Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Gaying Out

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  • Craig Ranapia,

    It was a weird and spineless response.

    Yes it was, but was it any less weird and spineless than Goff’s – to put it bluntly, how tolerant should we be of Goff dog-whistling marriage equality to GLBT audiences when the cameras are around? Frankly, I’m pretty glad I had a prior engagement on Sunday otherwise I’d have been looking for the drag queen with the biggest, scariest handbag and going nuts on that pair of jellyfish.

    Too many people remember how hard and nasty it was getting civil unions into law.

    Which was nothing compared to what a hard, nasty rollercoaster ride homosexual law reform was. YMMV, but I’m glad Fran Wilde stood firm against people in her own party who were convinced she’d cost Labour the ’87 election because homosexual law reform was just the right thing to do. I get and totally respect that you don’t feel personally invested in marriage equality, but I’d respectfully suggest that Fran Wilde wasn't in law reform. She wasn't a gay man, after all. Nor was associate health minister Katherine O'Reagn and her Labour shadow Lianne Dalziel personally affected by the Human Rights Amendment Act, but IMO they still haven't had due credit for doing a lot of backroom heavy lifting to make sure it was passed with an overwhelming majority.

    Isn't it a rather delicious irony that three straight women have done more for the civil rights of this gay man than anyone else?

    When Key and Goff grow a pair of ovaries, I’ll be the first to cheer from the roof tops. Until then, I’m not going to say thank you for being told to sit at the back of the bus and be thankful I haven’t been thrown in front of it.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12046 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    Yes it was, but was it any less weird and spineless than Goff’s – to put it bluntly, how tolerant should we be of Goff dog-whistling marriage equality to GLBT audiences when the cameras are around?

    I think it was objectively way weirder: "I know the answer but I'm not going to tell you"? Huh?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19019 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I think it was objectively way weirder: "I know the answer but I'm not going to tell you"? Huh?

    You have to buy the book. It's like he has opinions that are for subscribers only. What a leader!

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7390 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    There would be no new votes in marriage equality. But perhaps now is the time for the idea to be formalised into a private member's bill.

    It'd have to be a private member's bill, and it'd have to be a conscience vote. Which is why my electorate vote is in it. As soon as we get a candidate list, I'll be asking each and every one of them how they would vote if such a private member's bill was introduced, and the answer to that question will determine my vote.

    For fuck's sake, you're the Prime Minister. No, we are not going to "wait until your book" to get a direct answer to a simple question.

    It would have been flip and insulting enough on an ordinary issue. But on something that affects the basic civil rights of the people standing around you? That's repulsive.

    Still, at least if we had some fucking polling on this issue, Key might be a bit more familiar with his position. I want to see the numbers. Are we really much, much more conservative than Australia on this issue?

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4371 posts Report Reply

  • Idiot Savant,

    But perhaps now is the time for the idea to be formalised into a private member's bill.

    Which is conveniently already drafted (available in other formats on request, and I'll happily tweak it). So all we need is an MP brave enough to put it in the ballot. So come on, who's got the balls for this? Who wants to do what is right?

    Palmerston North • Since Nov 2006 • 1664 posts Report Reply

  • Christopher Dempsey,

    I participated in the passage of the Civil Union law. I and others raised questions during that process about simply changing the gendered language of the Marriage Act so that gays and lesbians could marry.

    The political decision at that time was to go with a Civil Union approach, so my questions were less than welcome. I suspect the CU approach fitted with a Labour Party 'progressive' vision - a kind of shiny new approach that did away with the old trappings of the past. It certainly was described as such. It reflected a revolutionary 60s ethos - down with the system etc, and create something new. The CU approach fitted neatly with the decision to sweep away the old Dames and Knights system.

    Despite my unease about the passage of the bill, I still supported it. It was a terrible choice really; support extension of civil rights to GLBTT, or not (and wait til such time as extension of marriage rights was possible)?

    The problem for me is that while some might prefer revolution, others might prefer to be like their brothers and sisters - I certainly did - and want to marry - as all my siblings had.

    For all the political capital expended on this issue I've wound up with the right to a CU, but my siblings have a right to not only a CU, but marriage. I find myself very equal but separate. A second class position really. I'm still discriminated against - my siblings have the right to marry and I don't and the only difference is our sexuality.

    I don't think its a question of whether or not the push for the extension of civil (marriage) rights to GLBTT will happen, but when. I also think that it will be pushed along through the justice system, as it is clear that discrimination is occurring.

    The National Party (and for what it is worth, the Act Party), for all its glaring faults, does tend to be very pragmatic about social matters, and simply changing the gendered language of the Marriage Act to be gender neutral fit with their pragmatic natures. The problem is the noisy minority, but the trick is to realise that they are a noisy minority and push on. The only problem is we don't know if they will be around on Nov 26.

    The Labour Party might change the Marriage Act, and probably would if they form the next Government. I think that in the end, the amount of political capital the Labour party expended on the CU issue was not that much at all; it was more a matter of constantly talking up the advantages. But I would encourage them to act swiftly, and without fear. Skies don't fall.

    Parnell / Tamaki-Auckland… • Since Sep 2008 • 642 posts Report Reply

  • Robyn Gallagher,

    I know the answer, but just wait until my book

    That basically equates to the Prime Minister saying he'll only answer a particular question if he's paid to do so. That's pretty unbecoming for a national leader.

    It also sounds like he's given up on being PM and is already started to fantasise about life outside of Parliament. That sweet life, where he doesn't have to live in Wellington, and can write books and serve on boards to his heart's content.

    Raglan • Since Nov 2006 • 1869 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    So all we need is an MP brave enough to put it in the ballot.

    And in order to suck some of the poison out of the debate, it should be a straight, married MP. Someone who can say, "I have this right, it's important to me, it should be extended to everyone."

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4371 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Emma Hart,

    I’ll be asking each and every one of them how they would vote if such a private member’s bill was introduced, and the answer to that question will determine my vote.

    It's certainly a question I'll be putting to the folks who'd like to replace Wayne Mapp as the National Party candidate for North Shore. If you can't stand on a principle in, arguably, National's safest seat no desk is safe.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12046 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I think it was objectively way weirder: “I know the answer but I’m not going to tell you”? Huh?

    Objectively, if we’ve got to parse what Goff meant by “discrimination in the community” and guess WTF he meant by “more work to be done” (and did anyone ask him for specifics?), I’ll subjectively say fuck ’em both. If you're going to cock-tease for votes, it helps if you're a damn sight more dolly than Messers Goff and Key.

    Honestly, I think both Goff and Key personally know that marriage equality is the right and just thing to do. Which makes it so much worse that they're too fucking spineless - or, frankly, cynically view the rest of us as a pack of drooling bigots - to even go out and make the argument. At least I know the theocon right in the US hold me, my partner and every GLBT person and their families in utter, unmitigated contempt.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12046 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    If you can't stand on a principle in, arguably, National's safest seat no desk is safe.

    Assuming they believe in the principle, yes.

    I'd wager that it won't form part of a Labour manifesto this year

    Goff has said repeatedly that it was social engineering that brought Labour down last time round, so I think it's a pretty safe bet.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7390 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Christopher Dempsey,

    The Labour Party might change the Marriage Act, and probably would if they form the next Government. I think that in the end, the amount of political capital the Labour party expended on the CU issue was not that much at all;

    I think it did create an opportunity for McCully to go cultivating the social conservatives -- the book on what went on there still needs writing -- and that looked to be creating a whole mess of political danger for a while. Maxim and the evangelical churches put huge resources into trying to influence voters in the 2005 election.

    But no, it certainly wasn't what led the electorate to eventually reject Labour.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19019 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler,

    But perhaps now is the time for the idea to be formalised into a private member's bill.

    Which is conveniently already drafted (available in other formats on request, and I'll happily tweak it).

    Can you tweak it to allow for plural marriage?

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3011 posts Report Reply

  • Idiot Savant,

    Can you tweak it to allow for plural marriage?

    Go and troll somewhere else.

    Palmerston North • Since Nov 2006 • 1664 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Graeme Edgeler,

    Can you tweak it to allow for plural marriage?

    Shall we cross that troll-bridge when the usual suspects come to it?

    Yes, you can legalize polygamy, bestiality, paedophilia and incest any damn time you like – and the moment anyone suggests any such thing I’ll state my objections. But if you're going to equate homosexuality or same-sex civil marriage with any of the above, I'm not going to play nice.

    ETA: Oh, snap Idiot/Savant!

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12046 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Emma Hart,

    And in order to suck some of the poison out of the debate, it should be a straight, married MP. Someone who can say, “I have this right, it’s important to me, it should be extended to everyone.”

    Which would be nice, but I don’t think being a married mother of three saved Fran Wilde from much… (Also, don't forget to a certain type of mind "married female Labour MP" = "dyke with beard".)

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12046 posts Report Reply

  • Idiot Savant, in reply to Idiot Savant,

    And, now that the snark is out of the way (seriously, can we have this discussion without people trolling about the "slippery slope of sin" or trying to sow division by concern trolling, or actual lawyers just being dicks by asking people to do something they're perfectly capable of doing better themselves) then the answer is "sure". How consenting adults choose to arrange their social relationships is their own affair. Relationship law exists solely for convenience, to reduce the legal hassle for the parties involved. Our law should provide that convenience, while leaving people free to pursue the sorts of relationships they want to.

    Palmerston North • Since Nov 2006 • 1664 posts Report Reply

  • Mikaere Curtis,

    I couldn't face the parking chaos, nor dragging my two tweens into all that sun.

    But my wife went, she was the NZSL interpreter on stage for 3 hours in the baking sun. She came home pretty fried, but said it was worth it to support her gay friends.

    She observed that both Goff and Key went on stage each with a dutiful posse in tow, and contrasted that with the Green's Kevin Hague, who was on his own. No sure why that was, maybe because the Greens are so gay-friendly that it didn't occur to try and up his gay credibility. Then again, as an actual gay MP, and former executive director of NZ AIDS Foundation, his gay-cred is about as high is it can get.

    On the gay-marriage thing, the sooner the better. As in the onionverse, it is only a matter of time.

    Tamaki Makaurau • Since Nov 2006 • 455 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler,

    I'm not equating them. And I'm not trolling. But if that's how people roll I don't see what business it is of the State's to tell them they cannot, or rather to tell them if they do, then it won't recognise it. I've no doubt that there are people in some sort of open relationship who miss out on the protections that we would want the state to recognise: my partner is in hospital but I can't visit him because his first (and only legal) wife is the only one who counts. That sort of thing.

    I support marriage equality. I've been iffy about it in the past (never really opposed it, but wasn't really in favour either), and it was my questioning of whether the state should recognise plural marriage that pushed me over the edge to realising I actively supported it recognising gay marriage.

    I think I still support bigamy laws: the is, while the state should recognise (for example) tri-partite marriage, (e.g. one person with two spouses who are also spouses of each other), it can criminalise not one man two wives.

    I would never enter a tri-partite marriage, but I'd also never enter a gay marriage, but that doesn't mean I can come up with a good reason for the state to criminalise (or refuse to recognise) the life choices that people make.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3011 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Idiot Savant,

    Quite. Which is what fucked me off about Clark say that if the option had been there in 1981, she'd have entered into a civil union rather than marry Peter Davis. I don't know or care whether Clark and Davis have dissolved their marriage and entered into a civil union; but they have that choice. So do Russell and Fiona, who are perfectly happy without benefit of clergy or registered marriage/civil union celebrant.

    Is it really that divisive and radical to say the man who has shared my life for fifteen years (and isn't ageing backwards from 65, BTW) and I want the same choice? Nothing more, but nothing less.

    (Or for that matter, that my Anglican Maori father marrying a white Catholic woman twenty eight years his junior was not considered a legitimate interest of the state - even though it was not universally welcomed by their families and friends?)

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12046 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Just as an aside, I often think that Grant Robertson should make more of the fact that he is an out gay MP who will take you down in any contest requiring knowledge of Otago rugby and cricket.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19019 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Mikaere Curtis,

    No sure why that was, maybe because the Greens are so gay-friendly that it didn’t occur to try and up his gay credibility.

    I don't think having an entourage is much of a credibility enhancer - unless you're a rapper. :)

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12046 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Russell Brown,

    And met his CUP-cake (Alf who's a real sweetie pie) when they were in the same rugby team. Hell, if you're going to have the usual suspects gay-panicking all over the place, you might as well not piss around.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12046 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams, in reply to Robyn Gallagher,

    It also sounds like he's given up on being PM and is already started to fantasise about life outside of Parliament. That sweet life, where he doesn't have to live in Wellington, and can write books and serve on boards to his heart's content.

    That's exactly what I thought!

    Combine this comment with the earlier comment that he'd resign if National lost the election. It's increasingly clear that Key doesn't see himself in politics for much longer.

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2237 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Paul Williams,

    It’s increasingly clear that Key doesn’t see himself in politics for much longer.

    Knocked that childhood-dream bastard off, time to move on to the next challenge. Though quite what that would be, I’m not sure. President of the US is out, and he doesn’t lean the “right” way for a post with the UN. Maybe he’s angling for CEO of SuperGlobalMega Corp? Or perhaps he just wants to retire the Hawaii and write “Memoirs of a Grinning Backstabber”, where he reveals his position on '81, and gay marriage, and all those other pesky, enigmatic details that ought matter not to the prolles because they're only insights into his mind and, well, the prolles should just accept the governance of their financial betters, without question.

    The pit from whence crawl… • Since Mar 2007 • 3913 posts Report Reply

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