Inciting the bigots | The Jackal

15 Apr 2013

Inciting the bigots

Today, the NZ Herald reported:

A complaint about an anti-gay marriage brochure, criticised as being "extraordinarily offensive", has been dismissed by the country's advertising watchdog on the grounds of freedom of speech.

Family First's "21 great reasons to keep marriage as is" pamphlet equates same-sex marriage with incest and paedophilia, denigrates children of same-sex couples and is hurtful to single-parent families, the Advertising Standards Authority heard.

The complainant said the brochure was "inflammatory, largely incorrect and was filled with biases". It was "extraordinarily offensive".

I have to agree; the pamphlet is highly offensive and filled with numerous inaccuracies... This quote from Metiria Turei for instance is a complete fabrication:

METIRIA TUREI (Green): "Marriage as understood in our society, and as formalised in law, is a specific culturally and historically bound institution. ...This bill does not affect the Marriage Act. It does not change in any way the structure, the validity, of the institution of marriage." 1st Reading Civil Union Bill

Here's what Turei actually said:

Marriage as understood in our society, and as formalised in law, is a specific culturally and historically bound institution. Contrary to the beliefs of some, this institution is not universal but stems out of a particular Christian tradition. That is nothing to be ashamed of. I encourage those who try to claim that marriage is universal to embrace the particular historical and cultural tradition from which marriage was born.


Others have tried to explain how the bill will undermine the institution of marriage. I have not found any single compelling argument as to how allowing some to solemnise their relationship through a civil union, which then entitles them to recognition under the law, will undermine the institution of marriage. This bill does not affect the Marriage Act. It does not change in any way the structure, the validity, of the institution of marriage. Those who consider marriage a divine responsibility of God will know that human law cannot disturb divine law, so therefore nothing that we do in this Chamber will undermine the divinity of marriage.

They've misquoted the Green party co-leader, cherry picking various parts of her speech to misrepresent what she said... Therefore the complaint should have been upheld.

It's one thing to have a robust expression of belief or opinion, but it's quite another to totally misrepresent what an MP has said.

That level of dishonesty clearly displays why the anti marriage equality brigade are fundamentally wrong! They're not even being honest about what people say, so how can we expect them to be honest about anything else?

Annoyingly their pamphlet is copy protected... Here it is anyway:

21 great reasons to keep marriage as is.

1. MARRIAGE IS FOUNDATIONAL Throughout history and in virtually all human societies, marriage has always been a union between men and women. Marriage predates both the organised church and the state.The State should not presume to re-engineer a natural human institution.

2. BIOLOGY NOT BIGOTRY Marriage combines the complementary characteristics of men and women as defined by nature. Nature is exclusive and discriminatory in that only the union of a man and a woman can produce another life. It makes sense to treat something so unique in a unique way.

3. FOR MARRIAGE, NOT AGAINST PEOPLE This debate is not a discussion about whether homosexuals are good people or not. Every human being should be treated with dignity and respect. However, many people in the homosexual community also do not agree with same-sex marriage. They are not 'homophobic' or 'bigoted'. Everyone has a right to love whom they choose, but nobody has a right to redefine marriage.

Everyone has a right to love whom they choose, but nobody has a right to redefine marriage.

The issue is one of definition, not discrimination.

4. DEFINITION, NOT DISCRIMINATION It is perfectly possible to support natural marriage while also recognising and respecting the rights of others. Changing the law so that marriage includes same-sex unions would be a massive change to what marriage means. The issue is one of definition, not discrimination.

5. EQUALITY IS NOT SAMENESS Equality is not sameness, and difference is not inequality. As popular NZ Herald columnist Jim Hopkins wrote: "(Discrimination) happens all the time. If equality was Parliament's objective, there'd be no minimum drinking age, no ban on bigamy or specified drugs, no requirement to pass a test to get a driver's licence and no Maori seats either."

6. THE 'RIGHT' TO MARRY? Marriage rightly discriminates. A 14-year-old cannot get married. Three or four people cannot get married to each other. A person who is currently married cannot marry another person. A father cannot marry his adult daughter. A mother cannot marry her adult son. Even those wanting 'equality' believe there should be restrictions—which shows that even they believe that marriage is not an absolute right for everybody or every type of romantic relationship.

7. SPECIAL RIGHTS? In 2004, the government introduced civil unions and changed over 150 pieces of legislation to provide legal recognition and protection for same-sex relationships in NZ. There is currently no discrimination in the law against same-sex couples. Why do we now need to provide special rights?

8. WHAT ABOUT THE RIGHTS OF OTHERS? For many, marriage is more than just a legal agreement or social contract. We must consider the rights of people who have deliberately chosen marriage because of its historical, cultural or religious meaning and value. By changing its meaning, we would be trampling on the rights of most New Zealanders who hold such views and ideals.

9. HOW DOES IT AFFECT YOUR MARIAGE? We need to be concerned with more than what merely affects us personally. This bill isn't just a simple change in the wording of a current law. It is proposing the complete redefinition of an institution as it has existed for thousands of years.

10. DEFINITIONS MATTER Changing the definition of something changes the way society and future generations view it and the important role it plays. We would not accept a law that changes the definition of a father to include mothers. By doing so, we would cover up reality. Definitions matter.

11. MUM AND DAD MATTER Marriage between a man and a woman says to a child that mum and dad who made you will also be there to love and raise you. Although death and divorce may prevent it, the evidence shows that children do best with their biological mother and father who are married. The differences between men and women - mothers and fathers - really do matter.

12. GENDER MATTERS One of the outcomes of redefining marriage is that same-sex couples will be able to adopt non-related babies and children. Two men might individually be good fathers, but neither can be a mum. Two women might individually be good mothers, but neither can be a dad. While a compassionate society should always come to the aid of motherless and fatherless families, a wise and loving society should never intentionally create fatherless or motherless families. Deliberately depriving a child of a loving mum or a dad is not in the child's best interests.

13. JURY STILL OUT ON SAME-SEX PARENTING There are many many large, scientifically strong studies from the past four decades and earlier showing children do better with their married biological mother and father compared with any other type of family structure. As prominent Irish homosexual and political commentator Richard Waghorn says, this is not to cast aspersions on other families, but it does underscore the importance of marriage as an institution. Studies said to show that children of homosexuals do just as well as other children are - so far - methodologically weak, and thus scientifically inconclusive. They certainly can't be used to justify a wholesale change to the definition of marriage or adoption laws.

14. AN IDEOLOGY FORCED ON ALL If marriage is redefined, everyone would be subject to the new definition. Anyone who disagrees with it would be at odds with the law. This will directly affect ministers, faith-based organisat ions and schools, and marriage celebrants, amongst others. If same-sex marriage is seen as a fundamental human right, then all will be forced to recognise it. You can't be selective about which groups will recognise fundamental human rights. The author of the bill, Labour M P Louisa Wall, promised that the bill did not require any person or church to carry out a marriage if it does not fit with the beliefs of the celebrant or the religious interpretation a church has. This assurance is now being seriously questioned by legal experts including the NZ Law Society and members of the Victoria University law faculty.

Encourage others to sign the petition. Online signatures are preferred so direct them To obtain written signatures, petition forms can also be downloaded from our website.

15. WARNINGS FROM OVERSEAS EXPERIENCE The alarming examples of what happens when attempts are made to redefine marriage are endless.

In Australia, tennis great Margaret Court came under attack when she expressed opposition to same-sex marriage early in 2012. Court was accused by same-sex marriage activists of spreading "hateful comments" and "inciting the bigots out there";

In 2011, a respected Canadian sports anchor was fired after expressing support for the traditional definition of marriage on hisTwitter account;

In 2011, dual gold-medallist Peter Vidmar was chosen to be chef de mission for the United States team at the 2012 London Olympics but was pressured to resign simply because he had supported Proposition 8, the measure which defined marriage as between a man and a woman in California;

In Canada, Saskatchewan's highest court ruled that marriage commissioners who are public servants cannot refuse to marry same-sex couples, whatever their personal conviction; 
In Maine, USA, where recently a referendum allowed same-sex marriage, any notary public who performs marriages may not refuse to perform a same-sex "marriage" for any reason, otherwise they will be charged with a human rights violation; 
In Denmark, same-sex couples have won the right to get married in any church they choose, even though nearly one third of the country's priests have said they will refuse to carry out the ceremonies;

In New Jersey, USA, a judge ruled against a United Methodist retreat house which refused to allow a same-sex civil union ceremony to be conducted on its premises;

In Israel, the Jerusalem Magistrate's Court ordered the owners of an Israeli reception hall to pay $25,000 damages to a lesbian couple after refusing to host their same-sex wedding on the grounds of their religious beliefs;

In the UK, a housing trust worker lost his managerial position, had his salary cut by 40%, and was given a final written warning after posting on his personal (and private) Facebook account that hosting gay weddings in churches was "an equality too far"; 
And UK primary school teachers could face the sack for refusing to promote gay marriage if same-sex unions become law. An education minister refused to rule out the possibility that teachers, even in faith schools, could face disciplinary action for objecting on grounds of conscience. Labour MP Louisa Wall recently suggested that integrated faith-based schools in New Zealand receiving government funding should not be promoting a traditional view of marriage.

16. BANNING 'MOTHER' FATHER"HUSBAND' WIFE' The health department in the US state of Washington is to remove the words "husband" and "wife" from marriage and divorce certificates, after same-sex marriage was approved in a recent referendum. The UK Government has said the words "husband" and "wife" will have to be removed from official documents if marriage is redefined. In France, the words "mother" and "father" are set to be stripped from official documents, under its plans to redefine marriage. In Spain, terms such as "mother" and "father" have become "Progenitor A" and "Progenitor B" on birth certificates.

17. WHAT NEXT? If marriage is redefined once, what is to stop it being redefined again? Allowing only same-sex marriage on the basis of love and commitment would then open the door for polygamous, polyamory (group), and consensual adult incest-type marriages. Why would discrimination against these loving adults be ok?They may be illegal now, but it wasn't that long ago that same-sex marriage was illegal also.

18. SAME AS BANNING INTER-RACIAL MARRIAGE? No - these bans were unjust, and were designed to keep races apart. Marriage is grounded in bringing the genders together. Overturning the ban on inter-racial marriage did not mean a redefinition of marriage but an affirmation of it.

UK primary school teachers could face the sack for refusing to promote gay marriage if same-sex unions become law.

If marriage is redefined once, what is to stop it being redefined again?

19. BUT NOT ALL COUPLES HAVE CHILDREN We agree, not all married couples have children - but every child ever born has a mum and a dad. Having babies is not a requirement for marriage - but it is a natural outcome. Marriage is a unique union that can lead to procreation. It is for this reason that the State became interested in marriage in the first place. We do not disqualify couples from marrying based on exceptions. Older people marrying is the except ion also, not the norm. Every man and woman who marry are capable of giving any child they create (or adopt) a mother and a father.

20. SAME-SEX MARRIAGE COULD STRENGTHEN THE INSTITUTION OF MARRIAGE? Marriage does not thrive under the inclusive banner of "the more the merrier." A marriage culture, which is essential to a healthy society, is nourished when we are faithful to, and honour, its time-tested definition, and understand its important purpose. Extending the definition of marriage to include polygamy and group marriage would also not strengthen marriage just because more people could get married.

21. WE AGREE WITH THE POLITICIANS During the civil union debate, NZ politicians (including gay politicians) argued that the Civil Union Bill was an acceptable alternative, and that marriage should only be for heterosexuals. We agree. Nothing has changed since then.

HELEN CLARK (Labour): "Marriage is only for heterosexuals. The Government is not -- underline -- not, changing the Marriage Act. That will remain as an option only for heterosexual couples." NZ Herald June 21 2004

TIM BARNETT (Labour): "The Civil Union Bill is an acceptable alternative; marriage can remain untouched." 1st Reading Civil Union Bill

METIRIA TUREI (Green): "Marriage as understood in our society, and as formalised in law, is a specific culturally and historically bound institution. ...This bill does not affect the Marriage Act. It does not change in any way the structure, the validity, of the institution of marriage." 1st Reading Civil Union Bill

JOHN KEY (National): "Marriage is an institution of the church, I don't think it is necessary to have that label put on every relationship." 2006 "I don't think there's a real need to change the current legislation or to adopt new legislation." 2008
What can I do?

"I reject the suggestion of marriage equality Marriage equality has been a slogan; it has been a campaign. The claim to equality ignores the widely accepted fact that marriage is an institution that has a long and well-accepted definition — a definition that is heavily laden with cultural meaning and values crafted by custom and by law over the years." GaySenator Dean Smith — Parliament ofAustralia (during the Marriage debate in Australia, Sep 2012)

If you agree with the sentiment and urgency of this publication, please take a moment and contact your local elected and list MP's - either by phone, making an appointment to see them at their electorate office, writing a letter, or sending an email. You can find out who your local MP is and their email address at our website

Marriage is too important to stay silent.

That last sentence I agree with; marriage is too important to stay silent... Therefore I look forward to the marriage equality bill passing to increase equality for all New Zealanders, irrespective of their sexual orientation.

Discrimination isn't justifiable just because it's been around for a long time... Besides, the research indicates that gay parents are more committed to their children than straight parents, which puts a pretty large spanner in Family First's propaganda.