Parliament: second reading debate - Homosexual Law Reform Bill (23 October 1985) - part 1
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[00:00:00] This audio comes from the collections of the lesbian and gay archives of New Zealand. For more information visit leggins.org.nz. Did [00:00:10] I want a half again? I'm sorry. [00:00:15] I'm just have to say [00:00:22] and it was, remember in favor for Bill and it [00:00:34] provides advice rising whose introversion earlier [00:00:42] this occasion you are going to say who was on their feet at the point of house rising Who did you say that? [00:00:48] Well, I, I have coal [00:00:50] it's the [00:00:53] honorable muscle circus was being cold. And the reason for this is that I with the information that's available to me I'm trying to arrange the debate so that they may live speaking alternatively for and against the bill. And, yes, [00:01:15] speaker. Before I was first elected to this parliament in 1978, I made a commitment to my electorate of Littleton. If elected, I would hold a pole or referendum within my electorate on each of the four conscience issues if they arose. And provided that no such consequences to vote move through. This has to quickly the referendum was itself physically impossible to arrange. Speaker that was for me a very hard commitment to me to my electress. I have strongly held views myself on each of the four conscience issue areas. But I have them in back in 1978. And I still have now an equally strong sense of being a representative of my lectures. And I wanted to ensure that the voters of Littleton had an opportunity to express their views and so gave me my decision to hold a referendum in my electorate, in that measure of guiding me as to a liquid opinion on conscience issues. [00:02:34] Am I not entitled to conclude my address? [00:02:42] In other words, [00:02:43] by your ruling of finite role 30 minutes ago, I saw the attention from the house, the journalist the house, but in any by the order of the day number one Private member's bill, the member for pepper Caribbean titled courageous. Now that was a member for pepakura be suspended on the surface of the spouse. [00:03:14] situation and that is the situation. [00:03:22] I'm sorry that the member is suspended from [00:03:36] the member understand what that summit but motion was that the member for pepakura be suspended from the status of the house. And that is the motion that was passed. [00:03:55] Again, it's really for clarification Mr. Speaker, the member for one array did asked You which member was on his feet when the house rose last on debating this bill, you said you were still trying to determine the issue cannot be clarified at this point. So whether or not the member pepakura was or was not on his feet when the house rose on this issue last Wednesday [00:04:20] longer available in this house, but he, for the because of the motion that has passed, this house may no longer take notice of the men before pepakura. [00:04:48] Mr. McKenna Speaker I request that you take the leave of the house to allow the men for pepakura to conclude the speech that was down last Wednesday. [00:05:01] I [00:05:03] guess would be an extraordinary concession because the member for [00:05:07] pepakura, in actual fact, [00:05:08] had finished his speech at the conclusion of the debate. [00:05:22] Fresh point of order, Mr. [00:05:23] Peter, nice. My foot of water relates to the ruling and to the concession that the house is given to the member for pepakura. To register now I understand so that you can register your vote in two ways. One by being in the lobby, but usually by voice in the house. Now, Mr. Speaker, does that mean he's entitled to be in the house in accordance with the emotion of the house? Or have you given the interpretation that he must remain in the lobby? [00:06:01] is no difficulty about that. Remember my return to the house at the time that the question is put, but this does not entitle him to be present in my house any other occasion. But he is because the leaf of the house was taken on was granted that he should vote, then matters absolute and total of those voting is concerned, but does not affect any other procedure. I made it quite clear by a vote on the voices he is entitled to the earth and a vote in the lobby. He is entitled to exercise the [00:06:42] oppression of water. Does that mean sir that vote that the question be put [00:06:47] one occasion my colleague being denied the right to come back to South? No, no, that that was not granted by leaving the house was sold the question that he made on standing order Number one for partners. [00:07:08] SPEAKER I was saying that decision to hold a referendum in my electorate on conscience issues is a contract that I have with the people of the Littleton electress. I don't give up my views, I choose to share my conscience vote in this parliament, with those who sent me here to be their representative in this parliament. And I speak tonight therefore, in this part of the debate is the Member of Parliament for Littleton. Later in the debate, I will speak with the Minister of police. Mr. Speaker to hold a poll as a secret ballot in a general election is held is quite frankly beyond my resources. But I'm I have done my best to ensure that every vote from the looking to [00:07:51] the electorate [00:07:53] has had a fair opportunity to to participate in this referendum. And by those means, Whereby their opinions were confidential to them. And there is a particular reason for that, Mr. Speaker, I am the Minister of police and I have in the last few months, had quite sufficient anonymous letters to me by people who have identified themselves as coming from my electorate, but who did not wish to sign their name, because they were afraid of the consequences of admitting to a minister of police, that they were homosexual. They was in this in my electorate, any way, a compelling reason for a secret ballot. So I had delivered to each house two ballot papers, with no requirement for them to be annotated with a name and address and provided a mechanism for more ballot papers to be acquired if more than two voters lived in a particular household, even each other out. As it was quite enough valid papers were returned with only one of the two Connected balance build in enough to convince me that the voters of the little from the Lakers are pretty honest. As the speaker as of the 25,000 ballot papers distributed or requested 3731 were returned 13 were invalid, mainly because no voting was recorded in any way on those ballot papers and only obscenities. there with us 303,718 valid, valid ballot papers returned. The primary purpose of this bill is decriminalization of the law to remove criminal sanctions against homosexual acts between consenting adults. So the first question asked was therefore the central one. Do you support a change in the law to remove criminal sanctions against consenting homosexual acts? Yes or no? Mr. Speaker 1009 Hundred and 82 votes CBS 1736 said no 10s a majority 53.3% of the Littleton electorate support decriminalisation 46.7% do not. That may fairly be said to be fairly evenly divided in my electress. I intend in taking account of the views of the electorate and the majority view expressed to vote for removal of criminal sanctions against consenting homosexual acts. And there is an additional interesting element which should be noted. The Hague petition against the bill claimed that 5139 people in the Littleton electorate signed that petition. I with a team of helpers went to a great deal of trouble to search every single one of the boxes containing all the petition sheets presented to Parliament and then just Xerox every sheet I could find with a little tunnel electric address on it. I could only find 1500 names Mr. Speaker, not 5139. I then had all those names and addresses checked and have them only 1300 on the Littleton roll, or he or who had been added to the role since it was last published, returned from my own referendum for those who oppose the bill was 1736. I would speculate therefore, and I think quite reasonably, that the Hey petition seems to have somehow totally over represented and misrepresented the figures of those who are opposed to the bill who live in the Littleton electorate. As the speaker, I asked to supplementary questions on that ballot paper, which flow from the central question of decriminalization, one related to the age of consent and the other to the change The Human Rights Commission Act to include sexual orientation amongst the grounds on which would be unlawful to discriminate. [00:12:09] As those who did not support decriminalization often made it very clear and notes to me that they did not support any age whatsoever. I turned to the views of those who supported the criminalization. The referendum shows that 75% of those who support the criminalization support the age of 16 as the age of consent 25% support other alternatives. The third question, as I said, concerned an amendment to the Human Rights Commission Act, again of those who supported decriminalization. 85% supported this change also, as the speaker on the basis of this Littleton referendum, a majority support decriminalization, and have them a majority support the age of consent at 16. A change to the act to prevent the script discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation. My own personal views exactly coincide. I am a Christian and the family woman. My God is not punitive or oppressive. My Church submits that the present law and attitudes in society are harmful to the individual who has homosexual orientation, since they forced him to deny his sexuality as a person and an integral part of his identity as a person. I see the values of a loving New Testament God reflected in an acceptance of homosexuals in a non judgmental manner as fellow citizens equal under the law. I'm a family woman. homosexuals are passive families. I support strong and loving and tolerant family life where every child is loved and accepted for What they are, and adults are children of parents. I remember Mr. Speaker as a law student and jurisprudence lectures, studying the question of distinguishing morals from law. JOHN Stuart Mill's assisted the view much later research and by the British Wolfington report on homosexuality, that legal coercion, the weight of the criminal law can only be justified for the purpose of present preventing harm to others. This bill makes it very clear that where sexual act occurs between males where one party does not consent, that is a crime. The bill also provides that any homosexual act with anyone under the age of 16 as it is now with heterosexual x remains a crime, criminal criminal penalties. Legal coercion in those circumstances is justified for the purpose Purpose of preventing harm to others. Law and morality are overlapping circles sir. Morality condemns murder, as does the law. Morality may condemn adultery. The law does not. We as lawmakers have the responsibility of deciding not where morality lies, but where the law should lie. The criminal more in my opinion, has no place in the sexual behavior either of men and women, where there is consent between two mistakes. [00:15:40] Mr. Speaker, I want to begin by commending my colleague, the member for Wellington central for her courage and her tenacity in promoting this particular bill. I know how sincerely and how deeply she has felt about it. And I think we all know the tension that she has faced in these last few months. At the same time, I want to mention those people who feeling equally strongly that the bill should not proceed, have gone to tremendous lengths, some would say inordinate length to prevent its passage. Mr. Speaker, despite the tremendous publicity that this bill has aroused throughout the country, the general public are in fact, very poorly informed on the effects of the bill. I thought that the member photos show some the mirror up very clearly, he said that there are two paths. The first path modifies the Crimes Act. The second the human rights legislation. In the first part, there are two essential changes. The first is to remove or modify section 142 of the Crimes Act, which, which makes sodomy and certain indecent acts illegal. The second part relates to the age of consent. And the first part in the second part of the bill, sounds peculiar, but it's so relates to the human rights legislation and would make the provision that those persons who have whatever their sexual orientation would enjoy the protection of the human rights legislation. Now, Mr. Chairman, Mr. Speaker, before going to the first part of the first part of the bill, which is that section modifying section 142 of the crimes that making sodomy between consenting adults legal, and that is the crucial element of the bill. Indeed, the other two sections are in in the main consequent upon the first path, and I'll come back to that in a minute. But I want to draw attention to one or two matters that have arisen during the debate. And I want to make clear that what I have to say is to be seen as no way condemnatory, either of the two major groups or any other member who has spoken let me mention first the polls and if the polls have shown nothing else, they have shown how unsuccessful and how effective accurate, that method is in to determining the wishes of the majority of an electric. For example, a member might very well state publicly and that link his or her own view first and then seek from the electorate they have you want to be would have been surprised to find an unbiased opinion obtained in that way. But more importantly, the base the asset, the essential feature is, what was the question asked? If, for example, the question was, do you believe that homosexuals are presently persecuted the metal to change? And many would say that is the effect of the bill? I think the answer would have been in support of the bill. Equally, if you had said, Do you believe that sodomy between consenting adults ought to be condoned by the law? I think the Chinese might very well have been to the alternate. The second point rise by many people, many people put forward the view that I would support part one of the bill making sodomy legal on the grounds It was not abnormal, no danger to the participant or not to anyone else. But I could not bring themselves to support the other two changes. Now if in fact, sodomy is normal, sodomy is no danger to the person and there's no danger to anyone else. What justification is therefore making a different age of consent for homosexuals as compared with heterosexual? Alternatively, if indeed a homosexual is not the right, or what could grounds for denying that person the protection of the human rights legislation? Someone said, and indeed, it was the major part of the argument that sending homosexuals to jail is clearly a fault. So it is, if that is the case, why are we sending those homeless as an aside, that apart from those who are a threat to public safety, or who persistently refused to take part in community rehabilitation, no one should go to jail. Several people raised the point that there are countries overseas who have already done this in some way New Zealand has laid. And yet I had not one shred of evidence that would say that as a result of the change any one of those countries is the beta. Many people rise the point that it was unreasonable that lesbians, homosexuals and women should be treated differently from homosexuals. Yet Mr. Speaker, it would seem to me that anyone with the meanest intelligence and now more than passing knowledge of human physiognomy would see that there is a very real difference, which cannot be denied. [00:20:37] Last point I want to mention of the points that came up that were interesting was I want to draw attention to the almost pitiful reliance on so called expert witness, particularly that relying on lawyers or doctors, there is an almost craving a basis on medical evidence. How often have we in Memories head first and sit down and say I am a doctor two years standing. This is my view, and then proceed to give the most ridiculous rubbish. Mr. Speaker, I was for 20, nearly 30 years of consultant surgeon. And in the early part of my career, I carried out a good deal of surgery, some of which I now know was at best worthless. Some of it was frankly harmful, yet at the time, it was backed by refutable evidence, and we did it with the best intention. medical expert witness is a very useful tool in the hands of those who know something about it. It is a fearful weapon in the hands of those who either do not know that a lot about it or determine to use it to support their own cause. The medical evidence presented by the health department was an example. I read the evidence clearly. Many people put forward views saying it was a health department but it was not. Mr. Speaker, I want to come back to the essence that relighting to section one of the bill whether or not sodomy and certain indecent acts or to be condoned by the law. And our law mr. speaker is in general concerned with a set of rules determining the use of force by the state, those occasions in which the state or to interfere in the activities a private persons in the interest of the majority. It should be noted that we are not concerned with whether or not sodomy is good or bad, whether it is right or wrong. We are concerned with whether or not it should be condemned by the law. And that is the difference. The human race Mr. Speaker, all of our actions have been condoned been promoted by passions impulses desires. And it may well be said that a person acting on the spur of the moment can be forgiven for some action which the majority would not condone. But there is no similar case to be made for the purpose carrying out an action which he or she has had time to consider, indeed, the one thing that distinguishes us from all the other animals is that we have the ability of consciousness question conscious determination. Now, it may well be saving some head, that sodomy is a normal variant among the human desires, many are physiological and strong. But secondarily to that for self preservation is procreation the sexual way. But it is well known to us that complex physiological reactions like the sexual drive are bound to run arrive times and within within [00:23:45] fully I thought Sorry to interrupt the member but before the [00:23:48] full Amanda proceeds, I think it should be made clear to people [00:23:50] in the public gallery that there are no participants in this debate and they are not entitled to make any form [00:23:58] of verbal or other [00:24:01] interception into the debate. [00:24:05] I hope I made myself clear and that will [00:24:07] not end and the [00:24:08] members of the public will [00:24:10] will not [00:24:12] take the mantle to the point where we will have to take some [00:24:14] more appropriate action. Thank you, Mr. Speaker. [00:24:18] Thank you there were no way concerning me. The human activity is governed by by by passions, and secondarily to the drive for self preservation is that for procreation, the sexual drive runs the right times. And we do know that the sexual reaction can run awry to the extent that it can run two events of shattering version, quite clearly abnormal in anything quite clearly at law. The law Mr. Speaker may not have any part in private morality, but it clearly has a part in civic morality. It seems to me unreasonable to say that the law is concerned simply with the protection of the property in the person but has no no action in civic morality. Seems to me quite clear that it does. It seems to me that the law has a site or to have some tie in with a sodomy is is condoned. [00:25:13] And moreover, [00:25:15] that persons or in some way to abide by the law. Now, I want to go to my own particular concerns about the bill and there these there are three. In the first instance, I think that whatever happens to the bill, whether it passes or fails, and it will probably pass. I wonder what people's expectation is of the change. What will the change be my own view is that it will make no difference for anyone. Very little. I think it'll be a nine day wonder. Because the sanction against homosexual acts of civility sodomy is not the law. The sanction against them is public publicly. And that will not The mother who finds her son as suddenly as a homosexual still feel that chill from now to the end of time. The public the second point I want to mention and it would be wrong to leave the debate without mentioning it is the disease is artificial immune disease, artificially acquired immune disease, my own will, Mr. spacers, that we will see quite a severe epidemic of eyes. That has been the the problem abroad, and I see no reason why it ought not to be here and forever the grounds for saying that it is a hit for sexual disease in other countries. One could certainly be forgiven for believing that in New Zealand, it is still very much a homosexual disease very much. regretfully, we are in the state. We were with cigarette smoking about 10 or 15 years ago when we believe that we could conquer it. Dimmick with contraception by using filter text. We in some way ameliorated the carcinogenic effects of cigarette smoke. We now know that the one way to prevent the carcinogenic effects of cigarette smoke is not to smoke. [00:27:18] And I think that point needs to be made very clear to everyone. throughout New Zealand there is some wall believe [00:27:24] that we will conquer the epidemic of AIDS with the provision of contraception that Mr. Speaker will, I think proved to be false and we will regret it. [00:27:35] The last point I want to make is this, that throughout history, [00:27:41] human societies have set for themselves a standard. [00:27:45] Some extra been enjoying some extra been forbidden, some have been applauded, some have been a port that has been the history of mankind. What throughout history [00:27:57] and human reaction to any potential Act has changed to a remarkable degree over course, over the course of time, towards the acceptance of an act, and away from the acceptance of an A, not as we would think of gentle oscillation like a pendulum, but gradually and consistently away from the accepted norm of the day, always probing at the borders always going beyond what is generally accepted. More and more beyond always beyond until eventually the swing back comes not as a smooth swing back, but often, suddenly, and sometimes savagely. That has been the case of history throughout. As humans we can see past history a lot more evenly than we can recent history. We can all look back to the Greek, the classical Greeks or the industrial Italians, and see the light. We can all see the hills in the distance, but none of us can see the ground just in front of us. We have forgotten that in this century, in the most authentic Caledon civilized country in the world, we saw justice, a gradual move away from the standards until a sudden reversal. And whatever we think of the change true in the mind, it was due to economic change. But so far as it affected the middle classes and the upper classes weren't dependent on the economic changes. Hitler and his group depended on the on the on the, the view of the middle class. And the middle classes objection was not economic. It was to the sudden loss of the standards of the people. Hitler was bothered in the path. And indeed, he retained the majority support of the German people right after within months of his final class, and among the middle class and the upper class. The support was due not to the economic change, but to the theory that the public standard was reducing. Mr. Speaker, it is my belief that the public of this country you have now got close to the stage are getting closer to the stage where the will come I regret it. I hope it doesn't occur if it doesn't occur, but I feel a call winds of history going closer to us. I think there is a feeling and many times the morality of homosexuality will be unreasonably blamed for it. Of the lack of respect for the law of murdering rights, beating passion of the more fire up pressures of the feminist movement of the more violent activist of the Murray movement, and along with the more the moralities and the shift away from the from the standards of the day. I think there will be a change, Mr. Speaker, and I think that when the change comes and it will, it will, those who are responsible will not be solely those who lead the mass spec. But in fact, those who in the decade earlier like the ground that made it inevitable, [00:30:56] Mr. Speaker, [00:30:58] I had not the facilities Carry up a poll in my electorate. If I had, I believe that my electors would have had sufficient good senses to put it in the fire. But I have been around the electorate and I've spoken to people on MRI at meetings. [00:31:15] And I believe I could fairly accurately sum up [00:31:17] their feelings quite as accurately as some of the polls are there. And I think I could sum them up in this way. They would not wish homosexuals to be persecuted. at normal, [00:31:27] they would not wish that [00:31:30] they would not wish sodomy to be made. [00:31:33] They condemned by the law. [00:31:35] They would wish to return to the individual the rightest whether he or she employed, or provided accommodation for a person who they felt was [00:31:46] was Muslim, etc, [00:31:48] etc, very clearly the view of my electorate. It is also my own view, and I will fight accordingly. [00:31:56] Maurice MC t [00:31:59] Mr. Speaker Mr. Speaker, this is a matter of conscience. And as a matter of conscience, we the members of this house, have to decide whether it is right, or whether it is wrong to decriminalize the act of sodomy. And it is not a persecution of homosexuals, but it is dealing with a physical fact. And in dealing with a physical pack, the law of this nation to date has seen fit to prescribe that activity as being contrary to the best interests of society as a whole. For all of those members in this house, it is a time to be counted. A time to be counted when we must exercise the standards of values that are part of our nature. But are all the matters that we refer to in this house? matters of conscience? Should we not always exercise those standards and values which we have been brought up with [00:33:01] There have been comments made, [00:33:04] that we should be keeping separate God's law and man's law. But isn't most of the law that we passed here, part of God's law as well, and that we make an appeal to God at the beginning of each day in this chamber, before we sit down to consider the affairs of the nation. Mr. Speaker is not a time for a grace of rhetoric, in my opinion, because I believe that aggression, as enthuses, those who support you and an issue like this antagonizes those who oppose you and teens to it and it was you need to convince to win your cause. The value judgments that I have used to form my opinion on this basis on the basis of this particular issue, my life experiences to date, my personal family background, the kind of family that I lived in, the kind of things that my parents and other That I lived with my brothers and sisters. And the rest of the family around me and the community around me, taught me to be the prices for exercising my judgment. [00:34:11] The education that I received, [00:34:15] and a person once described him education as the sum total of our experiences to date. And I think that that is pretty important, in fact, is quite crucial to the argument with regard to this particular divide. homosexuality in my opinion, and according to the evidence of the expertise that I have been able to glean information from is not a condition we are born with, like a clubfoot. It's not a hereditary or a genetic condition. It is a result of conditioning. Maybe that conditioning is the result of bad family experiences. Maybe it's the result of peer pressure. Maybe it's the result of the growing environment in which we were nurtured, but it is quite conclusively In my opinion, I learned experience and it is I learned condition. As I learned condition, I believe that it can be dealt with by the standards and the values that we have learned by the standards and the values that teaches self discipline and other areas by the standards and values, the teachers to exercise the judgment of right and wrong and are dealing with other people. It is a learned deviant activity. It is an aberration of normal sexual behavior. Many people are trying to convince us at this time that it is just a different sexual behavior. It is not a different sexual behavior. [00:35:49] As a speaker before me indicated to this house, [00:35:53] one of the strongest emotions that mankind experience is the emotion and procreation and normal sexual behavior as the fulfillment of that emotion to recreation and procreation in that emotion to procreation as instilled in mankind, the perpetuation of the species. It goes back many thousands of years. And it has been that the species has been able to sustain also all sorts and kinds of shocks upon it during that period of time. The Cult of humanism sighs to us today, that if it is pleasurable, why not? It is only an untold an alternative expression of sexuality. I totally reject that. Because if we were to use that code for the determination of our lives and our values and our laws, we would have a situation where society could I apply that principle to all sorts of other deviant behavior. And that to me would be totally unacceptable. The codes of society have always regulated and discipline the exercise of sexuality. We have laws that prescribe having sex with a heterosexual partner before the age of 16. And we accept that we have laws that prescribe having incestuous relationships. And we accept that they are no doubt and many instances for the participants where they are both agree that the activity will take place. They are no they are pleasurable, if we prescribe them by law, why should we now decide that because this is a demand of the flesh, and described by many, as, in my opinion, an aberration, but by in the eyes of some people described as an alternative expression of sexuality and I cannot and will not accept that Homosexuality is, in my opinion, the title rejection of the normal love patterns that there is between men and wife that live to procreation. That and that bring the family into being and the family is the cornerstone of our society. Anything that brings about the degeneration of that family unit will ultimately bring about the degeneration of society as well. For those reasons. We now in this Parliament should be prepared to act as have the lawmakers before us to see that the fabric of that society is not torn apart. If we allow that to happen, they not only will we see degeneration of the family unit, we will see degeneration in the forms of violence among members of society. We will say CD generation and the form of the home and family life that is provided for the children of those families. We will see a dent general degeneration and all of the values that have gone to make this a very pleasant nation in which to live. [00:39:14] Mr. Chairman, if you accept the code of humanism, what else could you and would you have to accept? I believe that if you accept the concept that this is an alternative expression of sexuality, then you would have to be prepared to accept that the same principle applied to sadism to base t ality to prostitution, to euthanasia to insist there is a time and a place for society to say through a slow Michael's. There is a time and a place for to say stop. And I believe that on this issue, society has given us just that direction. 830,000 people have said that Many people will try to bring that expression into discredit. But even if you just created a fifth of them, there is still over half a million people in New Zealand who have said no, who have quite clearly and distinctly said, No, there's no other issue to me and also the history of this nation who has bought that has bought people voluntarily for to express their determination on a matter like this to such a massive extent. [00:40:31] Personally, I haven't followed the people in my electorate. [00:40:35] I say to the people in my electorate at the time of the violation, that you accept me with my standards and my values, and that you can expect me to use those standards and values and exercising my judgment on your behalf as your representative here in this parliament. And that's what I intend to do. My values are not negotiable. They are not something that's going to be swayed. However, there are 15,059 people who have signed the petition and my electorate 15,059 people. The timrie Herald during the election campaign conducted a number of polls. And it's interesting to note the comments that were made in response to some of the questions that were asked in those polls. On Wednesday, the 12th of June 1985, the timrie herro conducted a poll, and it says that moral issues and the state of the economy remain the issues most concerning timrie voters and the lead up to the election. They were the key concerns in the timrie hero poll conducted two weeks ago, and they remain the leading issues in the latest poll. of the 600 people polled. 21.8% said moral issues were particularly important issues in voting Among the attending national voters, moral issues were identified as the most important, followed by the state of the economy, taxation, and then inflation and the cost of living, live abiders identified moral issues as the most important, followed by the state of the economy and employment and the cost of living. moral issues and taxation were of most concern to entertaining voters for the social credit party. So it went right across the spectrum of all parties. [00:42:30] They were [00:42:32] quite evenly powered across all of the electorate. And they came up with the same determination regardless of their political affiliation, that they were very concerned about this particular piece of legislation that they were looking for a representative who would take to this parliament, their concerns on this particular cause. Mr. Chairman, there are additional provisions to this bill, which I find to me Totally repugnant. And there is the condition which is attached to the end of the bill that brings this particular legislation under the protection of the Human Rights Act. I believe that is incredibly important to the people of our nation, that they have the right to have the children educated in a climate in which they can determine the kind of morality that may be taught there. The passage recently through this Parliament of the education Amendment Act, fills me with great concern that the provisions under the human rights legislation attaching to this particular Act would mean in teaching sexuality in the schools, the teachers would be obliged by [00:43:45] law [00:43:46] to teach on an equal basis as an alternative sexuality, homosexuality and lesbianism. And that to me is totally repulsive. And that to me is one of the major reasons why I wouldn't ever be prepared to accept this, I also would want to preserve for all time, the ability to be able to sanction whether or not the person that I employed as a base to run a church, as a dormitory master in a school, as a nurse, as a policeman, or in any other areas where people came into constant contact with the public, I would want to be able to determine that that person was not going to exploit those people for ever and sexual behavior. And there is no way that I would be prepared to move from that particular consideration is apparent to me and I believe that it is most important to the protection of the ultimate lifestyles of our young people that we do not have that forced upon us. Mr. Speaker, there are many issues, which will be Canvas during this debate. They will be many prejudice, prejudices which will be in they will be many people Who will find quite unacceptable the decision that is made by this parliament, whatever that may be. Those people, I believe, in many instances have bought their considerations to this Parliament with the very best of intentions. But I do believe that many of them have been gravely misguided. I do believe that the experience of ancient history has taught us that as soon as we allow the moral standards of our society to relax, then our society as a whole begins to degenerate. And I believe that having sanctioned this particular piece of legislation, and made legally act of sodomy, we are right on the course to see that the generation started immediately. There are so many problems within our society now that I do not believe that we can based another problem upon the shoulders of that society. I personally believe that the homosexual within our community as a predatory being the investigations that I have conducted Personally indicate to me that homosexuals during their lifetime will have a multitude of partners. If we take away from it may well be an interesting experiment for that member. It will never be an interesting experience experiment for this member. And I'm very pleased to be able to tell this house. Mr. Speaker, I believe that the protection of our of our total nation is depended upon the passage of this particular legislation is my colleagues in the house to accept the importance of this legislation to give it the consideration, that it deserves not to be swayed by the feelings that might have been engendered among their colleagues who have been forcing them to try and give a favorable consideration not to be swayed by the fact that there are people who have been most vocal in recent weeks and trying to persuade good people that they should change their attitudes. I believe that we have to take a stand now for the protection of the moral fiber of our society. And this is the opportunity that this parliament has. [00:47:09] The Honorable Frank Flynn, Mr. Speaker, for the second time in just a few weeks, this house is again confronted with a private member's bill to which no party will be applying it slips. But all members will be free to vote, as I wish, some of them I believe on polls, some according to their country, inches view of the matter, one way or the other. But the speaker in those circumstances, I feel it necessary to give a brief explanation of my views and the way in which I intend to vote. But what to speak of before I do that the one or two preliminary things that ought to be said. The first is and I think I said the same thing to the now a member of white tetra, formerly the member for Egmont 10 years ago. The first is that I have to congratulate the member for Wellington central For the carried she has displayed in producing and promoting this bill because I was here when the member for y tetra did the same. And I've also seen some other private member's bills. And I know what happens to the person who is and if I may put it so in the eye of a storm like that. Now the second thing is I feel it necessary to say was really illustrated by the first two speeches this evening. We have to eloquent telling speeches in absolute opposite contradiction, contradictory points of view. And to some extent that indicates the difficulty of dealing with the matter. I think, sir, the debate, as usual in this kind of circumstance, has actually done the house in the main considerable credit. There have been a great deal of wisdom in some of the features even when I didn't agree with the end result. there been a lot of prophecies, some of them gloomy and hopefully wrong. there been a lot of shrewd observations about human nature. And all in all, anybody who listened to the debate, would be sure to have learned something I might not be entirely sure. What do you want to do with the bill? Now let's just pick up. Usually, I try to keep my moral views to myself, unlike I regret to say, some of the opponents of this bill or indeed some of its supporters, who have endeavored to shove their moral views down other people's throats, sometimes not very scrupulous about the way in which they dealt with them, you know, so I actually got, I think, a fairly reasonably unemotional and somewhat pragmatic view of the matter. But I will start by saying, what my view about the problem really is. I am actually among those who regard homosexual conduct as wrong, immoral, or if you like sinful they use a word that is now unpopular and out of fashion because Of course, it expresses a moral judgments. And that's not popular. In my opinion also, Mr. Speaker, it is actually impossible to argue that subjects are either normal or natural for me. I personally think that that conclusion is really self evident, because, as as we pointed out by one of the earliest speakers this evening, mankind's instinctive sexual urge, perhaps the strongest or at any rate, the second strongest after self preservation of the instinctive drives and urges that he has, is linked to the act by which procreation takes place, and then is, of course, necessary for the perpetuation of the rice as it is for all other living creatures. But Mr. Speaker, I do not propose to pursue those moral problems any further because they are not the questions that the bill raises. The question raised by the bill is not whether that kind of conduct is normal or abnormal, moral or immoral, but whether it should continue to be criminal. [00:51:06] Now, as another speaker pointed out earlier this evening, it is not the purpose of the criminal law to condemn everything that is immoral. Still, this must condemn everything that is abnormal, some conduct that is immoral or abnormal is also criminal and examples were given. Some, indeed match such conduct is not is not disapproved by the criminal law. Now, it's a thing of the next thing is that it is equally clear to me and are very safe to most members of the House, that an exercising a conscience vote a member or not, just to give Ryan to his personal opinions or what some other members might think are his personal prejudices. He thought there I submit, to exercise his vote in the way that in his country interest judgment, he thinks is best for society. And that was the view that I think was expected Quite well, a few nights ago by the member for North Shore was the speaker at the time. The bill was introduced 10 years ago by the vein member for Egmont. I sit in this house that after giving serious thought to the question, whether this sort of conduct or to continue to be criminal, I had reached the conclusion on balance that it ought not to be, and I am still have that opinion. I didn't reach that conclusion, either lightly or easily. And, Mr. Speaker, I am certainly not persuaded that large numbers of people are being deprived by the present law of some rights of sexual expression that I overhead. But there is a medicine that I'll discuss very briefly, when I come to pack to let me concentrate for the moment on that one. As the speaker there are three quite narrow and somewhat pragmatic grounds on which I reached the conclusion that homosexual acts between consenting miles of I proper age, and I choose that expression carefully, should no longer be criminal. And I can put each of them sir in not more than one or two sentences. First of all, Mr. Speaker, I know and experience and legal practice serves to confirm that for many years, criminal proceedings have hardly ever been taken in the second sentence to which this bill is mainly directed, namely, acts of consenting adults of full age in private. But I know in my own experience and legal practice confirms that tremendous and dangerous pressures are existing on male homosexuals under the present law, and that is a subject I'm going to come back to, but those pressures, sir, lead to all kinds of objectionable activity and frequently leads to serious crimes, particularly blackmail. That's the thing I tend features that I delivered on the bill 10 years ago, and I see that during the second reading, I actually referred to the fact that That several charges of murder had arisen not long before those debates, if not out of homosexual conduct itself, at least in a setting of hyper sexual relations to think on the bill, because of the concern I felt at that time, about the behavior action statements of some of us over enthusiastic supporters. Laser we're trying is indeed they are now to say that this is a permissible alternative lifestyle, or even that it is a good lifestyle. They were threatening to try to encourage and fit as far as I could, because it was that kind of conduct that actually persuaded me in the end, the only course available to me was just to decline. The vote was the speaker. the conduct of the supporters of this of the bill this time has been, I think, really pretty much the same, and you know, worth still in a way, this time, they've been joined by many of the opponent of the bill. And they found that has been if anything rather worse. So, we have seen gross intolerance on both sides shouting down of the others opinion, personal insult and objectionable forms of pressure have been used by both the lobby groups. Mr. Speaker, the rest of the story as far as that conduct is concerned, it goes like this in 1975 because one might say of electro misfortunes, I had to return to the practice of the law. And soon afterwards, one case in which are professionally involved, illustrated for me once and for all the gravity of the pressures to which homosexuals are subject under the present law, and it persuaded me in one hit, that the reform this reform of the law is necessary in the public interest, I'm sorry to have to assignments is bigger that the case concerned also showed how very badly some members of the police force treated him bisexuals, at least at that time, it was clear from the evidence that they were Harris beyond belief in the street and they elsewhere simply because they were homosexuals. The case itself actually concerned disciplinary action against the policeman and then at least showed that the police management was opposed to that kind of conduct. But the evidence was an absolute object lesson to me. I was simply shocked without going into the details of what was revealed at the hearing. [00:56:32] Now, Mr. Speaker, it is for that reason that on this occasion, I am going to support part one of this bill principle, though I do that, rather as one choosing the lesser of two evils or supporting without too much enthusiasm, I legal reform, that seems to me to be justified in the imperfect world that we live in, and as a counter vote. Well, the way I vote mainly in depend on the age that is decided upon 16 in the Bill, I would prefer 20 I am prepared to go along with 18. If that is the fated answer, I've got an anxious questions in front of me and I'm not going to reveal from the present moment for the answer may be in fact, I haven't actually determined what the answer may be. I may be loath to see them reformed defeated, I will just simply leave [00:57:21] that they [00:57:23] come to part two. Part two is in my view a very different matter. It seeks to forbidden discrimination against any person on the grounds of their sexual orientation. If it is passed, it will become impossible to treat homosexuals differently in almost any way because of their homosexuality was the speaker. The proponents of this reform say it is unjust, that they should be treated differently. They say the homosexuals have a basic or a fundamental human right to act as I do. Some even say as they do 10 years ago, that have a sexual liaisons are valid alternative lifestyle. Mr. Speaker, I am totally unable to agree with claims like that. I noticed that one speaker earlier this evening said, if that kind of conduct is normal, then it might be appropriate to include it or pass the amendment to the Human Rights Act. But to think I have already seen that, in my view, homosexual acts between males, which is what we are really dealing with unnatural and abnormal. And I cannot see that they can possibly be anything that can be described as a basic or fundamental human rights to act in a manner unnatural domain. So was the speaker holding the view that I do have homosexual acts, it is quite impossible for me to vote for part two of this bill, I think, as well, that people who find homosexual acts totally repugnant as I You are in fairness, I wish to do so, to shun homosexuals. I do not think that a person living part of a building, at least to be listed under themselves should be obliged to accept the homosexual as a tenant. I do not think that an employer can be bound to be bound to accept homosexual employees, at least, where he is going to come into personal contact with them. And there might be other examples given. I think, sir, that is possible that some forms of discrimination practice by people against homosexuals are unnecessary and indefensible, and might even in some instances be true. If this part of the bill was carefully directed solely, then I might consider supporting it. That would be quite different from week one and what we've got in front of us, which is an amendment asserting that the right to treat them differently in any way at all, or we totally withdraw. That is what part two of the bill seeks to do, and I am unable to agree with proposition, and I will be voting against it. Now, Mr. Speaker. Finally, I take the opportunity to tell the house that if this bill receives its second reading, I will introduce provisions to preserve the law presently administered on this topic in the armed forces in the case of path to an amendment to the bill will be necessary. But it may be that the President military and disciplinary law as the hammer sexual acts can be preserved without an amendment, the pathway those metal Sarah still under some consideration. entries can be dealt with in the committee stages in short with the speaker. I am in favor in principle of part one, but I am having difficulties in the way I indicated with the age and I'm totally opposed to Patty. [01:00:49] Bill Dylan. [01:00:54] I have not spoken previously on this bill. It is a bill that has been variously described as decriminalizing or legalizing homosexuality, I believe so that therein lies the nub of the difficulty in dealing with the bill. I believe that it is important to distinguish between legality and morality. And of course, as has been suggested by one of the earlier speakers this evening, depending on how you phrase the question, you then can anticipate the sort of answer that you would get. So, there is a petition is set around opposing the legalizing of homosexuality, then you are likely to get a majority accepting that viewpoint. However, if the same petition were to be said about wanting to know how many oppose the decriminalizing of homosexuality, you would probably get the same sort of majority supporting that petition. [01:02:16] sodomy used to be dealt with in the ecclesiastical courts. So was adultery. [01:02:24] I believe that that is where it should be returned, particularly as covered in this bill in respect of adult consenting males in private. Mr. Speaker, I appear to be the third Catholic, practicing Catholic in a row to speak tonight on this bill. [01:02:52] And I would be the third different viewpoint [01:02:57] right at the outset, might I say that our Hold no brief for homosexuality. I consider it contrary to Christian moral standards. But what I do have is a sympathy to the plight of the homosexual. I have had the advantage, Mr. Speaker of variously chairing and being on the committee that dealt with the submissions on this bill. Consequently, I have had the advantage of the more than 1200 submissions and the materials made available to that committee. The submissions, the letters, both for and against. And I have had some letters which horrified me and some letters, which gave me great heart and great support From the outset, Mr. Speaker, I believe that medical and scientific research does not appear to have advanced from the findings of the Kinsey report in 1948. And that Mr. Speaker determined that there was a continuum of sexuality of a grade of one to six litre research in 1981 has supported and updated that but still there is regarded that continuum of a one to sex on one extreme. There is a person who is outright outrightly homosexual. The other extreme, there is a person who is outrightly heterosexual. And it has been concluded mr. speaker that between five and 10% are at that homosexually and They orientation, that way being established very early in life, probably before the age of five. Consequently, we are dealing here with a group in our community of up to 10%, who like being left handed, cannot and an arrival to avoid their sexual orientation. Given that, Mr. Speaker within half a minority that we asked to consider in dealing with this bill, I believe that it is important that that be considered as a starting point. No doubt in that middle area between the grades of one to six. There are many who can be persuaded to go to one or other of the areas heterosexuality or homosexuality to the lie, I'm not calling them now. Those people, it must be for them themselves to determine and to rely upon their education, family upbringing as to which choice they make. damage the Speaker I speak as one of the members of this house, particularly at risk over this title bill. I say that because according to the petition taken up by those opposing the law reform, my electorate had 20,299 signatures on that petition that came out to an amazing 97.25% of the electorate. [01:07:00] almost unbelievable. [01:07:04] The Highland poll of the 22nd of June [01:07:10] recorded that 61% were for reform 35% were opposed, and 5% undecided. As a result of the publishing of the figures for Hamilton east, Professor Paul of the university why Keter undertook after the three days 19th 20th and 21st. September to check with 667 on a random survey in Hamilton east. Those who had signed the petition and his results, given some publicity at the time, showed that only 37% signed the petition. Now, Mr. Speaker, there has been an editorial in the Dominion which commented on the large divergences between the numbers claimed for the petition and those against, but it's words at the end of their editorial, I believe, most important. What is the use of determining the question on a number crunching principle? I accept that even at 40% of those signatures being genuine. There are 8000 in my electorate, who in fact, are opposed to this reform. And that, of course, ought to give white to the position that I take and the attitude that I adopt towards this bill. However, as the Speaker I do not accept the Waikato Times article of yesterday headed up MPs unmoved by call. Sorry. But it is appropriate for me to point out with them with some regret because I don't want to interrupt the flow that it's referred to several times and speakers rulings that members may not, quote newspaper common dollar measure before the house member can can paraphrase. [01:09:23] But he must not. He must not quote directly from the material which he hasn't found. And I don't need any help at all from the member for [01:09:36] Mr. Dolan. [01:09:40] I have in fact been moved by the call. I have in fact been moved by the number of letters. I have, in fact been moved by the number of those even if it is reduced to 1000 that have in fact, signed the petition but I do wish to say Mr. Speaker is that I [01:10:06] put to one side the extremists from either [01:10:11] side of this debate [01:10:14] and extreme positions and not consistent this the stakeout with the gospel or Christian tradition. What is called for here, and which was mentioned in the speech by the member for power when this bill was first introduced, is a great need for tolerance and understanding. And I believe that the people of Hamilton East need to have that tolerance and understanding in accepting the way that I propose to consider this bill, having, as I have mentioned, had an opportunity of going through all the submissions that were put forward. Now I'm supported in this business Speaker by an announcement from the New Zealand inter church Council on public affairs, that represents 11 Christian denominations including the Catholic Church. And I believe that the middle ground is the area where people ought to see [01:11:23] my vote being cast [01:11:28] on the first issue, and the member for North Shore has very accurately described the three issues as the decriminalization, the age of consent, and thirdly, the human rights issue. On the very first of those issues as the speaker, there are those who seek to promote homosexual behavior and lifestyles as desirable alternatives to marriage and family life. And the other extreme, there are those whose disapproval of homosexual behavior has become distorted into a cruel rejection and disparagement of homosexual persons. Both of those Mr. Speaker, I reject. What I do suggest, Mr. Speaker is that the enlightened understanding is that whilst I approve and uphold moral norms designed for the sanctity or wholeness of individuals, it is still necessary to be compassionate to any form of human weakness and that it is necessary for Christians to be ever mindful of the dignity of all persons. [01:12:42] Mr. Speaker on the age of consent, [01:12:48] because I believe that the arguments that have been put forward require the law to decriminalize homosexuality. The second question named Mr. Speaker is that of the age of consent, whereby logic and principle it would seem necessary to have a uniform age for both heterosexual and homosexual relations. There is no clear evidence that boys need a further period of protection and respect to family sexual acts over and above those four girls. However, being a father, having had two girls and two boys in my own family, I am conscious and aware, as most parents would be, are the difference in their maturing rights. And consequently, I am conscious of those people who have expressed concern that the age of 16 for male homosexual acts was too low and accordingly, I am not Yet convinced, Mr. Speaker, that I should not support an age of 18 [01:14:09] and age, which I suggest [01:14:13] would give some solace to those people who are so firmly, [01:14:19] perhaps blindly but they are certainly firmly opposed to this reform bill. [01:14:27] And it is a question yet, Mr. Speaker, [01:14:31] for me to determine in my own mind as to whether the age of consent would be 18 or a lesser age. Finally, Sir, may I refer to the third section of the bill, and that is dealing with the Human Rights question and here is the speaker. I believe that There has been some misunderstanding of this human rights proposal. It is as a shield, not a soul. [01:15:11] It is not available for people to use [01:15:15] to claim something, what is available to them for is to protect them from being discriminated against. And I look at history in this country, the position of narratives, [01:15:34] the position of women, [01:15:36] the position of Catholics [01:15:40] in the 30s there was a guitar mentality adopted by Catholics. There were evidence there was evidence or they're being discriminated against, in respect of jobs. If they were two people going for the one job One was a Catholic, quite possible that that Catholic would be discriminated against. That is not so now, and I don't believe it has been so for the last 40 years. But it fits me, Mr. Speaker, to find, as seems to be the case throughout the world, that those who have in fact been persecuted, in turn, become the first of the most vocal to persecute. [01:16:32] And I refer the speaker to those [01:16:37] who now for that brave little nation of Israel 40 years ago, they were the persecuted. Now they appear on the world seen as a very feisty nation. Mr. Speaker, it seems odd but Where you do have that getter mentality. You do have a vociferous method of challenging of getting out of that minority group. There are those in the United States who would remember the Jews, who had all the chutzpah, spelled chutzpah but pronounced boots by the [01:17:30] Hamilton east, [01:17:31] there would be those that would remember, the Negroes who were referred to as being apathy, niggers. It was the way that those minority groups have fought back traditionally. Consequently, I asked on behalf of those who have fought for this law reform, if they have appeared to have been going beyond the bounds [01:17:59] that they be forgiven, [01:18:01] because it is in the nature of people to have that method of fighting back [01:18:09] when I have been a minority. [01:18:12] Mr. Speaker, this is a conscience vote. I intend to exercise my conscience vote as I have described. [01:18:23] And I asked [01:18:24] that those in the Hamilton East electorate, we may have heard me [01:18:29] tonight [01:18:30] to recall what I have said. The explanation of why I am voting the way I prepared
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