood sample to test their chromosomes, and some of them turn out to be XXY or XYY or something anyway.
      Conservative Christian: …

      • Paul

        So suddenly telling the difference between a boy and a girl is a really difficult conundrum? Over a thousand years of English law has coped with this basic distinction. Looking at the plumbing when they’re born is usually sufficient.

        Yes, there are people on the border. Incidentally this is dealt with in the Bible. But even if you don’t believe that (which would be deeply irrational), the complementarity of sexes is quite an easy thing to understand. Children manage to understand it in biology classes. We can go over it here if you like.

        • Fergus Pickering

          It’s not a conundrum at all, Paul. The word you want is ‘problem’. Don’t use hard words you don’t understand. If you want to increase your word power, use a dictionary.

          • Paul

            If you want to join in the debate, fine. Otherwise, why not go to YouTube and tell people off for using split infinitives?

            • Fergus Pickering

              It still isn’t a conundrum. Words are deserving of respect, and some opinions, though not, alas, yours, which are old and tired.

              • Paul

                If you love words, use them to construct an argument. Arguments don’t wear out or die of old age, they are refuted.

    • Swank

      Why was my incredibly harmless yet worthwhile observation about behavior and attitudes in marriage spiked in advance? Strange.
      All I said was that if you think you can never lose something, the incentive to behave well — to be responsive and appreciative — is lessened (sometimes severely). The possibility of loss is therefore essential to a happy marriage, in my view. This isn’t a theory: it’s my experience.