Up Front by Emma Hart

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Up Front: Are We There Yet?

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  • Craig Ranapia,

    **Gay Marriage Destroys the Fabric of Society**

    I just ingeniously suggest that people who are really that concerned about "the fabric of society" and "the sanctity of marriage", really should turn their attention to the real threat:

    No-fault divorce (and that means the Catholic Church should stop handing out annulments to Kennedys and Nicole Kidman too).

    Just look at the numbers people, and it seems like a no-brainer to me that fewer people would dissolve their marriages if we reverted to a lengthy and very expensive process where you're required to air all your spunk-stained linen in an open court. With details in the next day's newspaper for all your friends and family (and your childrens' school mates) to read, of course.

    Then you can enjoy the sound of silence before the moralistic divorcees and adulterers start contorting themselves into rude and amusing shapes.

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

  • Ian Dalziel,

    * My therapist's name is Ms Tanqueray

    Glad to hear Ginny is still practising... : )

    it was a grey day when the Gordons were run out of town : (

    Boodle, boodle, boodle
    yrs
    Jenever Juniper

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 4194 posts Report Reply

  • andin,

    There are a small group of people passionately opposed, and a small group passionately in favour, and like any issue, a huge mass in the middle who just don't give a crap one way or the other.

    If that is how the fabric of society is woven, it's not going to be very attractive or slimming. I'd be wondering who the designer was, 'cause whoever it was hasn't put their name on the garment.

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1149 posts Report Reply

  • Gareth Ward,

    the Little Yappy Dog of Gay Marriage

    That would make a great Cartoon Network show.


    The only argument I could be bothered arguing against (and I had to come up with it myself) is that regardless of what society has "done" with it, the Church is still the originator ("tangata whenua"?) of marriage and has a certain power of veto.
    I would disagree and say we have moved far enough from that originator now that it's society's to do with what they will, not Mr Benedict et al. And the Church's approach to same sex relationships is so at odds with society that they have given up that "ownership".
    But it does seems the only scrabblingly defensible argument.

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

  • Raymond A Francis,

    I have to say but just what is the big deal about anybody getting married, as compared with just living together

    Just do it if that what you both want, it is nobody elses busines

    45' South • Since Nov 2006 • 520 posts Report Reply

  • Stewart,

    Emma, your therapist sounds like a good 'un - any spare slots for a marginally mixed-up married hetero male? Or am I going to be seeing Gordon again?

    I am constantly bemused by the conflation of 'homosexual' with other sexual activities that frighten the horses. Particularly the idea that homosexuals morph into paedophiles if they are given anything other than a sound thrashing. So much of society seem to out-source their thinking to the sparkliest soundbite (or self-appointed bishop, for that matter).

    I am married and there's plenty of heterosexual couples that are useless at marriage; I can't see that letting Teh Gayz get married is going to devalue the institution.

    Te Ika A Maui - Waitakere… • Since Oct 2008 • 552 posts Report Reply

  • Megan Wegan,

    I generally just say to people: "I don't interfere in your relationship, what gives you the right to interfere in mine?"

    Welly • Since Jul 2008 • 1268 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Martin,

    heh...well said!

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 184 posts Report Reply

  • horse,

    I repeat myself, but..... Wild Applause!

    Palmerston North • Since Feb 2007 • 32 posts Report Reply

  • JoJo,

    Thanks Emma, you've saved me having to rant about this for a while - I'll just hand out the link to your rant.

    Oh, and at the risk of ending the silence, hasn't Bishop Brian been awfully quiet recently? I don't remember having screamed at him on the television for months.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2008 • 95 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    I have to say but just what is the big deal about anybody getting married, as compared with just living together

    I really identified with Gio's counter to this. If marriage matters so much to me that I would never, ever re-marry, then it could matter that much to someone else in the positive sense.

    Particularly the idea that homosexuals morph into paedophiles if they are given anything other than a sound thrashing.

    Which would morph them into something completely different...

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4285 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    The only argument I could be bothered arguing against (and I had to come up with it myself) is that regardless of what society has "done" with it, the Church is still the originator ("tangata whenua"?) of marriage and has a certain power of veto.

    Yeah, but even that involves a hell of a lot of junk history and the kind of intellectual muddle that's kind of endearing in children, but just pisses me off in alleged adults.

    The only argument against I have any time for is "faggots and dykes together, ewwww!" because its at least honest.

    And here's how I respond to it:

    "Take a look at my parents.

    My father was a forty nine year old Maori Anglican widower who married a white Catholic woman quite literally young enough (27) to be his daughter.

    Now, there are plenty of people who find inter-racial, or inter-faith marriage distasteful -- the latter is still quietly discouraged by the Church. Some certainly weren't shy in expressing their opinion that it was somewhat vulgar of my my father to marry a much younger woman just over a year after the death of his first wife.

    The state, however, had no legitimate interest in any of the above.

    All I ask is to be paid the same courtesy. And if you find the idea of my marrying my male partner so repulsive, you don't have to look. No harm, no foul."

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

  • Rebecca Williams,

    fabulous, what a great post. will be forwarding to my colleagues for their enlightenment / amusement.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 94 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    the Church is still the originator ("tangata whenua"?) of marriage

    Which church? Marriage in some Mediterannean societies pre-dates Christianity by thousands of years. In many societies marriage pre-dates contact by Christians by centuries. The idea of publicly tying two (or more) people together in a relationship that's formally recognised by others has NOTHING to do with the church, it's almost universal.

    Also, most modern Christians would find the Old Testament model of marriage (wives, concubines, sexually-available slaves, forced marriage to your brother-in-law) absolutely repulsive. It's already changed hugely, it can change a little bit more.

    The only argument against I have any time for is "faggots and dykes together, ewwww!" because its at least honest

    At the risk of sounding ironic, amen. I do wish more people would just say 'okay, it's because I think it's icky!'. Stop all this bullshit spurious justification and blaming gay people for hurricanes*.

    Or am I going to be seeing Gordon again?

    Dude, friends don't let friends drink Gordon's.

    *Not The Hurricanes. Although...

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4285 posts Report Reply

  • Stewart,

    I have kinda toyed with the idea of sending off to one of those 'diploma factories' in the States to get some form of ordination so I could set up a Church of the Crusty Bogan (all manner of benefits might accrue). If I did so, I would be happy to officiate at your wedding, Craig.

    Do marriages have to be any more than that?
    Mine took place in a registry office - I am a non-believer - much to the consternation of my f-i-l and I have taken it seriously enough to have worked at it for near on a quarter century. So far, so good.

    Te Ika A Maui - Waitakere… • Since Oct 2008 • 552 posts Report Reply

  • JackElder,

    I have to say but just what is the big deal about anybody getting married, as compared with just living together

    Legal benefits: inheritance, visiting rights in hospital, right to be considered next of kin (with power of attorney etc), plus just wanting to be equal with everyone else...

    Personally, I favour the elimination of marriage as a legal concept. No, really, I'm not kidding. If you want a religious ceremony, go nuts; but if we want to have a state-sanctioned bond between partners (with various legal ramifications), then let's just do that and drop all the semi-religious stuff. The current system is obviously heading in that direction; let's just push it all the way. Everyone can get unioned, and no-one's unions are worth more or less than anyone else's. If you want a religious ceremony as well, or instead of, then fine, it's up to you. Mind you, I also don't have any particular problem with unions that involve more than two people (although I could see some hilariously messy and convoluted divorce proceedings from that).

    Mind you, my wife disagrees. That's not a one-liner; her argument is that we already have an established notion of a permanent bond between people in a loving relationship, that bond is called "marriage", and that rather than eliminating it we should just extend it out to everyone. I can see her point.

    Wellington • Since Mar 2008 • 707 posts Report Reply

  • Isabel Hitchings,

    If marriage was opened up to more sets of loving, consenting adults I'd be cheerfully prepared to revise my opinion of it as an out-moded institution.

    Christchurch • Since Jul 2007 • 690 posts Report Reply

  • Stewart,

    OK, they can't be my friends then, Emma, cos none of them has tried to stop me yet.
    I might be a whisky snob, but I have yet to get into a gin-tasting and develop a passion for 1 brand over another. Is it cos I don't drink it neat?

    (Recipe: heavy-bottomed gin-bucket, crystal of course; 4 large ice-cubes; add gin until level is halfway up the glass; squeeze in lemon or lime juice & add a thin slice; top up with tonic.)

    Te Ika A Maui - Waitakere… • Since Oct 2008 • 552 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Stop all this bullshit spurious justification and blaming gay people for hurricanes*.

    That always makes me wonder how you can believe in a God with such lousy aim... I've just got to share one of the best examples of gallows humour I've ever heard, when Jerry Falwell took less that 48 hours to blame teh gayz for the 9/11 attacks: "Proof that God is a man -- he didn't ask for directions."

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

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Great post Emma.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6145 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    I might be a whisky snob, but I have yet to get into a gin-tasting and develop a passion for 1 brand over another. Is it cos I don't drink it neat?

    This isn't really a side-track, I owe my refined gin tastes entirely to gay/bi men.

    I don't dare go down the whisky-snob path because of how much my gin-snobbery is costing me. But if you want to ruin your life, make yourself two g&ts (your existing method meets with approval) - one with Gordon's, and one with South. Drink some of the South first.

    If this doesn't make the Gordon's taste like second-hand lighter fluid, you're probably okay and you don't need to worry about gin snobbery.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4285 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Wain,

    I guess I'm one of those vast majority who don't really care - and at the risk of offending any of my friends out there, gay or otherwise, I don't particularly see why anyone would want to get married who isn't religious.
    Don't all religions have marriage? It seems a universal trait of organised religions to have marriage at their core... which makes me wonder why non-religious anyone(s) would want to tie the knot in the first place.
    De facto, civil union, whatever you like. Just not marriage! Urk...
    Of course your basic point stands, anyone can get married, except queers.
    I know, let's abolish marriage! Then we're all equal...

    Since Nov 2006 • 134 posts Report Reply

  • Stewart,

    Thanks for that, Emma. I hope that your logic is suitable to persuade DarlingWife that I should try a gin-tasting. I like the sound of that (_8(|)

    Te Ika A Maui - Waitakere… • Since Oct 2008 • 552 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    On the contrary: Gordons is good. Gordon's has taste. These weak, over-refined, pallid gins are for people who really ought to be drinking vodka.

    /Amis

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2906 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Martin,

    I don't particularly see why anyone would want to get married who isn't religious.

    It's all about assets Richard. And their protection.

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 184 posts Report Reply

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