Title: Poisoned candyfloss Credit: Craig Young Comment Monday 5th December 2005 - 12:00pm1133737200 Article: 1030 Rights
Why hasn't Gordon Copeland done his homework before venturing into print on behalf of his same-sex marriage ban bill? His 'reasons' are so shallow that they can be compared to the insubstantial 'foodstuff' in the title of this column! Marriage is not "universally restricted to one woman and one man," as Canada, the Netherlands and Massachuesetts all demonstrate. In Canada, the federal Liberals passed same sex marriage legislation after nine out of ten provincial supreme courts found that discriminatory marriage laws harmed lesbians and gay men. Next? Gordon claims "public meetings" supported a same-sex marriage ban. Were these 'public meetings' advertised within fundamentalist media or on their websites? If so, and if they were run by the Maxim Institute and other fundamentalist pressure groups, then they were not real 'public meetings,' they were stage-managed fora that were conducted according to preset guidelines that manufactured such 'outcomes.' I'm not sure whether Gordon is referring to the Maxim Institute's nzvotes fora, or anti-CUA 'public meetings.' One can find the same degree of artificial 'consensus' in submissions against the Civil Union Act and Relationships (Statutory References) Act. It is noteworthy that Copeland refers to the volume of submissions and not their actual content. It's easy to deduce why. How many anti-CUA/RSRA submissions consisted of repetitious biblical proof texts, pro forma templated 'letters' from the Maxim Institute, subjective assertions without actual evidence, and US Christian Right propaganda about lesbian and gay relationships lifted overtly or covertly from discredited sources like Paul Cameron et al? I suspect that I have eliminated the bulk through the process of logical elimination used above, so how substantive is this argument? Not very. In other words, Copeland has no real "case" against same-sex marriage and nor does his private members bill, except for unsubstantiated assertions that dissolve on closer examination. And I'll be interested to read the full details of the Maxim Institute's forthcoming 'opinion poll' about same-sex marriage, its sampling procedures and questionnaire design. When it comes down to it, the Marriage (Gender Clarification) Bill is yet another piece of would-be social conservative behavioural control and ideological purity. Now, conservative Catholics and fundamentalist Protestants have religious freedom, freedom of conscience, belief and worship in our pluralist democratic society. No-one is asking them to accept our propositions about same-sex marriage, and they are free to dissent from them. What they are not free to do is to try to deceive the general public that same-sex marriage bans are not attacks on the religious and philosophical freedoms of others, and the freedom of their consciences, beliefs and ethical conduct. They are sectarian and antidemocratic. That is why the Marriage (Gender Clarification) Bill must be defeated. Recommended: 17.11.05: Copeland discusses the Marriage (Gender Clarification) Bill David Crampton's perspective on the Marriage (Gender Clarification) Bill Craig Young - 5th December 2005    
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