Up Front by Emma Hart

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Up Front: The Up-Front Guides: The Weasel Translator

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  • Martin Lindberg, in reply to Angus Robertson,

    Yes it does, if you go to a church and force them to witness a marriage that violates their religion you are being a total fuckwit to them. You are trampling on their religous beliefs and spitting in their faces.

    WTF? Is this some kind of agent provocateur stuff? Where did you get the idea that the law, if passed, would demand churches do this?

    Stockholm • Since Jul 2009 • 797 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Emma Hart,

    Nowhere, nowhere have I said this. Or anything even remotely like it. Can you not find something I actually have said to disagree with?

    No - because it's so much easier to keep scaremongering against marriage equality with the same old faith-based straw derail troll?

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12052 posts Report Reply

  • Angus Robertson, in reply to Megan Wegan,

    The question people have been asking is if a church does refuse to do so, on grounds that they don't approve, could that conceivably be a breach of human rights legislation?

    It is a question which is pretty fundamental to the debate.

    The question has been answered. By myself saying that no it does not constitute a breach and they could not be legally forced to. By Emma and Idiot/Savant answering to say that yes it does and that they could be legally forced to.

    If Emma/Idiot S./Bob McCroskie are correct then this legislation is clearly an attack on the religious freedoms of NZers. And this becomes a debate of which is the greater wrong.

    But that lot are incorrect, this legislation is merely an extension of an existing right to include all NZers that does not infringe on any other existing rights. Its a piece of legislation that should have been done years ago.

    The "problem" is that while we don't actually believe in our rights to be "hateful fuckwits", the church DOES.

    I don't believe we have the right and you don't believe we have the right, but I/S states that this legislation will result in the church getting badly burned so probably he does believe we have the right to be total.

    Auckland • Since May 2007 • 984 posts Report Reply

  • Idiot Savant, in reply to Angus Robertson,

    But they cannot be forced to conduct an action against their religious beliefs, thanks to section 15.

    While it has IIRC never come up in New Zealand, international caselaw from similar jurisdictions (notably Canada) suggests that the courts will not interpret freedom of religion to allow public servants or those carrying out duties specified by law to abuse their position to impose their religious views on others.

    (I should note of course that this applies only to the public function of being a marriage celebrant. Who churches choose to do quack for is entirely their own business, and no business of the state. The problem here is that they are confusing their quack with a public, legal role which comes with some very strong strings attached. Or, in English, confusing marriages with weddings)

    Palmerston North • Since Nov 2006 • 1667 posts Report Reply

  • Martin Lindberg, in reply to Angus Robertson,

    By Emma and Idiot/Savant answering to say that yes it does and that they could be legally forced to.

    where do they say that?

    Stockholm • Since Jul 2009 • 797 posts Report Reply

  • Megan Wegan, in reply to Angus Robertson,

    By Emma and Idiot/Savant answering to say that yes it does and that they could be legally forced to.

    So, you are just going to breeze past Emma saying this?

    That’s the civil function, though, right? From a religious point of view, marriage is a sacrament, and the state can no more dictate whom they administer that it to than they can Last Rites.

    Welly • Since Jul 2008 • 1273 posts Report Reply

  • Idiot Savant, in reply to Megan Wegan,

    Basically, the only think I know is that when I am handed a marriage licence form, it says that it "authorises but does not require" me to marry the couple.

    The joys of legislation written in 1955.

    Remember in interpreting that that you need to do so in a manner consistent with the BORA. Which obviously means that it will not permit discrimination on the basis of grounds prohibited by the HRA.

    Palmerston North • Since Nov 2006 • 1667 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Angus Robertson,

    If Emma/Idiot S./Bob McCroskie are correct then this legislation is clearly an attack on the religious freedoms of NZers.

    Angus: OK, I’m still unconvinced Wall’s bill extending civil marriage to a previously excluded class of people is “an attack on religious freedom” in any sense but the purely hyperbolic. And with all due respect to my good friend Idiot/Savant his reading is not settled law.

    Anyway, I’m still waiting for McCoskrie to come up with a straight answer to a straight question. Does he think it’s an unconscionable attack on the “religious freedoms” of people whose faith allows polygamy that the Marriage Act explicitly forbids such practices? Or is polygamy only something the radical liberal homosexual agenda to destroy marriage gets hot for?

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12052 posts Report Reply

  • Idiot Savant, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    And with all due respect to my good friend Idiot/Savant his reading is not settled law.

    No, its not. And to be honest, I doubt it ever will be, because people strongly prefer to be married by a celebrant who wants to marry them.

    Palmerston North • Since Nov 2006 • 1667 posts Report Reply

  • Martin Lindberg, in reply to Idiot Savant,

    Which obviously means that it will not permit discrimination on the basis of grounds prohibited by the HRA.

    This is just silly. The same argument could be used for me to complain that I'm being discriminated against because my local Rabbi refuses to marry me in his Synagogue on the grounds that I'm not Jewish.

    Stockholm • Since Jul 2009 • 797 posts Report Reply

  • Idiot Savant, in reply to Martin Lindberg,

    This is just silly. The same argument could be used for me to complain that I'm being discriminated against because my local Rabbi refuses to marry me in his Synagogue on the grounds that I'm not Jewish.

    That they refused to marry you, certainly. Because officiating marriages (as opposed to weddings) is a public function conferred by law, not a private, religious one.

    (Use of a particular religious building is not a public function conferred by law, and whether refusal constitutes discrimination depends on whether it is generally available to the public. If its not, then they have no problem in that regard)

    Palmerston North • Since Nov 2006 • 1667 posts Report Reply

  • Keir Leslie, in reply to Idiot Savant,

    Remember in interpreting that that you need to do so in a manner consistent with the BORA. Which obviously means that it will not permit discrimination on the basis of grounds prohibited by the HRA

    I think that’s wrong. If it can be read consistently, then it will be, but s4 of BORA provides that if it can’t be it stands — Quilter v AG being the authority on this point, of course. I think at the moment the general view is that the Marriage Act does permit celebrants to discriminate on grounds prohibited. (After all, the Marriage Act is arguably inconsistent with BORA anyway.)

    Since Jul 2008 • 1389 posts Report Reply

  • Martin Lindberg, in reply to Idiot Savant,

    That they refused to marry you, certainly. Because officiating marriages (as opposed to weddings) is a public function conferred by law, not a private, religious one.

    Gotcha. I see what you are saying now. This makes it all the more important to differentiate between marriage (civil) and wedding (faith-based) in this debate.

    Stockholm • Since Jul 2009 • 797 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    How did this become about the "rights" of churches to exclude people from their rites? It is really feeling like the thread that cannot be named.

    Whereas I thought it was a thread about this country growing up enough to recognise that same sex couples are real and deserving of the respect accorded to all other couples under law. And note that all the polls say that this country really has grown up that much.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3444 posts Report Reply

  • Martin Lindberg, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    How did this become about the "rights" of churches to exclude people from their rites?

    I believe it's a deliberately strategy of muddying the waters when McCroskie et al says that this law-change will force churches to allow teh gays to wed in their church.

    Stockholm • Since Jul 2009 • 797 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Martin Lindberg,

    I believe it’s a deliberately strategy of muddying the waters when McCroskie et al says that this law-change will force churches to marry teh gays.

    Which is a flat out lie. Sorry for being a scratched CD, but that really needs to be repeated every time McCroskie and his pals trot it out.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12052 posts Report Reply

  • Angus Robertson, in reply to Emma Hart,

    Nowhere, nowhere have I said this. Or anything even remotely like it. Can you not find something I actually have said to disagree with?

    Okay.

    So, a Catholic priest or an Anglican minister can say, "No, we're not going to bless your union with our sacrament, in our church." But currently that person is also, automatically, a civil celebrant. And in that capacity, they can't refuse to perform the state function (witnessing the marriage certificate) on the basis of sexual orientation.

    Who would request a Catholic priest to witness the marriage of a gay couple and require the state force the priest to comply?

    The only answer I can think of is a "total hateful fuckwit". The fuckwit is undertaking a course of action that will result in somebody being forced to violate deeply held religious beliefs. The fuckwit is doing this despite there being a plethora of other options to marry that do not result in said violation.

    I genuinely believe this level of hateful fuckwittedness is not empowered by NZ human rights law.

    I/S disagrees and thinks it probably is. From the above I assumed you agreed with him.

    Auckland • Since May 2007 • 984 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    Hang on hang on hang on. The *people getting married* are now the hateful fuckwits?

    August 1 must be Opposite Day.

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3663 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Angus Robertson,

    Do you think you could tone down the emotive language you are using. I really don't think it is encouraging anyone to have a positive discussion about the legislation.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3444 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    [Also, Key in full support.]

    Good.You’ve just got to make sure the bugger sticks the landing…,

    And Russell’s…

    He’s left himself a little out, but it does look like he’s on board.

    What exactly are you guys suggesting here?.
    The mind boggles and having boggled, moves on.

    The wireless north ;-) • Since Dec 2006 • 4947 posts Report Reply

  • Keir Leslie,

    Because officiating marriages (as opposed to weddings) is a public function conferred by law, not a private, religious one.

    But s29 of the Marriage Act specifically does not require celebrants to solemnise marriages. It's a public function, yes, but there's an out.

    Since Jul 2008 • 1389 posts Report Reply

  • Megan Wegan, in reply to Danielle,

    "I don't mind gay people, I just don't want to see them pashing on the street." (Or in my church.)

    You want to know who the hateful people are? The official catholic position*:

    Legal recognition of homosexual unions or placing them on the same level as marriage would mean not only the approval of deviant behaviour, with the consequence of making it a model in present-day society, but would also obscure basic values which belong to the common inheritance of humanity.

    * I know many wonderful people of catholic (and other) faiths. But that document is hideous.

    Welly • Since Jul 2008 • 1273 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh, in reply to Angus Robertson,

    The only answer I can think of

    But, no. See, religious movements and organisations play host to a wide variety of personalities, opinions and attitudes, and that diversity extends to the clergy. So try this on:

    A gay catholic couple wishes to get married. Because their catholicism is important to them, they wish to have their marriage celebrated in church. They approach their priest, who they know to be of a more liberal, openminded persuasion. Aware of what church law says on the subject of homosexuality and gay marriage, they begin to negotiate. Maybe the priest takes a risk and officially blesses their marriage in church, maybe it's decided that the priest will bless their marriage in a private capacity outside church, maybe the priest politely declines to be involved... All of this is done in mutual respect for each party's beliefs and position. Nobody needs to force anybody to do anything they or unwilling or unable to do, and nobody needs to be a hateful anything.

    And yeah, I'm with Bart, the language is getting a bit strong.

    Beijing • Since Jan 2007 • 2168 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart, in reply to Angus Robertson,

    Who would request a Catholic priest to witness the marriage of a gay couple and require the state force the priest to comply?

    Last go. Srsly.

    I said, they can't refuse to comply on the basis of sexual orientation.* They can, as Megan has pointed out, simply not do it, because no celebrant is required to marry any particular couple. Civil function, ergo in no way a matter of religious freedom.

    I've said this before, but let me lay it out again so that my position doesn't continue to be misrepresented.

    The change I would like to see (which is not a part of the bill we were once discussing) is that Christian ministers do not automatically become civil celebrants on ordination. That, I think, would make it much clearer that being a civil marriage celebrant is not a religious function, ergo not a matter of religious freedom. There's nothing to stop them applying to become celebrants just like anyone else, of course - what they'd be losing would be a privilege, not a right. And nothing to stop them, if they chose not to, still performing religious wedding ceremonies. That's a matter of religious freedom, and none of the state's business. And people's legal status within society is none of the church's business.

    (*This may not, from subsequent discussion, be true. This seems very confused. But that's irrelevant to Angus's point, because he says people are talking about FORCING celebrants to marry people, and no-one is.)

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4371 posts Report Reply

  • Angus Robertson, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    Which is a flat out lie. Sorry for being a scratched CD, but that really needs to be repeated every time McCroskie and his pals trot it out.

    Yeah I think it is Bob - blowing smoke - McCroskie trying to red herring the debate.

    Except I/S say it is likely that Bob is perhaps onto something here. And then a whole lot of people chirp up to say we need to secularise the state to accomodate this. And its like wait a second, this is important.

    Bob McCroskie can't be right, because our laws protect religious freedoms from being trampled on.

    Auckland • Since May 2007 • 984 posts Report Reply

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