Bob McCoskrie

Family First don’t know the difference between suicide and death with dignity

I really have trouble supporting anything Family First do these days. They really only believe in their kinds of families first.

Worse, when Bob McCoskrie willingly gave evidence to support Colin Craig and then had to be recalled to correct his statements you have to wonder whether he and the organisation he represents actually believe what they stand for.

Bob McCoskrie is now pushing a myth regarding suicide.

Family First New Zealand – one of the lead family organisations against assisted suicide and euthanasia – has presented their oral submission today to the Select Committee conducting the Investigation into ending one’s life in New Zealand as a result of Maryan Street’s petition.

In their oral submission, National Director Bob McCoskrie has warned MPs that the Inquiry presents a serious risk to public health and safety because there is a ‘social contagion’ aspect to suicide – assisted or non-assisted – and that we need more discussion about suicide prevention.

“You don’t discourage suicide by assisting suicide,” says Mr McCoskrie. “Suicide is already a public health crisis.”

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Should Family First be renamed Misogyny First?

Three wives, numerous mistresses, nearly a dozen victims coming forward, but Bob McCoskrie’s Family First re-tweeting in Donald Trump’s defence.

One of the most extraordinary days during the Williams v Craig defamation trial was when Colin Craig was lining up cronies to try to defend the indefensible in his treatment of Rachel MacGregor.  The various witnesses – mostly Conservative Party officials and staff -all coincidently sung off the identical song sheet: “inappropriate” nothing more, nothing less. They even all had the same spelling mistake in their briefs of evidence.

They were forced to read the “You are wonderful” love letter with the “You have the most beautiful…” line.  They all refused to accept that it was ‘sleazy’ or evidence of sexual harassment when questioned by Williams’ lawyers. They merely parroted Colin Craig’s favourite word ‘inappropriate’.   Read more »

Family First caught distorting facts

Gay marriage

Pat Brittenden has a long post busting the mis-truths of Family First and Bob McCoskrie they are spreading about gay marriage.

It was too hard to edit so I called Pat and asked if I could re-publish it.


by Pat Brittenden

I read with interest an article on stuff.co.nz last week about Living Springs, a Christian venue in Christchurch, that has changed its position on allowing LGBTI couples to get married there. From the tenor of the article it seemed that the venue had come to this policy change in a sensible, rationale and logical way. The director, Denis Aldridge, was quoted saying, “we’ve been on a journey with this one, and we’ve got there… It took a while.”

Part of the journey involves a recent Human Rights Commission complaint against Living Springs after a lesbian couple were refused their request to hire the venue for their wedding. According to the article, Living Springs did not feel coerced by the Human Rights Commission to change their policy. In fact Elizabeth Wiltshire, one half of the couple who made the Human Rights Commission complaint, rang to speak to Aldridge after the change in policy. Wiltshire indicated that Aldridge seemed to be perfectly happy with the outcome.

“It was good, actually. I felt it was genuine. It wasn’t ‘Oh, we’ve had this unlawful policy and now you’re making us change it,’ [he was] very thankful,” she said, “It gave them a mandate to push for change.”

Fast forward one week and lobby group Family First distributes a press release headed “Function Centre Pressured to Allow Same-Sex Weddings.” The Press Release uses Living Springs as a reason to push the narrative that “Faith-based function centres” are being held hostage and forced into holding LGBTI marriages when they don’t feel they should have to. Family First also continues to make allegations that some in government said this would never happen which is factually incorrect as the opposite was clearly signalled at the time.

“If a church currently hires out their hall for money, they can’t discriminate against any group who chooses to hire out that hall.” Louisa Wall, Q&A.March 2013

I saw Family First’s Press Release on Facebook and it didn’t ring accurate to me after having read the stuff article. The change in Living Springs’ policy seemed more pragmatic than pressured. The conversation on the Facebook post ebbed and flowed between Living Springs and general negative comments about marriage equality. However anytime a contributor suggested the headline of the Press Release may be incorrect Family First director Bob McCoskrie pushed back with the idea that Living Springs “were certainly placed under pressure.”

This really didn’t add up to me, so I phoned Living Springs Director Denis Aldridge myself and requested a formal interview to use for elephantTV. It turns out Aldridge’s story is fascinating.

As a Pastor he was at the forefront of protests in Balclutha in 1986 opposing the Homosexual Law Reform Act. Since then he has been on what he describes as a “journey of thirty years”, where various people came into his life at different stages and challenged his perspective on what it means to be gay. Today Aldridge is an supporter for marriage equality. To have shifted from being someone who led the march against homosexual law reform to someone who is now ‘pro’ marriage equality is simply remarkable.

I wanted to clear up the most important claim by Family First that Living Springs was ‘pressured’ into changing their policy. Aldridge’s response was simple.

“It’s totally wrong and that didn’t come from us, that was the narrative that the guy that rung me wanted and I refuted it” he said. “The reality was [Living Springs] didn’t feel strongly that way, we’d actually come as an organisation [to the place where] we were seeing it, we believe, on a higher level and the higher level was ‘what would Jesus do?’”

Aldridge also made it clear that if they were to take what many Christians believe to be a “biblical interpretation” on marriage and reject marriage equality, then “we have to take a biblical line on re-marriage and divorced people” as well, given that the bible specifically denounces those forms of marriage.

Family First contacted Aldridge looking for comment on their change in policy prior to writing the press release and Aldridge wanted to make clear that he told Bob McCoskrie that they did not “feel coerced [into making the decision to change policy].”

“It’s actually that we have decided it’s the right thing to do” Aldridge said.

Aldridge feels as if Family First has purposely ignored their position.

”They obviously have an agenda, there’s a certain narrative that they wanted to hear and they’ve printed that narrative,” he stated.

Aldridge said they “weren’t pressured into [holding Same Sex marriages]” and they “don’t see it as capitulation.” The issue of Same Sex couples using the venue was already being spoken about at Living Springs, “we’d already had this conversation and that was the words I felt Bob [McCoskrie] was trying to put into my mouth that we were bullied into it, we answered that [we were not] but he’s gone ahead with that story anyways.”

Aldridge finished the interview with a challenge to us all, “I felt really proud of [Living Springs] in the end that we had, I suppose, the humility to say ‘well we haven’t always been right in this thing.’”

To clear up one issue with this whole thing. The law is clear, and it hasn’t changed since Same-Sex marriages were legalised. There is no ambiguity. If you hire a venue to the general public then you must abide by the Human Rights Act of 1993. This doesn’t allow discrimination in twelve main areas, one of which is ‘sexual orientation’. If you hire your venue to the general public for marriages, now that LGBTI couples can marry, then you cannot withhold the venue from them because of their sexual orientation. Prior to marriage equality, if your venue made itself available to the general public and that same LGBTI couple wanted to use it for a birthday party, or a baby dedication, or any kind of celebration that you’d hire it to any heterosexual person for, you also couldn’t refuse them because of their sexual orientation. There is no difference in the law.

I gave Family First the opportunity to retract or correct their statement about Living Springs informing them of the interview I had conducted and the information that came from that interview. They have refused to do so. It is now unequivocally clear that Living Springs were not ‘pressured’ or ‘bullied’ or ‘forced’ into making this policy change. They chose to, and were happy to change.

The full unedited interview with Denis Aldridge is below.

I want the Bible and Quran banned. Or at least age restricted

Bob McCoskrie is dumber than a sack of hammers and clearly still hasn’t heard about the Streisand Effect.

Conservative lobby group Family First is considering its legal options after a ban on controversial teen novel Into the River was lifted.

An interim restriction order was applied last month on Ted Dawe’s award-winning coming-of-age novel making it illegal to sell or supply the book anywhere in New Zealand.

Film and Literature Board of Review took the step after Family First sought to have an age restriction placed on the book because of its subject matter.

The book contains offensive language and addresses several controversial issues, including having sex under the legal age, illegal drug use, child sex exploitation and violent assault.

In a 4-1 majority decision the board lifted the ban saying it did not believe an age restriction was justified.   Read more »

C-word nine times, the F-word 17 times and s-h-i-t 16 times, but not banned anymore

New Zealand has flipped back into the 21st century by unbanning a banned book.  

Leaving the suitability of the book for young adults to one side, we should never ban books because that means someone gets to decide what is acceptable and what isn’t.  The ability to write anything at all, no matter how unsuitable, is something that needs to be protected.

Award-winning book Into the River will be back on shelves after an interim ban on it was lifted today; however, it was not a unanimous decision.

Library and bookshop shelves across the country were stripped of the teen novel after an interim ban was placed on it for explicit content.

The book, written by Ted Dawe, won the 2013 NZ Post Children’s Book Awards.

Last month, the coming-of-age novel was given the interim ban by the Film and Literature Board of Review following a request by Family First.

The book was initially released with stickers warning of explicit content, but without any age restriction. The board later changed it to R14, but last month the chief censor removed the restriction, as well as the requirement it carry a sticker warning.   Read more »

Bob McCoskrie loves the Streisand Effect

McCoskrie

via 3 News

Hayden Donnell at 3 News has noticed that Family First frequently boosts the publications or events they protest against due to the Streisand Effect.   He had an email exchange with Family First director Bob McCoskrie:

“Hi Hayden. The problem with your thesis is that you’re suggesting that if we just stay silent, the problem will go away.

Anything but!

It’s when these events happen that we can raise the concerns that so many have about, for example, the harms of porn and the pornography industry,” he wrote. Read more »

That Streisand Effect needs to be renamed to the Streisand Law

Just like Obama sells guns, Bob McCoskrie sells books.

Interest in reading a controversial book has risen in Rotorua after it was slapped with an interim ban.

Award-winning young adult novel, Into the River by Ted Dawe has been pulled from shelves at Rotorua District Library and local bookstores after an order by the Film and Literature Board of Review.

The move comes following a complaint from the conservative lobby group Family First which reportedly objected to the novel’s sexually explicit content, drug use and use of slang for female genitalia.

The interim ban of sale and supply of the 2013 book is the first in the 22-year-history of the Films, Videos and Publications Classification Act 1993.    Read more »

Book banning still alive and well in NZ

books

Bob McCoskrie is an idiot.

He has moved to have an award winning book banned after it has been on the market for more than two years. Has he not heard of the Streisand Effect? Read more »

Who will take over from Colin Craig?

With Colin Craig’s departure now confirmed, let’s look at what a primary race might look like in the Conservative Party.

The one thing the Conservatives have on their side is time.  The election is still at least two years away so they can take months deciding on a new leader.

Initial front-runners:

Former CERA boss, Roger Sutton
Pros: Roger is both competent and available. He’s better liked by the Government than Colin Craig and would more likely be able to get a Epsom-style deal from John Key.
Cons: Two leaders in a row with sexual harassment allegations in their past is a bad look, even for the Conservatives.

Christine Rankin
Pros: High profile, media capable. Experience in senior government position would bring an element of credibility should the Party find themselves a part of fourth term John Key Government.
Cons: It’s Christine Rankin.  Read more »

Outrage? Not so much, it’s only Christians being insulted

jesus-cof

Apparently there is some outrage about a t-shirt exhibition which has a t-shirt from some band called Cradle of Filth that is offensive.

The display of a t-shirt that features a semi-naked nun and makes an obscene reference to Jesus has sparked a threat to call police and pleas for a boycott.

For an exhibition starting tomorrow, Canterbury Museum planned to display items including English metal band Cradle of Filth’s “Vestal Masturbation” t-shirts.

The clothing, the subject of several controversies and prosecutions worldwide over the years, featured an obscene slogan about Jesus on one side and a picture of a semi-naked nun masturbating on the other.

Conservative lobby group Family First called the exhibit “horrific” and “offensive” and was appealing to authorities, the public and the museum to take action.

Bob McCoskrie, the group’s national director, said he was complaining to police because he needed to “warn families” and dismissed suggestions his complaint would simply give the exhibit more attention.

“It’s a free exhibition in a public museum.”

Mr McCoskrie understood the museum received an “exemption” to display the t-shirts, even though he said both the Internal Affairs Department and Invercargill District Court had in the past deemed the shirt offensive.

“We don’t think it’s art.”

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