Parliament: second reading debate - Homosexual Law Reform Bill (23 October 1985) - part 2

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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 Read [00:00:10] the honorable Mr. ferlin. [00:00:13] Speak up, [00:00:15] I did not come into parliament necessarily to have to impose my views on moral issues on other members of the society that we are part of. However, I'm not prepared to run away from the responsibility that a Member of Parliament has an exercising [00:00:34] their [00:00:36] the rights of a member to vote according to his or her beliefs, or what they perceive their electorate to be. On this particular issue, my mind is made up on the basis of personal experience and also what I perceive my electric to believe on this issue. I'm bound to stop That the personal experience is more important to me, then what I've seen coming from the electorate, but it does happen to coincide, coincide with what the views appear to be from correspondence and people have discussed the matter with me. [00:01:18] We cannot run away from such an issue. [00:01:22] And I think that my views would be somewhat different if they were homosexuals being persecuted and confined to prison for their sexual preference. But given that they do not appear to be so then I will be opposing the legislation on all its stages. And the reasons really were covered in part by the previous speaker. [00:01:49] When he suggested that [00:01:50] I Kinsey report, which I haven't in front of me, suggests that people could be graded on the basis of a one to six [00:02:01] And that many could go either way. [00:02:06] I didn't not the same as the speaker, [00:02:10] that as a society, we're yet ready to accept that homosexuality is normal behavior. [00:02:18] I also do not see [00:02:21] that as a society, we would be prepared to accept that those individuals who are in the privacy of their own homes in a relatively stable relationship practice homosexual acts. And like most members, given any choice, I would back away from the issue and let the society make its own mind up according to their own views. But we cannot as I said earlier, run away from the reality of what is happening in our community. And in particular, what affects a lower this chamber have on the vulnerable in our society. parliamentarians have the unenviable task of making moral judgments on others voting in such a chamber. And we're certainly not perfect in any way. But once again, we have to take that responsibility and accordingly explain a electrodes. I said that I had some personal experience. I went to a boarding school where there was some [00:03:29] sexuality. [00:03:32] And I was in fact, one of the prefect, a group of prefects, who helped remove a headmaster from his job, a man who I respected. Absolutely. [00:03:43] I don't know to this day, [00:03:46] not whether we were right or not. But what we were what we did was just [00:03:52] but I do know, [00:03:54] the effect of the actions of that person [00:03:59] on those the came to us [00:04:03] and told us of the interference that went on. [00:04:09] And that really typifies why I am strongly opposed, particularly to the age of 16. And, in fact, to the older age as well, for the reasons I'll discuss a little later on. I don't think that the country is ready yet to see school masters or headmaster's with the young, vulnerable people, where they may go either way, in a position where they can be exposed to the type of indoctrination that we see so often espoused by the gay movement. And I believe that if the Human Rights Commission part two of this bill is applied, that the Minister of Education will have great difficulty in preventing a large number of active guys being recruited in such schools, and it will put will put the individuals responsible for the recruitment of those schools, the employment of the teachers in an unenviable position of having to oppose the law. And I take that view after discussing the matter, with people concerned in this area. It's not something that I've wrapped up. It's a matter of discussion and analysis. Mr. Speaker, I also consider that if society was mature and prepared to accept with more tolerance, the different deviances perhaps we could have a different view on the law as before the chamber when there is a lack of tolerance on both sides, but more particularly by the activists in the gay movement, and I'm going to quote one particular example of this, then I do not think that we should accept a law which encourages that type of behavior. [00:06:08] There was a meeting held in that valley, [00:06:11] which was supposedly going to be started with a prayer. When the Salvation Army major stood up to say, Our Lord Jesus, the guy people chanted from the floor. Don't give us that. Jesus Christ garbage here, he sodomized his own disciples. I don't accept that sort of behavior anymore that I accept the extremists on the other side. But I don't think that the extremists on the other side of this issue are too concerned about trying to change the sexual preference of 16 year old boys. They may well be trying to help the moral standards as they say. And those moral standards are generally accepted. By the majority of our society, including some people in the gay movement, but a sexual preference is a somewhat different matter than a moral standard and value. And once again, I come back to my point that let's at least like certain that those people who can enjoy a heterosexual opportunity in life, get the advantage of that, as opposed to the possibility of being indoctrinated by the alternative lifestyle of the gay movement. [00:07:36] And why do I believe that? Because I believe very much in the family as the stable path of our society. [00:07:46] I don't see [00:07:48] that the gay communities of the world are stable. They may well provide an opportunity for people with a set and preference to collect together and do the best they can and get on know if that's what I believe. But as a society here, I believe that what that would achieve is great divisions in attitude and great stress on the type of society we have. Because they become very active politically. [00:08:17] in all respects, [00:08:19] I'm sure that the next stage of that development in New Zealand would be that they wish to bring up children. And I would absolutely oppose any opportunity for people who are not prepared to get involved in procreation, having the right to bring up a family. [00:08:38] If I can just drop the member for a [00:08:40] moment, I've already referred to members in the public gallery [00:08:44] not having any place at all on debate. [00:08:46] Now, I'm not sure whether the same people are involved, but I would point out to them, that the gallery will be cleared if there was a repetition of the kind of sniggering that has been going on. [00:09:01] I had that is quite clear. [00:09:06] The Honorable Mr. Mr. Speaker, as I said earlier, I think that the law in this case must be a benchmark. As a house, we have to stand up for certain standards of behavior, which we believe in, and many members who are going to vote in favor of this bill. side I find homosexuality repugnant, then I must ask them, Why do they wish to encourage it? Because that is precisely what this law will do. They can still solve their conscience, if I wish to be tolerant by voting against the bill, because the way in which the law is being applied, is in a tolerant fashion. [00:09:54] But if we don't have that benchmark, [00:09:57] then I consider that what will happen is A very strong activist element in the gay movement will take it another stage further. And it will be the family that's under threat. And then the fabric of our society as well. And I'm not prepared to tolerate that. When people are in such a vulnerable situation in modern society anyway, with so many of their options being determined, not by a family, a stable family background, but by what people perceive as being the experimental society that were shaped and exposed to. However, I'm conscious of those people in the gay movement who feel very strongly about human rights and attitudes. And that's why, as I said earlier, if there was clear evidence of discrimination on the basis of these people being charged [00:10:54] with offenses [00:10:56] and if I had to make general terms of Then I would have a different view, particularly to the age of consent. But at the moment, Mr. Speaker, I do not fail, either the gay movement, or the society is ready to be tolerant enough to accept the change to decriminalize in the law, not in the practice, but in the law, homosexual activity. Because I think quite clearly, the behavior of the particular camp in favor of this bill has shown that this is only the beginning of changes that they wish to achieve in our society and that's attitudes on this issue. Being a politically active group, they're trying to increase their numbers. And that says to me, that there is vulnerable people. If the law is changed, will be more vulnerable than before. And that condemns them to a situation which the majority of our society will never accept as normal behavior. And I do not want to see more of that group exposed to such a situation. [00:12:14] That's why I'm opposed to all parts of the legislation. [00:12:19] Mr. BUTCHER. [00:12:23] Mr. Speaker, I would like to congratulate most of the participants in this debate because I believe this debate at the second rating stage is being conducted at a very high standard, and one or two people have to send it to a narrow partisan level of debate and most people have debated very seriously the issues which were confronted with. I personally have never previously contributed to a debate on one of the personal morality questions that have come before this house. There are several reasons for that. One is I guess, the reluctance of many of us to discuss private and personal matters. in public, even when I relate to other people, there is also I believe, a natural inclination to preach or to lecture others on how they should behave. And as one who has never been placed with I family, I personally am reluctant parade my beliefs on this sort of issue in public at any time. But I feel on this bill, I owe it to my constituents to put my views on the record. I intend to support the criminalization of homosexual activities that consensual sexual activities. And that I believe is the weakness and the argument of the member who is immediately preceded me in that this bill only refers to activities which are consensual. I intend to support the very greatly strengthened penalties against indecency with young children and the great improvements that the bill represents in that respect. I also in tend to support the same age for males and females as it relates to activities with people of the same sex. At this stage, I have been inclined to oppose the Human Rights clause in the bill, because of what I perceive to be the potentially the visit diversions that that could create if decriminalized, I am prepared to listen to arguments on that matter. And I will look forward to the debate of the latest stage [00:14:34] in the film. [00:14:37] The main issue Therefore, as far as I'm concerned turns on the next question of the age of consent. My initial preference was for an age of at least 18 for both males and females. However, experience has surely shown us all in recent history that 18 The present age of 16 is honored as much in the breach as it is, I should say, breached more than that is honored. And I believe it would be unfair to be different for anyone. Reluctantly, then I've come to the view that if the bill is to be passed, it is probably probably age of 16 is the only logical age to be incorporated in the bill. In actual fact, as I said before, I believe that because the bill only relates to consensual activities, the practical difference would be very little irrespective of the age written into the bill. [00:15:45] Originally, [00:15:47] I felt as many members felt obliged to make an effort to sound out the views of my constituents, I write my views into the pages of a local newspaper. Which circulates to every household in my lectures. And I've received a number of letters and telephone calls as a result of that. However, over the years, because the views that I hold on this, I've held for many years, I've entered into commitments based on my beliefs and the evidence that I have seen. I believe in those circumstances, a poll of the sort that many members have conducted could confuse people into believing that numbers would decide the issue. That is not the case as far as I'm concerned. And the validity of polls can always be questioned as my colleague the member of the Eastern Mary pointed out in his very eloquent speech earlier this evening. In addition to that, there have been a large number of polls conducted by reputable polling organizations and their conclusions have been very similar numbers to speak. I think it's important that if one is going to support a measure of the soul, it is in Important to put on the record how you came to that sort of view. For many, like many of my age group, our personal involvement in politics began in the mid 1960s. We were involved we became involved in political affairs because of an appearance of persecution of the few father many of the week by the strong waver involved in issues such as the war in Vietnam, apartheid, corruption and dictatorship as it appeared around the world. And then this latest to a concern with issues closer to home issues such as poverty, exploitation, and discrimination. So this, this state of affairs leads naturally to opposition to laws, which might have a very small minority of population as being different because of matters beyond their personal control. For that reason, since the 1969 election, the very first I contested I've always indicated that I would support a law aimed at decriminalizing homosexual acts between consenting adults. Following the disclosure or the reiteration, I should say, of my views to the electorate. I received, as I say, the number of submissions both for and against. And I believe that most of those submissions were motivated by the highest of motives and very expressed views that were sincerely held. They certainly challenged my beliefs. They required me to put in very detailed terms in reply, my views and I enjoyed the vigorous debate that the leaders engender. [00:18:42] But, and I certainly would not vote for this bill. If I did not feel that the very real theists that have been expressed very sincerely by many people, utterly groundless. I resented the threatening tone of some of the communications that I received. And frankly, I'm not one of those people who respond in any favorable fashion towards political threats. I believe very firmly in a pluralistic society. And that involves a number of things it involves the whole issue of religious freedom involves laws which apply to all religious faiths, irrespective of where they occur. I believe that attempt to impose one set of beliefs on the entire population is a threat to a pluralistic society. three arguments against this bill have been mounted by many of the opponents. And I would like to briefly Canvas those three arguments and what I feel about them. The first argument has been that this bill is against God's law, frequently cited in support of that contention was chapter 20 of Leviticus and the Particularly the contents of verse 13, which can concern if a man sexual relations with another man, both shall be put to death. However, those who drew that verse to my attention did not as enthusiastically draw my attention to verses nine and 10, which referred to the question of rebellious children, and the question of adultery. Now, the point about that, Mr. Chairman, is that under our law, none of these things attracts the death penalty prescribed by the scriptures. Only one of them attracts a criminal sanction under our laws, it stands at the present time, that says those who say that this bill is against the law of God, my reply is that may well be so this house has no capacity to change the law of God, but it does not imply that we have to write that into a criminal law. Secondly, many people say that this Bill is immoral because homosexuality is immoral. I would be quite prepared to accept the proposition that many people find homosexuality immoral. Many others find it distasteful, nice that they would be one of those who find some of the practices described by their member for hierarchy as very distasteful meanings. The first meaning can be that it occurs it does not occur in nature. And that certainly is not the case for homosexuality. As they pointed out already, it attracts mentioned in the Bible, the best evidence available in the case of at least five to 10% of the population are that way inclined, much evidence points to the determination of sexual preference preference before the age of five. And for those who believe that it is a question of choice, those heterosexuals who believe that homosexuality is is a question of choice. I would ask them how did they choose their sexuality? I do not believe that an argument based on the question of unnatural in that sense can be sustained. The second context in which you can use the word unnatural is that certain parts of the body have designed for certain functions and should not be used for any other. Now, as I said before, remember how Reiki and others have described those things as being very distasteful, but certainly not confined to homosexuals. And if it is a practice that a member wishes to prescribe, it is that which should be made illegal and not the practice of it, but only some people. Mr. Speaker, of course, as a member of parliament, one does get involved in the personal affairs of many people as they come to make representations and seek And one of the reputations I received over the years which [00:23:07] dramatically [00:23:08] illustrated for me as much as anything the reason why this bill or something very similar to it should come forward is the question of a young professional person from Hastings, who came to see me. He said he discovered in his early 20s that he was homosexual. He revealed this information to his parents, he promptly threw him out of the house and wanted nothing more to do with him. He went to England on a scholarship and in the course of his work, they had met a man with him He subsequently became very intimate. Shortly afterwards, this person from Hastings had a major accident, resulting in a prolonged period of hospitalization. The only person in the world who was interested in him and was prepared to look after him at that time was his male friend. [00:23:55] After making a partial recovery, he was required [00:23:58] to return to music Because his British visa had expired, he wished to bring his friend with him but was unable to do so. Because his friend did not qualify under the immigration policy, had his friend been female and they were married, he would automatically qualified for a mission to New Zealand. As the law then stood, I could not even approach the Minister of immigration to exercise his discretion, because the very act of their living together was illegal under the law. Now other person in the world was harmed by their relationship. It was a very sincere and meaningful relationship and both of them gained a great deal from it. I would like to say that I believe that a law that creates such distress cannot be a law that is fear. And a third the submission I received or fear the case of this brought to my attention concern the person who told me that as a 14 year old in the 1950s, he said he knew his sexuality lay, although he had never heard the word, the word homosexual. He said he still remember the agony as a 16 year old after school dance. When he escorted his partner home, he'll be expected to kiss a good night or even hold a hand and he could not do sir. But he said his first brief experience at 17 with a homosexual, his body and his whole reactions were totally different. He said after many years, he reconciled his sexuality with his religious beliefs is a now a lay reader in the Anglican Church, and his cannot be a law that is fair. And a third the submission I received or further case of this brought to my attention concerned the person who told me that as a 14 year old in the 1950s, he said he knew where his sexuality lay, although he had never heard With the word homosexual, he said he still remember the agony as a 16 year old after school dance. When he escorted his partner home, he'll be expected to kiss a good night, or even hold a hand and he could not do set. But he said his first brief experience at 17 with a homosexual, his body and his whole reactions were totally different. He said after many years he reconciled his sexuality with his religious beliefs. He is now a lay reader in the Anglican Church, and his mother is an elder of the Presbyterian Church. He says they have lived together for 10 years as happily fulfilled criminals. Mr. Chairman, I do not believe that a law of that sort is fair. In actual fact, as somebody said earlier, the how question is really one of community attitudes. I do not believe the bill. will make much difference the community attitudes. [00:27:02] But in this house, we provide [00:27:05] pride ourselves on democracy. [00:27:08] We pride ourselves on democracy and what is a democracy? If it is not the absolute right to be different, and in some circumstances, the absolute right to be wrong [00:27:21] in the eyes of everybody else. [00:27:23] And for that reason, Mr. Speaker, I intend to support the bill in the way that I've indicated. [00:27:29] The Honorable Miss who, Mr. Speaker [00:27:32] I rise to speak on this important issue. I know there are many other important issues out there in the community, whether it be the level of interest rates, the debt of the nation, the value of the New Zealand dollar, the crises in farming, or the problems of exports, all of which are important issue but tonight, tonight, we are seized with the responsibility of discussing the Private member's bill, the homosexual law reform [00:28:01] bill [00:28:03] is a private member's bill. I think it's fair to observe mr. speaker that many would see it, however, as a Labour Party bill, an exercise that is in technical terms, and most matters that members speak on in this house. We have, as it were the support of our colleagues the support of a caucus position, a consensus that has been reached, and we come and speak and vote, in general and almost universally according to that consensus. On this bill, like a few others, we have no set support. Members individually have to make their own judgment, do their own research if they're of mine to do so. Take their own counsel, some Canvas the views of their electorates, some gather their thoughts together another way, but finally, we have to stand alone in this chamber, and make judgment and vote according to that judgment, some fine making such a judgment extremely difficult and I cast no aspersions on them because of that difficulty. Others find it much more clear cut and abused, perhaps more firmly Hill. Pressure is the norm and this type of legislation, pressure from those in favor and pressure from those again, there are lobby groups that emerge. There are issues that are promoted some with right vigor and some with a complete lack of subtlety. And there is concern at times that the tactics of some of the enthusiasts whether they be for or against, tend to obscure the real issues, I guess would say, as I've said before, publicly I would ask that all should display tolerance and dealing with issues such as this, that it is not, it is not consistent with the views of either side or the views of anyone that they should be I lack of tolerance for the views of others who may have a different viewpoint on the question of homosexual law reform. And I want to say also that I don't believe that any members views are going to be changed because of abuse or threats. I believe that I believe that members on a moral question are going to be so easily dissuaded. I think that undervalues the integrity of the members of this house. I was in Parliament, of course, one of the few during the last period when this issue was the beta, when my colleague, the member for white proposed reform and a much more modest fashion than the proposal currently before this parliament. I spent some time with him and that occasion and talked with those he believed would be beneficial for me to talk with to give me a fuller understanding of all the issues involved, and I welcome that opportunity to listen and to assess. And I have to say I finally voted against my colleague bill. It is my intention also, despite the passage of the year since then, and all that has been written and said and stated and commented on, to vote against the current bill, before this house, much has changed. attitudes have certainly changed in the community on a number of issues. And it would be correct to observe that what is termed a more liberal view, though some would dispute the word liberal, what is termed a more liberal view has now a greater measure of support, when previously but there's one other issue that has changed dramatically in the specifics of the debate, and the bill that we have in front of us at the present time. There is, of course, the emergence of what was then unknown but now is learn the deadly disease of ice [00:32:01] AIDS is a fatal disease, it cannot be wished away, it cannot be pushed under the carpet. We cannot presume it does not exist. It does. It kills. There is no known cure. And the most common way of a team of an hour getting aid is of course, through mail. I know intercourse. That is a statistical fact that no one in this chamber can deny the importance of that, in terms of this bill, of course, cannot be overlooked, because what the first part of the bill seeks to legalize is of course, male anal intercourse. It's as simple as that. It doesn't address the question of whether people can have homosexual love because of Cause there's no law against that. But there is a law against is the act of sodomy. And it's the act of sodomy, to use what is now term and some use it but for many, many years was outdated and not used is the means by which the majority of people will contact the killer disease AIDS. And I don't believe I'm not persuaded others. Maybe I'm not persuaded that this Parliament can likely put black metal to one side in addressing in addressing this bill. And that's one of the reasons at least why I'm not persuaded to support the bill. I am not persuaded I've listened to it and listen carefully to that somehow legalizing and Linda course would make the control of AIDS more possible. I cannot buy the application of any law Come to that same conclusion, I cannot see how making something that is legal is going to prevent that disease. There may be others again who can so persuade themselves. I am not one of them. In fact, if it was in any shape or form, to encourage more to engage in the act of violence, because the inevitability is there would be even a wider spread of it. Now, that is again logic. That of course, is the experience on the statistics that I have read of other societies where legalization has occurred or was practiced before. This is a major health threat. And while one does not want to put a financial sign on a moral question, one must observe a major Financial question as well. So this chamber must very, very carefully consider that before we vote on this issue, major argument in favor of the law change is a simple proposition that the law has no place in the bedrooms of the notion sit on many occasions and with some conviction. And I have to say on first hearing, it has a comfortable ring about it. This sounds a comfortable notion, and perhaps one that one should be persuaded to accept. until of course, you think a little more deeply and you find a course that the law says very precisely that in many circumstances, it has a place in the bedroom of the nation's it certainly says it has that role. If you are dealing with the young of the nation, it certainly says that it has a real In the bedrooms of the nation, if you're dealing with heterosexual sex with people or girls under the age of 16. So there is no basic proposition that law has no place near. What we have then is a qualified statement that law from time to time, has a place in the bedrooms of the nation. And therefore, it's a question of whether it has a place at the present time on the on the present on the present issue. I don't believe that there is any member of this chamber who would dispute that young people should be protected. I believe there are. Having said that it must be also stated there are those out there who are active in promoting the acceptability of homosexual acts. Who do there are those who believe that men voice six is normal. [00:36:55] This house does not and I'm sure never will in my time in it and I will suspect and hope never. But all I put that point to you is to say that there is, of course, other reforms if I misuse the word reform that some would want this parliament to address at some later died. I hope it never will address that question. So this house, Mr. Chairman, today or next week or some subsequent date, when we come to voting on this bill has to make a quite simple decision on a complex matter. Do he legally lies and thereby give some public sanction to homosexual acts between consenting miles and depending on your viewpoint, over the age of 1618, or 20, though, I must say one of my colleagues has indicated to me he's prepared and supported at 94 I suspect that Mr. boda can country do we give some sanction because we must accept in this parliament, that if we vote in favor of the reform, we are giving some sanction. We must not mislead ourselves decided that what we would be doing is, as it were just ratifying the status quo. And to some extent, we would, but we will be going one states further, we will be saying that, in fact, it was normal in the eyes of the law, and therefore, of course, it must widen the occasions when it could be promoted as a normal and acceptable lifestyle. And I think there are many New Zealanders who have great sympathy for active homosexual but who would not want to see that conduct which is central to The argument, namely anal intercourse, promoted or seen by this parliament, or seem to have been promoted by this Parliament as normal. I am one. I am one of those, Mr. Chairman, [00:39:14] Mr. Speaker. [00:39:16] Another argument that is advanced is that of course, the law must be amended to prevent harassment and harassment is wrong, and the only way to prevent it is to remain the law and therefore, to give the cloak of normalcy to what is [00:39:36] presently prescribed by the law. [00:39:39] And again, it sounds attractive that we just as it were, say, make it normal. Therefore, harassment [00:39:49] will not take place the first question [00:39:51] that must be asked, Is there any any level of harassment that makes that a major issue and I And earlier speaker tonight was drawing on some historical evidence, reminding the house that perhaps it did happen in an earlier time. I have not read or seen or had presented to me any case in recent times. What's happened in the confines of one's bedrooms use that term has been brought to the attention of the court where it was action between adult males. So the harassment argument tends to fall down in my view and a my submission on the grounds that it doesn't have substance in the first place. I have to say, I'm inevitably brought around when I study this having read the answers as to yes and no, as to whether or not I want to put my name beside [00:40:53] the legalizing and therefore the normalizing [00:40:57] of final intercourse. [00:40:59] I Cannot persuade myself that it is a biologically normal function for the human body cannot [00:41:08] persuade myself of that. [00:41:10] Some may be able to, but nothing that I have read nothing that I've seen, could suggest to me that it was a normal biological function of males to engage in that activity. And therefore, I would have to say, I have listened. I have been sympathetic to those who have seen me to talk to me about this issue. I haven't David to understand the views. I haven't David to try and see the issue from their point of view, which [00:41:44] I believe one must [00:41:47] having done all that. I have to advise the half that I will be voting against the bill. [00:41:55] Mr. Garrick [00:41:58] speaker proposes Vote for the second reading of this bill. I believe that adult homosexuality should be decriminalized to the extent that this bill proposes. Mr. Speaker, thank the fact that the law has not been enforced in this respect, indeed indicates that the law is unenforceable and therefore, isn't itself. And as Mr. Speaker the law has been no restraint on the development of homosexuality in society. In my experience, hammer sexual homosexuals in general, very good citizens. They do a lot of good work and Active work in the community in the social welfare field and voluntary organizations by should not be classified as criminals or subject to the criminal law. Speaker other members know sales have covered that point quite substantially, I think more eloquently than I can make it. I have some concerns about this bill. I have to report to the house that I did conduct a survey in my own electorate. I sent out 1000 questionnaires to randomly selected electors. And the result of that survey is that the electricals a nanny hangar roughly And equally divided on the subject. In fact, within seven votes, like other members of the sales, I have received enormous amounts of correspondence on the subject. And in respect to those letters from the electorate, they very substantial majority are in favor of the bill. Mr. Baker, there have been some very eloquent speeches and very sincere speeches from members in the sales lock every other member I have been subjected to [00:44:44] submissions from elect toes and, but I have not had the benefit of attendance at the select committee hearings so that I've had to rely on whatever the has been presented to me. And I want to now refer to the report of the Department of Justice. Through the select committee of the center each member and refer to a section of it, which refers to a policy Advisory Committee on sexual offenses in the United Kingdom in 1984. Its size I majority of 10 members of the committee considered that the age for consensual homosexual relations should be reduced from 21 to 18. When on site that it is they are experienced, that between the ages of 16 and 18 girls are on the fall more mature than boys and their approach the sexual relationships and that insofar as it is possible to generalize, boys and girls in the process of maturing by the age of I think the majority also expressed some doubts about contemporary medical opinion that a young man's sexual orientation was fixed by the age of 16. Although it was accepted that sexual orientation was firmly established by the age of 18. And I'd also from this report mr. speaker that England Scotland Wales advisor consent for I'm a sexual diversity at 21 as opposed to 16 for heterosexual activity, a New South Wales is an eye providing as compared to 16. The Justice Department report also advises that, from the pragmatic point of view, selection of 18 as the age is likely to lessen what appears to be the genuinely health concerns of a considerable number of people in the community. would also tend to put the bill in the mainstream of reforms overseas. And so far as my own survey and the electorate is concerned, a majority for the substantial majority voted for and I have an excess of 16, preferring either 18 or 20. As the speaker from the outset of consideration of this bill are used a very simple yardstick. I am satisfied that adult my sexuality should be decriminalized. I then looked at the question of fire and adult comes into the picture, and I fixed the age of ID as being most appropriate. I think 16 is too young Although forever figure or whatever it reflects, this will in any event be an arbitrary figure. I believe there is a need to establish a differentiation between homosexual activity and heterosexual activity. I cannot accept that I'm a sexual activity is a normal activity. I believe that [00:48:31] in spite of [00:48:33] hundreds of years of my sexuality practice, some people have said that they should be quality between the sexes as to the age of consent for by hetero sexual activity and my sexual activity that have I have a sexual age would be higher high my sexual life would be discriminatory against young men, like Christian for young men. Need more protection than young woman. But we already have discrimination against young woman in fact, in respect to hetero sexual activity prohibited under the age of 16. Young men have no such restriction and law, like practice hit try sexual activity from high fidelity and day. And age of consent is an arbitrary judgment taking all things into account. I think I 18 is appropriate for my sexual activity. Mr. Speaker, I also have some concerns in regard to the Human Rights Commission amendment. I haven't heard evidence as yet to support the need for this amendment. I have not heard of cases of discrimination against homosexuals either in housing for unemployment. Mr. Preston the money management, if I was the owner of housing property for rate would be quite delighted to rent my accommodation to homosexuals. I think that the most careful people most studious and proper and so far as care of the tendencies concern. I also draw members attention to the fact that we have a residential tenancy build before the sales, which I have no doubt will be passed in due course and less bill provides protection for tenants evicted from their homes or under threat of eviction so that they can appeal to a tenancy tribunal in so far As employment is concerned, members will be aware that I have had considerable experience in this area and no less than 23 years in the industrial field. Throughout that experience, I have not had the occasion to take aapko have referred to me a case [00:51:21] of discrimination [00:51:25] relating to the employment of homosexuals, or in respect to the dismissal of a worker, because that work was a high my sexual Speaker I would I believe that in passing this amendment that homosexuals would be given a privilege and they that the other person how are you Hi my sexual dismissed from employment If that person is they were affected by an award would have the same rights as every other person, as a worker to go to a personal grievance hearing, and have his face have failed. [00:52:19] Determine on finally by the arbitration court and appeal against the dismissal letters I provision of which every worker is entitled to. Mr. Speaker is am though, willing to be convinced on these issues? I have a relatively open mind. But I must say that I haven't heard evidence so far. That to convince me that I should change my mind insofar as the age of consent is concerned, and the amendment to the Human Rights Commission, I would like to hear a response to the points I have raised from the sponsor of the bill. And in conclusion, can I compliment her for introducing this bill to this house for placing this issue before us and the people so that the people can have a say, through US on the subject? I think she has done it with dignity and courage and I certainly complementor for [00:53:45] us to speak of there's no doubt in my mind that the matter we've been debating is of great importance. It raises fundamental issues, many of them have been divided adequately already. I'm sure we'll play a fat and determined Thousands of votes in the next election. And I congratulate those members have already spoken, most of them for their insincerity and their strength. I find myself with a great deal still to say on this matter, someone that has yet to be catalyst in this debate. I wish to speak as a scientist and make some comments on the biological evidence relating to homosexuality. I wish to report the views of my hopes by constituents and so far as I've been able to determine them, and I wish the foreshadow I said and amendments that I intend to move in the committee stages. Widespread occurrence of male homosexuality is a matter of common knowledge and also a matter of scientific record. And for example, bereted l have stated that I'm a six year old he is one of the oldest and more commonly adult sexual behaviors ever feared as many members Kinsey's report, and aligner reports which confirm all the main conclusions of Kinsey. They've noted that most children pastor a stage of human sexual activity which is not considered either criminal or deviant. And I further pointed out that our all genital sexual practices are no longer considered deviant and marriage manuals now and fluidly. I also refer to the fact that a smaller proportion of men persist with exclusively homosexual behavior throughout their lives. The biological basis of this is still a matter for scientific debate. bereted al, how the view that it appears that neither genetic defects nor hormonal influences quiet there are other scientists have studied this field he can be quite different conclusions and I mentioned for example, money in their hat. Hold the view that gender identity is is critically determined by levels of hormones, particularly sex hormones, during either the prenatal stage or early postnatal development of the brain, in other words bio the view. And it does appear to be a strongly held view among scientists to study this field, that there are actual changes in brain structure during development, as a result of the hormonal environment, which determine gender identity, in event view is correct, then it follows that homosexuality in fact, is not a chosen behavior, nor is it something that is likely to be curable. That's certainly the view, which is put forward strongly by the Australian and New Zealand College of psychiatrists. He stated in a submission to the select committee, that the notion that homosexuality can be treated as a disease is inappropriate and unacceptable. May many homosexuals are living well adjusted lives and have nollie for medical treatment, that's the professional view on the matter. If I contain from matters of scientific record to some of my own personal observations, it's apparent to me that male homosexuality is widely prevalent in New Zealand. Like some of the members who've spoken previously, I attended a boys boarding school for five years. And I observed a number of instances of adolescent homosexual behavior, such as, for example, mutual masturbation. It was when I was at school, a small group of borders who openly adopted a homosexual behavior pattern. They were by and large tolerated by the majority. I've since been told that this is the most unusual occurrence in New Zealand high schools. Several of the members of this group were during my time at the school involved in a scandal, where they were discovered engaged in sexual activities with boys who had not previously been suspected of having a sexual inclinations. Interestingly enough, it was a letter [00:58:01] Who were regarded [00:58:02] by most of the borders has been disgraced, not the former great. Some of those involved have since a time responsible and respected positions and New Zealand provincial towns with respect to the broader [00:58:17] field [00:58:18] of homosexual behavior, means discussion group that I joined in the late 1970s included two adult male homosexuals, one of whom introduced me to several of his friends. And that's why I learned that many practicing homosexuals live outwardly normal lives in our provincial towns. On the question, which are late hasn't received enough attention in this debate. The question of the basic human dignity of male homosexuality. Nobody who values literature could fail to be aware that the world of homosexual love is seen as being as rich and multifarious for high mistakes As the world of heterosexual love, the same for heterosexual one of the finest platforms that I know was written by a practicing male homosexual, who Jordan. And I'd like to quote that term in the sales because I believe it's a reasonable antidote to some of the long descriptions of homosexual behavior that we've heard from people who regard those behaviors as discussing [00:59:26] the time which is entitled rates. [00:59:30] Lie you're sleeping hit my love, human on my faithless time and fevers burn away individual beauty from thoughtful children, and the grave proves the child ephemeral. But in my arms still break day Let the living creature lie, mortal guilty, but to me the entirely beautiful soul and body have no bands to lovers as they lie upon her tolerant and chanted slope in their own Ordinary swoon brave the version Venus scenes of supernatural sympathy, universal love and hope. While an abstract inside White's among the glasses and the rocks, the humans sensual ecstasy 70 fidelity on the stroke of midnight pass light vibrations of a bill and fashionable madmen raise the pedantic boring cry. Every fabbing of the cost old rated pads for till shall be paid. But from this night, not a whisper, not a thought. Not a kiss. No look be lost. At midnight vision dies, let the winds of dawn blow softly round you're dreaming here. Such a day of sweetness show I ain't nothing had my bliss. Find the model world enough names of dryness see fed by the involuntary pairs knots of insult let you pass watched by every human love. I believe that there are many testimonials and literature to the very profound, loving feelings that some male and female homosexuals experience and we should build with the respect by cord to all human beings. Mr. spiggott Island The course has occupied the attention of a number of the people who have spoken in this debate. I believe that it is a minority practice for both I'm a sexuals I'm here to receive the anus is anatomically placed applies to the genitals and some anal stimulation is virtually inevitable during sexual activity. I know touching and other behaviors I said they experimented with by many heterosexual couples Island the closest friends least common or not that in many of the right trials reported in the news media and New Zealand, they're also charges of heterosexual sodomy. There were 331 charges and 46 incarcerations for sodomy, in New Zealand between 973 and 1983. And although there is no record as to how many of those were female and how many male it's my impression that most of the victims are in fact, female. These numbers are dwarfed by the reported sexual crimes against children. In 1983. alone, there were 549 reported sexual crimes against kills under 16 and 153. Against boys under 16, only 11 of those involved suddenly my personal view is a demisexual law reform is overdue. As the member of Fallon for Hawke's Bay, however, I've tried to ascertain the views of my constituents. The nomis a signed a petition against law reform bill was 400 4949 or 15% of the title legal population in Hawke's Bay. This was a larger proportion than in many other provincial seats. There is evidence that that number may be underestimated, although many of those who are opposed would probably not be prepared to sign a petition in April and May cause to have carried out a telephone survey, in hopes by using 129 selected at random from the electoral roll it percent of those agreed to answer and of those 57% agree that homosexual acts between adult males should be permitted. 43% were against just one of the respondents didn't know a majority of those who are in favor supported either 18 or 20 as the age of consent, and there were similar answers given with respect to lesbian AIDS. When asked if it should be illegal to discriminate against homosexuals, as in the provisions of Patreon of this bill 68% were in favor of making that illegal in other words, A greater majority, then we're in favor of decriminalizing analyticals. These figures are in good agreement with Highland polls that have been carried out in New Zealand, the most recent which showed that 61% supported law reform, with 34% oppose, but that only 22% would support 16 as the age of consent. [01:04:21] The majority view then appears to be clear enough. But I must report that this has been a battle a divisive issue in hawks, buyers and other parts of the country. I've received 117 layers and telephone calls on the subject and 59% of them were opposed to the bill 41% in favor, some of the views on both sides were highly extreme I felt and the reveal of frightening depth of hatred. One constituent declared the passage of this bill would contain more souls to hell in a million nuclear bombs. Another described homosexuals as arrogant, vicious laws and stated that he wouldn't want them in the office of the factory. The goal of the services on the other side of extremism. One woman declared that heterosexual men were responsible for all right, insist venereal disease and unwanted lives, and that those opposed to the bill were a radical fringe of inhuman religionists. I also i'm glad to report received a large number of sensible and sincere leaders from people maintaining both liberal and conservative views on this issue. The most moving messages that I received came from adult male homosexuals. I shall not read expects from them, because without the personal human details, they would lose their impact and I do not wish through risk revealing their identities. Finally, I received six personal latest from hoax by ministers of religion, Taylor opposed to the bill and for supportive caring to the proposed legislation. It's clear to me that I must support reform of the law, both as a matter of conscience and and response to the majority view of my constituents. Because there is such extreme division, I believe it's necessary to try and reach some pragmatic states which will broaden the area of agreement and reduce the diversion. I see no good reason or valid reason for the criminal law to be invoked against. Is that our show move a number of amendments and the committee stages. In part one, I believe that the proposed age of consent Rial intercourse 16 is not acceptable to most New Zealanders. If it were to be passed, it would move substantially here to public opinion not only in Hawke's by, but in the whole country. And our show therefore, the moving an amendment to the proposed section one for two, saving 18 as the age for consent. This would have the following purpose firstly to make the bill more broadly acceptable. Secondly, to reinforce the current medical opinion that I No intercourse is a dangerous practice. I shall speak at morning on that on the committee stages, the suggested age is the same as the voting age. Finally, by confining that amendment to the proposed section one for two, there would be no discrimination between homosexual and heterosexual practices. repose section 141 48 which relates to indecency with boys should in my opinion remain unchanged. I would bring the section of the crime take into agreement with sections 133 and 134 relating to indecency with girls in Paris, so I propose to put forward a number of amendments. Firstly, that the definition of sexual orientation and clause nine of the bill should be amended to re sexual orientation in relation to any person means the heterosexual, homosexual or bisexual preference of that person. Secondly, I believe that sections 15 three, c 15 six 21 two of the Human Rights Commission it should all be amended to permit discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation, as well as on the grounds of six. These provisions relate to domestic employment in a private household and do any position authorization or qualification that is for the purposes of an organized religion, and as limited size to comply with the doctrines or rules of the religion or to avoid offending the religious susceptibilities of the adherence provided those amendments or similar amendments can be passed on to support bypass of this bill and I believe that that is acceptable to majority of my constituents in Hawke's Bay. [01:08:43] And Mr. Angus [01:08:46] I want to firstly congratulate the four members of this house who have given up so much of their family life and spare time to campaign against this piece of legislation in order to preserve and maintain Time, some sort of decent order in a New Zealand society. I want to also sir congratulate the organizers of the largest petition ever to be presented to parliament on behalf of the very many good and well meaning New Zealanders that went out and worked to solicit support. We can argue about the numbers, whether it's 800,000 or 500,000. It is still the largest petition ever to be presented to this parliament. Sir It was amazing the night or the day when the the mover of the bill appeared on television, as that petition was presented to Parliament, looking like a startled hand just being chased off her name. And while she vida, well, she vida, she looked startled, confused, and I'd have to say shocked because of Very large number of New Zealanders had spoken very clearly in that petition. The Junior government was also in a state of shock, I guess. Because it was shown clearly that this legislation is neither needed, nor indeed supported or wanted, by a very large majority. And then userland society. Mr. Speaker, this live a government and the member Wellington Central, clearly trying to destroy and break down the normal, strong structures and the very fabric of a strong, strong family life in New Zealand. Sir, the bill was clearly brought in to create some sort of a smokescreen to divert people's attention away from the failures of the government and economic fields and to the strength the thoughts of people from The shambles their economy is in today. From the real issues, inflation, interest rates, cost of living for young people to endeavor to legislate, or legalize homosexuality for 16 year olds, spells disaster, and I certainly will not support any part of this legislation, know what the majority of my electorate Wish me to do so I would even go as far as to say, sir, that there will be some members in this house who will regret their support for this legislation and the next election. And I believe that members should think for themselves and vote with their own conscience only on this particular issue. Mr. Speaker, homosexuality is an issue which is complex and must be considered with compassion and concern for individuals involved. However, in the long run, Society and many, many individuals in it will be worse off if this bill is passed. Sir, the following argument is frequently put forward, that homosexual practice is not immoral. Just an alternative sexual orientation as moral and normal as homophobic as heterosexual practice. Sir, it is certain that a parliament passes this bill, homosexuality will eventually become acknowledged as morally accepted sexual practice. This is certainly the expectation of the so called gay rights movement. [01:12:43] What then, is morality [01:12:46] are moral values, merely [01:12:50] moral values merely relative to the current social Moore's on what ground then can homosexual practice Morrow and say violence they MRO. A popular thought is that any action is okay provided it does not harm others live and let live, you know the same. If this is so then orgies, prostitution, pornography, polyamory, adultery and say sodomy of animals and drug abuse etc, provided all parties involved consent should not be inferred interfered with by laws or condemned by intolerant objectors. Isn't that what the supporters or some of the supporters of the spiller saying? It is surely inconsistent to say that violence in society will always be wrong? Whereas homosexual practice, might Eric be regarded as acceptable moral standard? We're talking about violence, and I was disappointed surgery today and Article on the tablet. With supporters of the homosexual law reform bill, have seven savagely attacked church leaders. The latest attack is made in the latest issue of out and says the language use shows that whatever happens in the bill, the guys plan an aggressive strategy against all opposed to them. Church, Mr. Angus DNP. For Wallace, The article also warns that if the bill does not pass, the active element of the gay movement could become very active and they, in spite of the law, it would not be it would be unrealistic not to expect a reaction against supporters of the bill, who may have been seen to be unwise and identifying themselves. However wrong it may be gay bashes, and their families could well find themselves and their property at risk [01:14:55] to the people who make statements like that deserve anything. Sort of compassion or support? Sir, I've been reliably informed that the whole guy Task Force right around the world, watching the progress and the hopeful passage of this legislation in New Zealand. And I wonder why? I wonder why. Sir for many years, many homosexuals remained in the closet, so to say, concealing their behavior from employers, from friends and even from spouses. Many wrestled against their impulses, and much the same way and expose a wrestles against the compulsive behavior that makes him feel guilty and ashamed. But these are not the people for whom the gay rights laws are primarily designed or who lobby for them because they keep the sexuality private, and they are seldom if ever discriminated against. And I really don't argue against this group. The Middleton Simon sexual community that Sir, has sought to overcome the natural revulsion of their behavior triggered by efforts to polish their image. By efforts that have been largely successful, they have won the support of many people of goodwill, including prominent religious and political leaders. And then they make statements like that, as inferred and the tablet. What spillover effects do homosexuals have? on society? Mr. Speaker, homosexual behavior leads to problems far beyond the circle of the homosexuals themselves. As a group for examples, homosexuals released both disease and crime into our society, to an extent far in excess of the percentage of the population. And research around the world confirms that the connection between homosexuals and mental health has been underscored more recently. By the rise of AIDS, the medical community had long known the medical effects of homosexuality. medical specialists knew the disproportionate impact on the sick Simon sick homosexual community of diseases like syphilis, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, and so on. Speaker, although homosexuals may be smaller number as one in 10, or one and 20. Some estimate the United States population, they carry their over 44% of the nation's cases of surplus 51% of gonorrhea of the throat, and 53% of intestinal infections. 40% of the United States 40% of homosexuals admit to that infection and one survey and Amsterdam reflected surpluses and about 34% of homosexuals who were tending saunas and that particular country, sir disease time, food handlers and public restaurants have been responsible for major outbreaks of serious disease, hepatitis A infections and San Francisco and Minneapolis. I mistake shows unfortunately have a rate of infectious Hepatitis B 20 to 50 times greater than heterosexual males. It's no wonder, sir that Dr. Saima drapes and official of the San Francisco Department of Health, right that spatial recourses are required [01:18:37] to protect the public from [01:18:39] carriers who work as both food handlers, bartenders, attendants and medical care facilities, or as teachers and aides and daycare centers for insurance and for young children. While gay rights laws have been in effect for the last decade and San Francisco, that city has seen a sharp increase In the ventral disease right of 22 times the national average infectious hepatitis increased by 100% infectious Hepatitis B by 300% [01:19:13] and other [01:19:14] large areas, sir in that city 75,000 patients each year, of whom 80% were homosexual male. Sir, it is interesting to note that in spite of efforts by the South Australian government and agencies and the AIDS task force to alert homosexuals of the dangers posed by aids, a survey in South Australia has found that most have not changed their sexual habits to prevent the spread of this horrific disease as the speaker more than 300 young homosexuals were interviewed in Adelaide, city bars and and discos where homosexuals are now. intimate, and most said that they had not changed their lifestyle or sexual behavior due to the fear of age and other constant question. homosexuals born that way. Although gay rights laws customary speak of the affectional preferences, homosexuals on the defensive, frequently say they have no choice. responsibility. I'm sorry [01:20:27] to interrupt the honorable gentleman [01:20:28] but the time has come when I must leave the chat.

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