Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Gaying Out

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  • stever@cs.waikato.ac.nz, in reply to Alex Coleman,

    I think it's simpler---John Key is a coward. Not prepared to make clear what he believes in and then argue for it.

    Hamilton • Since Nov 2006 • 48 posts Report Reply

  • Angus Robertson, in reply to Idiot Savant,

    Tough shit to them. We have a law, and that law says "you can't discriminate - on race, gender, religion, __or__sexuality". Being religious does not give people an exception to that law, and nor should it. If churches want to disobey that law, then they will face the consequences, just like any other racist or bigoted business.

    I agree that permitting gay marriage is the correct thing to do, but that still does not give our dominant culture permission to enforce our wishes on any weaker culture. Being correct is not enough.

    You want to ban mosques from marrying people?

    Auckland • Since May 2007 • 984 posts Report Reply

  • Alex Coleman,

    Or Rastafarians from smoking herb.

    I know I know, it's not exactly the same.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 205 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    The only marriage there is in NZ is state marriage. "Religious marriage" is a religious fiction. What matters legally is not the religious ceremony, but the civil paperwork. And if religious institutions don't want to offer that civil paperwork, then they don't need to be celebrants.

    Yes, this is how I was married in a Catholic church despite being baptized Anglican, openly agnostic, bordering on atheism. I pretty much ignored all the non-binding God stuff rather like I don't take the words literally when I sing a song. It's clearly less of an issue to them that I don't believe in their God or anything about their religion, than it is if someone like Craig, who's been a Catholic for ... how long? wants to tie the knot with his long term partner. They did make us take marriage counseling, which was actually worthwhile in parts, and downright hilarious in others - the class on contraception was classic. You're asking for ridicule when you advocate the withdrawal method: "Hah! Now I can finally justify facials!". I wonder what advice they'd have for gays.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8305 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    They did make us take marriage counseling, which was actually worthwhile in parts, and downright hilarious in others - the class on contraception was classic.

    My cousin's eldest child was conceived while said cousin and her husband were in Christchurch for their Catholic marriage counselling.

    You want to ban mosques from marrying people?

    Would you like some more straw there, Angus? Of course this applies equally to all religions. Nobody ever said any differently.

    Or Rastafarians from smoking herb.

    I know I know, it's not exactly the same.

    Indeed. The Rastafarians would only be affecting themselves.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4327 posts Report Reply

  • Alex Coleman,

    I wonder what advice they’d have for gays.

    Just say no?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 205 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Alex Coleman,

    Pandering to bigots, seeking their votes, offering them comfort; is bigotry.

    So what discomfort did Goff offer to anyone - because I sure seem to be the only person in any way uncomfortable with the pile of steaming hot waffle Phil served up.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11783 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Isabel Hitchings,

    What I’d like to do is get rid of the situation we have currently where an ordained minister automatically becomes a marriage celebrant, which is a CIVIL function, not a religious one. Then as people became ministers, they could decide whether they wanted to perform a civil function, which they would have to perform in accordance with the law. If they found it unconscionable to marry same-sex couples, they wouldn’t become celebrants.

    I quite like this – it neither sanctions discrimination nor requires anyone to act outside of their conscience/beliefs

    +1.

    I don't like the idea of the state forcing someone to perform their religious ceremony when they don't want to.

    I was a bit dismissive of the Methodists earlier. They did think about this:

    Conducting Civil Unions in Church

    Germane to the Civil Union debate in parliament last year was the argument that the Civil Union Bill does not establish gay/lesbian marriage. Marriage continues to be a legal provision open only to heterosexual couples.

    A secondary aspect that is easily overlooked, is that the legislation is for Civil Union. Parliament has not assumed to legislate for the Church. The various Christian groups retain their freedom to establish their own theological positions.

    However, should it be possible for representatives of the Church on church premises to conduct such ceremonies? The idea that representative people such as presbyters can lay aside such a mantle at will and conduct ceremonies as private individuals is hardly consonant with our theology and practice of ordination. The dilemma becomes even more acute if such ceremonies are conducted on church premises.

    Could it be argued that to conduct such civil ceremonies on church premises, presided over by a representative person of the Church, changes the ceremony from being "civil" into a "religious" act? Does it not also run the risk of making the "union" appear to be "marriage"?

    A useful parallel may be seen in the forthcoming marriage of Prince Charles. The marriage is to be a civil one. This means it must be held on civil (not Church) premises and presided over by a representative of the State (local registrar) and not of the Church. If Church involvement at this point would inevitably make the marriage lose any claim to be a "civil" ceremony, should we not apply the same logic in New Zealand with Civil Unions?

    However, just as the archbishop of Canterbury will subsequently bless Prince Charles' marriage at the chapel in Windsor castle to demonstrate the Church's acceptance of the validity of state-conducted marriage and to show pastoral care and support for those who have been so married, could it not therefore be argued:

    • That the Church should not conduct Civil Unions, either by allowing its premises to be so used or allowing its authorised representatives (presbyters/deacons/lay preachers/minita a iwi) to conduct such ceremonies.

    • That the Church allow appropriate blessing services on church premises to be conducted by any authorised worship leader.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18508 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    So what discomfort did Goff offer to anyone – because I sure seem to be the only person in any way uncomfortable with the pile of steaming hot waffle Phil served up.

    I think you are.

    Goff gave a political speech, acknowledging the need for action without being in any way specific.

    Politicians do that all the time. Had Key done that, he'd have been applauded.

    What he did say in the interview, OTOH, was weird and invited scorn. It was not the sort of response I would expect of a Prime Minister.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18508 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    So what discomfort did Goff offer to anyone – because I sure seem to be the only person in any way uncomfortable with the pile of steaming hot waffle Phil served up.

    1. You're not, but there was so little in content that it's hard to break a sweat over

    2. Goff's not the Prime Minister. He doesn't have the same leadership requirements or accountabilities.

    Pardon me, but your partisan is showing...

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 1768 posts Report Reply

  • Alex Coleman, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    So what discomfort did Goff offer to anyone

    Precious little, but what comfort there was, was in the direction of more reform. He said that the reforms so far were the right thing to do, but that more needed to be done.

    Key went out of his way to avoid saying that. Maybe he thinks it, but for whatever reason, he didn't care to say it (just yet). We have to wait until after his political career. For some reason.

    Goff didn't exactly stake any great claim to being out front on the side of the angels, but these are not equivalent profiles in courage.

    YMMV, but if so I'd like to understand why.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 205 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to nzlemming,

    Pardon me, but your partisan is showing…

    No, I really don’t think I will. Unless you know something nobody else does, the New Zealand Labour Party has no intention of sitting out this year’s general election with someone other than Phil Goff leading it. So excuse me for being such an outrageous “partisan” that I’m not interested in giving either Key or Goff a pass for fudging their arses off about policies that have a real and direct impact on my life.

    Goff gave a political speech, acknowledging the need for action without being in any way specific.

    Politicians do that all the time. Had Key done that, he’d have been applauded.

    I find that gob-smacking given the amount of bitching Key got around here from the moment he became leader of the National Party for being a vacuous ‘Mr Smile and Wave’ leading a government that makes candy floss look substantive. Just give me a call when the playing field levels out and I'm entitled to start expecting the opposition to campaign on actual policy.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11783 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    Whatever, Craig.

    But if you keep that righteous indignation at the boil all year, you're going to be a) most uncomfortable and b) ignored. Which, I guess, will make you even more bilious. Good luck with that.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 1768 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    I find that gob-smacking given the amount of bitching Key got around here from the moment he became leader of the National Party for being a vacuous ‘Mr Smile and Wave’ leading a government that makes candy floss look substantive. Just give me a call when the playing field levels out and I’m entitled to start expecting the opposition to campaign on actual policy.

    Repeat: Had Key said exactly what Goff said, – that we’d come a long way but there was need for further reform – he would have been applauded. There certainly wasn’t a policy commitment in there, but there was some sort of philosophical position.

    What Key said on stage – we won’t take away any rights you’ve already got – was hardly the same thing.

    And then his refusal to answer a straightforward question about how he would vote on the civil unions bill today – because apparently we’d have to wait for his fucking book – was contemptuous, especially in that setting. To be honest, I feel more angry about it the more I think about it. Who does he actually think he is?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18508 posts Report Reply

  • Gareth Ward,

    Interestingly I think it's the "wait for the book" bit that is causing the heat. If he'd said "we've passed that bridge and won't be relitigating it so my position doesn't matter" (or a smoother political version of) then I suspect a few people would have thought "way to avoid the question" but no more than that. But actually admitting you have a position but won't publically state it is trying to be all neutrally centrist but coming off as sans-principle.
    Points to Steven Oates for pushing him on it though. And that pink jacket was GORGEOUS :)

    Auckland, NZ • Since Mar 2007 • 1717 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Steven on Facebook:

    National Radio is discussing the interview I did with John Key yesterday on Radio Ponsonby because I was the only one who bothered to remind him he voted against Civil Unions and asked him if he would vote for or against if it was in parliament tomorrow. He refused to answer. He wants us to believe in him even though he doesn't believe in us.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18508 posts Report Reply

  • Christopher Dempsey,

    So, who's going to buy Key's 'book' when it comes out? I sure ain't. Be a waste of $50 or whatever the going rate these days is. Is someone willing to volunteer to read it and give us the summary in 30 words or less?

    Parnell / Tamaki-Auckland… • Since Sep 2008 • 639 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    I'm reading the Brash biography at the moment. Now that he's faded from public life, it's actually a surprising insight into the character of the man.

    I'd read a Key biography, auto or otherwise.

    The People's Republic of … • Since Nov 2006 • 2118 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed, in reply to Russell Brown,

    What Key said on stage – we won’t take away any rights you’ve already got – was hardly the same thing.

    And then his refusal to answer a straightforward question about how he would vote on the civil unions bill today – because apparently we’d have to wait for his fucking book – was contemptuous, especially in that setting. To be honest, I feel more angry about it the more I think about it. Who does he actually think he is?.

    There seems to be a difference between broad church appeal, and trying to please everyone, and the above you described seems to fall into the latter. I just hope Goff will resist the temptation to chase the boofhead vote, and concentrate support in the cities. The good folks at Urban Archipelago offer some useful pointers:

    And the challenge for the Democrats is not just to organize in the blue areas but to grow them. And to do that, Democrats need to pursue policies that encourage urban growth (mass transit, affordable housing, city services), and Democrats need to openly and aggressively champion urban values. By focusing on the cities the Dems can create a tribal identity to combat the white, Christian, rural, and suburban identity that the Republicans have cornered. And it's sitting right there, on every electoral map, staring them in the face: The cities.

    The urbanites. Howard Dean had it wrong when he tried to woo the "Pickup Truck with Confederate Flag" vote. In fact, while Kerry won urban areas by a whopping 60 percent--that actually represents a 15 percent drop in urban support from 2000 when Gore won the election. The lesson? Democrats have got to tend to their urban base and grow it.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 4057 posts Report Reply

  • andin, in reply to Christopher Dempsey,

    So, who’s going to buy Key’s ‘book’ when it comes out?

    I'll venture that john was thinking of a new style of book, something with pictures in it, maybe a centrefold of his favourite ‘hot’ women. A boogazine perhaps?

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1155 posts Report Reply

  • Andre Alessi, in reply to BenWilson,

    I wonder what advice they’d have for gays.

    "The priesthood has many opportunities to express your love for your fellow man...."

    Devonport, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 846 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Christopher Dempsey,

    So, who’s going to buy Key’s ‘book’ when it comes out? I sure ain’t. Be a waste of $50 or whatever the going rate these days is. Is someone willing to volunteer to read it and give us the summary in 30 words or less?

    Undoubtedly, someone will scan it and you'll be able to download it :-D

    First rule of PublicAddressSystem: every thread comes back to copyright somewhere down the line

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 1768 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Second rule of PAS, if it's your first time in PAS, you have to talk about copyright.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8305 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to BenWilson,

    I thought there was a campaign underway to change the first and second rules of PAS to be "You don't talk about copyright"? Or is the Thread of Doooooom[tm] sufficiently historic that we can talk about the "c" word again?

    The pit from whence crawl… • Since Mar 2007 • 3889 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    Is someone willing to volunteer to read it and give us the summary in 30 words or less?

    I tell you what we'll do. If someone buys it, Megan and I will record it as an audiobook. She'll use her Radio Voice, and I'll use my "Turns Thomas the Tank Engine into Porn" voice.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4327 posts Report Reply

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