Up Front by Emma Hart

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Up Front: Are We There Yet?

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  • Craig Ranapia,

    If we allow gay marriage, the long term effect would be that Bruno would have less material to work with.

    Is this really want we want ?

    I'm pretty sure you really don't want to have a conversation about my views on why I'd find Sacha Baron Cohen more amusing if he spend time making fun of smug straight white middle class Oxbirdge graduates who are amused by their own banality.

    What I really did enjoy recently was Stephen Fry in America -- which was a nice deviation from the standard 'let's go to America and laugh at the fat, crass smelly Yanks" format. Because, Jeremy Clarkson has so much to teach the Americans about good manners...

    Standard caveat: I'm sure you mileage will vary.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11614 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    (Admiringly) That's quite a number of grooms you've got there.

    Oh! Heh, in the interests of full disclosure I should probably mention that the groom isn't in that photo. There's another with him in the same position I'm in there. I don't think the photographer quite knew what to make of us.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4285 posts Report Reply

  • Tess Rooney,

    It's pretty obvious that there are more than one definition of marriage about.

    My definition of marriage is the one that the Catholic Church teaches. Marriage is about a union of two people, but it's also about a man and a woman having sexual intercourse and making babies. In fact it's not licit for a couple to refuse to have children in a Catholic marriage. Likewise it's not licit for a baby to be conceived outside a woman's body, eg. IVF.

    Greymouth • Since May 2009 • 249 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    "get in the kitchen and cook me some eggs, bitch" routine on Emma or Deborah

    Oh I think they are evil enough to say "yes dear" and do it...

    Which would leave you paranoid for months waiting for the revenge.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3108 posts Report Reply

  • Mikaere Curtis,

    If you want to have gay marriage you have to convince the religious people amoung NZers (Christian, Muslim, Sikh, Hindu...) that their religion is wrong in how it views homosexuallity. Or convince them that the whole organised religion thing is overrated.

    Or convince them that marriage is a state arrangement, and that they rebrand it via their religious communities e.g. a marriage in a Catholic church could be called a "Catholic Marriage" (although the legal paperwork would still be the same). They could even issue supplementary (and legally inconsequential) paperwork if they want.

    Tamaki Makaurau • Since Nov 2006 • 441 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    My definition of marriage is the one that the Catholic Church teaches. Marriage is about a union of two people, but it's also about a man and a woman having sexual intercourse and making babies. In fact it's not licit for a couple to refuse to have children in a Catholic marriage. Likewise it's not licit for a baby to be conceived outside a woman's body, eg. IVF.

    And quite fair enough, too. But as far as I'm aware, New Zealand has never required passing a fertility test as a condition for marriage. I also suspect most New Zealanders -- including Catholics -- would find it a massive and deeply offensive impertinence to even ask.

    If I was heterosexual and infertile, nobody would question my right to marry. So pardon me if I think it's a little specious for the "it's all about the children" line to be trotted out where civil marriage is concerned.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11614 posts Report Reply

  • Tess Rooney,

    a marriage in a Catholic church could be called a "Catholic Marriage"...They could even issue supplementary (and legally inconsequential) paperwork if they want.

    Already happens.

    Greymouth • Since May 2009 • 249 posts Report Reply

  • Tess Rooney,

    If I was heterosexual and infertile, nobody would question my right to marry.

    That's true. Although you know that every old lady in the parish would be praying for you to be fertile again and there would be rosaries upon rosaries offered for it :)

    The point is that the form of heterosexual sex isn't sterile, even though individual couples may be. I mean we're talking about a belief system that disagrees with contraception. So whilst people may disagree with the Catholic definition of the sacrament of marriage, it is consistent.

    Greymouth • Since May 2009 • 249 posts Report Reply

  • Angus Robertson,

    It's a question I'm going to ask and ask. I'm going to be the Little Yappy Dog of Gay Marriage until we get there. I'm going to do whatever I can to keep the issue on the table and in the right ears until we grow enough balls to do what's right.

    We live in a democracy, when one side of an issue has so many votes and the other has so many votes there are no ears you can yap in loud enough to get them to listen, if the other side has more commited numbers. You don't have the numbers.

    "Dear politician, please commit electoral suicide for my political cause" is not likely to garner wide political support.

    You need to convince enough of the other side they are wrong or excite support amoung the apathetic majority to weight voting blocs in your favour. Right now neither big political party will touch this, because its a loser of an issue.

    And actually, pretty much all I have to do is wait for old people to die. The skew in opinion on gay marriage by age is enormous.

    So, about 2030?

    Auckland • Since May 2007 • 984 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    That's true. Although you know that every old lady in the parish would be praying for you to be fertile again and there would be rosaries upon rosaries offered for it :)

    And that's my baby juice perma-curdled. Little old ladies with rosaries scare me... :)

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11614 posts Report Reply

  • Robert Urquhart,

    My actually wedding was a blast. You'd have loved it. Here's one of the official pictures.

    The number of people I immediately knew* in that picture scares me just a little. I feel all old now.

    *I worry that I would recognise more if I cross-referenced Phil's photos

    Christchurch • Since Mar 2009 • 136 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    Angus, I know there are practical difficulties. I also happen to believe that human rights issues shouldn't be subject to referenda, but there you go. We didn't wait for the majority of NZers to be staunch supporters of legalising gay sex before we did it. It didn't happen in the States with desegregation. Right now what we have is "New Zealand: less liberal than Iowa!".

    From memory (and my mind creaks a bit on this one, but I was pretty damn engaged at the time) a poll done during the DOMA bill idiocy post CUs passing indicated that fewer than 60% of NZers were opposed to gay marriage. That was FIVE years ago. Five years we've had civil unions, and every argument against gay marriage has crumbled, because we don't have to speculate about what would happen, we can look overseas and know.

    So no, Angus, I'm putting my money on five years at the outside, providing the yapping never goes away and the issue hangs around rather than vanishing into the background.

    So whilst people may disagree with the Catholic definition of the sacrament of marriage, it is consistent.

    Which is lovely, and fine, and they can have whatever definition of marriage they like. It's just completely, utterly irrelevant to the law.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4285 posts Report Reply

  • Tess Rooney,

    And that's my baby juice perma-curdled. Little old ladies with rosaries scare me... :)

    And so they should... There's no power in the 'verse that can stop them.

    I'm a Billings Ovulation Method teacher (NFP) and I always get mildly scared when little old ladies tell me about how lovely cuddling with their husbands was (or is), and how wonderful cuddling naturally was. I tell you, that look in their eye keeps you awake at night. :)

    Sadly of course, this is my future too. And eventually I will have to embrace it.

    Greymouth • Since May 2009 • 249 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Beard,

    I'm getting a really mixed set of pop culture references popping up in my head now:

    "Mawwiage, that bwessed awwangement, that dweam within a dweam..."

    "Every sperm is sacred, every sperm is good..."

    "I'm a California mother ... no, wait, I'm a Massachusetts doctor..."

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1037 posts Report Reply

  • Tess Rooney,

    Which is lovely, and fine, and they [the Catholic Church] can have whatever definition of marriage they like. It's just completely, utterly irrelevant to the law.

    Well, not totally irrelevant since individual Catholics are allowed to participate in the democratic process as well. I'm going to vote as per my conscience, as do you.

    Greymouth • Since May 2009 • 249 posts Report Reply

  • Gareth Ward,

    We got our civil marriage solemnised in the Church because of that.

    I mean zero offence by this (as it's my lack of reading comprehension that is the issue), but I first read that as we got our civil marriage sodomised in the Church.

    Who said Neuro Linguistic Programming doesn't work?!

    Auckland, NZ • Since Mar 2007 • 1712 posts Report Reply

  • Idiot Savant,

    Or convince them that marriage is a state arrangement, and that they rebrand it via their religious communities e.g. a marriage in a Catholic church could be called a "Catholic Marriage" (although the legal paperwork would still be the same). They could even issue supplementary (and legally inconsequential) paperwork if they want.

    Hmmm - that arrangement seems familiar. Oh, that's right - it's what we have now.

    Palmerston North • Since Nov 2006 • 1591 posts Report Reply

  • Tess Rooney,

    Gareth...

    I'm thinking this reflects more on you than upon I.

    But have no fear of offending me in that way, my years at university were rather... relaxed... when it came to sexuality.

    Greymouth • Since May 2009 • 249 posts Report Reply

  • Idiot Savant,

    So, about 2030?

    Try next term or the one after. It takes about ten years overseas for civil unions to bed in enough for marriage to be uncontroversial to everyone but the dedicated bigots. I think people will be doing the numbers the day after the 2011 election to see if its a possibility - and next time Labour is elected (which, barring the party dissolving, will happen sometime) the heat is really going to go on them to live up to their progressive branding.

    Which gives us about two years to draft a marriage (equality) amendment bill...

    Palmerston North • Since Nov 2006 • 1591 posts Report Reply

  • Gareth Ward,

    Oh absolutely it reflects on me - 100%!

    Auckland, NZ • Since Mar 2007 • 1712 posts Report Reply

  • Tess Rooney,

    It takes about ten years overseas for civil unions to bed in enough for marriage to be uncontroversial to everyone but the dedicated bigots.

    As a dedicated bigot I'd rather see them all be civil unions, with marriages performed as couples wished.

    Greymouth • Since May 2009 • 249 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    I really identified with Gio's counter to this.

    Hang on a minute - my what now? If you're referring to yesterday conversation, my modest point, such as it was, was that identifying Clark as the enemy of marriage equality was unfair for a number of reasons, especially coming from a Tory (whether gay or not, I should add). I might have also made the point that CUs are a form of progress, and I stand by that. But I am absolutely in favour of marriage equality, not to mention broadening the legal protection currently afforded to nuclear family units to polyamorous bi- or tri-sexual relationships, with or without children, the works. Basically, I'm in favour of the right to choose one's own relatives, by mutual consent.

    The chief reason why Justine and I ended up entering into a civil union, was in fact that otherwise I wouldn't have been her next of kin, with all the decision-making powers that it entails. Without the CU legislation, we would have eventually gone to a lawyer and stipulated a power of attorney of some sort. A CU is quicker, more broad ranging, and it will be updated automatically as the legislation around marriage changes.

    On a little anecdotal note: we never got any grief from my parents, nor so much as an outright question, about the fact that we wouldn't get married, but at one point my mother at dinner dropped the subtler of hints. She said: "I'm going to the jeweller's to have one of my necklaces fixed, do you want me to look for a pair of rings for you?"

    The poor thing, she must have thought so long and hard on how to discreetly introduce the subject.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7315 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    Hang on a minute - my what now?

    And I've just been back through that thread, and I can't find the damn quote. It's possible it wasn't you, or that I dreamed the entire thing. Anyway, the point was the one about marriage have negative, and therefore positive, significance, and that was the only thing I was talking about.

    Obviously I am also in favour of civil unions, and of legalised formal polyamorous relationships, and all kinds of other stuff people find squicky. But none of those things are directly relevant to the issue of gay marriage, and they get used to cloud the issue.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4285 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Beard,

    But I am absolutely in favour of marriage equality, not to mention broadening the legal protection currently afforded to nuclear family units to polyamorous bi- or tri-sexual relationships, with or without children, the works. Basically, I'm in favour of the right to choose one's own relatives, by mutual consent.

    Which was exactly what I was trying to say. But sometimes i wish there was a way to un-choose one's relatives...

    But none of those things are directly relevant to the issue of gay marriage, and they get used to cloud the issue.

    I'm not sure that they are irrelevant. I suppose, though, that gay marriage can be seen as more similar to "tradtional" marriage in that it is a (supposedly) monogamous (hopefully) life-long commitment between two (initially, at least) sexually involved people, rather than >2 or non-sexual relationships. And that that would make it more urgent and relevant than the others.

    I still don't get why wnyone would be desparate to get married, but that's just me.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1037 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    If you're a Catholic, and you already have a civil marriage (which the church doesn't recognise) can you marry another Catholic as well?

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4209 posts Report Reply

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