LGBT rights

Missing the point

ŠĒ• NZ Herald

John Roughan writes about same-sex couple adopting, and mises the point completely:

Gay adoption has always seemed to me to be a step too far.

Marriage, sure. A couple’s genuine commitment is worthy of legal recognition. But adoption puts a child in the front line of a social challenge. I’m not sure that is fair.

It is not clear what sort of parentage was envisaged when the National Party’s northern conference voted last weekend for gay couples in a civil union to be legally entitled to adopt, or precisely what is in a bill that Auckland Central MP Nikki Kaye says she has been working on with the Greens’ Kevin Hague.

It might go no further than to let a woman be a legal parent of a child born to her partner, which would be a fine thing to do. But in the name of gender equality it probably would allow a male couple to be legal parents too.

The Prime Minister was enthused by the conference vote. He said it showed the party was modern. His Government might even sponsor the bill, ensuring it gets on Parliament’s agenda, though MPs would have an independent “conscience” vote on any application to same sex couples.

The Prime Minister has every right to be enthused that the Young Nats are showing some initiative. But it is the next part of Roughan’s article that shows his grasp on the¬†intricacies¬†of the topic is tenuous.

Key must be encouraged by the public response so far. In the little discussion I’ve heard a consensus seems to agree with Kaye that the suitability of adoptive parents has nothing to do with their sexuality. As long as a child has a safe and loving home, nothing else matters.

But I can’t help wondering what happens when the child goes to school. Other children might not be as modern as the northern region of the National Party.

When the child goes to school I dare say a new entrants’ teacher will get the class seated on the mat and talk to them happily about all the different kinds of parents people can have, and mention, by the way, that Billy has two fathers.

I don’t think this would help Billy one bit, especially when the kids later innocently ask him whether he has two mothers too, or just one mother, or what? And things will only get harder when the class enters puberty and the kids are becoming much more intrigued by Billy’s household than they used to be.

This is specious argument. If the best argument he can come up with against same-sex couples being able to adopt is that the kids might get teased then the argument is over and he lost. The same reasoning could be used to set up a Commission of names to approve children’s names, given some of the sillynames out there this could have some merit.

And then John Roughan misses the point completely.

Adoption generally has become rare since the advent of the pill, easy abortion and benefits for sole parents. Gays applying to adoption agencies these days would join a sad waiting room of young heterosexual couples who have also been penalised by nature.

If the Kaye-Hague bill is going to ask agencies to disregard the sexual orientation of applicants when they assess their suitability, I think it would be asking too much. Since it mainly aims to update the law on surrogacy and other reproductive variants it might concentrate on adoptions that same-sex couples arrange for themselves.

The proposed bill and the remit of the Young Nats is not about Closed Adoptions, of which there are precious few, it is about open adoption, and about legacy. Basically the little known fact of civil unions is that the people in civil unions do not enjoy the same rights as married people whether or not they are heteroe-sexual couples of same-sex couples….adoption is just on area of this that needs addressing.

Guest Post – Louisa Wall

Yesterday I emailed Louisa Wall, the MP who is best known for her stance on marriage equality, asking her if she would like to write a guest post. Louisa and I are on different sides of the political spectrum on many issues, but on the same side of this one. I am grateful that Louisa has the ability to look beyond our differences and agreed to provide a guest post.

I am happy to publish guest posts on from any politician from any political party, and will print their post in its entirety. I may comment if I disagree, but the original post will not be edited in any form.

Readers should feel free to comment as usual, though please remember that courtesy should be extended to guests. Reasoned, sensible arguments from any side of the debate on marriage equality are welcome. Inane abuse is not.

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - JUNE 19:  Labour repre...

(Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)

President Barack Obama’s support for same-sex marriage will hopefully inject momentum into the issue here. As Chair of Rainbow Labour Caucus I have been working on a Member’s bill amending the Marriage Act that I hope will be endorsed by Rainbow Labour ¬†and our Labour Caucus and placed in the ballot.

Our current Marriage Act does not define marriage as a union between one man and one  woman and that is a distinction that we have from other countries like Australia and the United States. The Quilter majority decision of the Court of Appeal in the 1990s essentially  passed the issue of same sex marriage back to Parliament because the Court believed the 1955 Marriage Act contemplated marriage in the traditional sense and any change that society wished to make should be done by legislation. The Court acknowledged the Act  was discriminatory but justified it by virtue of the time that the Act was passed. Justice Thomas however expressed a minority view that the 1955 Act was discriminatory and could not be justified under the NZ Bill of Rights Act. However he accepted that the Bill of Rights Act could not strike down the discriminatory nature of the Marriage Act Рin law they have the same status.

Our response in Aotearoa was the Civil Union Act 2004 which established civil unions for same-sex and opposite sex couples. I believe the experience of civil unions has resulted  in what I see as a greater acceptance of same-sex marriage today. Civil unions are a validly accepted institution amongst most people and one used by heterosexual couples as well. Essentially same-sex marriage along with same-sex adoption remain the issues that need to be addressed before we can say there is substantive equality in Aotearoa for the rainbow community.

Marriage for some same-sex couples is the preferred way for them to commit themselves to another person. For others, both same-sex and opposite sex, their commitment is best expressed by a civil union. Currently opposite sex couples can exercise either option but same-sex couples can only avail themselves of a civil union. That is discriminatory and breaches the basic human rights of a group of people based on their sexual orientation.

What I admire about President Obama’s public position is his ability to acknowledge that at a personal level, given his religious beliefs, it is not something that sits too comfortably with him but, at a moral level, and bearing in mind a commitment to equality and embodied ¬†in the constitution of the USA he cannot oppose same-sex marriage. I believe we all need ¬†to consider this matter in terms of equality and not our personal beliefs. In doing that no rational person could in my view oppose all people, regardless of their sexual orientation, having the same legal rights and ability to choose for themselves how they express their commitment and love for another person.

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Top Ten Reasons to Oppose Gay Marriage

After posting extensively on same-sex marriage the arguments against it can be distilled down into these top ten reasons to oppose gay marriage:

1) Being gay is not natural. Real Kiwis always reject unnatural things like eyeglasses, polyester, liposuction and air conditioning.

2) Gay marriage will encourage people to be gay, in the same way that hanging around tall people will make you tall.

3) Legalizing gay marriage will open the door to all kinds of crazy behavior. People may even wish to marry their pets because a dog has legal standing and can sign a marriage contract.

4) Straight marriage has been around a long time and hasn’t changed at all; women are still property, blacks still can’t marry whites, and divorce is still illegal.

5) Straight marriage will be less meaningful if gay marriage were allowed; the sanctity of Brittany Spears’ 55-hour just-for-fun marriage would be destroyed.

6) Straight marriages are valid because they produce children. Gay couples, infertile couples, and old people shouldn’t be allowed to marry because our orphanages aren’t full yet, and the world needs more children.

7) Obviously gay parents will raise gay children, since straight parents only raise straight children.

8) Gay marriage is not supported by religion. In a theocracy like ours, the values of one religion are imposed on the entire country. That’s why we have only one true religion.

9) Children can never succeed without a male and a female role model at home. That’s why we as a society expressly forbid single parents to raise children.

10) Gay marriage will change the foundation of society; we could never adapt to new social norms. Just like we haven’t adapted to cars, the service-sector economy, or longer life spans…

Re-post this if you believe in legalizing gay marriage.

Gays have lower divorce rates

ŠĒ• Andrew Sullivan

It seems that homosexual couples in a civil union have a much lower divorce rate than straight couples and even lesbian couples:

There’s some fascinating and¬†counter-intuitive data¬†that back it up (it’s not apples to apples since civil partnerships do not carry the social status of civil marriages, but it’s not far off, since British CPs are identical in rights to CMs.) But this is a striking result:

The most recent evidence from the UK Office of National Statistics finds that homosexual couples that joined in 2005 were significantly less likely to have filed for dissolution four years later than heterosexual couples were to have filed for divorce: 2.5% compared to 5.5%. As Hattersley points out, however, male couples were much less likely to dissolve their relationship than were female couples: By the end of 2010, 1.6 % of male civil partnerships had ended in dissolution compared to 3.3 % of female partnerships.

This data may shift again over time. But who predicted that gay marriages would have lower divorce rates than straight marriages? Not me. And who predicted that gay men would last longer in marriage than lesbians? No one. So the one thing Jesus insisted on in marriage – no divorce – is now best upheld by gay male marriages. (Cut to Gary Bauer’s head exploding.)

It looks like homosexual couples¬†respect¬†the sanctity of marriage a whole lot more than heterosexueals even if they can’t actually get married. Time for a bit of equality I think.

Gay couple find out they are going to be grand-dads

via Boing Boing

This is why it is ridiculous to die in a ditch opposing gay marriage and gay adoption. Family First should be embracing families not opposing them. These are certainly not type pf person about to put their kids in a dryer or thrown them on the roof or beat them to death.

As one commenter said on Reddit

“Those pesky gays, ruining the family structure what with all the genuine, unconditional love and affection they shower on their kids/grandkids.”

Pocock says what Chauvel and Robertson won’t

How hard is it to say ‚ÄúGay Marriage?‚ÄĚ Not very if you play for Australia. David Pocock says what Chauvel and Robertson are too afraid to say, in plain language.

Support for gay marriage is his most recent, publicly stated cause.

“I don’t see what the big deal is with the whole gay marriage debate in Australia,” he told the New Zealand Herald last week.

“Being brought up in a Christian home and still identifying as Christian, I get pretty annoyed with the Christian lobbies around the world who say gay marriage destroys families and all that kind of rubbish.

“They claim to follow someone who always stood up for the oppressed and marginalised.

“I guess it is a fear of the unknown – if you talk to someone who doesn’t like gay people you can almost guarantee that they don’t know too many.

How awesome is it that Australian Rugby players are more confortable talking about human rights than Labour politicians?

A Poll explaining why Gay Marriage is a good idea

In line with my position on Gay Marriage where anyone silly enough to want a mother-in-law is welcome to have one there is a poll in the UK suggesting precisely that the misery needs to be spread to the gay community in all fairness.

The stereotype suggests it’s husbands who simply cannot bear their mothers-in-law.

But British wives feel exactly the same, according to the latest research.

One in four despised their mother-in-law and believed she was “controlling, interfering and bitchy”, according to an online poll.

Women polled accused their mothers-in-law of routinely “knowing best” when it came to parenting, judging their parenting skills and undermining them in front of their partner and children.

Almost a third said they were made to feel they were not good enough for their partner.

Many had moved house to escape the mother-in-law’s clutches and for some the stress was so extreme it had led to marital breakdown.

The findings come from a poll of some 2000 mothers by UK website Netmums.com.

I can’t understand the fascination for gay marriage when you look at the facts.

  • 1 in 4 despise their mother-in-law
  • One third made to feel inadequate by their mother-in-law
  • Almost a quarter (24 per cent) described their relationship with their mother-in-law as bad or terrible.
  • 16 per cent believed their mother-in-law was bitchy
  • 22 per cent thought her rude
  • 25 per cent controlling
  • 35 per cent judgmental
  • 32 per cent interfering
  • 24 per cent found her worse than moving
  • 21 per cent worse than potty training
  • 14 per cent worse than morning sickness
  • 13 per cent worse than breastfeeding.
  • One in ten moved house to be further away from their mother-in-law
  • 5 per cent cited her as the chief reason for their marriage breaking down.
As I have said before, if gays want marriage then let them. They are welcome to the mother-in-law and the statistics.